We Need To Talk
How to Have Conversations That Matter
By Celeste Headlee
Ten ways to have a better conversation: how to speak less, listen more and discover what you've been missing in every conversation
Take a moment to consider how many outcomes in your life may have been affected by poor communication skills. Could you have gotten a job you really wanted? Saved a relationship? What about that political conversation that got out of hand at a dinner party? How is it that we so often fail to say the right thing at the right time?
In her career as an NPR host, journalist Celeste Headlee has interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life, and if there's one thing she's learned, it's that it's hard to overestimate the power of conversation and its ability to both bridge gaps and deepen wounds. In We Need to Talk, she shares what she's learned on the job about how to have effective, meaningful, and respectful conversations in every area of our lives.
Now more than ever, Headlee argues, we must begin to talk to and, more importantly, listen to one another - including those with whom we disagree. We Need to Talk gives readers ten simple tools to help facilitate better conversations, ranging from the errors we routinely make (put down the smart phone when you're face to face with someone) to the less obvious blind spots that can sabotage any conversation, including knowing when not to talk, being aware of our own bias, and avoiding putting yourself in the centre of the discussion.
Whether you're gearing up for a big conversation with your boss, looking to deepen or improve your connection with a relative, or trying to express your child's needs to a teacher, We Need to Talk will arm you with the skills you need to create a productive dialogue.
Celeste Headlee is the host of the daily news show On Second Thought on Georgia Public Broadcasting. She has spent more than a decade with National Public Radio and has been a host of Public Radio International since 2008. Celeste has appeared on CNN, the BBC, PBS and MSNBC. She's also a classically trained soprano who doesn't get enough time to sing anymore. She has one son and a one rescue dog, and lives in Atlanta, GA.
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- Publication date:
05 Sep 2017
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Civil discourse is one of humanity's founding institutions and it faces an existential threat: We, the people, need to talk about how we talk to one another. Celeste Headlee shows us how — Ron Fournier, New York Times bestselling author of Love That Boy and publisher of Crain’s Detroit
We Need To Talk is an important read for a conversationally-challenged, disconnected age. Headlee is a talented, honest storyteller and her advice has helped me become a better spouse, friend and mother — Jessica Lahey, author of New York Times bestseller The Gift of Failure
This powerful debut offers ten strategies for improving conversational skills. Tidbits from sociological studies and anecdotes from history, including from civil rights activist Xernona Clayton's groundbreaking conversations with KKK leader Calvin Craig, round out a book that takes its own advice and has much to communicate — Publishers Weekly
In the course of her career, Headlee has interviewed thousands of people from all walks of life and learned that sparking a great conversation is really a matter of a few simple habits that anyone can learn — Jessica Stillman, Inc.
This book is necessary . . . Headlee's treatise on creating space for valuable mutual reciprocity is one that should become a handbook in any school, business or even a doctor's office where the everyday person visits — George Elerick, Buzzfeed
A well-researched and careful analysis of how and why we talk with one another - our strengths and (myriad) weaknesses . . . A thoughtful discussion and sometimes passionate plea for civility and consideration in conversation — Kirkus Reviews
Refreshingly honest....In the era of the lost art of conversation, Headlee helps us find our voice — Henry Bass, Essence
The perfect pre-Thanksgiving read to head off family squabbles and turn the holiday meal into a feast of ideas instead of a political fracas — Karin Gillespie, Augusta Chronicle