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Daniel Stillman remains true to his purpose: this amazing book supports the reader with powerful questions and practical tasks to create the conditions for transformative conversations. We are all limited by what we don't talk about. Let's start now!
As someone who has built a career on 'Conversations', I was really excited about what Daniel Stillman had to share with GOOD TALK. I was not disappointed.
The big takeaway for me was that all of us have a role to place when it comes to communication. I have to make sure I'm doing my part to empower the listener and make my thoughts and intentions clear. The other party need to be able to express themselves and get an understanding in the process. If we are doing more listening than responding we are not only going to be able to achieve more in the short-term, it will help us to stand out with others as good communicators.
If you are looking for a book that is easy to digest and full of practical information that you can start using right away then Daniel Stillman delivers a win. GOOD TALK delivers on its premise.
If you've listened to Daniel Stillman's podcast, The Conversation Factory, you'll know he starts it with the phrase, "our lives are literally built one conversation at a time" and yet so often we talk at cross-purposes, misalign, accidentally offend or take offence, and generally fail to be aware of the power structures, turn taking (or not), cadence and triggers in our conversations, particularly in the workplace where we quite often use completely different language. It's a marvel anything gets done at all.
Daniel Stillman's Good Talk provides a user's manual to that most everyday of things – conversations. First of all he describes the how and why of conversations and why they matter. Because they are so everyday, we tend to think we have them down. But we don't. Most of us are just muddling through and Daniel describes how we often end up in a default mode. Then he describes the structure of conversations – not in a linguistics sense, but in a social sense.
In the second half of the book – chapters 3-5 - he reveals a way to map out that structure and become more aware, more mindful of it, especially if you are in the business of facilitating conversations in some way. Using the Conversation OS canvas will be hugely useful to anyone leading meetings and workshops, but also to anyone who needs to have a difficult conversation. In short, anyone who wants to think beyond the default and to design better conversations. And we're all conversation designers.
Highly recommended for anyone in leadership, management, design, facilitation and in situations at both work and home where conversations need to shift from their default patterns and ruts into something more positive.
This book has a series of great insights, tips and methods you can start using right now to build rich conversations with your partner, family and colleagues at work. Daniel provides practical solutions but also acknowledges injustices, biases and unbalances in our society which helps to understand the power dynamics that often isolates us in our own Operating Systems.