We Need to Talk
by Celeste HeadleeFinished
I borrowed this from the library after reading Dave Rupert’s rave review. It reminded me of Talk to Me by Dean Nelson: a journalist imparting wisdom on effective communication with a handful of interesting anecdotes to help illustrate the points.
The book wasn’t groundbreaking but there were a few takeaways for me:
- Setting expectations with people is very important. When you provide a summary of the form and content of a conversation ahead of time, you allow your collocutor to mentally prepare and orient themselves for how it will unfold.
- When comforting someone it’s common to want to sympathise by sharing a relevant personal experience – it’s natural to think it will help them feel better. Try to avoid doing this as it naturally takes the conversation away from the person looking for support.
- The backfire effect is a cognitive bias where someone faced with information challenging their beliefs tends to “double down”. See also “Mistakes were Made.”
- Sometimes you don’t have to talk!