We Need To Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter by Celeste Headlee

Title: We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter, Author: Celeste HeadleeFinished 11-5-17, rating 4.25/5, 244 pages, pub. 2017

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Harper Collins

In this urgent and insightful book, public radio journalist Celeste Headlee shows us how to bridge what divides us–by having real conversations


Today most of us communicate from behind electronic screens, and studies show that Americans feel less connected and more divided than ever before. The blame for some of this disconnect can be attributed to our political landscape, but the erosion of our conversational skills as a society lies with us as individuals.

And the only way forward, says Headlee, is to start talking to each other. In We Need to Talk, she outlines the strategies that have made her a better conversationalist—and offers simple tools that can improve anyone’s communication.

Whether you’re struggling to communicate with your kid’s teacher at school, an employee at work, or the people you love the most—Headlee offers smart strategies that can help us all have conversations that matter.

I’d never heard of radio host Celeste Headlee, but I agreed to read whatever Trish sent me and she chose this little gem of a book.  It’s based on a Ted Talk, but my speakers aren’t working so I couldn’t listen, but I’d give it a try if you can since the book stems from that talk.

Headlee had me at her dedication, “For Grant: I wanted to be a better person so I could be a better mom.”  I think this speaks to so many parents out there.

This book is so timely in our current politicized environment and she touches on having discussions with people who differ on politics as well as having productive discussions with your boss or employees.

Did you know humans now have the attention span of a goldfish?  Technology over the last few years has made up skim and look for sound bites instead of taking the time to read or really listen.  I love to blog, but to post and read other blogs it takes more time that I sometimes have.  Throwing an update on Facebook takes less than a minute. This affects our conversations too.  How many times have you found your mind wandering when someone is talking?  Or just waiting for a break so that you could add your own story or comment?  Most of us are guilty.

This book was easy to read and had great information, even for people who think they don’t need help.  I like that she added lots of studies to back up her recommendations.  I found so many things to work on in my own conversations.

Here are a few tips for you.  Put away your phone!  Even having your phone on the table inhibits conversation.  Be present (meditation can help with this).  Be respectful and end on a good note.  It’s not about you.  Keep it short and don’t repeat (especially the negative stuff).  Ask open-ended questions and don’t unload your daily accomplishments on an unsuspecting acquaintance.

I really liked this one and can’t wait to try out some of the tips.

I want to thank TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy of the book so I could give you all my honest opinion.


7 thoughts on “We Need To Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter by Celeste Headlee

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    I can tell you liked this and I can see why. I know a young man who refuses to get a smart phone because he doesn’t want to have his nose stuck in it all the time. I think we all should take a note from him.

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