We Need To Talk

by Celeste Headlee

Published 2017 272 pages

I read Celeste Headlee's We Need To Talk on a recommendation from Dave Rupert, and it was: alright.

It covers a lot of the same ground that other books on conversation do: don't talk about yourself, ask questions, be genuinely curious in the other person. I can't help but feel like a lot of these books are guides to hacking interpersonal relationships, and this one's no exception.

The book itself is based on an admittedly very popular TED talk from 2016, and I'm not sure how much more the book's 272 pages adds to the central message, beyond adding some illuminating examples. In fact, as of today, the top comment on the YouTube video is a further reduction of Headlee's content into 10 digestible bullet points, and I'm afraid to say that these bullet points cover like 80% of the meatus of the book itself.

There are nice asides, to be fair—like recommending meditation as a way to practice being in the moment with something—but it felt like this book could have been an email.


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