Summary of Good Talk

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Good Talk book summary

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Conversations shape almost every moment of your day. Unfortunately, many conversations and meetings are unproductive. What’s more, reluctance to tackle difficult conversations often hampers personal and professional relationships. Fortunately, you can learn the rules, tools and strategies for improving self-talk, group talk and corporate dialogues.  In this useful text, conversation coach Daniel Stillman provides an excellent blueprint for building meaningful conversations, and offers a strong case for honesty, awareness and courage.

About the Author

Host of The Conversation Factory podcast Daniel Stillman is an independent design facilitator, who helps corporate customers create productive and collaborative teams.


A clumsy laundry room chat led author Daniel Stillman to rethink his conversation skills.

As a researcher in the industrial design market, Stillman frequently chatted with consumers about home appliances. He sought to learn how household products worked in the everyday lives of suburban homeowners. One conversation remained fixed in his head for a decade.

One mother of three teens answered Stillman’s steady flow of conversation in her laundry room.The suburban matriarch provided wonderful insights, but Stillman had more questions, and time was dwindling. After providing an answer, the woman took a pause. Seizing the moment to move forward through his questions, Stillman quickly posed another. His haste caused him to interrupt the woman, who had more to say.

He asked her to continue with her last answer. But she couldn’t remember her idea or suggestion. Stillman felt annoyed with himself. He was supposed to urge homeowners to speak freely. Instead, he inadvertently thwarted her conversation. He wondered what other insights he might have missed throughout his life by being in a rush while conversing.

Ineffective meetings represent...

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