Ditch the negative mental habits that derail conversations and destroy projects, and discover a framework for forging authentic, enduring, and productive connections.
We live in conversations like fish live in water--we're in them all the time, so we don't think about them much. As a result, we often find ourselves stuck in cyclical patterns of unproductive behaviors. We listen half-heartedly, react emotionally, and respond habitually, like we're on autopilot. This book
is a practical guide for thoughtfully reflecting on conversations so we can avoid the common pitfalls that cause our relationships and work to go sideways. Chuck Wisner identifies four universal types of conversations and offers specific advice on maximizing the effectiveness of each:
- Storytelling--Investigate the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and others
- Collaborative--Explore the way our stories and other people's stories interact
- Creative--See new possibilities and discover unforeseen solutions
- Commitment--Make promises we know we can keep
These conversations unfold sequentially: our awareness of our and others' stories transforms our ability to listen and collaborate, which opens our thoughts to creative possibilities, guiding us toward mindful agreements. Our conversations--at home, at work, or in public--can be sources of pleasure and stepping-stones toward success, or they can cause pain and lead to failure. Wisner shows how we can form a connection from the very first conversation and keep our discourse positive and productive throughout any endeavor.