• Saturday, September 24, 2022

Arts and Culture

Review: Let’s Talk – Highly-engaging book delves into the art of conversation

By: Shelbin MS

In an increasingly divided world, most people are fed up with constant culture wars or feeling disconnected and crave real meaningful connections.

Acclaimed broadcaster and interviewer Nihal Arthanayake sets out to tackle this with his debut book Let’s Talk and attempts to show us ‘how to have better conversations’.

The part ‘how-to’ and ‘part-manifesto’ takes the reader on a fascinating exploration of the art of conversation by weaving together personal experiences, and great interviews with leading conversational figures, incl­u­d­ing Matthew Syed, professor of social interaction Elizabeth St­o­k­oe, Lorraine Kelly, plus others, along with well-researched facts. Divided into neat chapters, the book covers everything about conversations, from evolution and structure to talking professionally, and in the workplace.

Throughout the pages, he del­i­vers thought-provoking questi­o­ns such as ‘what is happening to the quality of your social intera­ctions when your phone is out?’ And ‘are you using all your emotions to connect with what you are hearing?’ These parts are co­mbined with the psychology behind effective communication.

By drawing on uncomfortable interactions and somewhat extraordinary circumstances – like ‘can a Muslim woman who sat down with neo-Nazis teach us to be better listeners?’ – he manages to cleverly illustrate we have more in common than what divides us. And he demonstrates that staying open to new experiences is not only game-changing but also life-enriching. What makes this book stand out from other professional development books is that it’s clearly written with passion and is accessible, which makes it highly engaging.

This unique book filled with insight is elevated by Nihal’s witty yet empathetic voice and succeeds in delivering what it set out to do. After reading this book, you will be armed with knowledge and vital tools for successful communication, both personally and professionally.

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