Troubled Talk and Talking Cures: From “Smart Talk” to Wise Conversations

Troubled Talk and Talking Cures: From “Smart Talk” to Wise Conversations

Negotiation Journal. April
2000, Vol. 16, Issue 2, Pages 143

Interpersonal communications is widely viewed as both a source of conflict in many social relationships and a cure-all for resolving such conflict. Some theorists assert that we simply do not interact, or talk, enough in modern society; others point out that our communication styles seem increasingly argumentative, exclude important potential contributors, or are strategically facile but shallow. The author discusses the various forms of dysfunctional “talk” in which people engage, then reviews four recent books, all of which focus (at least in part) on how we might talk (and negotiate) with one another more constructively: Bargaining for Advantage, by G. Richard Shell; Winning ‘Em Over, by Jay C. Conger; Difficult Conversations, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen; and The Magic of Dialogue by Daniel Yankelovich.