No theory forbids me to say "Ah!" or "Ugh!", but it forbids me the bogus theorization of my "Ah!" and "Ugh!" - the value judgments. - Theodor Julius Geiger (1960)


I recently finished reading "Talk - The Science of Conversation" by Elisabeth Stokoe and wanted to share some of the key takeaways from the book. The author provides valuable insights into how to have meaningful conversations and build strong connections with others. Here are five tips from the book that I found particularly helpful:

1. Don't rush to "build rapport" too quickly. According to the author, this can come across as inauthentic and superficial. Instead, take the time to listen actively and engage in meaningful conversation.

2. Active listening is key. This means paying attention not just to the words being spoken, but also to non-verbal cues such as body language and tone of voice. It's important to avoid interrupting the speaker and to anticipate their intentions and actions.

3. Check your entitlement. It's essential to be aware of any privilege or bias that may affect the conversation. When making requests or offering help to others, make sure that you are not being overly demanding or imposing on them.

4. Change one word to make the conversation more positive or inclusive. By using language that is more inclusive, we can create a more welcoming and supportive environment for everyone involved.

5. Bust myths and stereotypes that may be perpetuated in conversations. It's important to challenge misinformation and promote accurate information to create a more informed and enlightened society.

By implementing these tips, we can have more productive, positive and inclusive conversations that will help us build stronger connections with those around us. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their communication skills.