We have been reading books about the divisions, enmity that often come about when people are arguing about politics, religion, culture, or philosophy. Although many are upset about the conflicts arising out of ordinary conversations, social ethicist and communications expert Melody Stanford Martin is convinced that it is possible to find value in impasses and derive meaning from a frank discussion of differences.

The author has written Brave Talk for bridge-builders — "imaginative, full-throttle, fluid thinkers and speakers who bring the expansiveness of their energy and creativity into the challenging and difficult places of impasse." She thinks her approach shines best in community and so she hopes it will be used in book clubs or workshops so groups can learn together.

Her main theme is that when there is a breakdown in communication it can provide opportunities to grow, collaborate, and create trust. To support it, she provides juicy exercises such as hiding out in a fear bunker, assessing how vulnerable you are to domination, guidelines for asking great questions, and reframing impasse. We especially appreciated her "Top Ten Conversation Hazards" (see excerpt) and her
"Glossary of Awesome Word." Just think how your conversations could change if you understood boundaries, brave space, conflict transformation, courageous dialogue, power sharing, safe space, and more.