The Argument Culture: Moving From Debate to Dialogue by Deborah Tannen takes on the challenging topic of how to survive in a society where opposition is advocated as the best route to getting things done. Tannen suggests other ways to deal with disagreement, such as accommodation, conflict resolution, and third-party mediation.
The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hahn addresses the loneliness of our times, brought on by the emptiness inside us and the hunger for love. He suggests ways to reconnect with ourselves, listen deeply to others, and increase intimacy.
The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure by Catherine Blyth is a tour de force work that brims over with insights and practices to enhance our humanity in our communication-fixated culture. With great élan and erudition, Blyth covers such subjects as detection of untruths, humor as social engineering, and the fine art of flattery.
Conversation: How Talk Can Change Our Lives by Theodore Zeldin speaks to all those who are tired of the egocentric posturing and adversarial stance of so much that passes for talk today in both the private and the public arenas. This is a salutary resource for book discussion groups or salons interested in exploring open-ended, civil conversation.
Conversation - The Sacred Art: Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction by Diane M. Mills laments the loss of true presence due to our reliance on digital devices to keep us connected. Packed with practices from a variety of spiritual traditions, her guide book offers inspiration for deeper face-to-face sharing that explores heartfelt yearnings and truth.
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Bruce Patton, Douglas Stone, and Sheila Heen provides strategies for getting beyond issues of blame and perceived threats to our self-image that lead to contentious conversations. In any dispute with another, it is vital to come to terms with our feelings and those of the other person.
Fearless Dialogues by Gregory C. Ellison II places primary emphasis on seeing and hearing as gateways to transformation. It charts the challenges of crafting communal spaces for asking hard questions, listening empathetically, and inviting the inner teacher of the soul to be present as a guide.
Finding Peace through Spiritual Practice by Ted Falcon, Don Mackenzie, and Jamal Rahman provides a superb model of spiritual practice as key to a more hospitable, peaceful society. The authors are convinced that true peace is not the absence of conflict, fear, and pain but rather is "a way of living in which our conflicts lead us to more meaningful relationships, fear awakens us to live with greater safety, and pain reminds us of where we need support."
Getting to the Heart of Interfaith by Ted Falcon, Don Mackenzie, and Jamal Rahman helps readers inquire deeply to move beyond separation and suspicion into heartfelt understanding. The essentials of dialogue and collaboration come through not only in the authors' teachings but also through their relationship as spiritual leaders of their distinct yet related traditions.
How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation by N.J. Enfield sings the praises of “the remarkable feats of everyday dialogue.” Enfield sees conversation as a collaborative art that provides both pleasure and community.
Information Anxiety 2 by Richard Saul Wurman aims to pass on a treasure trove of insights into ways of dealing with the data deluge that has taken over our lives. Wurman believes that the best of life lies in natural human conversation.
Salons: The Joy of Conversation by Jaida N'ha Sandra, Jon Spayde, and the Editors of the Utne Reader tells how to set up and organize a salon, as well as build membership and keep it going. Salons are basic to being human — people need to get together, talk over things they care about, and put a human face on complex political and social issues.
Meta-Talk: Guide to Hidden Meanings in Conversation by Gerard I. Nierenberg and Henry H. Calero shows how people misunderstand each other by speaking on different levels of meaning. What the speaker is saying may differ from what the speaker thinks he or she is saying and from what the listener thinks the speaker is saying.
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle charts the troubling development of electronic messages taking precedence over face-to-face encounters. Turkle offers substantive, highly ethical, and thought-provoking chapters on solitude, family, friendship, romance, education, work, society, and robots.
Skilled Dialogue: Authentic Communication and Collaboration Across Diverse Perspectives by Isaura Barrera and Lucinda Kramer reveals that choosing relationship over control enables everyone to benefit. The authors elaborate on the six foundations of Skilled Dialogue: welcoming, allowing, sense-making, appreciating, joining, and harmonizing.
Soul to Soul: Fourteen Gatherings For Reflection and Sharing by Christina Robinson and Alicia Hawkins is a soul-stirring resource designed to mine the meanings in our conversations. It is designed to help small groups connect through exercises like journaling and shared readings.
Stop Arguing and Start Talking by Deborah Tannen shows how the combative rhetoric common in contemporary media and politics is not good for the human spirit or for the future of democracy. Tannen suggests that we pay more attention to Asian traditions that have found oral disputation unbecoming to sagacious people.
Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future by Margaret J. Wheatley offers fresh slants on the spiritual practice of listening, which is the key to what Wheatley calls our vocation to be fully human. She lays out essential elements of conversation like acknowledging one another as equals and staying curious about each other.
We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter by Celeste Headlee outlines ways in which the increased use of technology, social media, and texting have led to the decline of the critical human skill of empathy. Suggested antidotes include showing respect at all times, acknowledging your blind spots and your biases, and keeping in mind that you do not have to have the last word.
Why Can't We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart by John Backman presents Jesus and St. Paul as compassionate peacemakers who model dialogue as a habit of the heart. Tailor-made for small discussion groups, this is a timely resource for our age of multifaith interaction.
Wisdom Circles: A Guide to Self-Discovery and Community Building in Small Groups by Charles Garfield, Cindy Spring, and Sedonia Cahill is an excellent how-to manual filled with examples of the wide range of small groups now functioning across the United States.The authors plumb the depths of the wisdom circle process and discuss creating a safe container for full participation, expressing gratitude, and much more.
The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter by David Isaacs, Juanita Brown, and the World Café Community discusses the seven core design principles of collaborative dialogue. It provides illustrative material from business, education, government, and community organizations around the world.