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Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together: A Pioneering Approach to Communicating in Business and in Life Hardcover – 1 May 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; First Edition edition (1 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385479999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385479998
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Modern conversation is a lot like nuclear physics, argues William Isaacs. Lots of atoms zoom around, many of which just rush past each other. But others collide, creating friction. Even if our atomic conversations don't turn contentious, they often just serve to establish each participant's place in the cosmos. One guy shares a statistic he's privy to, another shares another fact, and on and on. Each person fires off a titbit, pauses to reload while someone else talks, then fires off another. In Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together, Isaacs explains how we can do better than that.

Isaacs, who is Director of the Dialogue Project at MIT and a consultant to major corporations, including AT&T and Intel, believes that corporate, political and personal communication can be a process of thinking together--as opposed to thinking alone and then trying to convince others of our positions by refusing to consider other opinions, withholding information, and ultimately getting angry and defensive. This is not pie-in-the-sky, let's-all-hold-hands-and-sing stuff. He offers concrete ideas for both listening and speaking; for avoiding the forces that undermine meaningful conversation; for changing the physical setting of the dialogue to change its quality. The outcome, he says, can be quite different from the traditional winner-loser structure of arguments and debates. Businesses can make more reasoned decisions and thus earn more money. Governments can create peaceful resolutions to seemingly intractable problems. (As an example of this, Isaacs cites secret conversations between Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk in South Africa, which occurred over a number of years, while Mandela was still under arrest, and led to a new framework for their country.) And, though this is a book primarily geared toward managers, even married couples can learn a few new ways to communicate. --Lou Schuler, Amazon.com

From the Author

Endorsements and the date you can obtain this book...
Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together will be available September 14, 1999, though can be ordered now through Amazon.

Here are some early comments about the book:

There is no more important art for humans to master than that of dialogue. Bill Isaacs unpacks the process for us and illustrates it with powerful stories and insights. Masterful!"

William Ury Co-author, Getting to YES, author, Getting Past No

In this timely and provocative book, Bill Isaacs provides us with sage and practical guideline for one of the essential elements of true partnership: learning how to talk together in honest and effective ways. This is an important contribution to businesses and other organizations.

Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice & The Blade, Sacred Pleasure, and Tomorrow’s Children

Finally! Dialogue provides an intellectual and practical framework for understanding the way we work together -- or fail to. It should be on the shelf of every organization that spends time in meetings, whether in a corporate conference room, city hall, or Capitol Hill. MARK GERZON, Principal facilitator for the Bipartisan Congressional Retreats and author of A House Divided: Six Belief Systems Struggling for America's Soul.

Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together is must reading for all managers, politicians and diplomats. Particularly where different cultures or sub-cultures are involved, Dialogue is not only an option, it is a necessity if any inter-cultural understanding is ever to arise in this complex multi-cultural world. This book is a brilliant and much needed exposition of a crucial topic.

Edgar H. Schein, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management

I have been waiting for this book! Bill Isaacs is today's leading thinker and practitioner of Dialogue. His book will change the way we think, talk, and relate. The seeds are here to change the world.

Danah Zohar, author, The Quantum Self, The Quantum Society, and Rewiring the Corporate Brain

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