Smart people tend to believe that their education and their intelligence protects them from bias,
and yet they are more vulnerable to bias.
Brief summary of show:
Why are smart lawyers so bad at conversation?
What makes one person excellent at conversation and another terrible? Does it come down to listening? And are there ways to develop these skills?
Joining me for this conversation is Celeste Headlee, an internationally recognized journalist and radio host, professional speaker and author of bestselling book We Need To Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter and Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving. Her latest is Speaking of Race: Why Everyone Needs to Talk About Racism and How to Do It. Her TEDx Talk, 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation, has been viewed over 34 million times.
In her 20-year career in public radio, Celeste has been the Executive Producer of On Second Thought at Georgia Public Broadcasting and anchored programs including Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, Here and Now, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She also served as co-host of the national morning news show, The Takeaway, from PRI and WNYC, and anchored presidential coverage in 2012 for PBS World Channel. Celeste is a regular guest host on NPR and American Public Media. She is the host of Newsweek’s “Debate” podcast, and hosts a podcast for the National Gallery of Art called “Sound Thoughts on Art.” She is also the host of “Women Amplified,” a podcast from the Conferences for Women, the largest network of women’s conferences in the nation, drawing more than 50,000 people to its annual events. Celeste is also the president and CEO of Headway DEI, a non-profit that works to bring racial justice and equity to journalism and media through targeted training and interventions, and she serves on the board for the National Center of Race Amity.
Celeste is the granddaughter of composer William Grant Still, known as the Dean of Black American Composers and she is a trained operatic soprano. She lives in the DC area with rescue dog, Samus.
We talk about:
• [1:25] Are we born as ‘conversationalists’?
• [2:40] Why the smartest people are often the worst at conversation
• [4:05] The different types of conversations
• [14:40] The three components of compassion
• [17:10] Why having good conversation matters
• [24:30] Top tips to become a better listener
• [28:25] How to get other people to trust you
• [30:30] Celeste’s book review
Celeste Headlee's Book
From the publisher:
You are a mind reader, born with an extraordinary ability to understand what others think, feel, believe, want, and know. It’s a sixth sense you use every day, in every personal and professional relationship you have. At its best, this ability allows you to achieve the most important goal in almost any life: connecting, deeply and intimately and honestly, to other human beings. At its worst, it is a source of misunderstanding and unnecessary conflict, leading to damaged relationships and broken dreams.
How good are you at knowing the minds of others? How well can you guess what others think of you, know who really likes you, or tell when someone is lying? How well do you really understand the minds of those closest to you, from your spouse to your kids to your best friends? Do you really know what your coworkers, employees, competitors, or clients want?
In this illuminating exploration of one of the great mysteries of the human mind, University of Chicago psychologist Nicholas Epley introduces us to what scientists have learned about our ability to understand the most complicated puzzle on the planet—other people—and the surprising mistakes we so routinely make. Why are we sometimes blind to the minds of others, treating them like objects or animals? Why do we sometimes talk to our cars, or the stars, as if there is a mind that can hear us? Why do we so routinely believe that others think, feel, and want what we do when, in fact, they do not? And why do we believe we understand our spouses, family, and friends so much better than we actually do? Mindwise will not turn other people into open books, but it will give you the wisdom to revolutionize how you think about them—and yourself.
Mindwise by Nicholas Epley
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