The Lost Art of Good Conversation
Cutting through all the white noise, chatter, and superficiality our cell phones and social media cause, one of Tibet's highest and most respected spiritual leaders offers simple and practical advice to help us increase our attentions spans, become better listeners, and strive to appreciate the people around us. In a world of iPhones and connectivity to social media and email, we are all in constant connection with one another. Then why are so many people feeling burned out, distant from colleagues, and abandoned by family and friends? In this new book from the bestselling author of Running with the Mind of Meditation, the Sakyong uses the basic principles of the Shambhala tradition--meditation and a sincere belief in the inherent wisdom, compassion, and courage of all beings--to help readers to listen and speak more mindfuly with loved ones, co-workers, strangers, and even ourselves. In this easy to understand and helpful book, Sakyong Mipham provides inspiring ideas and practical tips on how to be more present in your day-to-day life, helping us to communicate in ways that elevates the dignity of everyone involved. Great for families, employees and employers and everyone who spend too much time on Facebook, Instragram, and feel -disconnected- in our -connected- world, Good Conversation is a journey back to basics.

The Lost Art of Good Conversation Details

TitleThe Lost Art of Good Conversation
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherHarmony
ISBN-139780451499431
Rating
GenreSelf Help, Religion, Buddhism, Nonfiction, Spirituality, Psychology

The Lost Art of Good Conversation Review

  • paulie
    January 1, 1970
    thank you to harmony books and all involved in this goodreads giveaway."beginning a conversation is an act of bravery. when you initiate a conversation, you fearlessly step into the unknown. will the other person respond to favorably or unfavorably? will it be a friendly or hostile exchange? there is a feeling of being on the edge. that nanosecond of space and unknowing can be intimidating. it shows your vulnerability. you don't know what is going to happen. you feel quite exposed. there's a cha thank you to harmony books and all involved in this goodreads giveaway."beginning a conversation is an act of bravery. when you initiate a conversation, you fearlessly step into the unknown. will the other person respond to favorably or unfavorably? will it be a friendly or hostile exchange? there is a feeling of being on the edge. that nanosecond of space and unknowing can be intimidating. it shows your vulnerability. you don't know what is going to happen. you feel quite exposed. there's a chance you'll experience embarrassment. yet this very feeling is what allows you to connect to the other person." [from "leap in with bravery" chapter].having worked close to two decades in retail grocery, most recently * complete consumables, * i have participated in countless conversations to various degrees with customers, some then becoming good friends; i've had conversations in any number of topics to every extent of intimacy. whether in person or in a message (lord knows a good number of you have received some degree of personal message from me), i have always been fascinated, genuinely interested in interaction with other people. and it most certainly is stepping into the unknown, plenty of times having stepped into "it" along the way. as far as embarassment, that's where mastering the art of self-deprication helps. break that fourth wall in life, pan camera two to a tight shot of my punim and utter, "i know, right?!" that in and of itself has been great fodder for some ice breakers into great talks. it seems like many people today do not agree with my preference to communicate, well, "ours" to those who know exactly what i'm talking about. companionship has been corralled into a cell phone. headphones loud enough to ensure everyone knows not to bother. opting for a self-checkout lane in the event someone asks how their day is. and by the way, for those who utilise self checkout lanes, just know not only is a job, benefits, future taken away from a potential employee, you are their employee, free of charge, on top of not getting employee discounts or dental.the lost art of good conversation is a relaxed yet focused approach to the topic written in the realm of buddhism. although there are specific people and lexicon mentioned at times, it is not a title that's restricted to those who follow, appreciate the religion. broken down into five facets (including "be mindful," "be kind," and "enrich your world"), the author presents various approaches to good/improved conversation with aspects like appreciating silence as a part of speech, praticing saying "no," even attire - not in the sense of style or status, simply maintaining a clean presentation improves esteem, which in turn, reflects in conversation. there are little exercises called "reflections" that typically involve reflection or introspection. the material is not written as maxims, but there is abundant wisdom y'll probably be jotting down (some passages are emboldened for emphasis). this is not a self-help selection for introverts; however, certain concepts of conversation are essentially broken down to a foundational level which should be of benefit for those looking to take those steps, less fearfully, into the unknown. there is hardly a person who could not, would not benefit, become if not further educated, certainly further in tune with becoming genuinely engaged with another free of selfishness or negative attributes.talk to you later.
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  • Andre
    January 1, 1970
    I really like how this book comes together. "The wisdom behind conversation is that by acknowledging each other’s humanity through open and communal exchange, we are testifying to the vibrancy of human nature."The author Sakyong Mipham is from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and draws on that custom to dispense wisdom surrounding the importance of being in the moment and cultivating good conversational skills. So it's not just about turning off social media though that is discussed, it's more of I really like how this book comes together. "The wisdom behind conversation is that by acknowledging each other’s humanity through open and communal exchange, we are testifying to the vibrancy of human nature."The author Sakyong Mipham is from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and draws on that custom to dispense wisdom surrounding the importance of being in the moment and cultivating good conversational skills. So it's not just about turning off social media though that is discussed, it's more of trying to train the mind to engage in good conversation and some how-to in order to bring about successful results. There are reflections for readers to ponder throughout the text, and some are quite stimulating;"Reflect on what you have learned in conversations at different times in your life, and from whom. What would you like others to learn from talking to you?"The book is divided into five parts from "why conversation "to "strive for conversational excellence" with each part having several chapters. It is a helpful guide to focusing on conversations.This book will no doubt be of great assistance to those seeking to be more mindful in their communications.There is indeed an art to good conversation. "In order to have good conversation, we must appreciate its artistic elements. This art has to do with easing the minds of others, creating valuable and genuine interactions. It is an art of interchange."I love that the book makes one do self-inventory concerning their conversations and their conversational style. This is one I recommend as it hits just the right notes, not preachy at all, just like talking to a friend who is offering you some good advice. Sorely needed in these times when people are having fewer face to face interactions, which we need more of now to cut through all the conversation nullifying distractions. This is not a book to be read and put away, you will find yourself returning to the book for reminders and reference.Thanks to Netgalley for providing an advanced reading copy in exchange for a honest review. The book will publish Oct. 17, 2017
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  • Happyreader
    January 1, 1970
    What a beautiful and practical guide to strengthening connections with others through our daily conversations. While social media has its place, it is no replacement for connecting with people in real time in the same space. I love the emphasis on conversations not having a goal beyond being in the present and being open and compassionate towards those you’re with. Love the observation that our conversations are our breath and state of mind made manifest. Just as in silent meditation, we can cre What a beautiful and practical guide to strengthening connections with others through our daily conversations. While social media has its place, it is no replacement for connecting with people in real time in the same space. I love the emphasis on conversations not having a goal beyond being in the present and being open and compassionate towards those you’re with. Love the observation that our conversations are our breath and state of mind made manifest. Just as in silent meditation, we can create more peace and understanding by being more aware and present and less resistant to what arises. Limiting distractions and paying attention can turn the most mundane interactions into opportunities for greater connection. It also provides the ballast to maintain your equanimity in the most contentious and difficult of exchanges.I received a free pre-release copy of this book from NetGalley for review. I requested this title since I’ve enjoyed reading Sakyong Mipham’s words of wisdom in the past. He does not disappoint here. With short chapters and reflections, this book is perfect for morning readings to start your daily interactions with positive intentions.
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  • Glen
    January 1, 1970
    I won an ARC of this book in a goodreads drawing.A great book about how to have actual conversations with people. Most of the tips are really common sense, like get your head out of your phone and pay attention, but there is nothing so rare as common sense in this world of ours.Everyone should read this book.
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  • Roxanne
    January 1, 1970
    This is a Goodreads win review. I loved this book because I grew up before all these gadgets came out and people actually talked to one another. This book tells us how to connect with others in a mindful way. We need to not be so addicted to this stuff and enjoy our life and the people around us better.
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  • Elliott
    January 1, 1970
    “Beginning a conversation is an act of bravery,” writes Sakyong Mipham in his book The Lost Art of Good Conversation, “When you initiate a conversation, you fearlessly step into the unknown. Will the other person respond to favorably or unfavorably? Will it be a friendly or hostile exchange? There is a feeling of being on the edge. That nanosecond of space and unknowing can be intimidating. It shows your vulnerability. You don’t know what is going to happen. You feel quite exposed. There’s a cha “Beginning a conversation is an act of bravery,” writes Sakyong Mipham in his book The Lost Art of Good Conversation, “When you initiate a conversation, you fearlessly step into the unknown. Will the other person respond to favorably or unfavorably? Will it be a friendly or hostile exchange? There is a feeling of being on the edge. That nanosecond of space and unknowing can be intimidating. It shows your vulnerability. You don’t know what is going to happen. You feel quite exposed. There’s a chance you’ll experience embarrassment. Yet this very feeling is what allows you to connect to the other person.”As a shy, introvert, I cannot stand small-talk. I’m not good at idle chit-chat. I would much rather have a deep, meaningful conversation with someone than to stand around in shallow, prattle. Social occasions are a nightmare to me. At neighborhood parties, I tend to find myself a corner to watch others and to wait out my time until we can leave and go home. For me to initiate a conversation takes a lot out of me. I feel exhausted after I have been to one of these social gatherings. This is not the case when I have lunch or coffee with a friend and we have real conversation with each other. “Even brief moments of genuine conversation,” Mipham writes, “can uplift our entire life.” I know I feel this way when I have genuinely connected with someone.In a culture were most communicate through texts, short-hand use of words or emojis, or there is talk radio where the host spews his or her thoughts on politics or the world, or social media where people post comments (often vile, negative ones that they would never say if they were standing in front of that person). Sakyong Mipham says that this negativity in our communication comes “because we take less time to think before we speak, we may project our anger around the globe via media before considering the outcome.” In an age with instant connection, via the internet, people have lost real connection with each other and, in that loss, the ability to have good, meaningful, mindful conversations with each other where we both speak and listen. There is a loss of civility. “The danger,” says Mipham, “is that while we are more connected now to the whole world than we have ever been before. we are less connected to people in our everyday life. We’re having fewer and fewer conversations.” Certainly I have noticed, when my family goes out to eat, that when I look around, we are in the minority of people who are actually talking to each other instead of all of us being on our phones.What are we losing by not having conversations but are opting out by merely messaging or texting each other? “A conversation is based on physical presence, which is rooted in felling. All of our senses are involved. By talking to someone in person,” Sakyong Mipham writes, “we gain access to specific senses: appreciation, compassion, and love.” When we are having such a conversation, we pick up on more than just the words but the expressions and the feelings of the person we are talking to. It requires our attention. As Simone Weil so aptly understood, “Attention is the rarest and purest forms of generosity.” When we take the time to spend it with someone else, to listen and open and share with them, we become closer and more deeply rooted in each other’s lives.Social gatherings exhaust me. I feel as if I have been drained and depleted. After I come home, I find myself retreating to be alone to, essentially, replenish myself. When I have had a great conversation with someone, I feel invigorated and challenged and encouraged and connected to that person. We are invested in each other’s lives. These interactions are less stressful to me and less draining, despite the fact that I am more vulnerable and open with this person than I am at a dinner party or social engagement.Meaningful and mindful conversation brings beauty and a richness to my life. I am present to them and they are present to me. From conversation comes relationship, which is something one cannot get in a meet-and-greet type setting. There is an intimacy to conversation, a sharing of stories and self, of laughter and, sometimes, tears. There is a “connectivity” that is “the heart of all conversations and relationships.” Conversations engage our minds, our hearts, our imaginations, and our emotions.Good conversation is not asking someone how they are doing just so we can wait for them to finish and we can really get to talking about ourselves and what we are going through. As the essayist William Hazlitt noted, “The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” How many good conversations can we say we have truly had? In a world where everyone wants to be heard, one of the greatest acts of love we can offer is to be silent and listen. There is never a lack of talkers, but there appears to be a rareness to those who are good listeners. It is something I often struggle with as I listen to someone telling a story and I am thinking, “When will they get to the point?” This is not listening and there need not be a point. Conversation is not about negotiation, or bargaining. Our conversations should be transformational, not merely transactional. It is allowing someone to share and to be heard.To be mindful in our conversations means to be present. Present to the other person and not distracted but listening carefully to their words, their meanings, and what is underlying what that person is saying. It is to be present in one’s surroundings and not be constantly checking one’s phone or thinking about all of the other things one needs to do that day.Good conversation is sharing. Of finding the other person worthy enough to listen to them and that they do the same for you. It is being intentional. It is being empathetic and compassionate towards another human being, which we need more of in this world of reaction and frustration and declaration.Sakyong Mipham writes that good conversation is asking oneself before one speaks a single word: Will I create war or will I create peace?What are we offering with the very words we are saying?We must contemplate what we are going to say, why we are going to say it and should we even say it.Good conversation is a balance of listening and speaking. It is like a great work of music where there are the notes that are being played and then there are the breaths and silences between them. Music is composed of notes and silences just as a great conversation is. It is an interplay and an exchange. Giving of our time and ourselves to listen and share with another person is a precious gift. It is a building of bridges, not walls. A conversation is an act of both “bravery” and “vulnerability.” We move beyond our self and our own self-interests, to the interests and needs of another. It is a place of healing and hope. It is a place of sharing and allowing the other person to be themselves and not pretend or wear a mask. Good conversation is, ultimately, an act of love.One cannot help but wish more would take the time to cultivate and nourish such conversations in order that we might begin to see the world and ourselves quite differently afterwards.
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  • Mary Foltz
    January 1, 1970
    I expected to finish reading this book and have a better understanding of conversation and clear goals for how to better connect with others. Instead, I found myself frustrated with the superficial nature of the writing and completely logical advice. Much of the book lacks substance and is written without examples to ground the superfluous descriptions. There are many statements about how being kind, patient, and confident will give you this inner strength and understanding about humanity that w I expected to finish reading this book and have a better understanding of conversation and clear goals for how to better connect with others. Instead, I found myself frustrated with the superficial nature of the writing and completely logical advice. Much of the book lacks substance and is written without examples to ground the superfluous descriptions. There are many statements about how being kind, patient, and confident will give you this inner strength and understanding about humanity that will ultimately enhance your conversation and compassion. What? How? Also, most the advice is completely logical, like be patient, listen, and don't grunt when talking. Well, yeah, of course! I kept waiting for some ground-breaking advice or interesting insight, but never found it. I am glad this book was helpful and intriguing for others, but for me it left me unsatisfied. I also found it difficult to read because there wasn't anything that held my interest for very long.
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  • Elyse
    January 1, 1970
    I was looking for a book to help me become a better conversationalist. Instead, this book reminded me of my eighth grade health class, where we had to sit across from each other and "open our ears" and listen to each other, while practicing saying this like, "that must have been horrible," or "how amazing," and then end with a final comment, to show that we were good listeners. This book felt like it was treating me like a kindergartner in teaching me how to speak to others, with basic tips like I was looking for a book to help me become a better conversationalist. Instead, this book reminded me of my eighth grade health class, where we had to sit across from each other and "open our ears" and listen to each other, while practicing saying this like, "that must have been horrible," or "how amazing," and then end with a final comment, to show that we were good listeners. This book felt like it was treating me like a kindergartner in teaching me how to speak to others, with basic tips like "listen," and "show that you are listening." There was nothing specific in here about how to direct conversations or make people enjoy conversations, and a lot of it was warning against being angry at others. Don't speak to others in an angry voice, think about the situation before starting an argument - these parts of the book seemed like they belonged in a marriage counseling book, not a book on how to be a better conversationalist.
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  • Erin Hussey
    January 1, 1970
    *Advance Reader CopyThis book covers an important topic - as we become increasingly more digitally connected, are we losing our ability to engage meaningfully with each other via conversation? I would agree with the author, that yes, we are, and there needs to be a return to connecting with each other face to face, via conversation, while being present without distractions from our devices. Mipham uses spiritual principles to highlight ways to be mindful but the message isn't overtly religious.I *Advance Reader CopyThis book covers an important topic - as we become increasingly more digitally connected, are we losing our ability to engage meaningfully with each other via conversation? I would agree with the author, that yes, we are, and there needs to be a return to connecting with each other face to face, via conversation, while being present without distractions from our devices. Mipham uses spiritual principles to highlight ways to be mindful but the message isn't overtly religious.I don't think anything in the book was groundbreaking, however, the ideas remain critical in these times and I think this book is the first step to starting a conversation about the topic while reminding you of how exactly to do that. Themes include listening, compassion and empathy, and relationships.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    This is a useful book. I often find myself in public speaking environments, either giving presentations or teaching workshops, or dealing with the public one-on-one. I'm a natural introvert and not very eloquent, so this book was very useful to me. This book helped me to feel more mindful and present when interacting with the public and with clients. This book is useful, compassionate, helpful, and not only easy to read, but easy to execute the thoughts and ideas behind it. I very much appreciat This is a useful book. I often find myself in public speaking environments, either giving presentations or teaching workshops, or dealing with the public one-on-one. I'm a natural introvert and not very eloquent, so this book was very useful to me. This book helped me to feel more mindful and present when interacting with the public and with clients. This book is useful, compassionate, helpful, and not only easy to read, but easy to execute the thoughts and ideas behind it. I very much appreciated it and recommend it to others (friends and clients) who might benefit from improved interpersonal communication skills.
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  • Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    This was a charming, quick little read. It was well organized and had some lovely insights; I won't say that there was anything in it that I thought was incredibly original, but it was presented in a way that didn't make me feel like it was a rehash. Normally I feel like "advice" books are a waste of time cause if you don't think of it yourself you won't implement it anyway, but this book definitely made me more mindful of how I conduct my conversations. I got this in a GR giveaway.
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  • Jenna Jo
    January 1, 1970
    I think that this book has a really great premise and I was very interested in learning about the material. However, the way it was written was not in depth enough for me and too dry. It was hard for me to personally get through it, but I hope that others found it more engaging because again, the premise of it is very important in this age.This was a Goodreads giveaway review.
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  • Michelle Olms
    January 1, 1970
    Great book
  • Ross Cohen
    January 1, 1970
    Clear, relevant, and useful.
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