Having aspirations to one day be a great conversationalist, Just Listen by Mark Goulston was right up my ally. Mark is a psychiatrist by trade but has helped on things from hostage negotiations to turning around companies and even just getting through to children. One of the biggest take aways for me from this book is just seeing from the persons perspective from whom you are speaking with; spending a day in their shoes as people say. Another take away is agreeing with who you’re speaking with, being aligned with them so that they will agree with you. People are more likely to agree with people who agree with them. These things seem almost obvious, but Mark presents this information in an eye opening way and dissects these concepts in a way which they can be used in the real world.
This book has ultimately taught me to be a better conversationalist by being a better listener. It has certainly inspired many possibilities in my conversations. If you have read How To Win Friends and Influenced People and felt moved by that book, I feel like Just Listen is a good branch to move from. Definitely work a re-read!