52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #27 – Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together by William Isaacs

If you know me then you know that I often talk about the Duologue and how not just Salespeople, but people in general need to actively dialogue and the art of thinking togetherlisten more and just talk less. This is a book that harps on that concept and backs it up with years of research and quantifiable results. I know that I could be a better listener and that it would help me to become a better salesperson, father, husband and friend. I know that people don’t spend enough time thinking about and crafting their communication style and it’s a shame.


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #27 – Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together by William Isaacs


This is an in depth book, and it’s not written for the masses. William is an Academic and he often writes like one. The book is about 400 pages long and probably close to 130,000 words, compared to a book written for sales people like Sell or Be Sold, by Grant Cardone which is more like 45,000 words. I’m not saying the length of the book is better or worse, but I’m trying to demonstrate the amount of information contained in this work. The pages aren’t empty filler either, each concept is clearly explained, several examples are provided and then the concept can be summarized and put into action. The book is incredibly well thought out and the chapters are well organized with both classical references for the academic and real life examples from the business world. The result is that the same ideas are likely to get conveyed by several different modes of written communication in an effort for everyone to obtain the same message. People often interpret language in different ways, the author attempts to limit any miscommunication by the act of over communicating, it probably works.

The essence of the book is difficult to summarize, but I believe that the author believes that greatness comes from true dialogue. A dialogue isn’t just a conversation, it’s an action that if done right, will enable us to become much more than we are individually. Communication inspires us and good dialogues create more than we could come up with by ourselves. A dialogue enables two or more brains to interact, it’s as if the dialogue were the ethernet cable that allows our brains to link and double the computing power. If you assign 2 computers a problem and give them the same rules, software and hardware they should theoretically complete the task in the same amount of time with the same result. If you connect those computers with a serial port or somehow link the 2 you’ll have dual processors working in tandem. You’ll complete the work in half the time and depending on the type of problem presented you could possibly have a different outcome . How boring would Google be if it just searched the information on your own computer? How much better would it be if it searched the computers in your home, office, town, church? How much better is it actually because it can search just about any database and computer in the world? A dialogue works a little like that, the bigger and more inclusive the dialogue, the better the search results will be.

We often deny ourselves the dialogue, we insist on just waiting our turn to talk instead of actually listening and using the information provided to add to our own network and database. We take turns giving monologues where we say our piece and move on, the duologue is prevalent in business meetings and relationships across the world. We are simply waiting our turn to deliver our predetermined lines. Take a moment to really listen, and then reply with thoughtfulness that incorporates what you just heard. It’s harder than it seems at first, but it gets easier. I’m no expert at it, but awareness alone will start the process moving forward. Just try a little bit everyday to get better. You will make a difference.

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