Discover Why Celeste Headlee Thinks ‘We Need To Talk’ [REVIEW]

Two women talking

In her new book, We Need to Talk, journalist Celeste Headlee shows us why conversation is really the highest form of art. (Photo by Matus Laslofi, Flickr)

Do you ever get the feeling that you just can’t seem to connect with others anymore? Or have you ever avoided conversation because no matter what you say, it triggers a shouting match? If so, you’re not alone. But disconnecting or dodging discussions about important issues isn’t the answer. In fact, according to journalist Celeste Headlee, We Need to Talk, now more than ever. Her insightful new book demonstrates how.

Celeste Headlee's WE NEED TO TALK

Harper Wave

We are all slaves to human nature. It is what makes us ignore problems in the hopes they go away and avoid conversations simply because they are difficult. Even so, all of us are passionate about certain things in our lives and are vested in the outcome. So why do we feel like having a difference of opinion is taboo in today’s politically correct climate? Perhaps it is because arguments ensue when emotions are involved, which, as Headlee writes, “can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings.”

Nevertheless, we can’t let fear stop us from talking. One of the things I love most about this book is that Headlee teaches us the value of having productive conversations. Sure, it sounds like a simple concept, but making conversation is really the highest form of artistic expression.

Here, Headlee encourages us to enter a conversation with no agenda except to listen. Recently, I had the opportunity to try this tactic out in real life. It proved to be far more difficult than I thought it would, which in itself was quite enlightening, particularly since I’ve always seen myself as a good listener. But now, after forcing myself to hold my tongue and simply listen as a colleague expressed how she felt about a matter, I had an “aha! moment.” I realized that by thoughtfully contemplating what was said, I was able to more powerfully impact the conversation than I would have if I had simply jumped in to state what I thought about the issue. Now this little gem assists me in having productive dialogue with those I speak with on a daily basis.

If you want to improve your own communication style, I can’t think of another book that is as insightful and hard hitting as Celeste Headlee’s We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter. It is filled with so many life-altering techniques, it is sure to vastly improve every relationship you have by making you a better listener and conversationalist. Apply Headlee’s suggestions and soon you, your family, and your colleagues will notice the difference and just how present you are during your next tête-à-tête.


Celeste Headlee

Celeste Headlee
(Photo by Jeff Roffman Photography)

Celeste Headlee is the host of the daily news show On Second Thought on Georgia Public Broadcasting. She has spent more than a decade with National Public Radio and has been a host for Public Radio International since 2008.

Celeste has appeared on CNN, the BBC, PBS, and MSNBC. She’s also a classically trained soprano who doesn’t get enough time to sing anymore.

She has one son and one rescue dog, and lives in Atlanta, Ga. Visit her home on the Web at, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Celeste Headlee
272 pgs. Harper Wave. $26.99.

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase We Need to Talk at one of these fine online retailers: HarperCollins, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

We Need to Talk is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

We Need to Talk Giveaway

Want to win a copy of We Need to Talk for your personal library? Simply complete the form below and click submit to enter. Giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only. Contest ends —.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

4 Responses to Discover Why Celeste Headlee Thinks ‘We Need To Talk’ [REVIEW]

  1. trish says:

    It really is hard to sit back and just listen, and not jump in with our own stories or how we can fix the problem.

    Thank you for being on this tour!

  2. I think this book should be required reading for me, and for many others. I know I’ve failed at communicating properly for quite some time now.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  3. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    The nation is in crisis. We need to keep the dialogue open if things are going to improve. As Celeste Headlee points out in her new book, We Need to Talk.

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