« Chiropractor Steve Tolen on Golf | Main | Pet Peeves for Pinky »

Dec 08, 2006

Deborah Tannen's Biggest Mistake

Tannen_1 “The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation -- or a relationship.”

--Deborah Tannen

Have you read Tannen's You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation?  I think I've given away at least four copies to friends.  Each time, I re-open the book to remember what Tannen says.  Each time, I go through the same, "damn, that's useful!"  In the spirit of community (and not status), may I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest? :-)

04:16 PM in Quotables | Permalink


I always thought Tannen had a lot of useful insights too. She noted that women communicate with people in order to build social networks, whereas men communicate to convey information and establish hierarchies. It seems like an obvious thing in hindsight, but I still keep that in mind whenever I talk to people.

Posted by: Ken | Dec 8, 2006 4:31:15 PM

She's great. The last book I read by her was The Argument Culture. I think I gave away about 8 copies last year for $mas. :) Her book crystallized... oh hell, I'll just link to what I wrote last year.

Posted by: Joseph H. Vilas | Dec 9, 2006 12:37:03 AM

In college I designed an independent study around that book. Neato, isn't it?

Posted by: Jenny | Dec 11, 2006 5:05:12 PM

Holy crap! I just looked up Tannen on Amazon, and it looks like she's written a whole pile of books that I would find useful and helpful. Communicating in the workplace, communicating with family when you're all adults, communicating with the opposite gender....where do I start???

Thanks for planting this seed in my brain, Philster.

Posted by: Grace | Dec 12, 2006 9:57:08 AM

I haven't read them myself, but my mother read You Just Don't Understandwhile I was in high school, and we ended up talking about it a good bit. Grace, I think she's still got it at home, and I could loan it to you if you wanted.

I hadn't heard about The Argument Culture. Something tells me I ought to read it...

Posted by: Michael Bacon | Dec 12, 2006 11:12:21 AM

Michael -- "you could make an argument for that"

Grace -- a pleasure! Where to start, indeed. The publishers or booksellers ought to do a boxed set.

Jenny -- Cooool! Was it a group or individual independent study? If group, did you enjoy having meta-conversation on top of meta-conversation while discussing?

Posted by: Phil | Dec 12, 2006 12:50:36 PM