(As an Amazon Associate, Outsider earns from qualifying purchases.)
I first met Geoff Tumlin in the early 2010’s. He was delivering a seminar to leaders in the Austin area, and I’d been invited to observe with a couple colleagues. What struck me was Geoff’s ability to take significant concepts and hard research and deliver them in an easily digestible package. Geoff makes important learning enjoyable.
Stop Talking, Start Communicating is like that. It’s easily accessible to leaders. It’s provocative, memorable, and instantly applicable.
Geoff begins by identifying an ironic challenge of our modern era: our unlimited capability for instant communication has not actually made us better communicators. This double-edged nature of technology is a unifying theme of the book. (It’s worth noting that Geoff is not anti-tech, just a realist on its pros and cons.)
Geoff goes on to deliver 16 short lessons on communication with chapter titles like “Lose Your ‘Friends'” and “Blow Things Off.” The first chapter guides us away from “digital distractions” and back to the basics of communication: good listening, thoughtful words, and meaningful interactions. Here Geoff also highlights the connection between quality communication and our potential for meaningful lives with other humans, another theme of the book.
The rest of Stop Talking covers a lot of ground, from avoiding conversational landmines to mitigating damage once it happens to understanding the relevance of “identity” in our communication. I think a reader can benefit either from a sequential read or by picking an interesting chapter here and there.
Since that first interaction with Geoff, I’ve been able to do some work supporting a leader development program he co-leads. Geoff’s also taken time to mentor me on a thorny problem with one of my clients. Throughout the interactions, I continue to enjoy how he communicates with and impacts others. As you read the book, I think you’ll find the same.
Reviewed by Jamey Gadoury
Stop Talking, Start Communicating by Geoffrey Tumlin