The Art of Communicating Book Summary - The Art of Communicating Book explained in key points
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The Art of Communicating summary

Thich Nhat Hanh

The fascination of mindfulness in our daily lives

4.5 (373 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh is a guide for effective communication that promotes understanding and harmony. It emphasizes active listening, compassionate speech, and the importance of mindfulness in communication.

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    The Art of Communicating
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    We communicate using two kinds of speech: nourishing and toxic speech.

    From personal relationships to multibillion dollar business deals, healthy communication is vital. But what exactly is “healthy” communication?

    It's best to think of communication like food. Some of it is nourishing, and some is toxic and poisonous.

    Nourishing speech is understanding and positive, while toxic speech fills people with negative emotions like anger and frustration.

    Imagine you're waiting for feedback on a project, when your boss comes in and says, “This is absolutely terrible. You're a useless waste of space.” That would certainly be toxic speech.

    On the other hand, if she said, “I think there are some things we could improve here,” that would be nourishing speech. You could use it constructively.

    So, how can you work more on your nourishing speech, and develop a healthier communication style?

    The first step is to understand your own way of communication. You have to practice mindfulness.

    Mindfulness means fully concentrating on yourself, your body and your breathing. It allows you to communicate clearly without judgement.

    When you're in a mindful state, you'll feel detached, which allows you to examine your communication objectively. You'll realize some things you might want to say are toxic, so you'll be able to stop yourself before you say them.

    Mindfulness also helps you become immune to the toxic speech of others. When you're being mindful, you can judge people less. You will understand them, and see that their toxic speech really is a result of their suffering. You'll feel more compassionate, so you’ll know not to take their hurtful words personally.

    So, to make sure your conversations are healthy and nourishing, practice being mindful.

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    What is The Art of Communicating about?

    The Art of Communicating (2013) offers valuable insight on how you can become a more effective communicator by practicing mindfulness. Drawing on Buddhist wisdom, it outlines ways you become a respectful listener, express yourself well, and ultimately improve your relationships with your loved ones.

    The Art of Communicating Review

    The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh (2013) is a thought-provoking book that delves into the art of effective communication and its impact on our relationships. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its practical insights and valuable advice, it equips readers with the tools to improve their communication skills and enhance their connections with others.
    • By exploring the power of mindful communication and deep listening, the book offers a fresh perspective that can transform how we engage with others.
    • Through real-life examples and relatable stories, The Art of Communicating brings the topic to life, making it an engaging and enlightening read.

    Best quote from The Art of Communicating

    With mindfulness we can produce thoughts, speech, and actions that will feed our relationships and help them grow and thrive.

    —Thich Nhat Hanh
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    Who should read The Art of Communicating?

    • Anyone looking to become a better communicator
    • Anyone interested in Buddhism
    • Anyone who wants to connect better with others

    About the Author

    Thich Nhat Hanh was a Buddhist monk from Vietnam. During his life, he published over 100 books, including Anger, which was a New York Times best seller. In 1967, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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    The Art of Communicating FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Art of Communicating?

    The main message of The Art of Communicating is that effective communication is essential for connecting with others and fostering understanding.

    How long does it take to read The Art of Communicating?

    The reading time for The Art of Communicating varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Art of Communicating a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Art of Communicating is a valuable read for anyone looking to improve their communication skills. It offers practical advice and insights on building meaningful connections.

    Who is the author of The Art of Communicating?

    The author of The Art of Communicating is Thich Nhat Hanh.

    What to read after The Art of Communicating?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Art of Communicating, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
    • Mastering Communication at Work by Ethan F. Becker and Jon Wortmann
    • The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh
    • Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
    • Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg
    • Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
    • The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
    • The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication by John C. Maxwell
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama