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About Celeste Headlee
Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist, professional speaker and best-selling author of We Need To Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter She is co-host of the new weekly series Retro Report on PBS and season three of the Scene on Radio podcast - MEN. Celeste serves as an advisory board member for Procon.org and The Listen First Project. Her TEDx Talk sharing 10 ways to have a better conversation has over 30 million total views to date.
In her 20-year career in public radio, Celeste has been the Executive Producer of On Second Thought at Georgia Public Radio and anchored programs including Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She also served as co-host of the national morning news show, The Takeaway, from PRI and WNYC, and anchored presidential coverage in 2012 for PBS World Channel.
Celeste's work and insights have been featured on TODAY, Psychology Today, Inc., NPR, Time, Essence, Elle, BuzzFeed, Salon, Parade, and many more. She has presented to over 100 companies, conferences and universities including Apple, Google, United Airlines, Duke University, Chobani and ESPN, and received the 2019 Media Changemaker Award. Celeste lives in Washington, D.C. with her rescue dog and lots of plants.
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“This book is so important and could truly save lives.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
“A clarion call to work smarter [and] accomplish more by doing less.”—Adam Grant
We work feverishly to make ourselves happy. So why are we so miserable?
Despite our constant search for new ways to optimize our bodies and minds for peak performance, human beings are working more instead of less, living harder not smarter, and becoming more lonely and anxious. We strive for the absolute best in every aspect of our lives, ignoring what we do well naturally and reaching for a bar that keeps rising higher and higher. Why do we measure our time in terms of efficiency instead of meaning? Why can’t we just take a break?
In Do Nothing, award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee illuminates a new path ahead, seeking to institute a global shift in our thinking so we can stop sabotaging our well-being, put work aside, and start living instead of doing. As it turns out, we’re searching for external solutions to an internal problem. We won’t find what we’re searching for in punishing diets, productivity apps, or the latest self-improvement schemes. Yet all is not lost—we just need to learn how to take time for ourselves, without agenda or profit, and redefine what is truly worthwhile.
Pulling together threads from history, neuroscience, social science, and even paleontology, Headlee examines long-held assumptions about time use, idleness, hard work, and even our ultimate goals. Her research reveals that the habits we cling to are doing us harm; they developed recently in human history, which means they are habits that can, and must, be broken. It’s time to reverse the trend that’s making us all sadder, sicker, and less productive, and return to a way of life that allows us to thrive.
“WE NEED TO TALK.”
In this urgent and insightful book, public radio journalist Celeste Headlee shows us how to bridge what divides us--by having real conversations
BASED ON THE TED TALK WITH OVER 10 MILLION VIEWS
NPR's Best Books of 2017
Winner of the 2017 Silver Nautilus Award in Relationships & Communication
“We Need to Talk is an important read for a conversationally-challenged, disconnected age. Headlee is a talented, honest storyteller, and her advice has helped me become a better spouse, friend, and mother.” (Jessica Lahey, author of New York Times bestseller The Gift of Failure)
Today most of us communicate from behind electronic screens, and studies show that Americans feel less connected and more divided than ever before. The blame for some of this disconnect can be attributed to our political landscape, but the erosion of our conversational skills as a society lies with us as individuals.
And the only way forward, says Headlee, is to start talking to each other. In We Need to Talk, she outlines the strategies that have made her a better conversationalist—and offers simple tools that can improve anyone’s communication. For example:
- BE THERE OR GO ELSEWHERE. Human beings are incapable of multitasking, and this is especially true of tasks that involve language. Think you can type up a few emails while on a business call, or hold a conversation with your child while texting your spouse? Think again.
- CHECK YOUR BIAS. The belief that your intelligence protects you from erroneous assumptions can end up making you more vulnerable to them. We all have blind spots that affect the way we view others. Check your bias before you judge someone else.
- HIDE YOUR PHONE. Don’t just put down your phone, put it away. New research suggests that the mere presence of a cell phone can negatively impact the quality of a conversation.
Whether you’re struggling to communicate with your kid’s teacher at school, an employee at work, or the people you love the most—Headlee offers smart strategies that can help us all have conversations that matter.