When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations -- and that most of us don't converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. "Go out, talk to people, listen to people," she says. "And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed."
Celeste Headlee's years of interview experience give her a unique perspective on what makes for a good conversation.

Why you should listen

Celeste Headlee hosts a daily news/talk show, On Second Thought, on Georgia Public Broadcasting. 

Headlee has worked in public radio since 1999, as a reporter, host and correspondent. She was the Midwest Correspondent for NPR before becoming the co-host of the PRI show "The Takeaway.” After that, she guest hosted a number of NPR shows including "Tell Me More,” "Talk of the Nation,” "Weekend All Things Considered” and "Weekend Edition". Headlee also anchored election coverage for PBS World in 2012 and was a regular guest on CNN.

Headlee holds multiple degrees in music and still performs as a professional opera singer. She appears on the album “Classically Blue” from gospel artist Lea Gilmore. She's the granddaughter of composer William Grant Still.

In Rotary as we engage in our communities to ascertain information to plan projects, it is important to listen effectively.  One story I recall about a small village in Pakistan that needed a new school illustrates the problem when listening if replaced with planning with preconceived ideas.  The elders agreed on the idea of building a new school, yet they were not consulted about project planning.  The elders tried to communicate that the village required a bridge to move the construction materials across the canyon.  Only then would it be possible to build a school.  Be prepared to listen to those we want to help as they know what is needed and we may miss the obvious since it is not our environment.