How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation [Paperback]

Robert Robert Kegan (Author), Lisa Laskow Lahey (Author)

Publication Date: December 16, 2002 | ISBN-10: 078796378X | ISBN-13: 978-0787963781

Why is the gap so great between our hopes, our intentions, even our decisions-and what we are actually able to bring about? Even when we are able to make important changes-in our own lives or the groups we lead at work-why are the changes are so frequently short-lived and we are soon back to business as usual? What can we do to transform this troubling reality?

In this intensely practical book, Harvard psychologists Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey take us on a carefully guided journey designed to help us answer these very questions. And not just generally, or in the abstract. They help each of us arrive at our own particular answers that can solve the puzzling gap between what we intend and what we are able to accomplish. How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work provides you with the tools to create a powerful new build-it-yourself mental technology.

Reader reviews from

Tools for removing Roadblocks to change February 28, 2002 - By Patrick Merlevede

As author of the book "The evolving Self", Kegan is amongst the select few that have written about life's transformations. He really figured out how and why people are "committed" to resist change. Now Kegan offers tools to "transform" from one level to the next. Most of the time, when confronted to change, a little voice inside us will tell us why not the change. According to Kegan & Lahey, this voice speaks with 7 tongues. One could even say that these "voices" make us immune to change. Luckily, for each of the 7 languages, this book offers a powerful antidote.

What I like about the book is that it's practical. It includes exercises and models that you can apply in your day to day practice. As such I recommend it to people who want to get through a transformational stage themselves (as a how-to book) or who want to help others.

Mastering the Language of Engagement, August 16, 2009 - By Larry Underwood (Scottsdale, AZ)

Kegan & Lahey have compiled a remarkable study into the importance of mastering communication skills; both verbal & non-verbal; in order to be more productive with our work & our lives, for that matter.
An important, and largely misunderstood part of effective communication, is using an approach which values personal accountability, while diminishing finger pointing. This would be most beneficial for management to comprehend when faced with the challenge of getting employees to actively engage in the process of work. Certainly, by mastering the art of communicating in a non-threatening, engaging way, half the battle is won.
Another great book on the subject is Paul Herr's Primal Management: Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature to Drive High Performance. It picks up where Kegan & Lahey left off with this particular gem.