Book Review

Talk It Out! The Educator’s Guide to Successful Difficult Conversations

By Barbara E. Sanderson, Eye on Education, Larchmont, N.Y., 2005, 182 pp., $29.95 softcover

Talk It Out! The Educator’s Guide to Successful Difficult Conversations helps the reader understand the importance of dialogue in creating workplaces where administrators and staff members thrive. Author Barbara Sanderson aptly explains the roles of task orientation and relationships in the education world. Through numerous examples, she helps readers identify their own communication styles and perceptions of the job. She details the importance of understanding how others see the world. More importantly, the book guides educators in how to talk through difficult situations with colleagues.

Bold-faced headings within the chapters, bullet points and vignettes that show the application to schools make the book a useful resource. Sanderson’s experience as a psychologist, organizational consultant, executive coach, keynote speaker and workshop leader are evident.

Our students deserve staff members who can work together well. Ignoring situations inhibits the ability of educators to create the work environment that students and staff members need. Sanderson enables the reader to take responsibility for improved communication.

Reviewed by Linda Gray Smith, superintendent, Worth County RIII School District, Grant City, Mo.