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Talk Sense: Communicating to Lead and Learn (2005) is about communicating for a new reason, from a new mindset, with a new set of skills, to respond to the new imperative for continuously improving performance. Clearly, then, the book cannot be about communication in the old sense of the word - to inform, persuade, and direct. It is about communicating to learn and change our own and others’ thinking and behavior through interaction. It is about how to grow into a leader who leads as a learner, a learner whose skillfulness produces improved performance in others, not as a result of coercion and fear but because of insight, changed assumptions, and personal commitment to improve. 


From the perspectives of their roles as parents, partners, and bosses, the writers of the stories in this book, who are owners, CEOs, general managers, and supervisors, reveal their struggles to make their own minds the object of inquiry and enlarge them by discovering, questioning, and changing their assumptions. Then, they show in dialogue exchanges their subsequent efforts to translate their new assumptions into new behavior with their children, partners, and colleagues. Their extended dialogue stories contrast their initial mishandling of difficult interactions with their subsequent skillful performance. It is that competence that produces trust, change, commitment, and improved performance in others.

Talk Sense: Communicating to Lead and Learn


    Praise for the Entryplan Approach and Leadership & Learning Books


    "Entry has been a valuable tool for over 25 years. The new edition is a welcome addition to the literature on entering leadership positions in the education sector. I will add it to the list of required readings for my students in the Urban Superintendents Program and recommend it to new and aspiring leaders, as I have in the past. Well done!"

    Robert S. Peterkin, Francis Keppel Professor of Educational Policy and Administration, Director, Urban Superintendents Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education

    “In my work preparing educators to be principals and superintendents… … always recommend they read and use… Entry. I tell them that it is one of the best books on taking a new administrative position in a public school."

    Harris Sokoloff, Center for School Study Councils, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

    “Our district has found The EntryPlan HandBook enormously helpful to every administrator moving into a new position, as well as to those of us responsible for providing support.”

    James H. Lytle, Superintendent of Schools, Trenton, NJ

    “…the EntryPlan methodology arms new hires with knowledge they would have otherwise learned only after months – if not years—in their new positions.” Beverly L. Hall, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools, GA

    Beverly L. Hall, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools, GA

    “I returned home (to Singapore) and continued my work as a school principal where I am now looking over 95 schools. I introduced your book Leadership and Learning to the principals… They found the book really valuable in helping them develop self-awareness, an understanding of relationships, empathy, and patience.

    I remember the impact that the book had on me when I first read it at Harvard. I have read the book many times over and every time I read it, I gain new insights.  Thank you for the wonderful narration and learning nuggets that you have given us in the book.” 


    Chee Wah Sum, Ministry of Education, Singapore

    “The final case in Leadership and Learning is a remarkable forty-page account of a principal’s successful confrontation with a teacher’s serious problems.  This case is an exemplary combination of theory and practice and should be read by all school leaders.”

    Kim Marshall, Harvard Educational Review, formerly principal of the Mather Elementary School, Boston, MA, author of the Marshall Memo

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