Leslie, Ian


In our highly connected but increasingly polarised world, where potential conflicts seem to lurk behind every headline, timeline and professional encounter, it’s tempting to seek to coerce, persuade, assuage or smooth over our differences. But Ian Leslie makes a cogent and illuminating argument that in fact, if we are to avoid mediocre, unproductive groupthink, festering resentments and even outright violence, we need to get better at disagreement. Delving into the work of expert communicators – including leading therapists, interrogators and crisis negotiators – Leslie demonstrates how their techniques can help us learn to disagree better, and in doing so, make our work, friendships, marriages and family lives flourish.

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Bringing valuable lessons from the cutting edge of communication science, Conflicted does for our verbal communication what Thinking Fast and Slow did for our inner decision-making.

‘One of my favourite writers . . . Beautifully argued. Desperately needed.’

‘Invaluable. The world will be a better place if everyone reads this book, and because it’s so entertaining they probably will.’



What is the secret of happy relationships?

How do companies build collaborative cultures?

What lies behind some of the greatest scientific and creative breakthroughs?

The surprising answer is: conflict

Insight and empathy spring from the clash of different perspectives. In a world where it’s easier than ever for people to share their opinions, we should be reaping the benefits of diverse views. Instead, we too often find ourselves mired in hostility or – worse – avoiding disagreement altogether. Ian Leslie argues that this is because most of us never learn how to air our differences in a way that leads to progress.

Conflicted draws essential lessons on how to disagree well from world-class experts: interrogators, hostage negotiators, divorce mediators, diplomats and addiction counsellors. It tells inspiring stories of productive disagreements, from the invention of the aeroplane to the success of The Rolling Stones, and combines them with fascinating insights from the science of human communication.

Whether it’s at work, at home, or in public, confronting our differences is the only way to make the most of them. Conflicted is about how to do that successfully.

Additional information

Weight 0.387 kg
Dimensions 23.4 × 15.3 × 2.1 cm