Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most
Dealing with your ex-husband, who can't seem to show up reliably for weekends with the kids; navigating a workplace fraught with office politics or racial tensions; saying "I'm sorry" or "I love you".
We all have difficult conversations, no matter how confident or competent we are. And too often, no matter what we try, things don't go well. Should you say what you're thinking and risk starting a fight? Swallow your views and feel like a doormat? Or should you let them have it? But--what if you're wrong?
Difficult Conversations shows you a way out of this dilemma; it teaches you how to handle even the toughest conversations more effectively and with less anxiety. Based on fifteen years of work at Harvard Negotiation Project and consultations with thousands of people, the authors answer the question: When people confront the conversations they dread the most, what works?
Difficult Conversations walks you through a proven, concrete, step-by-step approach for understanding and conducting tough conversations. It shows you how to get ready, how to start the conversations in ways that reduce defensiveness, and how to keep the conversation on a constructive track regardless of how the other person responds.
Whether you're dealing with your baby-sitter or biggest client, your boss or your brother-in-law, Difficult Conversations can help. We've all been there: We know we must confront a coworker, store clerk, or friend about some especially sticky situation--and we know the encounter will be uncomfortable. So we repeatedly mull it over until we can no longer put it off, and then finally stumble through the confrontation. Difficult Conversations, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen, offers advice for handling these unpleasant exchanges in a manner that accomplishes their objective and diminishes the possibility that anyone will be needlessly hurt. The authors, associated with Harvard Law School and the Harvard Project on Negotiation, show how such dialogues actually comprise three separate components: the "what happened" conversation (verbalizing what we believe really was said and done), the "feelings" conversation (communicating and acknowledging each party's emotional impact), and the "identity" conversation (expressing the situation's underlying personal meaning). The explanations and suggested improvements are, admittedly, somewhat complicated. And they certainly don't guarantee positive results. But if you honestly are interested in elevating your communication skills, this book will walk you through both mistakes and remedies in a way that will boost your confidence when such unavoidable clashes arise. --Howard Rothman
- Publish Date: 1999-04-06
- Binding: Audio CD
- Author: Douglas Stone Bruce Patton Sheila Heen Bruce Patton Sheila Heen Roger Fisher
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