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Difficult Conversations
Cover of Difficult Conversations
Difficult Conversations
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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.
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.
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About the Author-
  • Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen teach at the Harvard Law School and the Harvard Negotiation Project, the group that produced the international bestseller Getting to YES! They have consulted to businesspeople, governments, organizations, communities, and individuals around the world, from the various parties to the negotiations on constitutional transition in South Africa to schoolteachers in Medellin, Colombia, to community leaders and the police department in Springfield, Massachusetts. They have written on negotiation and communications in publications ranging from The New York Times to Parents magazine. Bruce Patton is also coauthor of Getting to YES!
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 1, 1999
    Bringing together the insights of such diverse disciplines as law, organizational behavior, cognitive, family and social psychology and "dialogue" studies, Stone, Patton and Heen, who teach at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Negotiation Project, illustrate how to handle the challenges involved in effectively resolving "difficult conversations," whether in an interpersonal, business or political context. While many of their points are simplistic--don't ignore your feelings, consider the other person's intentions, take a break from the situation--they're often overlooked in stressful moments. Most useful are the strategies for disarming the impulse to lay blame and for exploring one's own contribution to a tense situation. Also of value are specific recommendations for bringing emotions directly into a difficult discussion by talking about them and paying attention to the way they can subtly inform judgments and accusations. If these recommendations aren't followed, the authors contend, emotions will seep into the discussion in other, usually damaging, ways. Stone, Patton and Heen illustrate their points with anecdotes, scripted conversations and familiar examples in a clear, easy-to-browse format. While "difficult conversations" may not have the intrinsic appeal of the Harvard Negotiation Project's previous bestseller, Getting to Yes, this book is a cogent resource for those who see the sense in preparing for tough talks in advance. Agent, Esther Newberg. Ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.) FYI: Patton is the co-author of Getting to Yes.

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Difficult Conversations
Difficult Conversations
Douglas Stone
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