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Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
Author: Douglas Stone - Bruce Patton - Sheila Heen - Roger
ISBN 13: 9780140288520
ISBN 10: 14028852
Edition: 1
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2000-04
Format: Paperback
Pages: 250
List Price: $16.00

What is a difficult conversation?

Asking for a raise. Ending a relationship. Saying "no" to your boss or spouse. Confronting disrespectful behavior. Apologizing. Conversations we dread, and often handle clumsily as a result, are part of all our lives: in boardrooms and family rooms, across the negotiation table and the dinner table. Now, Difficult Conversations teaches us how to handle these dialogues with more success and less anxiety.

How does it work?

Based on fifteen years of research and consultations with thousands of people, Difficult Conversations pinpoints what works. The authors discovered that regardless of context, the same small but crucial errors are what trip us up — and a few key adjustments can make all the difference.

* The role of emotions — ours and theirs
* The impact of what is said and what is not said
* Why admitting our mistakes will put us in a stronger position
* The truth behind the myth that women are better at expressing their emotions than men
* How to respond productively in the face of personal attacks

Who is this for?

Filled with examples from everyday life, Difficult Conversations is certain to be an instant and lasting classic for families, neighbors, bosses, employees, customers, tenants, landlords, psychologists, teachers, and more.

Who are the authors?

Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen teach at Harvard Law School and at the Harvard Negotiation Project. They have consulted to countless businesspeople, governments, organizations, and communities including all parties to the negotiations on constitutional transition in South Africa; school teachers in Medellin, Colombia; and community leaders and the police department in Springfield, Massachusetts. They lecture throughout the world and have written on negotiation, conflict resolution, and communication. Bruce Patton is co-author of Getting to Yes.

Library Journal

Stone and his coauthors, teachers at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Negotiation Project, present an informative, practical guide to the art of handling difficult conversations--e.g., firing an employee, ending a relationship, or discussing marital conflicts. The information is based on 15 years of research and thousands of personal interviews. The authors define a difficult conversation as "anything you find it hard to talk about." Each chapter recommends step-by-step techniques that can lead to a more constructive approach for dealing with distressing interactions, so that a difficult conversation can become a learning conversation. Examples of right and wrong conversations from everyday life are used throughout the book, which is extremely well organized and easy to follow. This will be appreciated by readers who wish to improve oral communication in all aspects of their daily lives. Recommended for self-help collections in public and academic libraries.--Elizabeth Goeters, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody