Review – Difficult Conversations How to Discuss What Matters Most

Difficult Conversations
How to Discuss What Matters Most

By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen

Reviewed by Claire Meany

We’ve all been there: We know we must confront a coworker, store clerk, kid’s teacher or even a friend, about some especially sticky situation–and we know the encounter will be at the very least, uncomfortable. So we think about it some, and then some more and then when we can no longer put it off, we finally stumble through the confrontation – the result often leaving us with a feeling of dissatisfaction. Is this you? If it is, you need to pick up a copy of Difficult Conversations, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Hee. These brilliant authors elegantly offer advice for facing these unpleasant exchanges in a way that produces a positive result with feelings in tact! 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. Difficult Conversations walks you through a proven, concrete, step-by-step approach for understanding and conducting tough conversations. It shows you how to prepare and how to start conversations in ways that reduce defensiveness, and how to keep the conversation on a constructive track regardless of how the other person responds. 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 book will be appreciated by readers who wish to improve oral communication in all aspects of their daily lives. If your life is like mine and filled with difficult conversations this is a book you will turn to again and again for advice, practical skills, and reassurance.

bob devlin
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