Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen
A book of practical and insightful advice for any professional who faces the challenge of having "difficult conversations" - e.g., giving a critical performance review, asking for a raise, confronting disrespectful behavior, or apologizing.
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most is currently the #1 purchase on Amazon.com by customers seeking books on conflict resolution and is #2 for those buying books on negotiation. It also ranks #11 and #14 for books on self-help and business, respectively.
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“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 contex. Most useful are the strategies for disarming the impulse to lay blame and for exploring one's own contribution to a tense situation." - Publishers Weekly
“[Patton, Stone and Sheen] 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. - Library Journal