You will face difficult conversations throughout your life, but now you can learn how to cope with them. This book provides a framework and various strategies for achieving better outcomes from hard exchanges. You will learn:
– Why understanding the underlying structure of difficult conversations will help you handle them better
– What the “Three Conversations” are in every difficult conversation
– Why understanding someone’s contribution is more effective than assigning blame
– How listening more authentically will enable the other party to hear you
Tips and Suggestions:
1. A successful outcome will depend on two things: how you are and what you say. How you are (centered, supportive, curious, problem-solving) will greatly influence what you say.
2. Acknowledge emotional energy – yours and theirs – and direct it towards a useful purpose.
3. Know and return to your purpose at difficult moments.
4. Don’t take verbal attacks personally. Help your opponent/partner come back to center.
5. Don’t assume they can see things from your point of view.
6. Practice the conversation with a friend before holding the real one.
7. Mentally practice the conversation. See various possibilities and visualize yourself handling them with ease. Envision the outcome you’re hoping for.
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most by Douglas Stone
How to Tell Anyone Anything: Breakthrough Techniques for Handling Difficult Conversations at Work by Richard Gallagher