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Difficult Conversations Summary
by Douglas Stone
Difficult Conversations identifies why we shy away from some conversations more than others, and what we can do to navigate them successfully and without stress.
by Douglas Stone
No matter what you do, you're going to find yourself on one side of a difficult conversation from time to time. It may be when you're needing to end a relationship with someone, or maybe it's telling an employee you're going to have to let them go. These hard talks can happen anywhere, from your personal to professional life. They may even come at an unexpected moment, like when you accidentally back into someone in a parking lot.
It's hard to talk about sensitive topics, so we often shy away from these conversations altogether if we can't predict the outcome. For example, if your neighbor's dog keeps you up all night, should you talk to him or just let it go? It's scary when you're not sure if your neighbor will take it well or take offense, but if there's a chance it will improve your life, this conversation - and most others - are worth the risk.
So how do we handle these tough conversations when they come our way? In Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, the authors and communication experts Douglas Stone and Bruce Patton offer real-life examples and tips for how you can get through them. They teach you about the usual pitfalls of unpleasant exchanges and how to avoid them, and they'll give you a framework so that you can make sure these conversations stay on topic and avoid any hurt feelings in the process.
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"The urge to blame is based on the fear of being blamed."
– Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen