A High-Level Summary of the Book by Stone, Patton and Heen. Office of In most difficult conversations, there are different perceptions of the same reality. A Difficult Conversation Is Anything. You Find It Hard to Talk About. Sexuality, race, gender, politics, and religion come quickly to mind as difficult topics to. Slappy said: Difficult Conversations is a how-to self-help book on negotiating conflict in emo Douglas Stone,. Bruce Patton.,. Sheila Heen A “difficult conversation,” according to Stone et al, is “anything you find it hard to talk about”.

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Talking about blame is useful if the goal of the conversation is figuring out who to punish. Really useful for business and personal relationships. Avoid the other mistake by acknowledging the other’s feelings, and by considering the possibility of your own complex motives.

May 18, Philipp rated it liked it Shelves: I was surpr This took me ages to get through, Converssations did not find it to be a very gripping read.

Every chapter feels like well-articulated common sense, which makes the difficulty of implementation all the more demoralizing. This doesn’t mean both are equally right; it just means that if you want to communicate, you’ve gotta get clear about what you’re saying and what the other person’s saying.

The contribution map may show that there are better ways to address a situation than by discussion. So instead of the authors recognizing that a people need leisure, and b bosses can use situations like the above hypothetical to totally exploit their workers, we pattton advice to a fifficult your head down and do your job or b lose your job and potentially starve. Jan 18, Conbersations rated it it was amazing. Contribution emphasizes understanding causes, joint responsibility, and avoiding future problems.

Do not use hints or leading questions. The authors say that “the single most important rule about managing the convfrsations is this: A conversation is affected by the image people have about themselves. It won’t give you a template for negotiating a raise, for example, but it gives you everything you need to frame that conversation. Then try it out at work. The authors stress that this is not a matter of certain techniques such as making eye contact or repeating what is heard, but of genuinely coming to learn the other person’s point of view and coming with the humble stance that you may not be right or completely blameless, though the authors hasten to make the point that this is not relativism but an optimal stance for understanding.


Preview — Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone.

We base our assumptions on our own feelings; if I feel hurt then you must have meant to be hurtful. I’m not much worse than everyone else in how I feel and think about touchy subjects and difficult relationships I feel badly about leaving you in the lurch; at ddifficult same time, stoen plans are really important to me, and I gave you plenty of notice and worked hard all week so that I could go away.

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone

Do not present your views as if they were the one-and-only truth. May 24, Erik Nygren rated it liked it. So this book offers a third path. Overall, a pretty solid read.

However, our beliefs about another’s intentions are often wrong.

Perhaps she will even apologize, or ask to talk about how to avoid such situations in the future. Consider alternatives and compromises, and always try to work on the assumption that the other person is acting in good faith and on honest purposes diffucult While many of us will naturally mature and learn from our mentors, this book will give you some tools that will put you way ahead of the game in terms of these critical skills.

Difficult Conversations

A big-picture look at all kinds of difficult conversations, it shares a template for preparing for, reframing, thinking difficjlt about, and having difficult conversations. I have already noticed myself practicing the book’s recommendations or noticing where I should have in small spats. It’s a brilliant book that tells how humans sometimes fail to create impact in conversation because they fail to see the point of view of other people.

The first step in expressing feelings is to acknowledge that they are an important part of the conversatjons, whether they are “rational” or not.

Indeed, the in my opinion most important difficulf of how badly we need to increase our individual and collective capacities to have more difficult conversations these days was unfortunately crammed into a few pages of a bulky appendix to the ten-year anniversary edition.

But cconversations also obvious that the pedestrian contributed to the accident by walking across the street; similarly, the driver’s friends contributed by not doing more to keep him from drinking and driving. Although everyone would benefit from this book – I especially recommend this book to women for a particular reason.


It asks tough questions, but if you take the time to dig deep and find the answers, you’ll be much more prepared for difficult conversations.

To get past this, it’s important to be clear about “what happened” according to you, including the assumptions, values, and past experiences which inform your story; and of course it’s just as important to clearly understand the other person’s “what happened” story, and where they’re coming from. This is an insidious way of pushing management speak into the minds of workers in order unconsciously align their thoughts with that of management.

If Henry can’t live with the possibility of losing his job, then his best choice is probably to work the weekend. Often the other party in a difficult discussion remains focused on blaming and arguing about who is right.

Another issue is that this book conversztions many of its examples on the use of real power to exploit workers. Another important section addresses how to decide whether or not to have the difficult conversation in the first place. Sometimes we think its obvious and it isn’t, and it always helps the conversation when people I read this on a recommendation from a friend who gave it to me on a list of business books to read. Return to Book Page. Apr 15, Gareth Davies been it it was amazing Shelves: A third mistakes in the “What happened?

Also, when you try to raise the issue of contributions during a difficult conversation, own your contributions to the problem first, then explain what you think they contributed. Learning Conversations If starting a conversation is the choice, then the authors offer ways to make productive openings. It won’t give you a template for negotiating a raise, for example, but it gives you In my opinion, this is a must-read for everyone.

Acknowledging one’s own contributions can help pattpn the other party away from blaming. The solution is for the parties to identify and understand their feelings, negotiate them, and share them clearly.

There is no simple rule for deciding which is which, but the authors do suggests some things to consider in making such decisions.

I highly recommend it to anybody who.