Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most

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Penguin Books, 1999 - Business & Economics - 250 pages
10 Reviews
Members of the Harvard Negotiation Project -- the organization that brought you the megabestseller GETTING TO YES -- show you how to handle your most difficult conversations with confidence and skill

Whether we're dealing with an underperforming employee, disagreeing with our spouse about money or child-rearing, negotiating with a difficult client, or simply saying "no", or "I'm sorry", or "I love you", we attempt to avoid difficult conversations every day. No matter how competent we are, we all have conversations that cause anxiety and frustration.

This book can help. Based on fifteen years of research at the Harvard Negotiation Project, Difficult Conversations walks you through a proven step-by-step approach for how to have you toughest conversations with less stress and more success. It shows you how to prepare yourself; how to start the conversation without defensiveness; and how to keep it constructive and focused regardless of how the other person responds. You'll learn how to:
-- Decipher the underlying structure of every difficult conversation
-- Interpret the significance of what is said -- and what is not
-- Identify the erroneous but deeply ingrained assumptions that keep you stuck
-- Manage strong emotions -- yours and theirs
-- Spot ways your self-image affects the conversation -- and ways the conversation affects your self-image

Filled with examples from everyday life, Difficult Conversations will help you at home, on the job, or out in the world. It is a book you'll turn to again and again for advice, practical skills, and reassurance.

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Difficult conversations: how to discuss what matters most

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Stone and his coauthors, teachers at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Negotiation Project, present an informative, practical guide to the art of handling difficult conversations--e.g., firing an ... Read full review

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Probably the best book I've ever read. If you dread difficult conversations, this is the one book you need to read.

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About the author (1999)

Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen teach at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Negotiation Project. They have been consultants to businesspeople, governments, organizations, communities, and individuals around the world, and have written on negotiation and communication in publications ranging from the New York Times to Parents magazine. Bruce Patton is also a co-author of Getting to Yes. Each of them lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen teach at the Harvard Law School and the Harvard Negotiation Project, the group that produced the international bestseller "Getting to YES!" They have consulted to businesspeople, governments, organizations, communities, and individuals around the world, from the various parties to the negotiations on constitutional transition in South Africa to schoolteachers in Medellin, Colombia, to community leaders and the police department in Springfield, Massachusetts. They have written on negotiation and communications in publications ranging from "The New York Times" to "Parents" magazine. Bruce Patton is also coauthor of "Getting to YES!

Sheila Heen is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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