• Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most
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Amazon Price: $17.00 $13.60 You save: $3.40 (20%). (as of February 25, 2018 10:14 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

We attempt or avoid difficult conversations every day-whether dealing with an underperforming employee, disagreeing with a spouse, or negotiating with a client. From the Harvard Negotiation Project, the organization that brought you Getting to Yes, Difficult Conversations provides a step-by-step approach to having those tough conversations with less stress and more success. you'll learn how to:

• Decipher the underlying structure of every difficult conversation
• Start a conversation without defensiveness
• Listen for the meaning of what is not said
• Stay balanced in the face of attacks and accusations
• Move from emotion to productive problem solving

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 10 Anv Upd edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143118447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143118442
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

Help using my anger more productively and peacefully!

65 people found this helpful.
 on July 17, 2016
For several years I’ve been working in psychotherapy to actually feel my anger – and use it productively so that people don’t walk all over me. I used to be such a people-pleaser, i didn’t even know when I was angry… and then I would unknowingly turn all my anger on myself – in the form of depression and self-criticism. It can still take awhile for me to realize when I don’t like something and am annoyed or frustrated. And when I get angry, I can still become very anxious so it’s tempting to vent, thinking I’m so entitled and right. But venting always turns out bad. Now I’m committed to becoming aware when I don’t like something – sooner and sooner – and setting boundary or at least expressing what I don’t like. Enter this book. It is helping me do all the is MUCH more gracefully. At first I just wanted to set a boundary. Sometimes it came out harsh. Now I understand the importance of staying calm, compassionate and connected with the other person when expressing my likes and dislikes as well as when negotiating and compromising – and staying friends during the whole process! I’m still learning. And reading the book. I’m not depressed anymore. Really. It’s really great.

Should be a part of high school curriculum

2 people found this helpful.
 on June 13, 2017
By Avery Ford
As part of self improvement for communication skills I was encouraged by my manager to read this book. At first, I was hesitant because I had just read another (worth reading) book along a similar subject “Crucial Conversations” and because I didn’t believe I had another 272 pages left to learn about conversations. I wasn’t into this book a full chapter before I understood this book was going to be worth reading.

Don’t Suffer in Silence to Avoid Confrontation

9 people found this helpful.
 on April 20, 2009
By Carol C.
Do you find yourself stewing silently, letting anger and resentment build, because you’re avoiding the discomfort of a difficult conversation? Do you have that one relative or colleague with whom every effort to communicate results in disaster? Before you give up, give this book a try. It provides very specific guidance on how to initiate and the most challenging of conversations and steer them away from disaster.

Much needed read right now!

 on August 17, 2017
By Jessica Pettitt
This piece of word is so desperately needed then and now. It informed my own writing where I then add the importance of responsibility to who and how we are in the world. Having Conversations That Matter starts with Difficult Conversations. This is how to be Good Enough Now.

Realistic and Easy to Read

 on July 23, 2012
By Amazon Customer
I have heard presentations on this topic and used the methods in this book to help me with family and co-workers. Learning how to use neutral language and has been tremendously helpful. Turning conversations into learning conversations is also very valuable. In other words- this book shows the reader how to learn the other persons point of view, communicate your own view, and reach positive outcomes. By doing this I have personally experienced open lines of communications and enhanced problem solving. One reviewer made the comment that this book is not for dealing with difficult people. I would have to agree. There are tomes written about dealing with difficult personalities which is another skill set. I found the information in this book is a great guide for everyday business and personal communications. If you are unfortunate enough to be working with someone very difficult– keep searching– there are plenty of book and online resources.

Great book – very eye-opening!

35 people found this helpful.
 on May 18, 2012
By JM555
I don’t normally write reviews, but this book was great. I was skeptical and figured it would just list a bunch of suggestions that aren’t practical in the real world, but I was wrong. Some of the material was very eye-opening, especially the topics that deal with looking at yourself to see how you may be contributing to the problem. Highly recommended!

A Little Book with A Lot In It!

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 16, 2007
By Joan C. Curtis
This little book packs a powerful punch. As an author of two books that explores high-level communication and as a trainer who teaches assertiveness, I found valuable insights on nearly every page.

Solid advice

One person found this helpful.
 on September 18, 2016
By Felizabeth
I wouldn’t think of this as a self-help book, but instead a must-read for anyone involved in business, management, or finding themselves misunderstood/misrepresented in their daily life. I wasn’t sure what to expect, knowing that it was authored by some heavy hitters, but the book was easy to read, digest, and apply to situations. The framework reminds you to consider what’s true vs. what’s important to those you interact with, and to clearly state your interpretations while listening for others.

Painful to read in a positive way

 on October 22, 2016
By r.yosh
I purchased this book as part of a recommended reading list. While reading it, I was forced to relive all the difficult conversations I’ve had throughout my life, but it gave me a good opportunity to reflect on what I could do better in the future. The book uses very realistic examples and a “play by play” style that really delves into what is happening in the mind of those conversing.

Best Communications Book on the Market

One person found this helpful.
 on March 26, 2010
By Marty Jacobs
This is one of the best guides for effectively handling difficult conversations – those conversations that are often fraught with emotion and conflict. Difficult conversations all share a common structure, which is the gap between what is said and what is not said. The authors, all members of the Harvard Negotiation Project, first outline the underlying structures that make conversations difficult and then move to discussing an approach that alleviates those problems. The main thrust of the book is to enter the conversation from a learning stance, rather than one that is judgmental or defensive. Other key elements for successfully navigating a difficult conversation are to understand the difference between impact and intent and to focus on interests rather than positions. The authors tie everything together at the end of the book by revisiting one of the scenarios used throughout the book and coaching one of the participants in this scenario through the conversation.