Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

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By (author) Douglas Stone, By (author) Bruce Patton, By (author) Sheila Heen, Foreword by Roger Fisher

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 22mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 25 May 2000
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 014027782X
  • ISBN 13: 9780140277821
  • Sales rank: 33,922

Product description

What is a difficult conversation? Asking for a pay rise, saying 'no' to your boss or spouse, confronting a friend or neighbor, asking a difficult favor, apologizing. We all have conversations that we dread and find unpleasant. But can we develop the skills to make such situations less stressful and more productive? Based on fifteen years of research and consultations with thousands of people, "Difficult Conversations" pinpoints what works. Use this ground-breaking, step-by-step book to turn your difficult conversations into positive, problem-solving experiences.

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Author information

Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen work for the Harvard Negotiation Project.

Editorial reviews

Valuable analysis of just about any verbal interaction which goes beyond 'pass the butter, please'. Everybody has 'discussions' like the examples given here: where neither side says what's really on their mind, nobody is truly satisfied with the outcome and both parties come away with bad feelings, facing future awkwardness, resentment or worse. The authors hail from the Harvard Negotiation Project, part of Harvard Law School, and provide an intriguing breakdown of conversations into different formats, suggest some surprising new ways of looking at what's going on, learnign from the situation and adopting different strategies to resolve problems. (Kirkus UK)

Table of contents

Sort out the three conversations; stop arguing about who's right - explore each other's stories; don't assume they meant it disentangle intent from impact; abandon blame - map the contribution system; have your feelings (or they will have you); ground your identity - ask yourself what's at stake; what's your purpose - when to raise it and when to let go; getting started - begin from the third story; learning - listen from the inside out; expression - speak for yourself with clarity and power; problem-solving - take the lead; putting it all together.