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Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most Paperback – November 2, 2010
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About the Author
Stone and Heen are the authors of Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It Is Off Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You're Not in the Mood) (Viking/Penguin, 2014)
Roger Fisher is the Samuel Williston Professor of Law Emeritus, Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and the founder of two consulting organizations devoted to strategic advice and negotiation training.
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Top Customer Reviews
The fact that Patton was one of the authors also caught my attention, in that he was the coauthor of one of my favorite books on negotiations, GETTING TO YES!
This effort covers such topics as dealing with your ex-husband who can't seem to show up reliably for weekends with the kinds navigating a workplace fraught with office politics or racial tensions, and saying "I'm sorry" or "I love you." No matter who we are, we've all had to have similar conversations and too often, they don't go as well as we would like.
DIFFICULT CONVERSATONS at least makes them easier by providing such useful advice as the following:
* Use "and" to help you become clearer; e.g.,, "I understand what you're saying, and I feel this way."
* Put things on the table without judgments.
* Saying "I feel" will cause the other person to be less likely to argue with you.
* Postponing a conversation can sometimes be helpful.
* Sometimes, actions are better than conversations; e.g., going to a mother's home rather than always being asked, "When are you going to come home?"
* People are more likely to change when they don't have to.
* If you don't have a question, don't ask one; e.g., "Are you going to clean the refrigerator?" vs. "Please clean the refrigerator."
And this one final tidbit, which I have personally found very useful: Be careful when making judgments. It is easy to say, "Spanking is wrong," but a better way to say this might well be, "I believe spanking is wrong."
After reading it, the problems don't seem less daunting, but I do feel more confident knowing what mistakes I've been making in the past. I used to be the type who thought if I had the loudest and most fear-inducing bark, then I'd be sure to get my way. I figured out after a number of shouting matches hurling hurtful words that that doesn't work. Eventually, I became the type to avoid arguments altogether believing they weren't worth it, and whatever problem it was, I'd have to live with it (b/c from my experience no matter what is said or done people are going to see only their point of view and therefore not desire to accommodate me). That made me miserable. I became the most passive aggressive person you'll ever meet, lol. I wouldn't bother to have a conversation, just react by cutting off the person, avoiding eye contact with them, or just quitting.
This book has been really enlighting b/c I do so many of the things they warn against. I definitely suffer identity crises, and take the all-or-nothing stance. I do assume I know someone's intent when their actions have affected me negatively. This is going to take a lot of practice, but I already know the alternative, and I don't want to end up alone and jobless, so this is what I'll have to do.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is way more than its MSRP. It is definitely one to buy if you are dealing with people daily.Published 16 days ago by MaineGamer
An excellent book for being more effective in handling Difficult Conversations. I especially liked the focus on how to listen, how to look at your own contribution to the... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Fred
Excellent book - readable and engaging as well as educational and thought-provoking.Published 1 month ago by Alison Rini
One of the most useful business and life books I have ever read.Published 1 month ago by In the Sticks
So applicable to every situation in life. We all have difficult conversations (or want to!) and this helps to get to the bottom of what prevents us from succeeding.Published 1 month ago by Lisi Buongiorno
This has been invaluable for changing perception on how to address difficult topics. In following some of the advice in this, we have been able to address issues that needed... Read morePublished 1 month ago by EKGeis
Have only finished about 25% of the book so far, but I've already used some of the ways to perceive things differently during difficult conversations. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer