10 Jul

‘s review

Jun 16, 12
4 of 5 stars false

bookshelves: nonfictionpsychology

Read from May 22 to June 02, 2012 — I own a copy
Most of us shy away from the hard and potentially awkward conversations. Some people even put great effort into avoiding them at all costs. For this reason, Difficult Conversations is a helpful tool, especially for people who wish to improve their communication skills.The book begins by explaining that each difficult conversation can be started by dividing the matter into three parts. First is the third-party story (stating the facts from a neutral perspective), then addressing the issue from the other person’s perspective, and finally from the presenter’s own perspective. Breaking the start of the conversation into these separate portions, will hopefully aid in creating a non-threatening beginning for both parties involved.

One part of the book that really stuck with me was the part that talks about determining the feelings you have associated with the issue at hand, as well as the actual intentions for the conversation. The examples the book gives show how easy it is for someone to think they need to have a conversation about one thing, while they’re actually being upset about something completely different. If the conversation is started without realizing where the true emotions lie, then chances are the conversation will not be addressing or resolving the underlying problem.

Some useful tips I found throughout the book:

1) The issue is not who is right or wrong, but ‘how can the issue be managed now’?
2) It’s alright to ask for a short break from the conversation if things become heated.
3) It’s helpful for other people to hear where beliefs and convictions come from or are based on.
4) Listen to your own self-talk instead of tuning it out. Sometimes it will be impossible to move forward without first addressing the self-talk going on in one’s head.
5) Don’t expect other people to know and follow the same rules of managing difficult conversations.
6) Be honest with yourself, realize what emotions are being felt, and allow them once they arise.


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