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Publisher's Summary

Everyone has difficult conversations, no matter how confident or competent they are. And too often, no matter what you try, things don't go well. Should you say what you're thinking and risk starting a fight? Swallow your views and feel like a doormat? Or should you let them have it? But...what if you're wrong? Difficult Conversations shows you a way out of this dilemma; it teaches you how to handle even the toughest conversations more effectively and with less anxiety. Based on 15 years of work at the Harvard Negotiation Project and consultations with thousands of people, the authors answer the question: When people confront the conversations they dread the most, what works?
Difficult Conversations walks you through a proven, step-by-step approach for understanding and conducting tough conversations. It shows you how to get ready, how to start the conversations in ways that reduce defensiveness, and how to keep the conversation on a constructive track regardless of how the other person responds. Whether you're dealing with your baby-sitter or biggest client, your boss or your brother-in-law, Difficult Conversations can help.
©1999 Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen (P)1999 Random House, Inc., All Rights Reserved
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Arthur Held on 04-25-03

Slow Start - Powerful book

I only listened to the first 20 minutes of this because I didn't have anything else in the car.


The authors read this, and at first they seem dry and without energy. But their content lured me in. I've learned more in four hours of listening that I have in 20 years of self-help books on active listening and communicating with people.

If you have ever struggled to have a good conversation with a spouse, child, co-worker, or boss, this is worth listening to. I am getting ready to start my second time through.

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27 of 27 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jean-Pierre on 01-21-03

A must-hear audiobook !

This audiobook will make you understand that different people have different views on a specific situation and they all are right. Unfortunately, they come into conflict due to the fact that they can not imagine the other is "right" aswell ! I urge you to listen to this material several time in order to integrate the fact that, in a lot of situations, developing a conflict is simply inadequate due to the fact that everybody naturally and "rightly" has his own version of the story. The book provides examples of a situation as it is experienced by two people. You think that protagonist A is right, and then, the same story is exposed again, but this time from the perpective of B, and you feel yourself caught because you admit that both A and B are "right". This book makes you a bit wiser and contributes to more peacefull relations with others, colleagues, within your couple, etc. This IS important and I thank you the authors for their work !

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61 of 63 people found this review helpful

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