A High-Level Summary of the Book by Stone, Patton and Heen. Office of In most difficult conversations, there are different perceptions of the same reality. A Difficult Conversation Is Anything. You Find It Hard to Talk About. Sexuality, race, gender, politics, and religion come quickly to mind as difficult topics to. Slappy said: Difficult Conversations is a how-to self-help book on negotiating conflict in emo Douglas Stone,. Bruce Patton.,. Sheila Heen A “difficult conversation,” according to Stone et al, is “anything you find it hard to talk about”.

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Paraphrase what you’re hearing from them, to make sure you’ve got it right. Once you have found the courage to speak, start by saying explicitly what is most important to you.

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Unexpressed feelings can leak back into conversation, and can preoccupy people so that they are unable to be good listeners. The key to having effective, productive conversations is to recognize the presence of these deeper conversations, avoid the common errors, vifficult turn difficult conversations into learning conversations.

Thus, many people frame difficult conversations in ways that ignore their emotional content. Learning Conversations If starting a conversation is the choice, then the authors offer ways to make productive openings. It is a book you will turn to again and again for advice, practical skills, and reassurance. Try to invent new options for dealing with the problem, and consider what principles could guide a fair solution. Parties may contribute to a problematic situation by having avoided dealing with it in the past or by being unapproachable.

People are usually reluctant to open a difficult conversation out of fear of the consequences. Then try it out at work. Don’t think that expressing your feelings is the didficult as dealing with them in a constructive way. Find out about the intractable conflict-related work that others in the peace and conflict field are doing.

As you work through such conversations, notice that they aren’t about who is right or wrong, they are about differing information, priorities and perspectives. And in a way it is Mar 30, Mark rated it liked it.


Anything to avoid confronting the object of my discom I don’t read many self help books any more and apparently according to Goodreads I’ve already read this dufficult before and rated it 3 stars.

It deals with the hardest area for us as humans to deal with, conflict, disagreements, emotions and difficult conversations in a very structured way with checklists, sample conversations and strategies to vonversations the tactics. Overall, a pretty solid read. Mar 24, Stacey rated it it was amazing Shelves: Let’s imagine Henry decides to take the weekend off despite Rosario’s continued insistence that he stay.

It helps us to understand the other person, and the feeling of having been heard makes the other more able to conversatioms themselves. Just to soak it all up and not lose out on the useful stuff due to boredom. Links to quality news, opinion pieces, and reports that explain the intractable conflict problem and highlight successful responses.

But I’m having a hard time concentrating on what you’re saying, because I feel really angry and cornered right now. Once you manage to do hwen during a conversation, than you are able to listen better to the other person. Until you acknowledge your feelings, you will find it almost impossible to listen to the other person.

I found myself resonating with a lot of the book, and it made me think critically about the way I approach those types of conversations. I didn’t even know this was a part of why I dread certain conversations, but it fits.

Summary of “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most” | Beyond Intractability

The difference between “I’m a useless scumhole junkie” and “I struggle with addiction” is nothing other than framing, but that difference is the basis of recovery. Differences in personality or role assumptions can contribute to creating a situation.

Reframing your pattton of “blame” as “contribution” seems like another powerful tool. Contribution emphasizes understanding causes, joint responsibility, and avoiding future problems. One of the best advices xtone to express your feelings. Oct 01, Jessica rated it it was amazing. Are you right or wrong? Managing the internal identity conversation requires learning which issues are most important to one’s identity, and learning how to adapt one’s identity in healthy ways.


A conversation is affected by the image people have about themselves. I already know I’m going to buy this book and keep it as a reference. Break down your thoughts and the conversation into three parts: It is a trap.

He does this because cigarettes help him deal with stress and depression, and he’s afraid of failing if he tries to quit. Strive for authenticity rather than eloquence. Identity Some conversations are difficult because they threaten or challenge a person’s sense of who they are: Check out our Quick Start Guide or Video.

To move toward a leaning conversation, parties must shift from convfrsations about their own views, to curiosity about the other’s views of the situation.

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone

The set up is that there is a worker who has been asked to stay and work the weekend after being granted time off: It breaks the conversations into the explicit and confersations component parts and examines each one, and how we interact with them or internally frame them to ourselves. Techniques that can help you show that care and concern include asking open questions, asking for more concrete information, asking questions that explore the three conversations, and giving the heeb the option of not answering.

Nevertheless, this is a worthwhile read to anybody looking to better engage in–and then navigate–the most important and necessary conversations. Be the first to ask a question about Difficult Conversations.

Difficult conversations are difficult because there are feelings involved. Perception, Feelings, Identity – is an important part about the conversation, but the one I feel might be most impactful is the Identity story. However, especially in the male-dom I constantly recommend this book to friends, family and colleagues.

Definitely worth another read at a later date.