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Difficult Conversations

How to Discuss What Matters Most


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Category: Career & Self-Development

Difficult Conversations

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why understanding the underlying structure of difficult conversations will help you handle them better
  • What the “Three Conversations” are in every difficult conversation
  • Why understanding someone’s contribution is more effective than assigning blame
  • How listening more authentically will enable the other party to hear you


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Why you should read Difficult Conversations

You will face difficult conversations throughout your life, but now you can learn how to cope with them. This book provides a framework and various strategies for achieving better outcomes from hard exchanges. Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen use principles, illustrative stories and charts to teach you how to understand the components of challenging conversations, and how to prepare for them and transform them into something constructive. The language of the book is clear, insightful, concise and always helpful. You can use these principles in business, but the stories also concern relationships in your everyday life. getAbstract says everyone from teenagers to mature adults can use the communication skills discussed in this wise book.

About the Authors

Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen are professors at Harvard Law School and are part of the Harvard Negotiation Project. They have each written, spoken and consulted on negotiation and communication.

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