Greg's Reviews > Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone
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's review
Jul 05, 08

bookshelves: professional-development, personal-development
Recommended for: Anyone having difficulty communicating, professionally or personally.
Read in July, 2008

As the authors of this book say, "Both the challenge and the spice of relationships is in people's differences. Occasional frustration is the price of admission." (p. 215) This book goes a long way toward making the frustration manageable. It is an especially good complement to "Crucial Conversations" (Patterson, et. al.). I would recommend reading CC first, as it provides a slightly easier and more actionable foundation in the practice of dialogue. Many of the concepts and approaches and tools in the two books are similar or overlapping. Of course, the underlying principles should be internally consistent, and they are. It is also an outstanding complement to anyone's study of effective negotiation practices.

Among the most useful parts of this book for me were the discussions on mapping the contribution system, exploring each other's stories, and considering what is at stake. As with most books of this sort, I read it with highlighter and pen in hand, and it is well and truly marked up. It is one to which I will return frequently.
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