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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Structure of a Difficult Conversation

This is the seventh of a series of posts based on my review of the book, Difficult Conversations (By Stone, Patton and Heen, Penguin Books, 2000). I highly recommend this book.

The Structure of a Difficult Conversation

1. What Happened--Contribution: First talk about how “I” may have contributed to the problem.

“I know I’ve been over the top about buying a colonial…. And I know you have some strong feelings about the ranch-style house.”

2. Feelings--Impact: Discuss the impact of this decision on you.

“I feel marginalized and discounted, when you say—“grow up and do the math.”

3. Identity—Self Image: Talk about (when it makes sense) how the conversation affects your self image.

“I don’t like seeing myself as a stubborn person….”

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