There is no easy way to face a difficult conversation
When we think about subjects that are difficult to discuss, socially controversial topics immediately come to mind, such as sex, race, gender, politics and religion. In reality, we find ourselves having to have a potentially difficult conversation every time the subject at hand, or the person that we need to talk to, is particularly important to us; when we feel vulnerable, our self-esteem comes into play and we simply don’t know how the discussion is going to go.
In these cases the common tendency is to avoid bringing up the subject for as long as we possibly can, because we are seriously afraid of the consequences: we might be pushed away or personally attacked, we could hurt the other person and even though that is not our intention, our relationship with them would suffer. The truth is, however, that avoiding the conversation altogether also has its own consequences: our feelings and emotions are affected and we miss out on an opportunity to make things better.
So we ask ourselves whether using an effective strategy could help us to deal with a delicate discussion in a more diplomatic way, but we need to be aware that no matter how tactful we are, communicating a difficult message is like throwing a hand grenade: there is no easy or painless way to fire someone, end a relationship or deal with a friend’s hurt feelings. Having said this, keeping the grenade in your hand isn’t any better either; this is why we often feel stuck in these types of situations.
In this book the authors, who are experts in the art of negotiation, will help us to constructively overcome the stalemate, showing us how to transform a potential war of words into a learning conversation.
The key ideas of "Difficult Conversations"
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