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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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This is an amazing book.

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

A big-picture look at all kinds of difficult conversations, it shares a template for preparing for, reframing, thinking clearly about, and having difficult conversations.

Fourth, recognize that you can let go and still care about the issue. If he can live with that, or indeed prefers that, then going off with his friends conversztions sense.

But it’s also obvious that the pedestrian contributed to the accident by walking across the street; similarly, the driver’s friends contributed by not doing more to keep him from drinking and driving. However, especially in the male-dom I constantly recommend this book to friends, family and colleagues. That’s outside your power. Having said that, the concepts presented in this book, although easy to understand will take time and practice to integrate into real-time situations.

Typically, when the conversation does occur the parties think and feel a lot more than they actually say.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get angry, just that your anger should be directed toward finding solutions rather than scapegoats. This is the best book I’ve read on having difficult conversations in all sorts of settings; business or personal. There is no simple rule for deciding which is which, but the authors do suggests some things to consider in making such decisions.


Difficult conversations are anything that someone does not want to talk about, such as asking for a raise or complaining to a neighbor about his barking dog. Content may not be reproduced without prior written permission.

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

Adaptive thinking comes from adopting an “And Stance” toward the complex elements conversatiobs one’s identity, and rejecting all-or-nothing thinking. What does the issue s at hand say about who you are as a person? Dec 07, Jeanne-Ann rated it it was amazing. Having put that out there, I’d like to try again to hear what you’ve got to say.

Probably one of the most immediately useful books I’ve read. As a result, I experienced a lot of frustration as I read this book. Take a break if you need it. Help the other person to understand you by having them paraphrase, or asking how they see it differently.

Understanding and reevaluating the thoughts, perceptions and beliefs that gave rise to the emotions enables us to negotiate with our own feelings, shifting or moderating them. When the other party persistently puts the conversation off track, for instance by interrupting or denying emotions, explicitly name that behavior and raise it as an issue for discussion.

Books by Douglas Stone. Figure out how to frame the issue in a way that’s accurate and rings true while also allowing you to work toward a solution. Reframing your notion of stonw as “contribution” seems like another powerful tool.

I definitely noticed a lot of the negative traps I fall into and I want to try some of the new tips suggested in the book. I’ve learned so much already and have been flying through it, it’s that easy to read.


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

Skip to main content. Jul 12, Debra rated it really liked it Recommends it for: The light-a-fire-in-your-belly discussion of how this all relates to our interconnectedness and being human, etc. Prepare emotionally, ahead of time for their response. To avoid the first mistake, parties must avoid making the leap from impact to intent.

A note like ‘btw, this stuff doesn’t work with children’ would have helped. Apr 15, Gareth Davies rated it it was amazing Shelves: Using role reversal and adopting a disinterested perspective can help in creating a thorough map of the contribution system. May 18, Philipp rated it liked it Shelves: You know what their impact was; you don’t know what their intent was.

If you decide not to raise the issue, the authors offer four attitudes that may help you let go.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. 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. Understand that you can negotiate with your feelings, that you can describe them without giving in to them. Use the “And Stance” to convey complex feelings and views. Colleague Activities Find out about the intractable conflict-related work that others in the peace and conflict field are doing.


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