Book Rating (77)
Narrator Rating (5)

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

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, ,

Douglas Stone

5 Hours 40 Minutes

Random House (Audio)

July 2000

Audio Book Summary

Dealing with your ex-husband, who can't seem to show up reliably for weekends with the kids; navigating a workplace fraught with office politics or racial tensions; saying "I'm sorry" or "I love you".

We all have difficult conversations, no matter how confident or competent we are. And too often, no matter what we try, things don't go well. Should you say what you're thinking and risk starting a fight? Swallow your views and feel like a doormat? Or should you let them have it? But--what if you're wrong?

Difficult Conversations shows you a way out of this dilemma; it teaches you how to handle even the toughest conversations more effectively and with less anxiety. Based on fifteen years of work at Harvard Negotiation Project and consultations with thousands of people, the authors answer the question: When people confront the conversations they dread the most, what works?

Difficult Conversations walks you through a proven, concrete, step-by-step approach for understanding and conducting tough conversations. It shows you how to get ready, how to start the conversations in ways that reduce defensiveness, and how to keep the conversation on a constructive track regardless of how the other person responds.

Whether you're dealing with your baby-sitter or biggest client, your boss or your brother-in-law, Difficult Conversations can help.

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  • Anonymous

    okay I don't hate the content of this book but the readers are absolutely awful- they sound so bored and like they couldn't care less about the words they are saying. Also, I kind of think all the positive reviews on this book (the first ones) were written by the writers because I don't think any normal person would make comments like that...

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  • Duke

    I can see where some people who may be REALLY timid and shy might get some help from this book. For the average person, I wouldn't consider it much of a resource. Had a lot of psycho-babble and took five disks to say what could have been said in one. Not to mention that the play acting examples were unrealistic in terms of the script and the actors were amateurish at best. I think they were the writers (note to future writers: when your book goes to audio, drop your ego and hire a professional to read it). I suspect there must be much better books on this subject out there. If anyone has any suggestions, please post them here.

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  • Shannon Brakefield

    Wow! The readers made this book pathetic...but I guess with the material they had to work with it would be pathetic. This is one of the most boring books I've ever read/heard and if these are difficult conversations to deal with (the examples) then the person that wrote this book has led a sheltered life. All you real people please step forward and write a book. Afterall, this book proves that anyone can write a ridiculous book. This book helps me to understand why people ask me to write books all too often. We are desperate for real people and real difficult situations not what this book says are difficult conversations! If you want to have difficult conversations talk to people in a different study group next time. The author has no idea what difficult conversations are!

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  • Anonymous

    This is an excellent book for understanding communication and miscommunication. It offered good examples of challenging situations from everyday life, offered ideas of how to deal with them, and did not try to gloss over the difficulties. It gave practical and very helpful advice, providing insight into the various perspectives involved when trying to communicate.

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  • Anonymous

    Probably one of the best audiobooks I have ever heard. Listened to this set TWICE, and will go back to it for reference in the future. Incredibly insightful analysis of the structure of conversations and useful strategies for managing productive dialogue. A must for people who have trouble communicating or managers who need to understand their staff more.

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  • Anonymous

    3 speakers breaks it up nicely. Although you need to split up listening to it into digestable chunks otherwise you'll wonder off - the content is a bit dry. Well worth it if you are going to 'have it out' with your Boss!!

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  • David

    This book was a little dull for the first three CDs. I am glad that I continued because four and five were pretty good. When I was about half done listening to the book, I had a difficult conversation with my wife and I was able to use some of the tips.

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  • Anonymous

    This is one of the better books on this subject. The book did not use the usual "run of the mill" examples of difficult conversations. I highly recommend it.

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  • Chet Herman

    Useful and worth listenting too. Authors read the work, and the principles offered are immediately applicable to your own real world conversations. Production is simple and flows nicely.

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  • Anonymous

    Excellent book. I listened to it several times then bought the book for reference. I even bought copies for friends. This material is useful for any human who needs to interact with people in any context!

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