Good communication is very important in daily life as well as in a business setting. Difficult Conversations talks about why some conversations are difficult, why people avoid having these conversations, and why people do poorly in them. The book is full of techniques for handling these discussions in an effective away. Difficult conversations can be anything from salaries/raises to complaining to a neighbor about their loud parties at night. Most of the time, people don’t say everything that they are thinking and feeling due to the fear of consequences.
The author speaks about the dilemmas of the difficult conversation such as the consequences of avoiding the problem. The person may feel like they were taken advantage of or they feel like a coward. Also, some people just let their feelings build up and negative things can happen because of it.
The author talks about how in each difficult conversation, there are three conversations that make it up. They are the “what happened” conversation, the “feelings” conversation, and the “identity” conversation.
In the “what happened” conversation, the problem is that people think the person they are talking to is the antagonist. They never stop and think that maybe they are the ones who aren’t making sense. They automatically attack the other person thinking they are being irrational or selfish. There is a lot of arguing in this situation which prevents any proper discussions. The people in this conversation need to understand each other’s point of view and think of why the other person’s point of view makes sense to them. But we also need to word our ideas in a way that makes other people understand our thought process and why we reached that idea. It takes work from both sides. A good point that the author makes in this chapter is to turn your certainty into curiosity. It helps to better your understanding on where the person is coming from.