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5.0 out of 5 starsA pulitzer prize winning coach on conflict!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on December 4, 2019
There are so many outstanding parts of this book. One favorite is how they simply and clearly unpack feelings including how to be effective with the difficult feelings (i.e. ours, theirs and others) in a professional role. Chapters 4-6 I have re-read at least 4 times.
Difficult Conversations is an excellent read and is filled with great content and ideas for handling conversations when they get tough. I highlighted all over this book and dog-earned many pages (I'm that kind of reader). However, while I exited reading this book with some great ideas, it didn't give me a clear model in my mind for attacking those conversations. Difficult Conversations is an excellent read and worth the time investment, but if you're only going to read one book of this kind, Crucial Conversations (Patterson, et al), might be a better option.
I read this as part of my employer’s training and successfully got a public acknowledgement that the disturbing and retrograde sexual harassment vignette in the book is inappropriate and counter to our company’s sexual harassment policy. The vignette says that women who are sexually harassed at work should tally their “contributions” to the harasser’s behavior (the book includes a chart saying a woman agreeing to meet one on one with a male colleague or paying attention to him would explain why he would engage in repeat, unwanted “provocative” behavior). The book recommends that a woman being sexually harassed at work determine how she has contributed to the harassment and apologize to her abuser for her actions. My company leadership was horrified by this portion of the book when I shared it. This advice, if taught, will get companies sued, and is potentially traumatizing for anyone who has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment because it victim blames for illegal abuse and teaches abusers that their actions are justified.
The topics discussed in the book are very interesting and the proposed approach is definitely one to have in your toolset but reading the book was a dread. I felt like that author is repeating things again and again... I was tempted to skip, but then again I had fear of missing out.