In the Executive MBA, we’ve been given a wide range of reading from thick, heavy accounting and finance books to regular penguin-sized books for management praxis and management science. The smaller books are shorter and easier reads on the one hand but tackle some tough subjects. One of these is ‘Difficult Conversations’ of the Harvard Negotiation Project. At a first glance, this looks like a light read and I wasn’t impressed with the first couple of chapters but as I read on and faced a difficult conversation myself - I quickly realised that this book punches high above its weight!
And I realised how much I avoid difficult conversations! But in reading the book I realised that these conversations are so important. They help us move past misunderstandings and resentment towards open, mature relationships. And, yes, they are difficult and make us feel uncomfortable and anxious but by working through issues with work colleagues, friends, family, etc. we can create even better relationships and greatly improve our professional and personal lives.
Are there any difficult conversations that you have been avoiding? Are there any colleagues, friends, or family that you wish you had a better relationship with? Our challenge to you is to have one of these conversations.
This checklist, which can be found in more detail in Difficult Conversations, will guide you through:
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