|Full Title:||Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most|
|Author(s):||Douglas Stone; Bruce Patton; Sheila Heen
All three of them are part of the Program on Negotiation @ Harvard Law School. I would type out the "About The Authors" page within the book here, but it is long and the link above is more thorough.
|Publishing / Edition:||Penguin Books, 2000|
|Purchase; Read:||Borrow the eBook from Internet Archive. It seems like there are several different copies, so if this one is already borrowed, you can probably find another one if you search for the title!|
|A Battle of Messages||A Learning Coversation|
|The "What Happened" Conversation"
Challenge: The situation is more complex than either person can see.
|Assumption: I know all I need to know to understand what happened.
Goal: Persuade them I'm right.
|Assumption: Each of us is bringing different information and perceptions to the table; there are likely to be important things that each of us doesn't know.
Goal: Explore each other's stories - how we understand the situation and why.
|Assumption: I know what they intended.
Goal: Let them know what they did was wrong.
|Assumption: I know what I intended, and the impact their actions had on me. I don't and can't know what's in their head.
Goal: Share the impact on me, and find out what they were thinking. Also find out what impact I'm having on them.
|Assumption: It's all their fault. (Or it's all my fault.)
Goal: Get them to admit blame and take responsibility for making amends.
|Assumption: We have probably both contributed to this mess.
Goal: Understand the contribution system - how our actions interact to produce this result.
|The Feelings Conversation
Challenge: The situation is emotionally charged.
|Assumption: Feelings are irrelevant and wouldn't be helpful to share. (Or, my feelings are their fault and they need to hear about them.)
Goal: Avoid talking about feelings. (Or, let 'em have it!)
|Assumption: Feelings are the heart of the situation. Feelings are usually complex. I may have to dig a bit to understand my feelings.
Goal: Address feelings (mine and theirs) without judgments or attributions. Acknowledge feelings before problem-solving.
|The Identity Conversation
Challenge: The situation threatens our identity.
|Assumption: I'm competent or incompetent, good or bad, lovable or unlovable. There is no in-between.
Goal: Protect my all-or-nothing self-image.
|Assumption: There may be a lot at stake psychologically for both of us. Each of us is complex, neither of us is perfect.
Goal: Understand the identity issues on the line for each of us. Build a more complex self-image to maintain my balance better.