Tackling Difficult Conversations Pocketbook Paperback – 21 Sep 2009
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Top customer reviews
It breaks down how we interact into roles and helps you to recognise who is taking what role and guides you through how best to deal with the situation for a good outcome. The writing is concise with many illustrations and it's easily readable in an evening. It's not just about work either - I'm sure some elements could help with relationships too.
If you're someone that doesn't like to give orders, criticise or reprimand others but have found yourself in a situation where you have to, this book should help to boost your confidence and get the job done. There is also a section on receiving criticism should the boot be on the other foot!
HOWEVER .... open the book up and READ them and you are in for a surprise. This is actually written in a very professional and helpful way. After reading just 6 or 7 pages I was hugely impressed with the content. PETER ENGLISH the author does himself no justice in the size and cover of this book. It gives you the impression it will be full of glib one liners (Ever read the 1 minute manager?) However it's not. Give this book a chance ... really it's very very good. It covers everything from body language, vocal tone, positioning and interactions. It considers all sorts of responses and behaviour and gives very insightful posture techniques. I say all of this with some authority. I work as an Interim Manager and as such attend more interviews in a year than many will attend in their lives. My roles are often short term in highly combative and stressful environments where things are critical. As such the ability to project with body language and read other people as well as being able to get messages across that people and personalities will find jarring is what I do. This little book captured many years of what I learnt and built up the hard way. Quite Extraordinary. I'd recommend this book to any manager or aspiring manager.
When reading, I could not help to see that most scenarios are directed at a typical 'office' setting, with a certain emphasis placed on the hierarchy system of 'boss vs subordinate'. The book is essentially directed with a focus of how to build confidence. I found the section entitled, 'Say no and Mean it', to be of some value in this respect, offering some basic advice and guidance on how to not do tasks you don't want to. It was a shame this section was only 5 pages. Note, most sections in this book are very short.
On the plus side, the size of the book is a bonus. It is small. So small in fact, that one could easily put it in their pocket and at just over 100 pages, is not too thick. The book will help provide a guide on basic self confidence and makes for an interesting read, just don't expect it to work wonders.
If you are looking for an easy read, go for it. I would still advise to compliment your read with something more meaty. 3/5.
However, that said, if you want to be more assertive in the workplace- and you know what you want, and where you are going, then this is for you.
I have to say that, though this isn't really made explicit, it seems to me much more suited for professional or workplace-type relations, rather than a heart-to-heart with family members or significant others. I think that this comes through in some of the examples, which concern meeting deadlines or refusing to take on extra work, and it perhaps also explains why some of the suggested language comes across as slightly stilted or phoney. As the author notes, however, we have to be sensitive to context and what we want from a particular encounter - e.g. when demanding a refund in a shop you need not worry about being confrontational, as you do not have to work with the person you're negotiating with the next day.
All in all, I'm a little sceptical that things are as easy as this brief guide would suggest, and some of the advice sounds unconvincing, but I do think that I learned some useful tips - it just requires practice now.
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