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Tackling Difficult Conversations Pocketbook Paperback – 21 Sep 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Management Pocketbooks (21 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906610045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906610043
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 0.9 x 10.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A. Cresswell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I received this little pocketbook (and it is little) I was instantly put off by the cartoon front cover and the size of the book.
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.
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By Andy Kumar HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Okay, if you are looking for a book that will help you genuinely tackle 'difficult conversations', don't bother with this one. The general ideas in here are pretty much short, simple and won't offer much. Don't get me wrong, the book does what it says on the tin, albeit, in a very, very, very simple format.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Honestly, if you don't know the contents of this book already, you probably need some face to face help in how to handle difficult conversations- you wont be able to learn how to improve from a book. It's really basic psychology. I got it because I thought it would have some helpful hints on how to handle conversations, suggestions of things to say for example, but it wasnt that helpful for me.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is rather a tiny little book, full of bullet-points and cartoons, and as such I didn't hold out much real hope that it would be particularly useful or insightful. Well, I'm pleased to say that I was happily surprised. There are some little gems of information here on all aspects of tackling difficult conversations (of many kinds), and I have found it genuinely useful in a number of business contexts.
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By Ben Saunders VINE VOICE on 11 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This pocket-sized book is intended to guide people through the process of tackling difficult conversations, for example expressing strong feelings, saying 'no' and dealing with criticism. The information is presented in an easy-to-read format - light on text, lots of bullet points, cartoon illustrations - and didn't take me long to absorb, despite covering material such as your mindset and body language.

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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Firstly, this is a great little handbook though the title is unfortunate as I think this is a good all-round handbook for anyone that has to deal with people regularly; not only difficult situations. Managers, doctors, business owners as well as people that interact with the general public would all get some benefit from reading this book. Team leaders that have to hand out tasks or jobs might find it useful for those jobs that no-one wants, too.

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!
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