Discover how to collaborate, negotiate, and bargain with even the most combative opponents with, Dealing with Difficult People, a FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

difficult conversation

A framework for describing how to apply interest-based negotiation techniques to conversations and dilemmas in daily life. According to this framework, underlying every difficult conversation are actually three deeper conversations. (Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen, Difficult Conversations [Viking/Penguin, 1999], 7). These three conversations are 1) The "What Happened?" Conversation, 2) the Feelings Conversation, 3) and the Identity Conversation. The first conversation deals with the actual events that led to the situation being discussed, while the second and third conversations explore the impact these events have had.

The following items are tagged difficult conversation

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How to Manage Conflict in the Office

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Are you too eager to please and do you avoid having difficult conversations when conflicts arise? A desire to get along with others may be preventing you from addressing and undertaking office conflict management. … Read More 

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Thanks for the Feedback

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Doug Stone & Sheila Heen The bestselling authors of the classic Difficult Conversations teach us how to turn evaluations, advice, criticisms, and coaching into productive listening and learning … Read More 

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Dealing with Difficult People

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At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), we are dedicated to helping professionals deal with hard bargainers and resolve even the most challenging disputes. To help you understand the principles of negotiation and conflict resolution, we put together a special report: Dealing With Difficult People. Discover how to collaborate, negotiate, and bargain … Read More 

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Case Study of Conflict Management and Negotiation: To Resolve Disputes and Manage Conflicts, Assume a Neutral 3rd Party Role

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In their book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Penguin Putnam, 2000), authors Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen tell us how to engage in the conversations in our professional or personal lives that make us uncomfortable by examining a case study of conflict management. Tough, honest conversations are critical for managers, … Read More 

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Negotiation Pedagogy Video Series, Part III

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Sheila Heen and Melissa Manwaring An unscripted video showing an experienced negotiation instructor running and debriefing the “Oil Pricing” exercise, interspersed with excerpts from a post-workshop interview with the instructor … Read More 

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The Ladder of Inference: A Resource List

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The ladder of inference is a model of decision making behavior originally developed by Chris Argyris and Donald Schoen and elaborated upon in the context of negotiation by Program on Negotiation co-founder Bruce Patton in his book Difficult Conversations, co-authored with fellow Program on Negotiation faculty members Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. The model describes … Read More 

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A Negotiation Back on the Rails with Transactional Leadership

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Crumbling transportation infrastructure has become a serious issue across the country. Nowhere is this problem more acute than the nation’s capitol, where the forty year-old Metro has been plagued by ineffective, bureaucratic leadership, and is now on the verge of collapse. New Metro Chairman Jack Evans aims to tackle those problems head-on, but he drew … Read More 

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Difficult Conversations How to Discuss What Matters Most

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Whether we’re dealing with an under-performing employee, disagreeing with our spouse about money or child-rearing, negotiating with a difficult client, or simply saying, “no,” or “I’m sorry,” or “I love you,” we attempt to avoid difficult conversations every day. No matter how competent we are, we all have conversations that cause anxiety and frustration. This book … Read More 

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Think Like a Mediator

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To set the stage for a productive discussion, open a difficult conversation with the Third Story, advise the authors of Difficult Conversations. The Third Story is one an impartial observer, such as a mediator, would tell; it’s a version of events both sides can agree on. “The key is learning to describe the gap – … Read More 

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Phoenix, The

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Sheila Heen and Michael Moffitt, based on a case by Doug Stone Two-party negotiation between the director of a county tutoring program and a tutor regarding pay, work conditions, and job performance; ethnic differences are an issue … Read More 

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Casino

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Sheila Heen, Scott Peppet and John Richardson Two-party intra-organizational discussion between a newly-promoted manager and her division vice-president over work performance, responsibility for a new computer game project, and office environment issues … Read More