difficult conversation

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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.

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Role Simulations

Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:


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
Role Simulation
Education Negotiation Role-Play:

Phoenix, The

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



Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen

This 10th-anniversary edition bestseller provides a step-by-step approach to having those tough conversations with less stress and more success. Updated to include a fascinating chapter: "Answers to Ten Questions People Ask".
A book of communication, difficult conversations, negotiation and life advice for college students

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

Video and Audio

Videos and Audio

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

Case Studies & Articles

A 27-page handbook designed to introduce high school students to problem-solving, interest-based negotiation