Having Difficult Conversations

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What is the most difficult conversation you’ve ever had? Maybe you told your mother you were gay, or told your kids you’re getting divorced.

Perhaps you had to fire an employee? You said “no” to a homeless person. You had to explain to your folks how you cracked up the new car.

Or maybe the most difficult conversation is the one where you admitted you were wrong, or said the other guy was. Some people squirm asking their secretary to make copies. Some people need another shrink to tell their therapist they’re done.

The worst was having to tell a waiter there’s a fly in your soup. You think you know how to confront the tough stuff – but as soon as you open your mouth, you’ve said it all backwards.

If the folks at the Harvard Negotiation Project got you to “yes” – maybe they can get you through asking for a raise. Difficult Conversations – in this hour of The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project

both are instructors at Harvard Law School and co-authors of “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most.”