Failure to Communicate: How Conversations Go Wrong and What You Can Do to Right Them
1 Jan 2010
Harvard Business Review Press
Your stomach's churning; you're hyperventilating -- you're in a badly deteriorating conversation at work. Such exchanges, which run the gamut from firing subordinates to parrying verbal attacks from colleagues, are so loaded with anger, confusion, and fear that most people handle them poorly: they avoid them, clamp down, or give in. But dodging issues, appeasing difficult people, and mishandling tough encounters all carry a high price for managers and companies -- in the form of damaged relationships, ruined careers, and intensified problems. In Failure to Communicate, Holly Weeks shows how to master the combat mentality, emotional maelstrom, and confusion that poison difficult conversations. Drawing on her many years as a consultant and coach to leaders and executives, the author explains: * Why we turn to ineffective tactics when the heat is on * How to avoid the worst pitfalls of difficult conversations, and how to pull yourself out if you fall in * Ways to regain your balance and inject respect into stressful conversations, even when you've been confronted, infuriated, or wronged * Strategies for mitigating aggression and defensiveness, and for clearing the fog of misconceptions * How to get through the hardest conversations with your reputation and relationships intact Using proven techniques paired with detailed real-life examples, Weeks equips you with the strategies and practices you need to transform even the toughest conversations.