I became interested in this book when it was assigned as a required reading for my MBA class. This book provides very practical guidance to improve interpersonal communication in personal and professional relationships. Of all of the "communication" books I have read over the past 20 years, this is one of the top two. I highly recommend it. The only reason I did not give the audiobook 5-stars is because of the narration and production of the audiobook. There were three main narrators and the different voices and volumes were distracting. Further, in the audio production process, the volume was not leveled, and I had to change my volume to compensate.
Bottomline: Good content. I would have given it 4-star rating if the program was professionally narrated and produced.
I find the content of the book valuable, although not ground-breaking. My assessment is that if find yourself getting into arguments with others all the time, or if you find yourself avoiding conflict all the time, then you will probably find the information given in this book helpful.
Having said that, although this title is well worth a "read", it is definitely not worth a "listen". The production of the audio program is terrible. Generally, the volume is so low that I have to set the volume of my car stereo to almost the maximum. Also, the volume varies from passage to passage, sometimes within the same passage. In addition, one of the male narrator (one of the authors) is so mono-tone that I find myself wanting to turn it off. It had been extremely frustrating to listen to.
Examples are downright silly, over simplified, and unrealistic, but I still found this book to be extremely beneficial in both personal and professional applications. Highly recommend.
This book is on my short list of best books. In my work as a school administrator, Difficult Conversations has given me perspective to better handle difficult conversations with parents and colleagues. Its value also extends beyond the professional realm and can be applied in all areas of my life.
I thought the book was good at first; however, after about an hour, I had enough. I finished listening to the book, but I found myself thinking, "Didn't they already talk about this."
OK, some people are not predisposed to listen to anyone else. Stubborn. Butt-headed. Miserable. Self-centered. Pushy. Closed-minded. Difficult to work with. Nothing will reach them, probably.
They're likely the ones that won't get anything out of this book. And they're probably hard to converse with. They're not ready to improve.
But you are. You're looking for help. Here it is.
Everyone needs to listen to this book. You, or anyone interested in learning how to improve their skills at interaction with others. Parents - even your teen might be receptive to this.
This book is great for EVERYONE who needs to communicate with others at some point in their life, and wants to do so with minimal difficulties. You'll definitely get positive input from this book. Not necessarily specific words to say... but you'll understand what makes a conversation or confrontation 'go bad'. And how to short-circuit that from happening, next time.
The three authors / readers are clear and conversational, and give good examples using a wide range of conversatons that otherwise run into 'conflict' or add strife to a situation. And they give other things to consider, BEFORE you head into a difficult meetings, confrontation, purchase decision, or visit your Aunt Sally.
And, you'll be made aware, predisposed again, to know how to NOT create a difficult situation with another person -- even if THEY did NOT read or hear this book -- in advance of a meeting with them. You can de-fuse that 'bomb' and you can also improve your results from that interaction.
I recommend hearing it from start-to-finish, as there are frequent references to earlier examples given, expanding upon previous content and making the content more wide-ranging.
I encourage YOU to get it, and heed its words. Take the input, and apply it, and you'll have an easier time getting through any difficult interaction with anyone else.
Unless you still want to be thought of as a butthead, that is.
I listened to the audio book and was very happy.Within a month my confidence had improved and I aws able to talk to people about anything.It taught me how to have more fruitful rich conversations.It taught me to respect others opinion and mine too.It taught me tospeak up and believe in myself and my ability.It taught me to solve conflicts.It was a great book.The title should have been improving conversations.Not Difficult Conversations.
Full of solid content, fresh ideas, and new approaches to thorny problems. The authors have a good handle on the complexity and the challenges involved in difficult converations, and give many, many good strategies for the reader. I thought their examples were very realistic. The book didn't do much with how differing levels of power can affect these conversations, and that was a drawback. My only really negative criticism is that one of the narrators was much too soft spoken (the three authors share narration duties). Otherwise, a great audiobook.
How do we upset one another without meaning to? How can we salvage a conversation that's going wrong? How can we say "no"? And how much time do we spend agonizing over this stuff? Here are methods and principles that can be used to improve all communications. The presentation is a bit stilted but the content is excellent. Through sample conversations, analysis of what went wrong, and examples of how to do it better, you start to build an understanding of how to hear other people's points of view and present your own. Why do we need to be told? That's covered too. Time spent with this book brought me some quick results, and it's obviously one to revisit.
I found this book useful but it's geared more for those people who just can't say "no" at all. It is very funny in some of the conversations and voices used to make its points. It's an easy read with some good advice.