Failure to Communicate: How Conversations Go Wrong and What You Can Do to Right Them [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Failure to Communicate: How Conversations Go Wrong and What You Can Do to Right Them

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

ManagerSmarter.com
Failure to Communicate helps you untangle yourself from the grip of emotions during heated exchanges, and clearly navigate through anger, stress, nerves and confusion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422166451
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 5/20/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 599,163
  • File size: 492 KB

Meet the Author

Holly Weeks teaches, publishes and consults on communications issues through her company, Holly Weeks Communications. She is an Adjunct Lecturer in Management Leadership and Decision Sciences at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Visiting Pro-Seminar Lecturer in Communication and Vision Speech at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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Table of Contents


Introduction: When Conversations Go Wrong     1
Anatomy of Hard Talks     15
What's Wrong with What We Do     27
Rethinking What We Do: Finding Balance     39
Acting Unilaterally     61
Conversational Warfare and the Combat Mentality     75
Out of Combat: Changing the Game     89
Caught Up in Emotions     113
Out of Emotion's Grip: Increasing Skill     127
Working Blind in the "Breakdown Gap"     155
Out of the Breakdown Gap: Strategy and Tactics     169
Conclusion: Getting Back on Track     209
Notes     227
Index     229
Acknowledgments     237
About the Author     239
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Instructive guide to constructive conversations

    You're leading a routine department meeting when all of a sudden you are under attack. Your first instinct is either to negotiate a withdrawal or to fight back with every weapon in your verbal arsenal. Destructive, winner-take-all word wars happen daily in conference rooms around the world, wiping out reputations, relationships and self-esteem. Communication expert Holly Weeks analyzes what goes wrong in these confrontational conversations and provides strategies you can use to converse productively without engaging in vocal warfare. Her generous use of real-life examples clearly illustrates where conversations turn injurious and how using her proactive tactics can help. If you've ever felt the sting of a poisonous barb or the slash of a cutting remark, getAbstract recommends this book as the perfect salve.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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