Fantastic is how I’d describe the books “Difficult Conversations” and “Crucial Conversations”.
I read “Difficult Conversations” first and I liked the premise that — “Each Difficult Conversation Is Really Three Conversations” —
- First — The “What Happened?” Conversation.
- Second — The “Feelings” Conversation.
- Third — The “Identity” Conversation.
and that the solution is to “Explore the Others Story & Yours” and one will need to “Reframe, reframe, and reframe to keep on track <smile>
This is because we really don’t know what happened, don’t know much about the mechanics of our feelings, and don’t want to know what our identity is. Fun stuff — if you can laugh at yourself. The first thing to do is to figure out what your contribution to the “difficulty” is – We are not blame free.
The book “Crucial Conversations” is focused on the workplace and provides very good examples in that context. The instructions are similar to “Difficult Conversations”. My favourite phrase is that we react with “silence or violence” and that we often use three clever stories to justify our actions. The three clever stories are
- Victim Stories – “It’s Not My Fault”
- Villian Stories – “It’s All Your Fault”
- Helpless Stories – “There’s Nothing Else I Can Do”
We use “clever stories” because, first, they are accurate, oops the authors state that “clever stories” are rarely accurate. They mostly get us off the hook and help us shirk responsibility.
Noticing our “clever stories” is very useful. If we notice ourselves telling a clever story then there is high probability that we’ve contributed to a “Difficult Conversation” — We are hiding details. The way out is to stop and acknowledge that the “clever story” is not true. It’s a fiction. Then work to figure out what we are hiding and “Tell The Rest of the Story”.