Module 5 Briefing Sheet
MANAGING DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS AND INFLUENCING STAKEHOLDERS
- Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, New York: Penguin, 2010 – Introduction and Chapter 1. Note: A request for permission to distribute this excerpt is pending with the publisher. We apologize for this inconvenience. The book is available at many public libraries, or you can purchase a copy. Much (but not all) of this content is available as a "Look Inside" preview at https://www.amazon.com/Difficult-Conversations-Discuss-What-Matters/dp/0143118447.
- Alternatives -
- Harvard Business School: “Errors in Social Judgment: Implications for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Part 1: Biased Assimilation of Information” (Robert J. Robinson, 1997)
- Videos under “Optional Materials” below.
- Alternatives -
- Harvard Business School: “Errors in Social Judgment: Implications for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Part 2: Partisan Perceptions” (Robert J. Robinson, 1997)
- HBR: “Negotiating with Emotion” (Kimberlyn Leary, Julianna Pillemer, and Michael Wheeler) at https://hbr.org/2013/01/negotiating-with-emotion
- Daniel Shapiro: “How Do You Handle Emotions?” Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network, 2015 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2bP80YI2ko.
- Medium: “Enhancing Your Effectiveness as a Negotiator” (Robert Wilkinson for Bloomberg Cities) at https://medium.com/@BloombergCities/enhancing-your-effectiveness-as-a-negotiator-824ad18203f4
- Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School: “Case Study: Multimode, Inc.” (Lawrence Susskind, Rev. 2005) (role-specific instructions will be distributed in class)
Optional Materials (for Either Pre- or Post-Module)
- “Sheila Heen Conference 2019” video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iv8a23Bpsg&list=PLl4iaVq6ZSoX4Pn4nKpySmoJat_KN8cPn&index=14 (watch at least until minute 3:40).
- “Difficult Conversations Book Summary” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xznWr4lieQ&list=PLl4iaVq6ZSoX4Pn4nKpySmoJat_KN8cPn, BestBookBits.com – 2018
- Lee Ross, Reactive Devaluation in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, in Kenneth J. Arrow, et al., Eds., Barriers to Conflict Resolution, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1995 – Pages 27-42.
- HBR, “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion” (Robert Cialdini, October 2001) at https://hbr.org/2001/10/harnessing-the-science-of-persuasion
- Recall and write out a recent workplace conversation that was difficult for you. Using two columns (I said/did – They said/did), write a brief verbatim “script” of the conversation. Try for a minimum of 8-10 lines of the actual conversation. NOTE: Be ready to discuss this conversation during the Module
- What was the conversation about?
- What was it about the conversation that made it difficult?
- Was it the subject matter?
- Was it the person themselves that you find generally difficult? Was it who they represented? Was it their specific behavior?
- Read Difficult Conversations Introduction and Chapter 1 (or the alternative materials noted above)
- Read “Errors in Social Judgment”
- Read “Negotiating with Emotion”
- View the video “How Do You Handle Emotions?”
- Read “Enhancing Your Effectiveness as a Negotiator”
- Read “Multimode, Inc.” – General Information. Note: You will receive your role-specific information at the Module 5 session and will then have time to prepare your approach.
Click here to download a Word version of this Briefing Sheet
into which you can type your responses to the following questions.
- What is your “typical behavior when engaging difficult conversations at work? How do you typically respond (verbally and/or behaviorally) when things don’t go as planned?
- What have you observed concerning your impact on others when engaging these behaviors?
- Based on your verbatim conversation (above Task), what do you notice about any of the “5 Core Concerns” (see Shapiro video) as evidenced in either yourself or the other person? Reflect on the six-step warm up exercise to help emotional preparedness (see “Negotiating with Emotion”). How do these resonate with you? What else do you do to help manage your own emotional state during difficult conversations?
COHORT MEETING (Meet to discuss the following BEFORE Classroom Session)
- Check in and share any additional learning from the previous session
- Have a brief discussion about your leadership development plan:
- What did you commit to start and stop doing? Are you doing it? How is it making a difference?
- Did you create an accountability circle? How are you using them?
- What action step do you need to take next on your Development Plan?
- Share your “recent difficult workplace conversation” and your insights with regard to:
- Your skills to manage the conversation effectively.
- Your self-awareness of your behaviors and impact on the conversation.
- Your impact on the person involved.
- Share any additional insights from the pre-work.
- To reflect on and test one’s assumptions about the most effective ways to communicate with others to get the desired results
- To decipher the underlying structure of every difficult conversation and to interpret the significance of what is said — and what is not
- To manage conflict effectively as it arises, and see conflict not as a liability, but as a catalyst to creativity
- To understand and address strong emotions before they lead to communication breakdowns that cause stress and damage relationships