What You’ll Learn:
- Identify the 3 layers that characterize any difficult conversation
- Productively navigate emotions and issues of identity that surface in difficult conversations
- Apply the tactic of "starting from a third story" to neutralize a difficult conversation
- Map the "joint contribution system" that characterizes challenging situations to shift away from a stance of blame
- Engage more productively in the difficult--but necessary--conversations that surface in our everyday lives
Whether we’re dealing with an under-performing employee, disagreeing with our partner, or negotiating with a difficult client, we attempt or avoid difficult conversations every day. No matter how competent or experienced we are, we all have conversations that cause anxiety and frustration.
This is particularly true for people working in the social sector. They’re often faced with situations where they need to untangle differing perspectives, advocate for those who are underserved, or simply manage their employees and volunteers while facing resource constraints.
In this course, you’ll learn practical strategies to handle difficult conversations with grace and agility while achieving productive results. Taught by Sheila Heen, a professor at Harvard Law School and co-author of Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the Feedback, this course will introduce you to actionable insights to understand the 3 layers of every difficult conversation. You’ll learn how to authentically shift from a stance of blame and certainty to one of learning and openness. You’ll also practice tactics like “starting from the third story” to help neutralize the toxic dynamics of difficult conversations and achieve more productive results. Finally, you’ll understand how and why emotions and issues of identity frequently come up in these challenging dialogues—and how you can address them preemptively and professionally while being authentic and empathetic.
This course is for anyone who needs to work together with other people—in their personal or professional lives—to achieve something tough but meaningful together.