Taking Conversations from Difficult to Doable: 3 Models to Master Tough Conversations

By: Lynne Cunningham, MPA, FACHE

You’ll never love difficult conversations—but you can learn to navigate them more successfully than you ever thought possible.

Have you ever dreaded holding a tough but necessary conversation with an employee, coworker, or boss? Do you put off such conversations for far too long? Have you ever launched into a difficult conversation without being well prepared, only to have the interaction spiral out of control? Most leaders will probably answer yes to at least one, if not all, of these questions.

Taking Conversations from Difficult to Doable: 3 Models to Master Tough Conversations can help you “bite the bullet” and say what needs saying in the most effective possible way.  Written by Lynne Cunningham, MPA, FACHE, this book explains why we shy away from these critical conversations and provides the tools and tactics to navigate them confidently and effectively

Here’s just a sampling of the book’s insights:

  • What happens when we ignore situations that call for a difficult conversation
  • How to structure and execute a conversation with a peer, direct report, boss or physician
  • How to implement each of the three powerful conversation models detailed in the book so that the outcome is a “win-win”
  • Why practicing difficult conversations is so important (Cunningham provides common scenarios you and your team can modify and role play)
  • Why creating official Standards of Behavior at your organization provides a solid foundation for difficult conversations
  • What triangulation means, why it’s harmful, and how to handle it when it happens
  • How to respond when a person’s behavior doesn’t change after a difficult conversation

Unlike most books on this subject, this publication is short and to the point with a focus on easy-to-understand tactics. Its style and length make it perfect for today’s busy leaders. Best of all, it helps you master the right skills quickly—and once you’ve done this you’ll find all your conversations become easier, less stressful and more successful.

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