Cover Page by Al Switzler, Ron McMillan, Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson

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6Stay Focused and Flexible

I am a man of fixed and unbending principles,

the first of which is to be flexible at all times

—SENATOR EVERETT DIRKSEN

What to Do When Others GetSidetracked, Scream, or Sulk

Up to this point we’ve created a map showing how to master a crucial confrontation. It describes key principles and skills, not fixed roads laid down on an unmovable terrain. This means that the principles and skills have to be woven into a workable script on the spot, as the conversation unfolds.

This on-the-spot creativity call for an enormous amount of flexibility. After we describe the gap, we have to diagnose what’s happening. Are people failing to come through because of a motivation problem, or is it ability? Otherwise, we’re likely to ...

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