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

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9The Twelve “Yeah-Buts”

There are no exceptions to the rule.

that everybody likes to be an exception

to the rule

—CHARLES OSGOOD

How to Deal with theTruly Tough

As we’ve taught this material over the last two decades, we’ve grown accustomed to people saying, “Yeah, but my situation is really tough. These skills will never work for me.” At first we thought those people were being belligerent (particularly when they threw in words like bonehead and hayseed), but in most cases the concerned participants were only trying to imagine how the skills applied to their world—their toughest world. If the confrontation skills could help with their worst-case scenarios, they stood to gain a lot. All they really wanted to do was dive deeper into areas that ...

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