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Dealing With The Tough Stuff

Book Description

A practical toolkit for handling workplace conflict and difficult conversations

Dealing with the Tough Stuff is the business leader's critical guide to handling difficult conversations in the workplace. Based on the science of human behaviour — both verbal and nonverbal — this book is packed full of practical and pragmatic strategies for managing conflict situations. You'll learn a variety of diagnostics, models and processes that you can start using today, and you'll benefit from expert tips, tricks and tools for leading important conversations with empathy and assertiveness. This updated second edition includes new material on key conversations with distance workers, as well as within the context of a fast-growth company, and a broad selection of real-world case studies from a diverse array of workplaces. Backed by contemporary psychological theory and time-tested amongst thousands of leaders, these highly relevant suggestions give you the power to deal with the tough stuff effectively and compassionately.

The human element plays a large part in the manager's role, yet many lack the training needed to deal with people effectively. This book helps you understand what makes people tick, and helps you develop the human skills you need to manage.

  • Achieve clarity and directness in your communications
  • Deal with anger, stubbornness and defensiveness
  • Develop the skills to manage immediate crises
  • Set priorities, and build a foundation of strong communication

Avoiding the tough stuff can be extremely costly for managers, staff and the business as a whole. No one enjoys these conversations, but they are inevitable — and the right set of skills goes a long way toward making them run smoothly, with greater results out the other side. Dealing with the Tough Stuff is your indispensable primer on human behaviour, and effectively navigating tough conversations at work.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. About the authors
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. Introduction
    1. Making a difference
    2. The foundation for success
    3. Difficult behaviours, not difficult people
    4. Manipulating for good
    5. Upgrade your expectations
    6. How to use this book
    7. Stepping up to the challenge
  5. Chapter 1: What's your tough stuff?: Getting clear on what's tough for you
    1. Finding out your tough stuff
    2. Vulnerability is the pathway to growth
    3. Conclusion
  6. Chapter 2: Dealing with the tough stuff: Foundational skills
    1. Why do we do what we do?
    2. Behaviour modification
    3. Getting clear
    4. Ensure maximum effectiveness
    5. Competing behaviours
    6. Meaningful work
    7. Conclusion
  7. Chapter 3: Dealing with the fluff stuff: Getting more direct in your language and achieving clarity
    1. Get rid of the fluff
    2. Traits versus behaviours
    3. Why focus on behaviours in the tough stuff?
    4. Given the opportunity, most people do the right thing
    5. Stepping into behaviour-based language
    6. Communication media
    7. The power of words
    8. Strip back your message
    9. Conclusion
  8. Chapter 4: Dealing with the unsaid stuff: Ensuring maximum leverage from your non-verbal communication
    1. Non-verbal communication
    2. Approachable versus credible
    3. Making your point
    4. The game-changer
    5. Grounded in science
    6. Conclusion
  9. Chapter 5: Dealing with the remote stuff: Having the key conversations when geography is an issue
    1. Find the best, don't choose from the rest
    2. Key challenges for leading a remote team
    3. Five guiding principles for communicating remotely
    4. The process
    5. It's more than a transaction
    6. Shared experiences and cultural rituals
    7. Conclusion
  10. Chapter 6: Dealing with the gruff stuff: Addressing anger and managing high emotions
    1. Emotions: ignore them at your peril
    2. Allow others to own their own emotions
    3. Anger and actions are two separate things
    4. Tour of the emotional brain
    5. Emotions at work: addressing anger and sadness
    6. Conclusion
  11. Chapter 7: Dealing with the huff stuff: Dealing with resistant, defensive and stubborn behaviour
    1. Resistant behaviour
    2. Defensive behaviour
    3. Turn fear into confidence
    4. Stubborn behaviour
    5. Assertiveness and empathy
    6. The other half of the assertiveness equation
    7. Solving the assertiveness puzzle
    8. Conclusion
  12. Chapter 8: Dealing with the rapid stuff: Addressing the tough issues in a rapid-change environment
    1. Riding the wave of change fatigue
    2. Waiting for calm is false hope
    3. Cultivating an experimentation mindset
    4. Roadblocks: the four ways people respond
    5. Get RAPID
    6. Map it, chunk it, see it
    7. Conclusion
  13. Chapter 9: Dealing with the rough stuff: The big three: restructure, redundancy and dismissal
    1. Mapping the journey
    2. The common denominator: transition
    3. Mindset makes a difference
    4. Moments of truth: having the termination conversation
    5. True transparency: give them 100 per cent
    6. Stepping through grief and loss
    7. Disruption creates innovation
    8. Conclusion
  14. Chapter 10: Dealing with the bluff stuff: Handling emotional manipulation in the workplace
    1. Two kinds of bluffers
    2. Two-way street
    3. Avoid the popularity stakes
    4. Understanding intimidation and shaming
    5. Dealing with passive–aggressive behaviours
    6. Strategies for dealing with the bluff stuff
    7. Conclusion
  15. Chapter 11: Dealing with the off-the-cuff stuff: Building skills to handle immediate crises
    1. Turning up to a crisis situation
    2. Dealing with the aftermath
    3. Preparing for future crisis events
    4. Conclusion
  16. Chapter 12: Dealing with enough stuff: Prioritising things that matter
    1. The mind is not always stronger than the body
    2. How much stress is enough stress?
    3. Ramp up and bounce back
    4. Celebrate your progress
    5. You are the company you keep
    6. Develop the skill of courage
    7. Do the stuff you're great at and outsource the rest
    8. Create great habits
    9. Conclusion
  17. Conclusion
    1. Mum was right … again
    2. What sort of boss or colleague are you?
    3. Practise what you preach
    4. The confidence economy
    5. Dealing with the chuff stuff
  18. Index
  19. Advert
  20. EULA