O'Reilly logo

Failure to Communicate: How Conversations Go Wrong and What You Can Do to Right Them by Holly Weeks

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

CHAPTER 2

Anatomy of Hard Talks

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE Potter Stewart said he was certain he could tell when he was looking at hard-core pornography because “I know it when I see it.”1 In our case, we recognize hard talks because we know them when we’re in them. Sometimes, that’s as far as we get in putting our finger on what’s really going wrong. But we can, and should, take a closer look to see what makes a conversation fail.

Let’s look at a showdown between two software product managers, Carl and Ernesto. A conversation between them failed at several points for several reasons. If we were to read through the conversation and then go back and try to prevent their confrontation from happening in the first place, we could point to obvious problems ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required