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

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CHAPTER 5

Acting Unilaterally

MOST PEOPLE think that there are two necessary ingredients for good results in difficult conversations: trust and mutual respect. If we and our counterparts trust and respect each other, the thinking goes, then even difficult conversations will work out. If we do have trust and respect between us, however, we are in a “soft” difficult conversation. Much as anyone would prefer to have any difficult conversation in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, we can’t require them up front. A few good outcomes in hard conversations might get us and our counterparts to a place where we trust and respect each other, but realistically, we are not likely to start there. Unfortunately, in “hard” or even toxic talks, at least ...

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