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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 11

Out of the Breakdown Gap

Strategy and Tactics

TRACY, THE FINANCIAL administration officer of a research center, banged into her office, muttering angrily to herself, without even glancing at Drew, her staff assistant and office mate. It was the end of the fiscal year, which was always a hectic time. But to make things truly frantic, Tracy had just learned that Fisk, one of the program managers, was about to miss an important grant deadline because his numbers were in disarray. Now Tracy was supposed to swoop in like Red Adair and put out the fire and, of course, not miss her own fiscal year deadlines. Angry and resentful about the extra burden of work, she didn’t try to hide her temper.

By the end of the day, Drew hadn’t spoken to ...

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