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How to Tell Anyone Anything by Richard S. Gallagher

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CHAPTER 4

Ask Questions: From Furious to Curious

Suppose you have just opened up a conversation on a difficult subject by using a skillful neutral opening. The other person has just responded. You can tell by her response that she probably does not agree with you. What happens next?

For most people, this stage of a dialogue is the moment they fear the most. Ideally, we would love it if the other person would respond to our neutral opening by saying “You are raising a really good issue. In fact, I have been thinking about my behavior in this area, and from now on I plan to (come in on time/shower more often/stop yelling at people/whatever).” The problem is they don't ever say that. So most of us get that gnawing feeling in our stomach and think, ...

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