Professor Debbie Goldstein with Difficult Conversations at Harvard Law School
The topic of this training session was how to handle difficult conversations, which pervade our daily lives. Professor Debbie Goldstein, Principal and Managing Director of Triad Consulting, who specializes in conflict resolution, delivered a discussion on how to reach one’s goals through strategic communications in tough conversations.
Prof. Goldstein initiated the session by introducing a framework for self-evaluation before entering a negotiation and defining what a difficult conversation really means. She instructed on approaches that help recognize the obstacles which stop conversations from proceeding to a mutually beneficial arrangement. Pragmatic and proven methods for breaking stalemates in ineffective communications were presented via interactive activities.
As a result, participants showed immediate progress in effectively managing difficult conversations. These techniques make stressful negotiations more progressive and manageable. In particular, Prof. Goldstein highlighted that proper management of emotions, evaluating an issue from various perspectives, and replacing advocacy with positive inquiries, among others, facilitate the process of reaching an agreement in a difficult conversation.
According to Prof. Goldstein, closing the gap between counter states of mind in a conversation is a critical step in persuasion. More discussion in regard to feelings and emotions of the parties involved in a negotiation will be carried out in a later session.