Can We Talk?

Can We Talk?

Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work

Roberta Chinsky Matuson
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Having difficult conversations at work is a necessary discomfort. Instead of avoiding these conversations with your boss, colleagues or direct reports, you need a strategy that won' t leave you feeling like you were being talked at or ignored. The key to solving this problem starts and ends with changing the conversation. Recognizing that it takes two people to engage in meaningful conversation, Can We Talk? outlines what each contributor needs to do to achieve the best possible result. Illustrated with scenarios from everyday work situations, the author offers guidance on how to create the right conditions for a meaningful discussion as well as defining the seven key principles (confidence, clarity, compassion, curiosity, compromise, credibility and courage) that enable both parties to gain a deeper understanding of what the other person may be thinking and establish their point of view more clearly. Can We Talk? includes vignettes, advice from those who have been there and thrived, as well as lessons learned from conversation failures. Readers will learn how to prepare, start and manage the potentially challenging exchange of words that typically occur at work, and come away with an understanding that for any conversation to take place, both parties must engage. Scripts are provided to help readers get off to a running start.
"Everything you need to know about communication and relationship building at work is right here! Solid insights and practical advice from one of the world' s leading authorities on executive coaching and employee engagement. " * Marshall Goldsmith is the New York Times #1 bestselling author of Triggers, Mojo, and What Got You Here Won' t Get You There. * "Who doesn' t cringe when they hear the words, Can We Talk? And yet the truth is, those conversations we' d prefer to avoid are essential. I love how Roberta clearly guides us through the process of finding our voice so we can say what most needs to be said. This book is invaluable for leaders or for anyone who works. " * Sally Helgesen, author, How Women Rise, The Female Vision, The Web of Inclusion * "If you want to keep your employees, then you' ve got to get them talking. Roberta Matuson' s book will do just that. With memorable stories and examples (including the author' s own firsthand experiences of difficult conversations quickly going south) Can We Talk? provides readers with tools to actively build better relationships up, down and across the organization. " * Dr. Bev Kaye, co-author Love ' Em or Lose ' Em and Up is Not the Only Way * "There' s nothing more important in business than the ability to communicate effectively with those above, below and across from you. In Can We Talk? , Roberta provides readers with a game-changing framework to help them safely navigate through any tough work conversation, while successfully building strong relationships along the way. " * Laura Huang, international bestselling author of EDGE: Turning Adversity into Advantage, and professor at Harvard Business School * "If you' ve been holding back from saying what needs to be said at work, Can We Talk? is the book for you. No topic is off the table here. This is a must-read for business owners, leaders and employees looking to find their voice and power up their communication skills. " * Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and executive education faculty, Duke University Fuqua School of Business * "One of our six Core Values at Saxbys is "Care Personally and Communicate Openly" - simply because we know how critical, yet difficult human communication can be. Roberta' s book does a fantastic job identifying both the importance of actually having difficult conversations while also providing the guidance to have them effectively. " * Nick Bayer, Founder and CEO of Saxbys * "Can We Talk? is essential reading for anyone looking to improve their work relationships and build trust through more effective communication. Can We Talk? is one of those books that you' ll refer to time and time again. " * Jenn Mann, Chief Human Resources Officer, SAS * "Can We Talk? is a fast-pass framework to help you move past one-sided conversations, better your career and achieve a more humanistic workplace. " * Marlene Chism, Author of From Conflict to Courage: How to stop avoiding and start leading * "Where was Can We Talk? when I needed it most? All those well-meaning but frequently awkward conversations that could have been better for all if I had read this. Roberta proves once again that she is the subject matter expert. " * Julie Kahn, President of Regan Communications * "Roberta has done it again! I find myself wishing I' d had this book when I was a new professional. Roberta' s practical approach and no-nonsense language make this the playbook for improving employee performance. Her planned approach is sure to make giving tough messages a lot easier, and that is the first step to ensuring your employees are exceeding your expectations. " * Jay Hargis, First Vice President, Learning and Development Officer, Apple Bank * "Roberta' s Can We Talk? gives managers and individual contributors a comprehensive toolbox on how to handle difficult conversations in a productive and constructive manner and elevate performance and employee engagement. It' s a must-read for anyone who wants to be successful in their career. " * Polina Ware, PhD, Global R&D and TS&D Director, Rogers Corporation *
Roberta Chinsky Matuson is a globally known thought leader who helps leaders achieve dramatic improvements in employee engagement, retention, productivity and profitability. Based in Brookline, Massachusetts, she is the CEO and founder of Matuson Consulting, where she works with Fortune 500 companies and mid-size, emerging companies to create teams that achieve extraordinary results. Known globally as "The Talent Maximizer (R)," she is a seasoned speaker and the author of five books and blogs for Fast Company, Glassdoor, Forbes and Thrive Global. She is frequently cited in national media including The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.