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Having Hard Conversations
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Bestseller!

Having Hard Conversations

Foreword by Arthur L. Costa



© 2009 | 152 pages | Corwin

"A thoughtful map for authentically engaging in and learning from hard conversations. Abrams gently teaches us why having these conversations matter and how they can help us grow."
—Eleanor Drago-Severson, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University

"A wonderful combination of coaching, consulting, and crafting a way of teaching us all to speak honestly in our relationships."
—Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

"Our teaching culture is adverse to conflict. Having tools like this will move education forward as a profession."
—Michael Grinder, National Director and Educational Consultant
NLP in Education

"This book has already changed my life. Just by reading it, my courage to have hard conversations has soared."
—Beth Madison, Principal
George Middle School, Portland, OR

Speak with clarity, confidence, and courage!

For many educators, confronting a colleague about a work-related issue can be a daunting matter. This insightful book helps educators speak with clarity and courage to directly address difficult situations within their schools.

Having Hard Conversations provides an interactive, personal approach to mastering the art of challenging conversations. The author's step-by-step strategy addresses a wide range of situations, including communication with supervisees, peers, and supervisors. Emphasizing that initiative and preparation are the keys to a successful conversation, this resource includes:

  • Thought-provoking questions and first-person accounts that help educators become more self-aware, effective communicators
  • Advice on overcoming personal hesitation about expressing concerns
  • Guidance on identifying goals for the conversation and choosing the best "what-where-and-when" for a productive discussion
  • Sample scripts and practical tools to help educators prepare for the conversation

By addressing important issues directly and professionally, educators can find self-empowerment and promote an open, healthy school environment.

 
Foreword by Arthur L. Costa
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. What Are Hard Conversations and Why Should We Have Them?
 
2. Why We Hesitate Having Hard Conversations
 
3. Questions to Ask Yourself Before Having the Hard Conversation
 
4. What’s the Real Problem?: Finding the Professional Language to Name It
 
5. Making a Plan
 
6. Scripting Your Initial Comments
 
7. The Whats, Wheres, and Whens of Having the Hard Conversation
 
8. What Ifs? Other Types of Hard Conversations
 
9. Conclusion
 
Appendix A. Extended List of Professional Behaviors
 
Appendix B. School Savvy Etiquette
 
Appendix C. Sample Scripts for Hard Conversations
 
References
 
Index

"Our teaching culture is adverse to conflict. Having tools like this will move education forward as a profession."

Michael Grinder, National Director and Educational Consultant
NLP in Education

"A thoughtful and practical map for authentically engaging in and learning from having hard conversations. Abrams gently teaches us why having these conversations matter and how they can help us grow. Her work shines light on the landscape of personal and professional learning from engagement in hard conversations."

Eleanor Drago-Severson, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University

"A wonderful combination of coaching, consulting, and crafting a way of teaching us all to speak honestly in our relationships. From casual conversations to value conflicts, we learn to use and become sensitive to differences in gender, style, and position in this very appealing and important book. A must-read for teachers, principals, and district office personnel who care about developing a healthy school community."

Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

"This book has already changed my life. Just by reading it, my courage to have hard conversations has soared."

Beth Madison, Principal
George Middle School, Portland, OR

"A straightforward, practical and useful guide for engaging in difficult conversations."

Lauren Levin
School Social Work Journal, September 2010 (Vol. 35, No. 1)
Key features

(1) Leads readers to a greater understanding of their own reluctance to have hard conversations.

(2) Carefully guides the reader through a series of preparatory steps that lead up to conducting the hard conversation.

(3) Calls upon the readers to "find voice" in response to their personal situations.  Used this way, readers will progress through the steps of becoming more comfortable speaking up and develop action plans and scripts ready for use.

(4) Filled with sample outcome maps, scripts, and protocols.