Hard Conversations Unpacked
The Whos, the Whens, and the What-Ifs
- Jennifer Abrams - Communications Consultant
Foreword by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey, A Joint Publication with Learning Forward
Communication Skills | School Management | Staff Leadership
Learn to speak up for what really matters
Tough talks are never easy, but in her best-selling book, Having Hard Conversations, Jennifer Abrams showed educators how to speak intentionally with colleagues about work-related issues through a planned, interactive, and personal approach. In this sequel, she moves readers deeper into the nuances of how to prepare for those conversations while building expectations for positive and meaningful outcomes.
Putting clarity before accountability, or by being clear about what should be understood before going in, can and will increase the favorable results of those tough talks. With an emphasis on what needs to happen before, during, and after hard conversations, this resource explores
- What humane, growth-producing, and “other-centered” conversations sound like
- How race, culture, gender, and generational filters influence perceptions and how to account for them
- How to spot and work with organizational dynamics that could influence discussions
- How to conduct hard conversations with supervisors
Plan for positive outcomes from hard conversations. Let this resource empower you to expect and professionally navigate environmental influences, unexpected pushback, and uncomfortable silences toward real understanding and progress.
Robert J. Garmston - Professor Emeritus & Co-Developer of COgnitive Coaching & Adaptive Schools
California State University, Sacramento
"In order to grow as learners, educators and leaders, we need to be provided with feedback that will enhance our growth. That feedback doesn't come easily. We shy away from providing honest feedback because we're afraid it will be "taken the wrong way." That is why I love Having Hard Conversations 2.0. Jennifer Abrams brings us through the process beautifully with a great deal of honesty, and we can learn a great deal from her insight. This is an important read for anyone in education."
Peter De Witt - Former School Principal
Finding Common Ground Blog, Corwin
Abrams, who cites a broad and current body of literature, provides a valuable rationale for why certain ways of talking are more effective than others.
In order to grow as learners, educators and leaders, we need to be provided with feedback that will enhance our growth. That feedback doesn't come easily. We shy away from providing honest feedback because we're afraid it will be "taken the wrong way." That is why I love Having Hard Conversations 2.0. Jennifer Abrams brings us through the process beautifully with a great deal of honesty, and we can learn a great deal from her insight. This is an important read for anyone in education.
Having Hard Conversations 2.0 Extending the Learning is definitely a book for our times. Jennifer Abrams has given us the why, what and how to have a productive and professional dialogue. Jennifer shares with us how to truly talk and interact with one another, to face and address issues professionally so that we can begin to create a culture for growth and improvement. Having hard conversations may not be comfortable for us, but they are even more necessary in our complex and changing world. This book is a must read for all of us!
Hard Conversations 2.0: Extending the Learning delves deeper into the science and practice of effectively communicating introduced in the first book. Practitioners who have used her conversation templates previously will embrace the enhancements Jennifer offers throughout with specific examples, scenarios and tools. This takes the next step to encourage and support us in having those hard conversations with a humane growth-producing mindset.
Having Hard Conversations ‘2.0’ provides us with accessible research, reflective questions, effective frameworks and explicit language that empowers us to ‘speak up for what matters’ in our organizations. Whether adressing issues of performance or system change, this book helps us in our drive toward competence by clearly identifying what an appropriately planned hard conversation looks like, sounds like and feels like. Opportunities for guided self-reflection and a framework for scripting makes it possible for all members of an organization – positional leader or not – be ‘other-focused’ and engage in necessary hard conversations that are respectful, humane and growth producing and moves us all towards desired change.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 1 - Is This Really a Hard Conversation or Something Else?