“Difficult Conversations” by Stone et al.

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 3
Words: 854
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master

Major Management Concepts Discussed

The major management/leadership concepts discussed in the book Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton & Heen, as defined by the Leadership Effective Inventory (LEI) competencies, include:

  • Interpersonal skills – being able to communicate with both individuals and groups, cooperating, sharing, and being respectful towards one another. The main goal is to remain compliant and to have informative conversations.
  • Written Communication – being able to send messages and instructions in a written format. Moreover, written Communication should be easily understood by co-workers. Furthermore, it should be respectful, as well.
  • Oral Communication – giving directions, orders and organizing the working process through verbal speech. Maintaining a respectful and positive attitude while communicating orally is crucial, as well. Moreover, a person should consider co-workers’ feelings while engaging in a conversation to make it more polite and effective.
  • Integrity/Honesty – Being honest with co-workers and having stable principles that are clear to everyone from the beginning. Furthermore, these principles should not be influenced by outside sources.
  • Continual Learning – learning smaller tasks and obtaining more minor skills while educating yourself on a bigger topic, analyzing the feedback, and working on mistakes. In addition, the person should revise their knowledge even after reaching the end of the learning process.
  • Public Service Motivation – having the ability to motivate others not only to work for individual goals but also to work collectively as a team towards a specific goal. In addition, creating a productive and positive atmosphere at the workplace is necessary, as well.

The book discusses the importance of working as a team cohesively and advancing each team member’s skills through cooperation. Moreover, it describes the importance of developing competency among team members to achieve a high success rate. A wide variety of concepts have been discussed in this book. Nonetheless, the majority of them are based on the idea of teamwork.

Book Summary

This book discusses 23 characteristics that are necessary for becoming a team member (Stone et al., 2010). The author discusses these qualities by creating rankings for these qualities. Rankings are based on the gap between required and current ratings and the highest levels of proficiency necessary to get a job. These characteristics are:

  1. Creativity and Innovation
  2. External Awareness
  3. Flexibility
  4. Resilience
  5. Strategic Thinking
  6. Vision
  7. Conflict Management
  8. Leveraging Diversity
  9. Developing Others
  10. Team Building
  11. Accountability
  12. Customer Service
  13. Decisiveness
  14. Entrepreneurship
  15. Problem Solving
  16. Technical Credibility
  17. Human Capital
  18. Financial Management
  19. Human Capital management
  20. Technology Management
  21. Partnering
  22. Political Savvy
  23. Influencing/Negotiating

The significance of these qualities for becoming a successful part of the team was discussed.

Some of the key themes of the book regarding executive core qualifications (ECQs) needed to create a federal corporate organization:

  • Leading Change – a qualification that describes the ability of a person to strategically change an organization’s goals and modify its working process. Thus, a person should have the ability to set long-term expectations for the organization and change them if needed.
  • Leading People – being able to convince people to follow the development plan designed to achieve the organization’s goals. Moreover, organizing a comfortable workplace environment fosters cooperation, teamwork, and constructive problem-solving.
  • Results Driven – the ability to set reasonable expectations for the organization’s performance and meet those expectations.
  • Business Acumen – a creating strategy that effectively manages human, financial, and informational resources.
  • Building Coalitions/ Communication – cooperating with other organizations to achieve common goals.

Discussion of the Significance of the Book’s Concepts to My Work Experiences and Learnings

Nursery and Child-care Cooperatives might benefit from this book because it discusses the management of resources. Healthcare provision can be chaotic depending on how executives organize their plans. Essential skills for organizing federal cooperation were listed. This book discusses concepts such as financial management, human capital management, and technology management. Often it isn’t easy to manage financial resources while working in significant cooperation. Effectively allocating financial resources will allow leaders of the healthcare cooperation to have help for carrying out their work. Moreover, working in healthcare cooperation where people provide services for others, effective communication is crucial. Without communicating, people will not be able to share information. Controlling the human capital might be difficult because of the need to develop good interpersonal skills by executives. By effectively and respectfully delivering the message to employees and managing their time correctly, a person will organize human capital. Moreover, leaders should try to develop a positive and productive atmosphere that will motivate employees to work. Lastly, executives should be able to manage the technology that is commonly used to provide healthcare services.

Recommendation for Including This Book on Next Year’s Management Reading List

This book, called Leadership Effectiveness Inventory, should be included in the following year’s management reading list. It discusses the attributes of a successful leader. Qualities that are required to organize people and direct them were described. Moreover, factors that can motivate coworkers and facilitate cooperation were discussed, as well. Essential rules of interpersonal communication and the importance of remaining respectful were addressed. Furthermore, this book would help people understand how to manage financial, human, and technology resources. Thus, all aspects of leadership were discussed by the author. Consequently, the author can effectively deliver ideas and develop them into an argument.


Stone, D., Patton, B. & Heen, S. (2010). Difficult Conversations. Penguin Books.