Box of Crayons Blog


Amy Gallo’s Five Essential Books for Having Difficult Conversations

Amy is the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing With Conflict, a practical, useful book and a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review. She also runs workshops on conflict and managing conflict more successfully, so this is a woman who knows what she’s talking about. I’m thrilled that she is my guest blogger today, sharing her five essential books for having difficult conversations. (If you haven’t heard my interview with her, check it out here.) Be sure to follow her on Twitter @AmyEGallo.

Book 1: Emotional Agility

By Susan David

You can’t tackle difficult issues at work without dealing with your emotions. This book from psychologist Susan David explores how to unhook from the stories we tell ourselves about our feelings and use emotions to align with our values.

Book 2: How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life

By Caroline Webb

Webb is brilliant at translating dry management research in behavioral economics, psychology and neuroscience into practical advice about everything from setting priorities to being creative. Chapter 9 on resolving tensions with co-workers includes her straightforward five-step process for talking to a colleague about even the stickiest subjects.

Book 3: Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace

By Christine Porath

Porath’s research on how and why we’ve gotten meaner to each other at work can be depressing for sure. But this book gives practical advice on how to address rudeness at the office and how to thrive despite it.

Book 4: Everything Is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution

By Diane Musho Hamilton

This book is mindfulness meets Getting to Yes (Fisher and Ury’s classic on negotiation). Hamilton’s description of the three perspectives you have to take in order to resolve a conflict is enormously helpful.

Book 5: Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler

Grenny is one of my go-to experts on all things related to difficult conversations. This book is full of helpful advice (and sample language!) on how to navigate high-stakes conversations and make sure you feel safe doing so.

Meet Amy Gallo

Amy Gallo is an author and speaker who transforms complex ideas into practical advice. Her latest book, HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, is a how-to guide for navigating uncomfortable situations at work. As a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, she writes on a range of topics, including interpersonal dynamics, communicating ideas, leading and influencing people, and building your career.



One Response to Amy Gallo’s Five Essential Books for Having Difficult Conversations

  • Wendy Bruce

    Thanks – I have been a devotee of Crucial Conversations for several years and have lost count of the people who have thanked me for referring the book. I will certainly check out the others on the list.

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