There are communication problems, and then there are communication problems with billions of dollars and the careers of all involved hanging in the balance.

Reading the Room is a guide for coaches and leaders, designed to help untangle problems in communication in the office, at home, and in high-stakes situations. The text uses ClearFacts, a fast-growing green energy company, and the interactions of a credible cast of characters to unveil structural dynamics—a theory of communication that defines leadership behavior both in easy and hard times.

Following is an excerpt from Chapter Eight of the text, a typical testy interchange between Martha Curtis and Howard Green, two members of CEO Ralph Waterman’s management ...

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