CHAPTER 5

PLANNING YOUR STRATEGY

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“When you're prepared, you're more confident. When you have a strategy, you're more comfortable.”

—Fred Couples, professional golfer

Do you always think of the perfect comeback in a difficult conversation—usually a day or two after the actual encounter? Stress and emotional overload—two emotions common when difficult people push our buttons—make it very difficult for us to react ideally in the middle of an encounter. When Margaret's mean, nasty boss starts snarling, it's tough for her to remain self-controlled and self-assured while she's on the receiving end.

To work effectively with someone who's difficult, ...

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