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Leaders, managers, and coaches are charged with getting people to stretch their limits but are often unsuccessful. Top leadership coach Marcia Reynolds says the problem is, incorrectly handled, difficult conversations create more resistance than growth. Reynolds offers a model and methods for discovering what to say so people change their own minds. As a result, leaders equip people to find their own solutions, see situations more strategically, and grow beyond their limitations. Reynolds explains how to pick the right time and place to enter the discomfort zone and how to create a "safety bubble" so that people will trust your intentions. Then, drawing on recent discoveries in the neuroscience of learning, she helps leaders ask the kinds of questions that short-circuit the brain's defense mechanisms and habitual thought patterns. Instead of being told, people see for themselves where they're falling short and how they can do better, resulting in lasting changes. She includes numerous examples and case studies to see the techniques in action. Conversations in the Discomfort Zone will never be easy. But with Reynolds's assistance, a trip there will result in breakthrough solutions, lasting changes, and an engaged workforce.
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About the Author

Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, organizational psychologist and certified master coach, is president of Covisioning, a training and coaching firm helping companies worldwide unleash the brilliance in their people. Her clients include American Express, GlaxoSmithKlein, Ernst & Young, and many others around the world. She is a past president of the International Coach Federation.

Reviews

While difficult conversations may be the most dreaded task of any manager, Reynolds (Outsmart Your Brain) maintains that if handled effectively they can lead to greater employee investment and retention. Key to this approach is establishing trust and then progressing to reflective feedback and stimulating questions to help others regard situations more purposefully and grow beyond self-set limitations. The DREAM acronym sums up Reynold's insights: Determine, Reflect, Explore, Acknowledge, and Make sure. In essence, this book serves as a course in active listening for business. VERDICT Learning the skills set forth in this work would be a plus for any leader. Library Journal The book offers a number of helpful tips to probe in a tender way and maintain equilibrium in the discomfort zone. The value of such conversations is obvious, and if you want to try helping others through the discomfort zone, the book may be a good place to start. The Globe and Mail Exceptionally well organized and presented, The Discomfort Zone: How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations Into Breakthroughs is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Very highly recommended Midwest Book Review even experienced coaches will learn something new. People Management This book is for leaders and coaches who want to create breakthroughs with people who are stuck or resisting change. Talent Grow This is that book you want to keep close by, to turn to again and again to further your skills with those difficult conversations in the discomfort zone. Zane Safrit, blogger Marcia gives real-world, rubber-meets-the-road insights and tactics to make our interactions count. Vickie Sullivan, blogger Reynolds provides brilliant, grounded, and pragmatic tools to elevate a coaching conversation to an opportunity for growth. Kevin Cashman, Senior Partner, Korn Ferry, and author of the bestselling Leadership from the Inside Out and The Pause Principle As a CEO, my success depends on my ability to coach my team through difficult situations that could hold us back. Dr. Reynolds's book opened my mind, heart, and gut, teaching me how to listen and to truly have breakthrough moments with my team. Krista Endsley, CEO, Abila Reynolds is a master at applying her extensive knowledge of the brain to the practical realities of leaders. She brilliantly applies the latest research on behavioral change to help leaders create significant learning moments. Deb Giffen, Director, Innovative Learning Solutions, Wharton Executive Education"

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