Can We Talk? - Deepstash
Can We Talk?

Can We Talk?

Roberta Chinsky Matuson

9 ideas


1.89K reads


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The goal is to walk away feeling enriched by the exchange, even if the conversation was difficult



312 reads

Cultivating the Courage to Communicate

Cultivating the Courage to Communicate

  • Have the courage to initiate necessary but difficult conversations rather than avoiding them, even when uncomfortable.
  • Avoidance only breeds anxiety, harms relationships and deepens divides.
  • Be assertive but also lead with compassion.
  • Focus on achieving mutual understanding.
  • Find common ground to begin building rapport.


282 reads

Listening Deeply and Openly

Listening Deeply and Openly

Listen fully without immediate judgment, defensiveness or interruption in order to understand the other person’s perspective. Reflect back what you hear to confirm understanding.

Ask curious questions to learn more, not interrogate. Provide space for people to share thoughts and feelings freely and feel heard. Manage your reactions.


226 reads

Expressing Yourself Honestly and Respectfully

Expressing Yourself Honestly and Respectfully

Share your own viewpoint honestly but always respectfully. Be descriptive and specific about your actual experience using "I" language rather than generalizing.

Take ownership of your perspective rather than externalizing blame onto others. Stick to the substantive issues at hand. Speak your truth with care.


204 reads

Providing Constructive Feedback Thoughtfully

Providing Constructive Feedback Thoughtfully

When giving constructive feedback, be specific, kind and solution-oriented. Focus comments on observable behaviors rather than character judgments.

Explain the impact of the behaviors both on others and organizational goals. Then partner on improvement goals and next steps. Follow up.


188 reads

Addressing Conflict Productively

Addressing Conflict Productively

  • Handle conflict through openness and communication, not escalation.
  • Actively listen for common ground and higher purpose.
  • Diffuse heightened emotions and keep communicating.
  • Rebuild eroded trust after tensions through reciprocated vulnerability and demonstrating reliability over time.


185 reads

Developing Greater Empathy

Developing Greater Empathy

Seek first to deeply understand by putting yourself in the other person's shoes, feelings and situational constraints. Relate to their motivations, struggles and pressures.

Suspend your own biases and mental models. Imagine if roles were reversed. Hear them before replying.


165 reads

Building Rapport and Trust

Building Rapport and Trust

Strengthen mutual relationships and trust by sharing more of your own experiences, challenges and humanity.

Be authentic. When you confide, others feel safer to be vulnerable and open up too. Then follow through consistently on what you say you will do.


161 reads

Adopting a Learning Mindset

Adopting a Learning Mindset

  • Approach every difficult conversation as a learning opportunity, not a battle to be won.
  • Remain humble and open, with a curiosity about different perspectives.
  • Appreciate that you grow in wisdom by genuinely listening.
  • Be grateful for insight gained.


176 reads



Media buyer


The book Can We Talk? by Roberta Chinsky Matuson offers strategies for having meaningful and constructive conversations at work to strengthen relationships and build trust. It provides guidance on communication skills.

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