When you feel you must dance around someone’s feelings, approach conversations with caution, or constantly avoid poking the bear, you’re talking on eggshells. It’s exhausting and no way to relate to one another. Author, communications expert, and CEO of the Intrigue Agency, Sam Horn, presents the solution capitalizing on her successful communication strategy: “Tongue Fu,” the art of dealing with difficult people without becoming one yourself. She strengthens that masterful teaching with this book. Talking on Eggshells is built on the principle that “it’s not about putting people in their place, but rather putting ourselves in peoples’ places so we can respond with compassion instead of reacting with contempt.”
This book is broken down into four parts: Getting Comfortable with Conflict; What to Say—and Not Say—in Sensitive Situations; Manage Your Expectations, Emotions, and Mindset; and finally, What to Do if Someone Doesn’t Care What’s Fair.
In my mind, this hits all the markers of turning a challenging conversation into one rife with potentially positive outcomes. Like any good expert in their arena, Horn starts (and ends) with mindset. After all, what good is learning a new strategy if you don’t know why you’re doing it. And of course, we must overcome our biggest hurdle first, the mental roadblocks and deep-rooted ridges causing us to default to bad habits or perhaps take the easiest path—to run away.
When it comes to conflicts, problems, and setbacks, can you imagine if we all put our egos aside and had the moral strength to step up and address the situation and correct the problem? Instead of saying, “That’s not my problem” or getting into a shouting match with someone, Horn provides a simple-to-use tool for responding to complaints that diffuses negativity and energizes solutions. What I like about this strategy is that she gives case examples and solid oppositions she’s received, then works through solutions to show how this can work for you, even when you have people in your world who “complain just to complain” no matter how hard you try to help them.
This is just one example of the approachable solutions Horn presents in this book and her presentations. Accompanying each one of the communication strategies she presents are “Reminder Cards” at the end of each chapter that walk you through the words and phrases to lose and the ones to use in solidifying productive communication habits.
As I do with any success book that impresses me, I’ve taken a lot of notes and experimented with the strategies found within.
While it will take practice to master them, I’ve already seen results. Most importantly, I sense my shift in perspective, which is the foundation for success. With that being said, Talking on Eggshells is an absolute must read for everyone, whether you’re in business, in the service industry, in a friendship, relationship, or simply care about uplifting your communication style to a level that garners respect and results.
Image and Galley Courtesy of New World Library