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Book Review:
The Power of Positive Confrontation

By Matthew Arnold Stern

We recently had a dispute with a store that didn't accept a coupon we had. Unfortunately, this happened after a long day of shopping, so I wasn't in a "positive" mood. I resorted to getting angry and threatening to never shop at the store again. They still didn't accept the coupon, and I wound up looking and feeling like an idiot.

If I had finished reading The Power of Positive Confrontation by Barbara Pachter with Susan Magee before dealing with this situation, the outcome probably would have been better. The book presents a more enlightened process for dealing with difficult situations than bullying or giving in. 

The book provides a method called WAC'em where you state what is really bothering you, ask what you want the other person can do to solve your problem, and check in to see what the other person thinks or is willing to do. This method enables you to express your issue clearly, rationally, and briefly, and you can state what you need. The authors also show how to prevent unnecessary confrontations by showing people respect and some not-so-common courtesy.

The Power of Positive Confrontation is clearly written and easy to follow. The methods take some practice to use (and learning to resist the temptation to attack or retreat), but they work. I later used the WAC'em method to communicate with the corporate office for that store. They sent me a replacement coupon.

If The Power of Positive Confrontation can work for me, it can work for you too.

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