Some years back, when my wife was training to be a mediator, she was introduced to a book titled Difficult Conversations. She found this material to be both excellent and more generally useful than being limited to a professional setting. The book considers how people, in various interpersonal contexts, can more productively approach issues that are really hard to deal with. These are difficult conversations because there is a high danger for discord and, thus, a big downside relational risk. Typically, we humans are seriously conflict-averse and thus too often allow simmering, unresolved problems to keep floating around forever. Because my wife was especially impressed with the book, she encouraged me to read it. I did and reached the same conclusion.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/12009