Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High

 
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"Foreword by Stephen R. Covey, Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People A PAPERBACK ORIGINAL "Most books make promises. This one delivers. These skills have not only helped us to change the culture of our company, but have also generated new techniques for working together in ways that enabled us to win the largest contract in our industry's history."--Dain M. Hancock, President, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics A powerful, seven-step approach to handling difficult conversations with confidence and skill "Crucial" conversations are interpersonal exchanges at work or at home that we dread having but know we cannot avoid. How do you say what needs to be said while avoiding an argument with a boss, child, or relationship partner? Crucial Conversations offers readers a proven seven-point strategy for achieving their goals in all those emotionally, psychologically, or legally charged situations that can arise in their professional and personal lives. Based on the authors' highly popular DialogueSmart training seminars, the techniques are geared toward getting people to lower their defenses, creating mutual respect and understanding, increasing emotional safety, and encouraging freedom of expression. Among other things, readers also learn about the four main factors that characterize crucial conversations, and they get a powerful six-minute mastery technique that prepares them to work through any highimpact situation with confidence.

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Customer Reviews:

  • Crucial Conversations: Breakthrough communications needed for today
    People talk less and less these days about the things that really matter, the things that inspire and hurt us, and the ending results usually mean break offs in our relationships and jobs. This book is a wake up call to all of us that somehow got the message that it's not ok to talk through things. Simple tips and techniques are offered to help us move past the discomfort of bringing up sensitive topics and onto a path where we can constructively work through issues with the people we are most heavily invested. Halfway through the book, I've begun to implement some of the tips and see a huge positive change in how my efforts are being received. This is both a great business and relationship book...highly recommended to anyone with a relationship worth maintaining....more info
  • conversations
    Helped having already attended a meeting in which some of these techniques had been use....more info
  • Imensely practical, superbly written
    Whenever one finds oneself in an emotionally charged situation, at home or at work, the knowledge in one's head about how to communicate can easily be supplanted by the fight or flight responses triggered by feeling threatened. The authors dissect these scenarios to uncover the crucial turning points, where clear and honest communication can intercept reaction, and establish a dialogue that leads to a better outcome for all. Compelling, inspiring, and above all, immensely practical, it challenges and teaches how to communicate best, when it matters most. Highly recommended! ...more info
  • Liked it
    I learned a lot from this book. If you like books filled with tools and strategies for bettering yourself and relating well to others, this is the book for you....more info
  • Amazing book and worth every page!
    This is the best book in my life. Authors have done a great amount of work and its clearly visible in their authentic and superuseful details presented in the book. Any working professional or a person with relation-ships (meaning, literally everyone) MUST READ this book.
    Communication is such an important element that is most often the reason for success or failure of any undertaking whether it be professional or personal. But communication is largely treated as an art, but this book makes it almost a science with very logical artifacts. I'm recommending this to all my acquaintances....more info
  • Crucial Conversations
    This book had good examples and figure I can learn something new no matter how many times I've heard the information. Since I've had a lot of PR training over the last 35 years, this was a refresher for other aspects of my life, like being an elected official. The words the author used for silence vs violence, story telling, etc. are just a different way of training from what I've had in the past. Wouldn't have been my first pick for a Book Club selection but somebody new to leadership development would find it valuable....more info
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
    Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High

    An excellent book that provides realistic examples of many of the discussions we would like to have with our loved ones, colleagues and friends and somehow cannot find the right words to do so. A good resource for anyone who wants their conversations to have a positive impact on their lives and on the lives of those with whom they want a stronger connection....more info
  • A Must-Read
    I was told about this book by a colleague at work, and I am very glad I took her advice in reading it. It offers steps and strategies to effectively communicate and have important discussions without causing unnecessary conflict and hurt feelings. I have already found this to be helpful in my conversations at work, school, and in my personal life....more info
  • Crucial Conversations A Must
    I feel this book can help with Crucial Conversations at home as well as in the workplace. If applied, it can improve basic interpersonal relationships and improve your life as well as those around you. Excellent, easy to read and understand, and gives the hows to put into practice....more info
  • Do not go unarmed into that good night....
    That seems simple enough. Walk away from crucial conversations and suffer the consequences. Handle them poorly and suffer the consequences. Or handle them well. "I don't know," you think to yourself. "Given the three choices, I'll go with handling them well."
    ---------------------------
    Right after I read this book, I attended a meeting (what they pay me for) to research out the source of a few lost millions, and a few lost months of time, and some really unhappy financial people. I felt embarrassed that I had such modern dialogue tools available, kind of like Dr. Livingstone a few hundred years ago. Buy this book!...more info
  • Excellent Tool
    So very true....we move to either silence or violence...why not have a tool to charter those waters to resolution without either silence or violence....more info
  • Tools for Talking
    It has worked examples would help, especially illustrating how all the acronyms they come up with representing techniques fit together. Many of the ideas are well known, so the benefit of this book is to bring so many ideas together in a digestible format.Also other book about relationships, self- help and communication is I Love You. Now What?: Falling in Love is a Mystery, Keeping It Isn't...more info
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
    Excellent book! I have used it in my work before and had good responses from people. ...more info
  • Great advice...used in professional presentations in chicago!
    My boss at the University of Illinois at Chicago recommended this book, and I'm really glad I took her advice and bought myself a copy, which I'm reading now. So far, great advice. Wish I would have read it for some "crucial conversations" I had just two weeks ago. Better late than never. This book is used as the backbone for several professional presentations here in Chicago....more info
  • Not great, but good
    This book gives you much to think about, and will probably help most readers function better in conversations about touchy topics. The authors are speakers and presenters, and this book shows that. As I read it, the book struck me as one you'd pick up on the back table after a seminar. It's a worthy read, but not a great book.

    I think great books about life principles tend to fall into one of two camps:

    They reach you emotionally. They provide insight rather than methodology. They are typically based on some profound life experience(s) of the author(s).
    They reach you intellectually. They provide methodology based on research. They are clinical and prescriptive.
    This book doesn't fall into either camp. The book provides a methodology and says it's based on research, but the book doesn't have the requisite bibliography and other references. There is one page of end notes for the whole book and this covers four of the twelve chapters. In books written by the original researchers, there are still outside references plus there are details about the research methodology and analysis. This book lacks those things.

    What we don't know, because the authors don't provide substantiation, is whether their prescription is proven. There are no double-blind studies of students involved in researching the techniques. There are no A/B comparisons. There are no brain scans showing how people respond to this kind of approach versus that one. There are no case studies of going into a dysfunctional corporation and, well, I think I made the point.

    It's left to the reader to try the prescribed techniques to see if they are effective. The methodology is based on the authors' theories, experiences, and observations, rather than on research that follows the scientific method. That doesn't mean the authors are wrong; much of what we learn in life doesn't arise from applying the scientific method. At the same time, the authors present their prescription as "based on research." Which, given what they wrote (and didn't write), it's not.

    Why they didn't present this as coming from their experience, I don't know. If Warren Buffet came to me and said, "I'm going to share with you a money management tip based on my experience," I can assure you I would not reject him out of hand. In their own field, the authors may not be at the level Mr. Buffet is in his, but still--what they say appears to come from wisdom and experience so why not say so and get on with it?

    Now, let's look at what this book does offer. Have you had those surprise moments when you get suckered into a conversation you shouldn't be having and it all turns out wrong? That's the problem this book addresses. It does that in a prescriptive manner, and what the authors say makes sense. This particular problem is pervasive and often devastating. The ability to mitigate such a problem or even turn around a failing conversation is highly valuable. The authors present a methodology for achieving this. And it's one that makes a great deal of sense.

    If you're having communication issues (and who isn't?), the small investment in this book is probably going to be worthwhile. You may not solve all of your problems and become an unflappable conversationalist, but you can probably improve enough that you're much happier in your relationships. Shortly after reading this book, I personally tried some of the techniques with someone who is always very difficult to talk with and things went better than normal.

    This book is well-structured and well-written. It's become increasingly rare that authors have a passing command of English and increasingly rare that a book undergoes competent copy-editing. I don't recall a single grammatical error in this book. That counts as a minor miracle, these days.

    Crucial Conversations consists of twelve chapters, a foreword, a page of endnotes, and a small index.

    Stephen R. Covey wrote the foreword. In so doing, he oversold the book. I was dismayed that he overdid the blarney this way.

    The chapters are as follows:

    Chapter 1. What's a Crucial Conversation. The authors start the book by getting us all clear on what they are talking about. This chapter explains why one conversation is crucial and another isn't.

    Chapter 2. Mastering Crucial Conversations. The key is to understand that dialogue is the free flow of meaning between two or more people. When you fill the pool of shared meaning, you have success. The rest of the book concerns itself with how to stay in dialogue.

    Chapter 3. Start with the Heart. The basic concept here is to examine your own heart, determine what you really want, and work on improving your dialogue skills to communicate that. In this chapter, the authors also begin to talk about Sucker's Choices, which they'll keep coming back to throughout the book. In the Sucker's Choice, you justify poor behavior by assuming or suggesting you are caught between two distasteful options.

    Chapter 4. Learn to Look. To keep the other person on track in a conversation, you need to look for clues that the other person doesn't feel safe and then take action to help that person feel safe. When people don't feel safe, they get defensive and fall back on behavior that derails a conversation. They'll retreat into silence or violence, neither of which is healthy. This chapter contains a self-test for determining your style under stress. After you review your results, you'll know which subsequent chapter most applies to you.

    Chapter 5 covers what to do when you find those clues that the other person doesn't feel safe. Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9 each address other areas identified by the self-test.

    Chapter 10 is titled "Putting It All Together" and it recaps up the book. Chapter 11 provides advice on specific types of hardcases that defy the techniques in the book. Chapter 12 is titled "How to Turn Ideas Into Habits." The intention of this chapter is to give you something so you don't just read the book and continue as before. Basically, it says to study small parts of the book and practice what you learn.

    I think this book makes a good addition to any self-help library. While it falls short of a "must read," it comes awfully close....more info
  • Are you kidding?
    I had this book as an audio book and I am amazed how could anyone give it more than three stars. Clich¨¦ advices and rudimentary observations abound. Not worth the money let alone the time. Maybe useful if you were not part of the civilized word for last 10 years and know nothing about a dialogue, communication and such, but if you want to improve your communication or persuasive skills this will not get you beyond theoretical basics....more info
  • Crucial Conversations
    As an Executive Coach, I highly recommend Crucial Conversations. Many of my clients face the challenge of talking with their peers and/or direct reports on a daily basis. Most people don't handle those difficult conversations very well. This book gives great steps and info on how to go about treading through the difficult waters. I have purchased several copies of this book as gifts for clients. I am currently re-reading it in order to grasp and absorb the rich content....more info
  • good collection of practical ideas - need more examples
    Although this book takes far to long to get to the point, it is a worthy collection of well structured ideas that can really be implemented.
    More worked examples would help, especially illustrating how all the acronyms they come up with representing techniques fit together. Many of the ideas are well known, so the benefit of this book is to bring so many ideas together in a digestible format....more info
  • worth listening to
    I'm not a fan of self-help books or motivational speakers. Usually I'm driven off by the smarmy tone or self-serving verbal gimmicks. But that's not what you get with Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.

    The purpose of this book is to teach skills for managing verbal dialogue in the face of emotional conflict. The authors stay focused on this topic, teaching a series of behavioral, planning, and interpretive techniques for developing a more effective communication style. They are NOT selling happiness, fulfillment, total quality satisfaction, competitive transformation, etc.

    Crucial Conversations uses a variety of instructional methods (examples, diagrams, memory devices, and repetition) to reinforce a modest set of techniques. It avoids gimmicks and hyperbole. The writing is smooth enough to be readable, without diluting the message with entertainment.

    Probably I should wait a few months before writing this review. The authors point out that their dialogue skills can't be mastered without sustained practice and review. But already the book has made me more aware of my own conversational habits and responses. I've got some "crucial conversations" coming up and I'm looking forward to trying some techniques to ratchet down the emotion and cultivate information flow. ...more info
  • Great Insight, Good Tools
    Wow! It's amazing how often I see my friends, family and MYSELF in both examples and in the strategies (some good, some bad!).

    This is a great book to come upon when one needs it. Obviously, some have been forced to read it by a boss... and I'm not so sure that the message gets across that way.

    Does this book cure all of the social inequities of the workplace? Of course not - that's not what it even attempts to do!

    Rather, it's a series of tools for enhancing communication and, for many of us, these tools are a surprising way of looking at all conversations - particularly the non-productive ones.

    Do I recommend this book? 100%!!! Would I give it as a gift to someone who "needed" it? Maybe not. It's best found when the time is right, not forced on someone when the time is wrong....more info
  • Best book ever
    I have given this book to a number of people. It truly is a good read. Very helpful. For those of us that can be a bit timid....buy this book....more info
  • Everyone should read this book!!
    I bought several books to help me with a challenging situation. This was by far the most helpful. And reading it has made me look at many other relationships and difficulties in a new light.
    An unexpected result of this book, was that I could see clearly mistakes that I had made myself. It made me take responsibility for my half of past conflicts.
    I thought this book would teach me how to win an argument, instead....I learned how to forgive---others and myself.
    I only wish I had read this years before. It is full of the best advice, common sense and it is presented very clearly.
    Get this book---it will change your life....for the better.
    ...more info
  • Crucial Reading
    If you never experience conflict with anyone, this book isn't for you. Otherwise, Crucial Conversations is a crucial book. I teach personal safety/self-defense skills. Most of my clients want to learn the physical stuff, which is also crucial. However, even more important aspects of safety training are when to defuse a tense situation, and how to de-escalate a conversation when emotional stakes are high. The authors of this book point out that about half of those incarcerated for violence are not stereotypical career criminals or gangsters but first offenders, average people, who got caught in the "silence or violence" dichotomy until they could no longer keep their emotional energy under control and lashed out.

    The authors bring together some truly productive strands of thinking. Stephen Covey's influence is obvious (he wrote the forward), but I also see themes about storytelling to justify our actions reminiscent of Pema Chodron (a Buddhist nun in a Tibetan lineage). Parts I especially appreciate are the sections on knowing yourself and what you want out of particular relationships, keeping that focus, and cutting through the stories we tell ourselves (and often tell others) to justify our behavior.

    The skills in this book would benefit everyone in recognizing and resolving issues with those they care about. Or who wish to develop leadership abilities. Or who wish to live in a safer world....more info
  • Excellent tool
    We are using this book in our department to help with improving customer service and communication on all levels of service. Excellent resource. Each employee was given a copy of the book....more info
  • Good Book But Leaves Something Out
    This is an excellent book which deserves to be a best seller. Many people are using for business but it helps for personal relationships too. However, the book doesn't address the issue of why it is important to have real, live conversations. Just getting people to talk in person is a huge issue in all arenas in life. If your staff or family are hiding behind text messaging and e-mail then you need to read Talk Ain't Cheap...It's Priceless! Connecting in a Disconnected World...more info
  • great business tool
    ordered 15 copies to distribute around our department... received rave reviews from everyone who read it....more info
  • Outstanding book!!!!
    Crucial Conversations is an outstanding book. This book can change the way people handle conversations in their personal and professional lives. It gives the reader tools to be able to conduct a crucial conversation.
    I am a nurse leader and have used this book both in dealing with my employees as well as my superiors, including physicians, and it works!!!
    There is work the reader has to do on him or herself to get to the heart of the matter, but it is worth the work.
    I have a friend who is a Chief Nursing Executive at a hospital in Illinois and has given this book to all of her managers. I went to a conference recently where the speaker not only spoke highly of the book but sold it at the conference.
    Absolutely outstanding. A must read for everyone...more info
  • One of the most useful and helpful guidelines out there
    If you have no need to communicate with anyone in this world, then this book is bound to be a waste. But, but, but - for all other situations this is a priceless addition to your library. Contains useful advice and explanations on how to communicate better both in personal and professional settings. Of course, the recommendations and suggestions need to be tweaked according to your personality and lifestyle, but mostly this works well, and there aren't too many books out there that do a better job. Go and get your own copy - you will thank me later!...more info
  • Good self-help book
    I know people who really get a lot out of this book. Good book for recognizing and speaking up in high-importance conversations. There's a quiz which clues readers in on where they should concentrate their efforts. However, after the quiz (maybe 20% in to the book) it became very redundant. I was glad my boss paid for it and not me....more info
  • Communication Basics, But Wanting More
    I included this book as part of my "readings" in a quest for personal improvement (for the sake of those I manage). The book was a little too basic and "touchy - feely" for me. I would recommend it for those who need the fundamentals skills or want multiple perspectives. If you looking for something more detailed, you might want to keep looking. A suggestion would be to check out Dr. Steven Stowell's book Win-Win Partnerships: Be on the Leading Edge with Synergistic Coachin. I think he covers everything discussed in this book and takes is a step further. You might also look for something else in the category of communicating skills, giving feedback, or emotional intelligence depending on your specific needs. It won't hurt to have this, but I think you'll want more. ...more info
  • Nothing new in this book
    Nothing new in this book, it copies things from other books and audio cd's. It is a ok read, but not sure if I would recommend anyone to read it. One thing I totally didn't like was the chapter telling you that sometimes it's ok to go to bed angry. I was thought never go to bed angry and I do not think that is a rule to break....more info
  • Ignores conversational reality
    Do we need a book to tell us that if we and/or our conversational partners are overly emotional or argumentative, create an uncomfortable or unsafe setting, clam up, will not listen, are incapable of adaptation or appreciating other views, or are not overly bright that chances for conversational success are greatly diminished. The author's message is that in the absence of these negativities, that basically free-flowing dialog where all the relevant information is brought into the open will result in effective communication. The emphasis in the book is within business organizations, in particular between employees and employers, although the ideas pertain to all other so-called high stakes conversations between various persons. However, the book absolutely fails to deal with conversational reality.

    It is readily obvious that the authors are consultants to the business community (managers), because of their dismissal of the power differentials in the workplace. Their citing of a few brave employees who questioned or contradicted a top manager, serves merely to reinforce the hazards to employees for speaking out in the workplace. Of course, such non-controversial topics as safety, productivity, or where to have the company picnic can be broached. Fundamental topics such as policies, strategies, products, marketing, structures, or personnel are invariably off limits. If the authors wanted to be serious about conversations within businesses, they would propose democratic participation structures, where workers or their elected representatives could freely, without fear of retribution, address any and all issues, not just the safe ones. Bravery or putting one's job on the line would not be necessary.

    It is hardly just within businesses where crucial conversations are prevented despite one's best efforts. Bureaucracies and other barriers are often initiated specifically to prevent conversations. Try talking to an insurance company about drug or treatment denial. Try talking to a sales person about a corporate product or service. Try getting through a telephone answering system only to be stonewalled by an "associate." Try talking to a doctor about treatments or, better yet, fees. Try talking to a department head about the nature or conduct of your education. The list is endless where most people do not have a chance of a meaningful or effective conversation.

    This book is like so many other "blame the victim" notions. If you are not having good conversations, it must be because "you" don't have the right "tools" to converse. It can't be that the person you are talking to has the power to inflict damage or is within a structure where they can simply ignore you or dispense pabulum. A democracy is based above all on wide-ranging conversation among equal citizens with hopefully widely accepted resolutions. Maybe some day in the US we will try a form of democracy within all of our organizations in which "conversations" are not one-sided with the possibility of punishment for even speaking. Now there is an idea for the authors to grasp.
    ...more info
  • Not great, but good
    This book gives you much to think about, and will probably help most readers function better in conversations about touchy topics. The authors are speakers and presenters, and this book shows that. As I read it, the book struck me as one you'd pick up on the back table after a seminar. It's a worthy read, but not a great book.

    I think great books about life principles tend to fall into one of two camps:

    They reach you emotionally. They provide insight rather than methodology. They are typically based on some profound life experience(s) of the author(s).
    They reach you intellectually. They provide methodology based on research. They are clinical and prescriptive.
    This book doesn't fall into either camp. The book provides a methodology and says it's based on research, but the book doesn't have the requisite bibliography and other references. There is one page of end notes for the whole book and this covers four of the twelve chapters. In books written by the original researchers, there are still outside references plus there are details about the research methodology and analysis. This book lacks those things.

    What we don't know, because the authors don't provide substantiation, is whether their prescription is proven. There are no double-blind studies of students involved in researching the techniques. There are no A/B comparisons. There are no brain scans showing how people respond to this kind of approach versus that one. There are no case studies of going into a dysfunctional corporation and, well, I think I made the point.

    It's left to the reader to try the prescribed techniques to see if they are effective. The methodology is based on the authors' theories, experiences, and observations, rather than on research that follows the scientific method. That doesn't mean the authors are wrong; much of what we learn in life doesn't arise from applying the scientific method. At the same time, the authors present their prescription as "based on research." Which, given what they wrote (and didn't write), it's not.

    Why they didn't present this as coming from their experience, I don't know. If Warren Buffet came to me and said, "I'm going to share with you a money management tip based on my experience," I can assure you I would not reject him out of hand. In their own field, the authors may not be at the level Mr. Buffet is in his, but still--what they say appears to come from wisdom and experience so why not say so and get on with it?

    Now, let's look at what this book does offer. Have you had those surprise moments when you get suckered into a conversation you shouldn't be having and it all turns out wrong? That's the problem this book addresses. It does that in a prescriptive manner, and what the authors say makes sense. This particular problem is pervasive and often devastating. The ability to mitigate such a problem or even turn around a failing conversation is highly valuable. The authors present a methodology for achieving this. And it's one that makes a great deal of sense.

    If you're having communication issues (and who isn't?), the small investment in this book is probably going to be worthwhile. You may not solve all of your problems and become an unflappable conversationalist, but you can probably improve enough that you're much happier in your relationships. Shortly after reading this book, I personally tried some of the techniques with someone who is always very difficult to talk with and things went better than normal.

    This book is well-structured and well-written. It's become increasingly rare that authors have a passing command of English and increasingly rare that a book undergoes competent copy-editing. I don't recall a single grammatical error in this book. That counts as a minor miracle, these days.

    Crucial Conversations consists of twelve chapters, a foreword, a page of endnotes, and a small index.

    Stephen R. Covey wrote the foreword. In so doing, he oversold the book. I was dismayed that he overdid the blarney this way.

    The chapters are as follows:

    Chapter 1. What's a Crucial Conversation. The authors start the book by getting us all clear on what they are talking about. This chapter explains why one conversation is crucial and another isn't.

    Chapter 2. Mastering Crucial Conversations. The key is to understand that dialogue is the free flow of meaning between two or more people. When you fill the pool of shared meaning, you have success. The rest of the book concerns itself with how to stay in dialogue.

    Chapter 3. Start with the Heart. The basic concept here is to examine your own heart, determine what you really want, and work on improving your dialogue skills to communicate that. In this chapter, the authors also begin to talk about Sucker's Choices, which they'll keep coming back to throughout the book. In the Sucker's Choice, you justify poor behavior by assuming or suggesting you are caught between two distasteful options.

    Chapter 4. Learn to Look. To keep the other person on track in a conversation, you need to look for clues that the other person doesn't feel safe and then take action to help that person feel safe. When people don't feel safe, they get defensive and fall back on behavior that derails a conversation. They'll retreat into silence or violence, neither of which is healthy. This chapter contains a self-test for determining your style under stress. After you review your results, you'll know which subsequent chapter most applies to you.

    Chapter 5 covers what to do when you find those clues that the other person doesn't feel safe. Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9 each address other areas identified by the self-test.

    Chapter 10 is titled "Putting It All Together" and it recaps up the book. Chapter 11 provides advice on specific types of hardcases that defy the techniques in the book. Chapter 12 is titled "How to Turn Ideas Into Habits." The intention of this chapter is to give you something so you don't just read the book and continue as before. Basically, it says to study small parts of the book and practice what you learn.

    I think this book makes a good addition to any self-help library. While it falls short of a "must read," it comes awfully close....more info
  • A must read for anyone who ever talks to others
    I think I am pretty good with talking to other about difficult issues, but this book has added a lot to my tool box to pull from so next time I am dealing with someone on a sensitive topic I will have more tools to pull from to make sure we end the conversation in a positive manner.

    Read this book if you:
    - have kids
    - have siblings
    - have co-workers
    - have parents
    - have friends
    - go shopping

    OK don't read this book if you never interact with others. ...more info
  • Excellent book on individual communication
    The most challenging part of cummunicating os knowing when you are in a crucial conversation. Sometimes you will find yourself in one without planning it or seeing it coming. Knowing what to do ahead of time may help in these situations, and this book can help prepare you.

    The book has a bit of a textbook feel to it and offers several memorization techniques RIB, STATE, and AMPP. It will help if the reader practices the techniques in a non-threatening environment prior to attempting them in a high stakes "cricial conversation."

    Lots of people have good intentions, but don't know how to communicate them well. This book will help get the message across....more info
  • When the stakes are high
    This book was a most enjoyable read but left me with a touch of ambivalence. As a handbook for communicating more effectively, it's helpful but perhaps a bit simplistic.

    "Crucial conversations" are defined as those in which opinions vary, the stakes are high, and emotions run strong. The book targets situations in business and personal life, and is extremely readable with its many illustrative dialogues from both sectors. An extensive vocabulary is introduced and I've had some of the terms floating like a ghostly subtext under my own conversations: Sucker's Choice; Safety; Salute and Stay Mute; Silence or Violence; Freeze Your Lover; Pool of Shared Meaning. It's all useful even if reductionist.

    The techniques offered for effective negotiation are generally quite obvious, yet they bear repeating and codifying. They are, however, techniques, and as such they probably won't give earth-shaking results without an understanding of what's making people tick. Conversation and negotiation are so much more than technique.

    CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS is an ideal offering for the best-seller market and would be a great springboard for leadership development workshops.

    My two picks for the best advice in this book:

    (1) Stay focused on what you really want.
    (2) If you give this book to a partner or business associate, don't take a yellow highlighter to the parts you think they need before you give it; better to work on your own side of the crucial conversations.

    Linda Bulger, 2007...more info
  • Excellent!
    I have always been quite squeamish about talking to others when the stakes are high. Somehow I always seemed to make the situation worse, not better, when it really mattered, but I didn't know how to change. Shortly after reading this book, I had a situation come up where I was going to have to have "A Talk" with a relative. Instead of my usual sense of dread, the first thought that came to mind was actually, "oh Good, a chance to practice having a Crucial Conversation!" I applied the principles from this book, the conversation went smoothly, and it was a very empowering experience. Now I have it on my desk for easy reference, and I definitely recommend this book. ...more info
  • Good but is it good enough?
    I'm like a few others on here and was given this book by my management team in hopes that we'd all learn something. Failure by management to follow-up with discussion and practice makes this book, stand alone, a good read but better for group/team facilitation and work.

    As far as the techniques, yes they are good and worthwhile to emulate but another reviewer pointed out that communication is further complicated by ones person, character, emotions, and perspective. While I wouldnt expect the book to examine a persons entirety, it doesnt completely cover those elements.

    I feel the scenarios and examples are well worth the time and re-read for all of us so say, "Yeah been-there, done-that" and learn from our mistakes. I know I went into several conversations differently after reading this book and the outcomes were well worth managing myself to what I learned.

    I keep it and use it as a reference for potential issues I know are coming. We also read the "Art of Possibility" (Stone Zander)

    If you're a manager, DO NOT buy this book for your employees and hope they learn something, particularly if you think this is good enough to stand alone w/o discussion. Group brainstorm viable books and research them before diving into what looks 'cool'. ...more info
  • somewhat helpful
    This book is heavy on the "Why" a crucial conversation should take place but does not go into enough detail on "How" to actually conduct a crucial conversation. After reading the excerpt, I was excited to order the book but part way through it, I felt like I wasn't getting the info I needed....more info
  • Crucial conversations (CD version)
    Great series of CDs, easy-to-listen voice, solid information. Now I'm going to look for a workbook - would be a great tool for family or work-related "mini-retreat"...more info
  • This book is great for ministers of the Gospel
    This book is needed in the church. The old saying goes "You do not talk politics or religion at work." The reason for this statement is because of the emotions connected to the topic of religion. People can become highly passionate about Biblical topics. This is why this book must be read by every preacher and elder within the church. We are constantly engaging in crucial conversations. This book gives the practical skills in addressing these difficult times. It breaks down the process of communication into easy steps for healthy dialogue. Preachers, this book will save you much stress and trouble in your congregations. If you need a great book on people skills, this is it. This book will help you in church and in your homes. I highly recommend this title....more info
  • Readable and Useful
    A readable and useful book on dealing with difficult conversation topics.

    The authors present an approach based on quality information sharing and mutual respect.

    Difficult real-life examples are studied in a "before and after" style, once without the method, and then with the method presented in the book....more info
  • Must read
    This book was recommended to me by a friend who is a consultant. It is an amazing read. It really helps you understand that while some conversations are difficult to have, most are crucial and should not be avoided. It gives you real tips and tools as well as an index for quick reference in the back of the book if you are looking to find something quickly after you've read it.

    Highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about the dynamics of important conversation....more info
  • Great toolkit for difficult situations
    This book has provided me with an outline to understand and share tools to help manage difficult conversations. I've found myself learning many of the lessons this book has nicely detailed the hard way, and find that owning this book helps re-enforce lessons I've learned (and learning new lessons) on handling difficult conversations both in the workplace and at home. I would encourage anyone interested in handling their relationships with others better to take a serious look at this book....more info
  • Crucial Conversations
    Crucial Conversations is one of the best books I've read about how to hold a difficult conversation without blaming the other person or getting entangled in one's own drama. It offers practical tools for clarifying what you want for yourself, for the other person and for the relationship before you even start the conversation. Other topics include how to tune in to your own stories that get in the way of dealing with an issue; how to deal with someone who doesn't feel safe and is acting out; and how to manage yourself when you're angry, scared or hurt and trying to work through a difficult issue with someone. Information is presented in an easy to understand format with lots of stories and examples to demonstrate concepts. A fantastic guide that offers insight as well as tools, way beyond the usual self-help books. ...more info
  • Exceptional Communications Tool
    This book is worthy of purchase in great abundance; great training and development materials. Concepts that are covered in Crucial Conversations are essential for today's workforce at every level. ...more info
  • Makes You Think!
    This book was recommended by a client of mine who's very successful. it's easy reading & really makes you think about past & current "crucial conversations". The tactics are really simple, but the times we need to have them in our minds,We don't know how. This book makes it easy. After reading the book, when crucial times come up, I'm using the steps to make sense of what's happening. I wish I had this when my daughter was a teenager!!...more info
  • Business Leadership
    Learn which behaviors help you get ahead in the business world. This book is perfect for anyone looking to develop leadership skills.
    ...more info
  • Wrong audio book sold.
    The seller had the wrong book down for sale. It would be easy to do since the author had a similar named book. I was very impressed with the quick response to correct the problem. They credited the whole amount back and said I can keep the book. It is great to see a trustworthy, reputable, seller out there today - doing the right thing. I would highly recommend doing business with this seller again....more info
  • Change Your Life
    I have been in sales and sales management for a long time and am skeptical of "improvement" books. I read this as part of a course in effective communication (not willingly) and was really surprised by the original approach and effective process. Two years later, I have to say that this book has improved my life. I have always hated confrontation, but this completely changes the playing field. It is an empathetic approach that allows all involved to come away feeling respected and satisfied, even if they didn't "win" the argument. It's made me a better seller, a better manager, and a better wife and parent. If you'll "listen" to this message and practice this process, I think you'll be amazed at the result. I have now given this book and practiced these steps with everyone who works for me, and we are a MUCH more cohesive group because of it. Works great on my husband, too!! Enjoy... ...more info
  • Learn to communicate better!
    I read this book as an assignment for a communication class. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it was not only easy to read but, it provided valuable insight to what goes wrong during the communication process and how one can begin to steer the process back in a productive direction. After reading this book, I was able to use the practical applications to many different conversations i.e. personal and professional relationships. It is a truly valuable tool if you have ever left a conversation feeling that you could have done more. I will be purchasing the authors' other books. ...more info
  • Fluffy, but very good
    This is kind of a fluffy business book... I generally hate these books, but this one has a creamy nougat center of knowledge that I've never encountered before. At 200 pages, its a must read. Please ignore the Franklin Covey vibe: the authors really have something important to say.

    This book solidifies what many have said before: those who genuinely understand how to communicate have all the power in this world. It's not about knowledge, skills, manipulation, or strength... Those who can get groups of people who distrust each other to come to genuine consensus will always have power. Why? Because its so incredibly difficult... and its so incredibly important.

    This book helps you identify the behaviors that help -- and the behaviors that hurt -- when building consensus. Make no mistake about it: human beings are poorly designed to get along with each other. Our brains are wired for competition. At most we co-operate with genetically similar groups. Evolution has wired us to not want to work together with people too different from ourselves, lest we threaten our own survival.

    That may have been useful 2000 years ago in highly competitive tribal cultures, but in the modern world such prejudice is usually counterproductive.

    This book helps you identify which behaviors may be hindering you. When confronted, a human's instinct is fight or flight. In a conversation, the fight instinct comes out in argument, sarcasm, or belittling. Likewise, the flight instinct comes out as keeping quiet and doing nothing, or totally ignoring what the other person said... typical passive-aggressive behavior.

    This book also presents exercises to help you keep a cool head, communicate clearly, and get things done... despite your evolutionary wiring.

    If you read this book, and practice their exercises a lot, you will slowly gain a reputation as somebody who can really make things happen.

    Highly recommended!...more info
  • Back to Basics
    I decided to use this book for my administrative staff. We are a small nursing home with 10 managers. We all were having difficulty dealing with the day to day stressors. This book has taught us how to have effective conversations with our staff and make better decisions. I recommend it as a basic tool to get the thought processes going to improve communication...more info
  • Common sense isn't really all that common
    I like this book a lot. Developed for business communication it has applications for many areas of life. I found it clear, instructive, insightful and relatively free of new-age doublespeak. I work in an ER and I communicate with angry people (sometimes including myself) in emotionally-charged situations on a daily basis. I find the techniques presented in this book quite practical.

    For comparison I read a few of the negative reviews. Several of them dismiss this book as "common sense." I think they miss the point that common sense is not really all that common....more info
  • Ok Book
    There are only a few points in this book that I feel are good advice. Ways to think about how to defuse a situation instead of escalation or how to win over someone by making them feel as if you are all in this together and on the same team.

    ...more info
  • The best non-fiction book I've read in my life.
    This book...is amazing. It cannot be overstated: If you are a human being, this book will allow you to reach new levels in communicating with other human beings in your life. Period.

    Amazing book. Read it NOW....more info
  • Should read if ...
    Nutshell review - You should read this book if you ever need to talk to anyone! Sooner or later you will benefit from the insights and techniques explained in this book to help you handle things when talking gets tough....more info
  • Very good...
    Very good book for succesful managers, but also for amateurs interested in improving their communication skills. Of course, for some professionals that one may be "just another one"....more info
  • Good Tools for Tough Conversations
    A very good book with lots of specific, helpful tools to help you navigate difficult, emotionally-charged, conversations. I was a little put off by all the cute acronyms summarizing various steps along the way - CRIB, STATE, AMPPP, etc. - but in total agreement with their main points that in order to get people to add to the pool of meaning, you have to help them feel safe.

    People interested in this topic should also look at the Glaser's book "Be Quiet, Be Heard" which covers similar material and presents models that I found are more intuitive and therefore easier to remember.
    ...more info
  • Best book in the market!
    This is by far the best book in the market for business and home use. Excellent book!...more info

 

 
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