I was very fortunate to partake in a “crucial conversations” course led by my company’s HR team. The course offers a companion book (“crucial conversations” by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler) that contains the same key messages and useful strategies as the course, but without the group activities and illustrative videos. In my opinion, everyone who has felt or are feeling “stuck” in their personal or professional life, should read this book.
The book defines a crucial conversation as – A discussion between two or more people where (1) stakes are high, (2) opinions vary, and (3) emotions run strong.
Can you think of a situation in your life that meets those 3 criteria?
- Is a friend always late on paying back a loan?
- Is your partner not doing his/her part in the relationship?
- Are you having to give your coworker feedback?
Chances are most of us can think of more than a few situations. What do you do in those situations? Do you handle them with grace and tact? If so, that is a wonderful life skill to possess! But for most of us, that isn’t the case. Some of us will instinctively resort to shutting down and avoiding the situation altogether and some of us will resort to finger pointing, judgement, or harsh comments.
Do you ever think to yourself, that for whatever reason, when things matter most, we tend to do our worse? What if we can change that and take control of the tough situations we find ourselves in, so that instead of moving to “silence” or “violence”, we can instead establish a “dialogue” as the book suggests.
In the following video, Joseph Grenny, one of the book’s authors, provides insights on crucial conversations. It provides a snippet of what you can expect from the book:
The book covers strategies on how to master crucial conversations as well as real life examples of how someone might handle a crucial conversation. Being able to tackle crucial conversations can drastically improve your relationships and help you achieve what you want. It’s an easy read and I love how applicable it is to all aspects of life. I highly recommend picking one up on your next trip to the bookstore or you can always order from online retailers like amazon.
If you’ve read “crucial conversations” or end up buying the book, I’d love to know your thoughts! Were you successful in applying the skills you learned?