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Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior Paperback – August 26, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"...revolutionary ideas...opportunities for breakthrough..." -- Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"...unleash the true potential of a relationship or organization and move it to the next level...."-- Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and The Secret: What Great Leaders Know--and Do

"... the most recommended and most effective resource in my library."-- Stacey Allerton Firth, Vice President, Human Resources, Ford of Canada

"...brilliant strategies for those difficult discussions at home and in the workplace..."--Soledad O'Brien, cohost of CNN's Morning Edition

"This book is the real deal....Read it, underline it, learn from it. It's a gem."-- Mike Murray, VP Human Resources and Administration, Microsoft (retired)

NEVER WALK AWAY FROM ANOTHER TOUCHY, CONTROVERSIAL, OR COMPLEX ISSUE--AT WORK OR AT HOME!

Behind the problems that routinely plague families, teams, and organizations are individuals who either can't or won't deal with failed promises. Others have broken rules, missed deadlines, or just plain behaved badly. If anybody steps up to the issue, they often do a lousy job and create a whole new set of problems.

New research demonstrates that these disappointments aren't just irritating. They're costly—sapping organizational performance by 20-50 percent and accounting for up to 90 percent of divorces.

Crucial Confrontations teaches skills drawn from over 20,000 hours of real-life observations to increase confidence in facing tough issues. Learn to:

  • Permanently resolve failed promises and missed deadlines
  • Transform broken rules and bad behaviors into productive accountability
  • Strengthen relationships while solving problems
  • When you learn how to handle crucial confrontations, everything gets better.

    From the Back Cover

    "Hey, if you read only one 'management' book this decade...I'd insist that it be Crucial Confrontations."--from the foreword by TOM PETERS

    "Revolutionary ideas...opportunities for breakthrough..." -- STEPHEN R. COVEY, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

    "...unleash the true potential of a relationship or organization and move it to the next level...."-- KEN BLANCHARD, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and The Secret: What Great Leaders Know--and Do

    "The most recommended and most effective resource in my library."-- STACEY ALLERTON FIRTH, Vice President, Human Resources, Ford of Canada

    "Brilliant strategies for those difficult discussions at home and in the workplace..."--SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, cohost of CNN's Morning Edition

    "This book is the real deal....Read it, underline it, learn from it. It's a gem."-- MIKE MURRAY, VP Human Resources and Administration, Microsoft (retired)

    NEVER WALK AWAY FROM ANOTHER TOUCHY, CONTROVERSIAL, OR COMPLEX ISSUE--AT WORK OR AT HOME!

    Behind the problems that routinely plague families, teams, and organizations are individuals who either can't or won't deal with failed promises. Others have broken rules, missed deadlines, or just plain behaved badly. If anybody steps up to the issue, they often do a lousy job and create a whole new set of problems.

    New research demonstrates that these disappointments aren't just irritating--they're costly--sapping organizational performance by 20 to 50 percent and accounting for up to 90 percent of divorces. Drawn from over 10,000 hours of real-life observations, Crucial Confrontations teaches skills to increase confidence in facing tough issues. Learn to:

    • Permanently resolve failed promises and missed deadlines
    • Transform broken rules and bad behaviors into productive accountability
    • Strengthen relationships while solving problems
    NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

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    Product Details

    • Paperback: 284 pages
    • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1st edition (August 26, 2004)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0071446524
    • ISBN-13: 978-0071446525
    • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    153 of 162 people found the following review helpful By nHansen on March 17, 2005
    Format: Paperback
    If you have read Crucial Conversations, then you are already very familiar with this book and its contents. The fact is, this book is a re-hashing of Crucial Conversations; however, this time, the principles shared seem more applicable than they were before.

    I think that this book is the real and better application of the authors' main principles. It is an easy and quick read and the language is very simple and direct. The book discusses ways to have a confrontation in which results are gained and friendships are not lost. It is a win-win approach. I do believe that this book can and does help. I did not particularily like the Crucial Conversations because it wasn't real earth shattering and seemed to simple. This time, however, the subject of "confrontations" seems more open to the authors' intentions-- thus a better read.

    This is a good book to read and a better book to apply.
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    87 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Mikel Cook on December 2, 2004
    Format: Paperback
    I surprised myself by reading almost the entire book during a two-week trip to Thailand w. The authors do a great job of showing how NOT stepping up has allowed catastrophic consquences to result. For example, the co-pilot who chose not to speak up when the pilot was preparing to take off in freezing weather with ice building up on the wings. All that survived was the cockpit tape that has the copilot hinting at the danger and not taking a powerful stand with the pilot. Our circumstances are not likely to be that drastic, but it is really very serious business.

    I like that the book recognizes that speaking up can be risky and talks about how to make reasonably sure that you won't hurt your career or relationship when you choose to speak up.

    The keys to managing the conversation so you don't get off in the weeds and get a valuable result begin with stepping back for a moment and remembering how you got to your reaction. The authors say we start by seeing or hearing something, draw come conclusions, react and then take action. If you review what exactly are the facts you started with and what are the interpretations or conclusions you came to, you are free to share it as a story the other person can understand. If you speak as if your conclusions are facts, you can lose the rapport you need to have a good outcome.

    I like the question the authors suggest asking yourself to get to how to start a conversation that doesn't amount to an attack: "What would cause a reasonable, rational and decent person to act like this?" Answering that question puts me in a frame of mind to begin with an attitude of mutual respect.
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    99 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2004
    Format: Paperback
    As I read this exceptionally informative book, I was again reminded of the fact that the Chinese word for "crisis" has two meanings: peril and opportunity. Since posting the review, a reader's comment (please see below) identifies an essay that brings into doubt the common belief in the dual meaning to which I referred. However, I remain convinced, linguistic issues aside, that every crisis does pose both peril or opportunity and that how we respond is for us to determine.

    * * *

    As those who have been or are now involved in process simplification initiatives already know, every problem encountered offers a valuable learning opportunity. The same is also true when encountering "broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior" either within or beyond the workplace. The authors of this volume address questions such as these:

    What's a "crucial confrontation"?
    What to do before one occurs?
    How to know when -- and when NOT -- to initiate one?
    How to "get your head right before opening your mouth"?
    How to begin a crucial confrontation?
    How to involve and engage others to take appropriate action?
    How to make keeping commitments (almost) painless?
    What to do when others "get sidetracked, scream, or sulk"?
    What to do after a crucial confrontation?
    How to gain commitment and move to action?
    How to solve "big, sticky, complicated problems"?
    How to deal with the truly tough? (i.e. the twelve "yeh buts")

    The authors also provide four appendices: A self-assessment for measuring confrontation skills, "The Six-Source Model," "When Things Go Right," and discussion questions for reading groups.
    Read more ›
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    47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By T. Kucifer on July 20, 2006
    Format: Paperback
    The ideas presented in this book seem to be excellent ways to have critical oonversations, but I found two things lacking. First, reading about conversations and making them happen are two different things. Although it's no fault of the book, I think it will be difficult to put these easily into play without practice.

    Second, there are no examples I noticed where the outcome WAS as bad as it could be. For example, one conversation centered on a man who suspects his wife of an affair. He confronts her only to find that she has a valid excuse for her actions, and is not in fact unfaithful. What if she had said "yes, I'm having an affair"? There's no follow up when the answer IS what you've hoped it won't be. Those seem like they could be the most critical conversations of all.
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