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

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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 (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"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® 

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

"Brilliant strategies for those difficult discussions at home and in the workplace..."--SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, anchor and producer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Author

Note: This is an UPDATED SECOND EDITION to the book previously titled Crucial Confrontations. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

This is the second time I have read this book.
As all of their books, easy to read, good examples, and practical.
Ralph Centioli
I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs to lead.
Cheng Yi Chiao

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

152 of 161 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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83 of 86 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.
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46 of 50 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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