Top positive review
602 people found this helpful
These techniques really work!
on August 22, 2003
I bought this book after undergoing a first, miserable mediation session with my soon-to-be-exhusband. The stakes are high--it's our property settlement, and my husband had been cashing out the savings and spending them, while leaving me to take care of the 2 mortgages and other obligations. It was easy, but not very productive, to point out where I felt he was wrong.
I started reading Crucial Conversations and using the tools as well as I could, while watching our mediator model them. I stopped participating in the accuse/counter-accuse game, and focused on bringing information to the table, while I used the crucial conversation tools to keep our discussions productive.
The book starts out with a self-assessment to determine your own communications strengths and weaknesses.
My biggest faux-pas with my husband was to cause Respect violations. The CC tools gave me a usable set of actions to take to set things back on track:
* Apologize (I'm sorry if that sounded disrespectful.)
* Contrast (I don't want to make you out to be the bad guy, I'm just concerned that I won't have any funds left to cover the emergencies.)
- Commit to seek mutual purpose (I'll stay in this process as long as it takes for us to reach agreement.)
- Recognize the purpose behind his strategy (It's understandable that you're unhappy with our situation and that you're trying to do something to feel better.)
- Invent a mutual purpose (I want us both to be happy and secure after the divorce.)
- Brainstorm new strategies (Maybe we can just focus on the numbers for now, and put off worrying about how we're going to divide things until later.
Using these tools has kept the dialogue moving forward, and we're very close to agreement, after just two more sessions.
The Crucial Conversations tools won't change another person who's determined to be unreasonable into a perfectly cooperative person, but they will give you a sane way to stay in dialogue and still hold the other person accountable for his or her own irrational attitudes and behavior.
I think this book is a must-have for anyone who has had a hard time dealing with conflict. I'll be reaching for it again, I know.