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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High Paperback – June 18, 2002
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From the Back Cover
"Most books make promises. This one delivers. These skills have . . . 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
Learn how to keep your cool and get what you want when emotions flare.
When stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong, you have three choices: Avoid a crucial conversation and suffer the consequences; handle the conversation badly and suffer the consequences; or read Crucial Conversations and discover how to communicate best when it matters most. This wise and witty guide gives you the tools you need to step up to life's most difficult and important conversations, say what's on your mind, and achieve positive outcomes that will amaze you. You'll learn how to:
- Prepare for high-impact situations with a six-minute mastery technique
- Make it safe to talk about almost anything
- Be persuasive, not abrasive
- Keep listening when others blow up or clam up
- Turn crucial conversations into the action and results you want
Whether they take place at work or at home, with your neighbors or your spouse, crucial conversations can have a profound impact on your career, your happiness, and your future. With the skills you learn in this book, you'll never have to worry about the outcome of a crucial conversation again.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
The main technique the authors teach is the talent of dialogue. This is the free flow of meaning between two or more people. People who use this technique are able to find a way to get all relevant information from themselves and others out in the open and make it safe for everyone to add their meaning to the shared pool. These people try hard to ensure that all ideas find their way into the forum; and as this "pool of shared meaning" grows, it helps people by exposing them to more accurate and relevant information so they can make better decisions.
In this, the 2nd edition, the book ads access to new material including a video vault that illustrates each of the authors' techniques being acted out, new case studies, and new tools to help you maneuver effectively through crucial conversations. This wise and witty guide gives you the tools you need to step up to life's most difficult and important conversations, say what's on your mind, and achieve positive outcomes. You'll learn how to:
* Prepare for high-impact situations with a six-minute mastery technique
* Make it safe to talk about almost anything
* Be persuasive, not abrasive
* Keep listening when others blow up or clam up
* Turn crucial conversations into the action and results you want
All in all a great book for developing advanced people skills. Another must read in this genre is Emotional Intelligence 2.0.