Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition

Book Review by Leo Trevino

There are times where a conversation can become a pivotal moment in your life. Conversations that can make or break a career, a marriage, a friendship or relationships with family members or complete strangers.

It is conversations like these where a team of experts in the field, including: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, provides us with the tools necessary to succeed in their book, Crucial Conversations.

Here are my key takeaways…

  • Crucial conversations are when stakes are high, opinions vary, and/or emotions run strong.
  • A key factor is making a conversation “safe” for all parties. In this way, neither party will resort to silence (where they purposely withhold information for the conversation) or violence (where the forcefully inject their information into the conversation).
  • Searching for mutual respect in a conversation and see things from their point of view are key points to navigating a crucial conversation.
  • Learn to worry less about other’s intent, and more about the effect others actions are having on us.
  • Speaking persuasively and not abrasively, learn the STATE my path skills. State facts, Tell your story, Ask for other’s opinions, Talk tentatively, and Encourage testing.
  • If your goal is to learn rather than be right, to make the best decision rather than to get your way, then you’ll be willing to hear other views.
  • When you ask people to open up, be prepared to listen.
  • Agree and then build. Rather than saying…”wrong, you forgot to mention.” Say instead, “absolutely, in addition, I noticed that…”

The book is a gem for those who are looking to get the best out of their communication skills. I would even say it’s one of the MUST READs for those who are in management positions or any position where you are in a leadership role.

There are many great skills laid out in the book that one review like this one can only do it very little justice. If your looking to enhance your leadership and communication skills, then do yourself a favor and get this book pronto!

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