Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High / Edition 2

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High / Edition 2

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McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High / Edition 2

The New York Times and Washington Post bestseller that changed the way millions communicate

“[Crucial Conversations] draws our attention to those defining moments that literally shape our lives, our relationships, and our world. . . . This book deserves to take its place as one of the key thought leadership contributions of our time.”
—from the Foreword by Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“The quality of your life comes out of the quality of your dialogues and conversations. Here’s how to instantly uplift your crucial conversations.”
—Mark Victor Hansen, cocreator of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Chicken Soup for the Soul®

The first edition of Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene and revolutionized the way millions of people communicate when stakes are high. This new edition gives you the tools to:

  • Prepare for high-stakes situations
  • Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue
  • Make it safe to talk about almost anything
  • Be persuasive, not abrasive

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071771320
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date: 08/19/2011
Edition description: List
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,420
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1What's a Crucial Conversation? And Who Cares?1
Ch. 2Mastering Crucial Conversations: The Power of Dialogue17
Ch. 3Start with Heart: How to Stay Focused on What You Really Want27
Ch. 4Learn to Look: How to Notice When Safety Is at Risk45
Ch. 5Make It Safe: How to Make It Safe to Talk about Almost Anything65
Ch. 6Master My Stories: How to Stay in Dialogue When You're Angry, Scared, or Hurt93
Ch. 7State My Path: How to Speak Persuasively, Not Abrasively119
Ch. 8Explore Others' Paths: How to Listen When Others Blow Up or Clam Up141
Ch. 9Move to Action: How to Turn Crucial Conversations into Action and Results161
Ch. 10Putting It All Together: Tools for Preparing and Learning179
Ch. 11Yeah, But: Advice for Tough Cases193
Ch. 12Change Your Life: How to Turn Ideas into Habits215

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Crucial Conversations 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 126 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book for business school curriculum and family communication workshops.
Ava_Bauer More than 1 year ago
We all face situations in life where things are tense and saying the right things is critical. This is what the authors call a "crucial conversation," as opposed to a casual discussion. Crucial conversations happen between two or more people when opinions vary, stakes are high, and emotions run strong. Whether you are approaching a boss who is breaking his or her own policies, critiquing a colleague's work, or talking to a team member who isn't keeping commitments, keeping the conversation productive can be very difficult.

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.

The book also offers a series of tools for understanding how we think about and prepare for problem situations. They posit that people must learn the skills of talking, listening and acting together, and must remember that successful dialogue, "Starts with heart." They suggest you begin high-risk discussions with the right motives, and then stay focused no matter what happens by knowing what you want. Never lose sight of the fact that the only person you can directly control is yourself. To stay focused on what you really want, pay attention to your motives whenever you find yourself moving toward silence or violence. Clarifying what you don't want will help you find healthy options to bring you to dialogue.

Another important factor they teach in the development of better dialogue is the ability to know when safety is at risk. Recognizing when the brain is beginning to disengage from a situation and moving away from healthy dialogue is a skill that must be learned to improve communication. When a dialogue is safe, you can say anything.

Since dialogue calls for a free flow of meaning, fear can kill the flow of meaning. To reduce fear, the authors say those involved in the dialogue must learn to look at content and conditions, to watch for safety problems, watch out for outbreaks of stressed behavior, and recognize when things are moving toward silence or violence. Learning techniques to make a dialogue safe helps everyone contribute his or her meaning to it. Once these things are learned, turning them into habits is what will make them useful when they are needed most.

I think the skills taught in Crucial Conversations are pertinent to everyone who needs to communicate better, and the light-hearted, engaging tone the authors use gets their points across clearly. By breaking down the tactful steps that must be taken along the way to a successful dialogue, the authors help us to develop better strategies for getting what we want.

Another book I love and recommend strongly for dealing with difficult people and stressful situations is The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If for nothing else, read this book to engage your brain before you speak. I read the book some time ago but did not write a review until I had time to use some of the concepts prescribed. The advice is good and has been applicable in both my business and personal life. The book is easy to read and at times the content reads like common sense. The truth of the matter is that sometimes even common sense needs to be placed in front of me to understand and use. I recommend the book to anyone. I add a higher recommedation to those that have my problem of letting your conversation start before you ever engage your brain.
ShawnSorensen43 More than 1 year ago
A concise book packed with helpful tips, so many of which you remember and can immediately apply. These guys have done a lot of research and give great examples. Ideas that have really assisted me include laying the groundwork for how important someone is before a serious discussion and how to watch for someone 'flooding' in an emotional way so you can reset the conversation right then and there. Provides a powerful ode to honesty and a healthy dose of praise to those who take emotional risks for the sake of a greater goal. This is a book that works in business and well as personal situations.
Grace2133 More than 1 year ago
Everyone has to deal with difficult situations while interacting with people whether it be a difficult customer, a overzealous boss, or a conflict with a coworker. It is necessary to be able to deal with these types of situations with out losing your temper or making your work-life much more difficult and much less productive. Crucial Conversations is the perfect tool for anyone who has to deal with customers or coworkers for any amount of time. It gives you the basic tools to be able to manage maintaining your composure in difficult situations. The advice in Crucial Conversations was given in an extremely engaging manner. The language was very conversational. I did not feel as if I was being preached or talked down to while reading this book as I think some self-help and instructional books have the tendency to do. The examples and stories illustrated their points sufficiently and in an engaging way. The stories also did not overwhelm. I sometimes find that there are too many and they overpower the message of the book. That was not the case with this one. The exercises were also very helpful and illustrated the points very well. Crucial Conversations did have one minor flaw. I did find that sometimes the language became a bit cliché. It was not overly obvious and I feel that most self-help books fall victim to it. I would recommend Crucial Conversations to anyone who works with people.simple as that because it's inevitable that a situation will arise where the tactics in this book will be extremely useful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crurcial Conversations opened my eyes to how I interact with my family and colleagues. I recommend it.
jsctmcdaniel More than 1 year ago
I work at a hospital where these skills apply every day. It was VERY easy to read and funny! Not dry and dull like some books. Can be applied to personal or business relationships/conversations. Highly recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As I work with groups, whether in a business, social, family or volunteer setting, I am frequently struck by the degree to which people are in agreement, but still think they are not. They want many of the same things, but are so stuck in 'positions' that they can't even hear that their hearts are in agreement. This book has made my job -- helping them hear each other's 'heart position' instead of their 'ego position' -- much easier. And it takes the burden off me since they can now learn the tools to do this without my intervention. People light up when they discover the secret of finding agreement without compromising core principles. Effectiveness improves. Productivity and team spirit begin to soar. Morale takes a definite upswing. People like each other and themselves more and are therefore more likely to work well together on practical tasks. They derail personal attacks before they get going, and have concrete, practical tools for helping each other stay focused on the 'aim' they share, not the 'blame' they used to try to assign. I believe Stewart Levine would say this book supplements and supports his efforts to create 'resolutionaries' (people who work to resolve conflicts instead of 'revolutionaries' who work to 'win' at all costs) in the work place. Not just a good read, but an ongoing desktop reference. One to mark up and wear out and give copies of to other people.
4111 More than 1 year ago
This book touched on bases in business and personal conversations that I needed to improve. I'd recommend this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a clever hands on material with reconisable issues of everyones everyday life. I have read a great deal of books on this topic but I assure you this one takes the whole cake. It is build up by understandable fractions bit by bit they come together as a logic pussel, and I am amased by how much I've learned by reading it and I now see back and laugh about my old me before learning the strategy and methodes this book reveles. Outstanding
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was a worthwhile read, but the language used throughout ¿ typos and grammar issues aside ¿ left me wanting something more academic. For example, the authors create sections with titles such as ¿Start With Heart¿. This sort of language makes me feel like I am reading an Oprah book of the month selection ¿ not that there is anything wrong with that - rather than a book on effective communication.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I work in a large corporate setting where every conversation in the course of daily business can become a crucial conversation by the standards in this book: differing opinions, high stakes and emotional participants. The dialogue model presented in this book is so practical and easy to use in everyday conversations that it should be made a 'standard' for employee development prior to engaging another person in a business conversation. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have recommended it throughout our organization as a 'must' read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What is more important in this life than comunication? what is more frustrating than being missunderstood? I found tips in this book and the cds that go with it to help me understand misstakes I make that put a distructive spin on my attempts to get my point accross to people I care to have a lasting relationship with. Thank you for this tool!Maya Sniadecki First Security Loan
Guest More than 1 year ago
Plain and simple; this book offers real advice and teaches how to communicate to succeed. It's an actual step-by-step playbook for communicating to get what you want out of others. Teaches very effectively how to size 'crucial conversations' up and rise above the discussion. It really works and will make you ten times more effective in important discussions. Very effective for people who 'heat up' when a discussion may not go their way. Gives you all you need to know to maintin control in almost all situations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the program manager of a cross-functional product development team, I daily arbitrate or engage in emotionally charged crucial conversations. The principles in this book enable me to identify these crucial situations, diffuse tension, draw out meaning from each of the parties, and ultimately reach the best action plan possible. Most importantly, since I started using the principles in this book, mutual respect and unity on my team has increased dramatically¿positional debate and argument is almost non-existent. Reading this book also helped me change my perspective of crucial conversations. Instead of fearing and avoiding them, I now recognize them as incredible opportunities for me to lead. My recurring thought as I read this book was that these are ¿fundamental truths¿. The authors use accessible writing with minimal jargon and no word invention. Additionally, they reinforce their theories with an abundance of applicable technique. These are not trendy gimmicks that manipulate people into agreeing with you. Rather, the authors teach fundamentally sound communication skills that enable the reader to fully understand others and then to explain their own perspective in a respectful, non-confrontational way. The principles taught in this book are universally applicable. Not only have I used them in business, but they also help me strengthen my communication with family. Likewise, I know I will use these principles in the team oriented Stanford MBA program that I will begin this fall.
StarFire22 More than 1 year ago
While the overall themes are great, I did not enjoy how they were delivered. The takeaways are "crucial" but the presentation is poor. It's somewhat of a dry read that uses example scenarios that fail to connect the dots.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AlanFran More than 1 year ago
A guide to a crucial social subject is in this book. Its pages have several insights and advisories about handling interpersonal conflict. I recommend this reading for its great usefulness and relevance to rational and emotional concerns. It combines conversational style with proven mental health treatment techniques.
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