This last month, I reread a wonderful book, Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson and three others. It outlines a series of effective strategies to successfully have crucial conversations that the book defines as situations where opinions vary, the stakes are high, and emotions run strong. The authors say that we have three options with crucial conversations:
- Avoid them (and allow problems to go unaddressed);
- Conduct them badly (resulting in no improvement in a situation); or
- Conduct them well.
The book is all about teaching us how to conduct them well and contains excellent examples about individuals’ work lives and personal lives. It is a must read if you want to sharpen your skills in this important area.