Crucial Conversations

By: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Al Switzler, and Ron McMillan
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Al Switzler, and Ron McMillan wrote Crucial Conversations. It was published in 2002. It will teach you how to prevent conflict. And also to reach positive outcomes in high-stakes conversations. It allows you to be more effective in both your personal and professional lives.
The authors have defined Crucial Conversations. It is a discussion between two or more people where the stakes are high, perspectives differ, and emotions run high. Some tense circumstances may be unavoidable. But Crucial Conversations will make them more bearable for all parties involved. You will learn how to have dialogues in a good place while dealing with highly charged emotions.
The authors’ findings are based on 25 years of research with 20,000 people. They came to the conclusion that their capacity to manage critical conversations well was what made them outstanding. These folks can handle any difficult conversation, regardless of who is involved.
You may now understand exactly how to become an equally effective communicator. This book provides a wealth of information. How to handle high-stakes debates in a good, safe, and goal-oriented manner.
Focus on your objectives during the conversation to avoid becoming overly emotional.
There are two options when emotions run high in discourse and we no longer feel safe: silence or violence. Neither of these alternatives offers a viable solution. We need a solution in a critical conversation or we’ll be trapped. What can we do to avoid this? We recall our objective.
Always remember your purpose in the conversation. And also what information you need from this person.
Listen to the other person’s perspective to make them feel more at ease in the conversation.
Have you noticed that even relatively harmless chats may become heated? According to the authors, this is frequently caused by a sense of insecurity.
There are four steps summarized in the acronym AMPP. These stand for Ask, Mirror, Paraphrase, and Prime and can be taken to listen to someone.
Ask to get things started. Ask them about their thoughts.
Mirror to verify their emotions. This can be done by saying that they look uncertain about their thoughts. You can explain to them your understanding with calmness and comprehension.
Paraphrase their story for them to know that you understand how they feel.
Prime if you’re not getting anywhere. If someone remains silent, we may need to push them to talk by describing what we believe they are feeling.
There is one tip to make the person you’re conversing with feel safe to open up their thoughts. Remember what Steven Covey said: “seek first to understand, then be understood.”
To resolve a disagreement, remember the acronym STATE.
If you don’t want the conversation ending up in silence or violence, follow the STATE method.
Share the facts
Tell your story (Sharing your assumptions).
Ask for the other person’s path/story
Talk tentatively
Encourage testing. (Encouraging them to share what they think about the story. Even you have different viewpoints.)
After these steps, you can work toward a solution. What’s important is, you have resolved the conflict or come up with a solution. A solution that is effective and best for both parties.

About the Author

Image Source: Brandon Gaile

Kerry Patterson is a prolific writer. He co-authored many articles and award-winning training programs. Kerry taught at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. Then cofounded Interact Performance Systems. where he worked for ten years as vice president of research and development. Kerry is a co-author of the New York Times bestsellers. These include Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, and Influencer. Kerry has completed doctoral work at Stanford University. He is a recipient of the Mentor of the Year Award. And the 2004 William G. Dyer Distinguished Alumni Award from Brigham Young University.

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Joseph Grenny is a four-time New York Times bestselling author. He’s also a dynamic keynote speaker, and leading social scientist for business performance. He is a world-renowned speaker. He has shared the stage with General Colin Powell, Jack Welch, Jim Collins, and Brené Brown. A speaker at some of the world’s premier leadership conferences and organizations. These include the HSM World Business Forum at Radio City Music Hall.
Joseph is the co-author of four immediate New York Times bestsellers. The books with more than four million copies in print. These are Crucial Conversations, Influencer, Crucial Accountability, and Change Anything. His work, created over the past 30 years, has been translated into 28 languages. They are available in 36 countries and have generated results for 300 of the Fortune 500.

Al Switzler is a New York Times bestselling author. He is also a keynote speaker, and leading social scientist for organizational change. For thirty years, Al has delivered engaging keynotes for an impressive list of clientele. These include AT&T, Xerox, IBM, and Sprint. Al’s work has been translated into twenty-eight languages. They were also available in thirty-six countries. And these works generated results for three hundred of the Fortune 500.

Image Source: Meridian Magazine

Ron McMillan is a Scottish freelance photojournalist and author. He is best known for his rare photo coverage of North Korea. He is also known for authoring one of the few crime/suspense novels. taking place in modern-day South Korea. McMillan began his freelance journalist career in Seoul, Korea. For two years he reported on the street riots and political uncertainty. These preceded the Seoul Games. McMillan returned to Scotland in 1998. He concentrated on writing and illustrating travel and business features for broadsheet newspapers. Sandstone Press released McMillan’s first foray into published fiction in June 2010.

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Books by the Author

Books by Kerry Patterson

  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
  • Influencer: The Power to Change Anything
  • Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior
  • Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success
  • Crucial Conversations Skills
  • The Balancing Act: Mastering The Competing Demands of Leadership
  • The Gray Fedora
  • An Introduction to Applied Econometrics: A Time Series Approach
  • Audio Companion: The audio workout to strengthen your Crucial Conversations Skills
  • Value-Based Fees
  • Balancing Act: Mastering the Competing Demands of Leadership


Books by Joseph Grenny

  • Crucial Conversations
  • Crucial Accountability
  • Influencer
  • Change Anything


Books by Al Switzler

  • Crucial Conversations
  • Crucial Accountability
  • Crucial Confrontations
  • Please Don’t Feed the Hog
  • Balancing Act: Mastering the Competing Demands of Leadership

Books by Ron McMillan

  • Crucial Conversations
  • Crucial Accountability
  • Please Don’t Feed the Hog
  • Balancing Act: Mastering the Competing Demands of Leadership
  • Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success
  • Zion Vol. 1: Seeking the City of Enoch
  • And Should We Die…: A Young Man’s Experience with the Miraculous
  • Better Than Duct Tape: Dialogue Tools for Getting Results and Getting Along
  • Between Weathers: Travels in 21st Century Shetland

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