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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High | [Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler]

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High

"Crucial" conversations are interpersonal exchanges at work or at home that we dread having but know we cannot avoid. How do you say what needs to be said while avoiding an argument with a boss, child, or relationship partner? Crucial Conversations offers readers a proven seven-point strategy for achieving their goals in all those emotionally, psychologically, or legally charged situations that can arise in their professional and personal lives.
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Publisher's Summary

"Crucial" conversations are interpersonal exchanges at work or at home that we dread having but know we cannot avoid. How do you say what needs to be said while avoiding an argument with a boss, child, or relationship partner? Crucial Conversations offers readers a proven seven-point strategy for achieving their goals in all those emotionally, psychologically, or legally charged situations that can arise in their professional and personal lives.

Based on the authors' highly popular DialogueSmart training seminars, the techniques are geared toward getting people to lower their defenses, creating mutual respect and understanding, increasing emotional safety, and encouraging freedom of expression. Among other things, rlisteners also learn about the four main factors that characterize crucial conversations, and they get a powerful six-minute mastery technique that prepares them to work through any high impact situation with confidence.

©2002 by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler; (P)2003 AMI

What the Critics Say

"The program does a stellar job of explaining many types of communication errors and describing the best ways to achieve mutual purpose....Anna Fields gives a perfect reading - emotionally bright but still allowing the lesson to retain its practical, straight-talking nature." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (657 )
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4.0 (225 )
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Performance
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  •  
    F. Webster 08-17-06
    F. Webster 08-17-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
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    "Great communication tools!"

    Crucial Conversations offers excellent analyses and real tools for improving the most difficult relationships in your professional and personal life. Beware: the emphasis is on YOU, so don’t buy this hoping to find a way to change your boss, your spouse, or that back-stabbing SOB down the hall. Do buy it to find ways to get past that “fight or flight” reaction in yourself and almost anyone else so you can really talk. (Also read Martha Stout’s “The Sociopath Next Door” to understand why no communication or relationship strategy can possibly work with some people.)

    44 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Los Angeles, CA, USA 01-01-08
    Cheryl Los Angeles, CA, USA 01-01-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm re-reading it now"

    I really enjoy this book thoroughly. It's straight forward and explains things well. The examples and explanations are easily understandable and relate to real life. There are plenty of clever labels that make remembering important information easy. I enjoyed the explanations of labels such as: "Dope-up Dumbed-Down state". This label explains why critical conversations are difficult from a biological standpoint. Crucial conversations are defined as interactions with others (at home, work, or elsewhere) that have moderate to high stakes, opinions vary and emotions run high. The poor habits seem to reflect poor habits I have myself. The examples seem reasonable to real life and they are written in witty ways. The narration is (nearly) perfect as the description indicates. The narrator reads with accurate expression. I often found myself relating to the situations that are in the book. I'm a "Mute & Salute" kind of person (or "silent fumer"). I have been avoiding or poorly handling crucial conversations in my own life because I have felt ill-equipped to do it well. It undermined my influence. I've reread the forward & first chapter 3 times now. I have struggled with a lot of the things that are listed in the book. I look forward to applying these principles to my own conversations. I liked it so much, I ended up buying it as a gift for a friend of mine who I know would enjoy these topics and tools. I also look forward to listening to "Crucial Confrontations" by the same authors. I think this book should be considered by all.

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Chicago, IL, USA 02-12-07
    Monica Chicago, IL, USA 02-12-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Essential Reading for Everyone"

    We are taught the technical skills of our professions. But often we are not taught the most important one... How to communicate with one another. This audiobook has transformed the way that I interact with everyone. I find that during the course of one day I have at least one conversation that is crucial. Before reading this book I would fumble my way through the discussion leaving myself and the person I talked to feeling stressed. I am much more effective in my personal and professional communications.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tera Chicago, IL, USA 02-18-09
    Tera Chicago, IL, USA 02-18-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Outstanding!"

    This book has helped me not only in my personally but also professionally. I used these techniques in all situations whether at home with my spouse or at work during a preformance review. It has helped me move further in my career by learning how to express myself in all types of situations with all types of people. Outstanding!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Ephrata, PA, United States 09-20-10
    Teresa Ephrata, PA, United States 09-20-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Life Changing"

    This is one of the best books I've ever read on the topic of interacting with others. The book really causes me to stop and think about what I'm saying, but more importantly WHY I'm saying it - what story have I made up in my mind about the person I'm giving my message to? Is it an accurate story? Have I thought about our pending conversation and found the common ground on which to build that discussion? When I've practiced what I've learned in this book, my crucial conversations go well. As an example, I had been years in conflict with someone in my organization that I felt was only interested in showing he was "alpha male". I started applying what I learned in this book. Over time (and not that much time, actually), the relationship I had with this individual changed dramatically. We now interact with each other based on mutual respect, common goals, and true collaboration. This should be on every leader's "must read" list.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jann Beverly Hills, CA, United States 07-13-08
    Jann Beverly Hills, CA, United States 07-13-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "crucial and necessary!!"

    I wish I had heard this before my last 5 relationships!!!! I found this informative on more levels than the obvious. I would recommend this to all of my ex-boyfriends and my ex-husband if they'd only listen!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Labbe Vancouver 07-03-09
    M. Labbe Vancouver 07-03-09 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Book is missing a key component."

    Crucial Conversations presumes you are engaged in a difficult conversation with a peer (spouse) or a subordinate at work. Unfortunately, many difficult conversations occur where someone in a position of power presents their argument as "silence or violence" such as your manager or a large firm with which you are engaged in negotations.

    Crucial Conversations offers little to no advice on how to revert an aggresive individual to a productive manner of speaking. "Getting to Yes" is a a book that discusses negotiating from somewhere other than a position of power.

    Only after you have read that book would I recommend topping up your communication skills with this book.

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john Broomfield, CO, United States 11-12-12
    john Broomfield, CO, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2011

    Former teacher and counselor

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent"
    Where does Crucial Conversations rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Excellent - I own 100 + audio books - I recommend this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to this book multiple times and so I recommend it (as opposed to the audio books I could not listen to or "wade through" even one time, or the books I did listen one complete time, however, have no intention to ever listen to again)As far as subject matter, I'm interested in benefits from talking about and addressing issues at work and in our personal lives (rather than silence and avoidance) and this book is an excellent resource - as is the book Crucial Confrontations by the same author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Cairo, Egypt 06-18-11
    Judy Cairo, Egypt 06-18-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    4
    1
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    "useful tips"

    i had a problem with a customer, who was very mad at me. listening to the book over the weekend while driving in Cairo crazy traffic, i took three tips that helped me big time and the problem was solved. it makes sense ..

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clint Eagle Mountain, UT, USA 12-10-08
    Clint Eagle Mountain, UT, USA 12-10-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"

    After reading the positive reviews I had high expectations for this book but I was ultimately disappointed. Yes, we all have times when we must engage in crucial conversations and yes, we should be aware of and engaged in those conversations. If you are horrible in those difficult conversations then you may find something in this book that will be helpful in those situations. Otherwise you're going to find the solutions presented in the book to be obvious and superficial. A much better presentation of this material is found in the book Leadership and Self-Deception. On the outside the books appear to be on two different topics, but at the heart, it's the same thing. You need to respect others and treat them how you want to be treated (Golden Rule). If you do that you'll have fewer problems in your relationships and difficult conversations won't be as difficult because you genuinely care and the other person feels that caring. This book felt like a "system" for handling others instead of actually caring about them. I also found the tone of the book to be a little flippant. The authors are going for cute but it comes off as annoying.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 31 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
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  • Clarke
    Linlithgow BridgeUnited Kingdom
    4/28/07
    Overall
    "One of the most useful books I've ever read"

    I frequently recommend this book to my friends and colleagues because I've used it myself to change how I deal with people in difficult conversations. It has a well thought framework for dealign with difficult conversations, lots of stories to make the framework concrete, and many useful little tips and hints you can start using straight away.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • ganiyu
    manchester, United Kingdom
    11/3/12
    Overall
    "Better to get the written book instead."

    Too many parts missing from the audio book. Better to get the written book instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ICREDIT.LV
    Riga, Latvia
    8/21/11
    Overall
    "Does not comply with written version"

    There are 2 things to mention:
    1) audio version does not comply with the written version - a lot of content is missed;
    2) running time is not 4 hours as stated, it's 2 hours and 52 minutes.

    The content itself, of course, is great - I'd give five stars if nothing was missed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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