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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition | [Kerry Patterson]

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

Perhaps once a decade, a book comes along that transforms people's lives in a very real, measurable way. This is one of them. Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene 10 years ago and revolutionized the way people communicate when stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. Since then, millions of people have learned how to hold effective crucial conversations and have dramatically improved their lives and careers thanks to the methods outlined in this book. Now, the authors have revised their best-selling classic to provide even more ways to help you take the lead in any tough conversation.
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best seller that changed the way millions communicate is now available in audio.

Perhaps once a decade, a book comes along that transforms people's lives in a very real, measurable way. This is one of them.

Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene 10 years ago and revolutionized the way people communicate when stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. Since then, millions of people have learned how to hold effective crucial conversations and have dramatically improved their lives and careers thanks to the methods outlined in this book.

Now, the authors have revised their best-selling classic to provide even more ways to help you take the lead in any tough conversation:

  • New firsthand accounts of how these skills changed readers' lives
  • New case studies showing how business leaders successfully applied these methods to achieve results
  • New links to videos teaching what to do and what to avoid during crucial conversations
  • New research findings offering fresh insights for applying the skills taught in the book

Crucial Conversations is filled with practical advice you can start using today:

  • Prepare for high-stakes conversations
  • Make it safe to talk about almost anything
  • Transform unpleasant emotions into powerful dialogue
  • Be persuasive, not abrasive

Crucial Conversations gets you past the hard parts of dialogue and helps you achieve relationships that are real, productive, and that will enrich your life and career.

©2012 McGraw-Hill (P)2012 McGraw-Hill Education

What the Critics Say

"[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 number one New York Times best-selling series Chicken Soup for the Soul)

"Coming in as the new CEO of an organization with many tenured employees, I have had many crucial conversations. Using Crucial Conversations as my playbook during this time was paramount in guiding me through each conversation." (Joanne K. Bryson, CAE, Executive Vice President and CEO, Oregon Medical Association)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (371 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 11-20-13
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2002

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

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    "There is something useful here"

    I am generally more than somewhat dubious of self-help books. They tend to be full of jargon and self-promotion with overly simplistic frameworks and have a few powerful truths that are somewhat obvious, but not so easy to actually execute. This audio book is no exception. Crucial Conversations uses a lot of words for self-promoting and testimonials with very little information content. It has its share of jargon and acronyms and oversimplifications. It also has its powerful truths (that are somewhat obvious and not so easy to actually execute). The single best transformative truth presented is that if someone is reacting with anger or retreating into silence it because of a story they are telling themselves. Really seeing and believing this for oneself and for others is (I think) the fundamental key in dealing with most emotional conflict.

    Without the jargon and acronyms this mostly boils down to:

    Look at how you and others are reacting
    Make sure everyone feels safe
    Notice what you really want
    Notice if you are acting in alignment with what you really want
    Think about your story before you start talking
    Separate the facts from your story
    Ask for, and understand, the stories of others
    Ask for, and understand, challenges from others to your story
    Align on a purpose
    Come to a decision
    Write down decisions with clear actions, dates and verification

    OK, mostly pretty obvious. Some pretty easy to do, some pretty hard. If you do all these things, you will likely communicate well.

    I did this as a training class as well as reading and listening to the book and viewing the videos (yikes!) and the audio examples. The training class was much, much better than the audio (or printed) book primarily because in the class there were many role-plays where the students had to actually attempt to use the techniques in semi-scripted scenarios. These role-plays made it clear how different these techniques were from most peoples’ normal communications habits and made it very clear it would take a lot of focus and practice to become proficient using these techniques.

    There were a few things I particularly didn't like including; The time and words wasted in self-promotion and testimonials; Labeling natural fight or flight responses as “unhealthy”; and the narration was (as in many self-help books) so upbeat and positive as to be grating.

    128 of 131 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean-Stéphane Szijarto Switzerland 01-26-14
    Jean-Stéphane Szijarto Switzerland 01-26-14 Member Since 2011

    JS

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    "Good book, HORRIBLE reading"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, good contents. I have a strong preference for "Difficult conversations" by Stone, Patton, Heen, but I found Crucial Conversations quite complementary.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I found his constant emphasis on almost every word he read was unbearable, to the extent that I actually stopped listening to the book for a while, and took it again later when I had nothing else to listen to (I listen in my car only)


    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Burlington, IA, United States 03-28-13
    Matt Burlington, IA, United States 03-28-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Another Awesome Listen!"
    Where does Crucial Conversations rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Probably one of the most important books I've listened to in the past year.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    When you feel "lost" in a conversation, You ask yourself, what do I want to achieve here?


    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    roger BLUE ASH, OH, United States 03-29-13
    roger BLUE ASH, OH, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2012
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    "An easy listen"

    Useful enough of a book with good points. A slightly different take on the same subject as Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people," which if I were to choose between the two I would go with Dale Carnegie's seminal book as the message here isn't as direct, but if you're interested in the subject and have already read/listened to Mr. Carnegie's, then this is a good compliment.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guilherme B. Boettch Boston, MA USA 12-16-12
    Guilherme B. Boettch Boston, MA USA 12-16-12 Member Since 2012

    Head of Development, persuing masters degree in information visualization

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    "Changed my perception of life"

    It is no overstatement that this book has effectively changed how I perceive life around me in any human interaction. From my relationship to my professional day-to-day exchanges, the ideas from this book have permeated the foundations and execution and, most importantly, greatly improved the outcome.

    Thank you, authors, for providing the tools for me to deal with my own problems.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda edmonton, AB, Canada 02-07-13
    Brenda edmonton, AB, Canada 02-07-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Everyone should read this book"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The information in this book should be taught as a basic skill for everyone. My wish is for this communication tactic to become 'common knowledge' shared in the home, schools and workforce.


    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kinshiro 07-09-14
    Kinshiro 07-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a cliché, but..."

    This is a life changing book. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a mouth. Literally life changing because no one will ever see dialogues in the same way.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 12-28-13
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 12-28-13 Member Since 2008

    I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a fantastic primer on communication. It is so easy to walk away from a conversation but that isn't a solution. Crucial Conversations gives you the skills to engage in communication and find solutions. I have listened to this book several times. It is wonderful.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vasilika dubai, United Arab Emirates 07-16-13
    Vasilika dubai, United Arab Emirates 07-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quite helpful"
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Chapter 8: How to get back to the save conversation when somebody blows up. Breaks down to techniques, which would be applicable in this case and detailed layout helps to understand each technique implementation


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Book includes plenty of samples related to everyday life of different type of people. Some of them concerned me as well.


    Any additional comments?

    Though technical part is very useful and informative, eventually it overwhelms listener. Good relative samples, but I suggest to shrink technical aspect of the book as all skills are hardly to be absorbed by listener.
    Overall a great book as a first step to learn to manage crucial conversation. Special recommendation to those who are not talented in a crucial conversation, but eager to learn related skills.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew South Melbourne, Australia 03-25-13
    Andrew South Melbourne, Australia 03-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "The right information at the right time"
    If you could sum up Crucial Conversations in three words, what would they be?

    Enlightening, empowering, positive


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The example where the CEO wanted to reduce costs across the business but was unaware of the feeling within the team regarding her new office costs, etc


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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  • CAROLINE
    PUIDOUX-GARE, Switzerland
    2/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reviewing long after listen because it has worked!"

    I downloaded this audiobook based on a single reference made during a training session at work - more to help me get on board with new company owner's philosophy than a desire to learn it has to be said! However I have come back to write this review, because without even realising, I have absorbed some of the basic rules and techniques, intuitively used them when the need arose, and much to my surprise they actually work!

    At work, at home and with friends: 'Make it safe' 'What do you want to achieve from this' ... it may sound stupidly simple but human nature in most of us tends not to this logic.

    At work, time and time again I am able to pull back from being the obstacle or confrontational so enabling a more free flow of communication to everyone's benefit. And in my personal life I find I use what I've learned and can have (more often at least!) a calm, well considered conversation, with a positive outcome (even if that turns out to be completely different to my original expectation).

    I will go back and listen to this book again, in the hope I will glean still more.

    If truly effective communication counts for you, whether it's with your boss/es, your team/s, your family or your friends, the lessons in this book (even skimming the surface) will serve you well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr.
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    5/20/13
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    "Fantastic read"

    Superb book, very practical. Build on 7 habits by Stephen Covey. Wish had come across this book earlier

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Christensen
    Copenhagen, DK
    4/18/13
    Overall
    "Important"

    Probably one of the most important books, I've listened to for a while. Lots of interesting information that will teach you a lot about how we communicate. Has the potential to change you life

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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