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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

Critic Reviews

"[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 Ratings

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  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 11-20-13

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.

235 of 242 people found this review helpful

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  • Roger
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 03-29-13

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.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • Burlington, IA, United States
  • 03-28-13

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?

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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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)

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

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Winning the Games People Play

What did you love best about Crucial Conversations?

I found the breakdown of how and what we think when faced with interpersonal crises very thought provoking and very accurate.

What other book might you compare Crucial Conversations to and why?

Eric Berne's the Games People Play, Timothy Leary's Interpersonal Diagnosis of the Personality, Grinder and Bandler's Frogs Into Princes, L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics, Milton H. Erickson's Healing With Hypnosis, Jay Haley's Uncommon Therapy

Have you listened to any of Joseph Grenny’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Grenny has a youthful, strong, clear presentation. His reading of Crucial Conversations gets to the heart of the problem and shows the reader how to solved it. I will listen to this program several times.

What did you learn from Crucial Conversations that you would use in your daily life?

The difference between "facts" and "story" is very important to distinguish. We take a fact and we make assumptions about how that fact came about which may not be accurate. People unaware of this research usually act as though the information they've intuited is true. If we can use good language skills to unravel facts from intuited "stories," we may be able to help others and ourselves get closer to the truth.

Any additional comments?

There is really a lot of new information here that can be very useful when using language to support our relationships both personal and business.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

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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.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Powerful tools for important conversations

This book has tons of powerful tools for important conversations with family friends coworkers and bosses. Couldn't put it down.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Leanna
  • Seattle, WA United States
  • 12-28-13

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.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Shannon
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 05-16-15

Great content! Very helpful

This book is an awesome reminder that tough topics are the most important to be brought up. But even more importantly it reminds you that the way in which the topic is brought up will make all the difference. Often times people bring up tough topics with anger, frustration, passion, emotion and they tend to stir up the pot making everyone on edge. The intent is good, to bring an issue to light, but the delivery is so bad or lacking grace that it makes everyone, perhaps even their supporters, cringe. This book gives concrete examples of how to make those around you at ease while you address an issue at hand.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • CAROLINE
  • 02-27-14

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.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Bernice
  • 01-11-17

Too Long Warming Up!

There are some very useful tips in this book, but they took too long explaining everything in too much detail. They nearly lost me at the beginning when it seemed to take forever just explaining what a crucial conversation is and why it is important. I stuck with the audiobook, but at times it was a little painful.

I think the book is valuable, but the audio version does not allow you to skip pages in the way you might with a book, if they explaining the obvious.

I think someone should have had a crucial (difficult) conversation with the author about about editing.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Melanie Harris
  • 07-21-15

Master the Art of Saying what you mean

Would you consider the audio edition of Crucial Conversations to be better than the print version?

I feel that this is a good book to have in audio to listen to and in paper back to reference.

What did you like best about this story?

This is a powerful book that lets you start to build the skills in saying what you want to and listening to what is actually being said with courage and consideration. It is a powerful book for personal and career development.

What about Joseph Grenny’s performance did you like?

It was fine.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Mastering meaningful conversation with courage and consideration.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • paula mcdonald
  • 05-22-15

full of ideas

listening to crucial conversations has changed how I engage with staff and people already. I also think I wil use it in future difficult situations.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss L J Merrifield
  • 03-17-15

Excellent

Thought provoking and practical, easy to follow and interesting stories and examples to help you put the models and concepts into practice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr.
  • 05-20-13

Fantastic read

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

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas Christensen
  • 04-18-13

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • M. E. Gideon
  • 07-23-15

Good model for all communication

This is book has positively effected all of my communication and did so before I even finished it. Definitely one I will revisit.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sara England
  • 01-24-17

Not often a book can genuinely be called life changing

There are so many elements to crucial conversations that you can actually pick up and apply to your home and work life. It's not just theory. The book gives you new and real tools that you can use in so many different scenarios. It's by far my favourite development reading to date. I've learnt the most and changed the most because of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Justina
  • 11-20-17

great book

I think it's very usefull and I will definitely apply the things I learned in my work and family life. Strongly recommended.

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  • Luana McFall
  • 03-20-16

Great book!

Really helped me have better conversations with my team. Takes a little practice to think rather than just react naturally but if you can master it, it could change your life!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 11-26-17

powerfull tools, very impressed!

very powerfull tools for listening and making a difference. i am very impressed and look forward to adding the tools to my tool kit!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-22-17

Good message

Narration was very good as was the message and information on how to improve the outcome of crucial conversations. A good book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-17

Good listen :)

Very helpful insight. How we make our stories was an interesting topic. Great tips to stay on the ball and not lose the bigger picture.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-17

Highly valuable read for everyone

I have utilised many of the strategies to keep dialogue open at work and home. I have seen volatile actions and conversations at work calm to have more meaningful dialogue
The greatest success I have had personally is with my daughter who has been struggling and moves between silence and violence. Using STATE & ABC in establishing safety in dialogue has saved our relationship and is helping to build understanding and trust. For this alone I find this a brilliant book. Thank you

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-05-17

Great book

Easy to listen to as I have a reading disability. Good techniques for dealing with hard, stubborn people. You can use this with family, friends, work environments.

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  • Dave
  • 12-05-16

game changer

if you have anything to do with ither human beings this will make your life better.

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  • lALIN_84
  • 11-17-16

A useful book for everyone.

A fantastic book on how to have a crucial conversation. This book is right up there with How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie.

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  • Saranpaal
  • 11-13-16

Great narration to a powerful topic

Powerful lessons in conversation, narrated on a way that conveyed meaning and the importance of tone

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  • Catherine
  • 09-22-16

Great book!

The book provides good examples to relate to them easily. The greatest takehome message for me is building safe environments.