Summary crucial conversations

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Summary crucial conversations

  1. 1. Crucial Conversations Tools for talking when stakes are high By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al SwitzlerChapter 1: What is a Crucial Conversation? And Who Cares?When stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions start to run strong, casualconversations become crucial. Ironically, the more crucial the conversation, the less likelywe are to handle it well. The consequence of either avoiding or fouling up crucialconversations can be severe. When we fail a crucial conversation, every aspect of ourlives can be affected-from our careers, to communities, to relationships, to our personalhealth.As we learn how to step up to crucial conversations – and handle them well – with one setof skills we can influence virtually every domain of our lives.What is this all-important skill-set? What do people who sail through crucialconversations actually do? More importantly can we do it too?Chapter 2: Mastering Crucial Conversations. The Power of DialogueFocus for the remainder of the book:• The tools people use to help create conditions of dialogue. The focus is how we think about the problem situations and what we do to prepare for them. You will learn how to create conditions in yourself and others that make dialogue the path of least resistance.• The tools for talking, listening, and acting together. You will learn the key skills of talking, listening and acting together.• Tie all of the theories and skills together by providing both a model and an extended example. You will master the tools for talking when the stakes are high.Chapter 3: Start with the Heart. How to Stay Focused on What You Really WantHere’s how people who are skilled at dialogue stay focused on their goals-particularlywhen the going gets tough.Work on Me First • Remember that the only person you can directly control is yourself.Focus on What You Really Want • When you find yourself moving toward silence or violence, stop and pay attention to your motives. • Ask yourself: “What does my behavior tell me about what my motives are?” • Then, clarify what you really want. Ask yourself: “What do I want for myself? For others? For the relationship?” • And finally, ask: “How would I behave if this were what I really wanted?”Refuse the Sucker’s Choice • As you consider what you want, notice when you start talking yourself into a Sucker’s Choice. • Watch to see if you’re telling yourself that you must choose between peace and honesty, between winning and losing, and so on. • Break free of these Sucker’s Choices by searching for the and. • Clarify what you don’t want, add it to what you do want, and ask your brain to start searching for healthy options to bring you to dialogue.
  2. 2. Chapter 4: Learn to Look. How to Notice When Safety Is at RiskWhen caught up in a crucial conversation, it’s difficult to see exactly what’s going on andwhy. When a discussion starts to become stressful, we often end up doing the exactopposite of what works. We turn to the less healthy components of our Style UnderStress. To break from this insidious cycle, Learn to Look • Learn to look at content and conditions. • Look for when things become crucial. • Learn to watch for safety problems. • Look to see if others are moving toward silence or violence. • Look for outbreaks of your Style Under Stress.Chapter 5: Make it Safe. How to Make It Safe to Talk about Almost AnythingStep OutWhen others move to silence or violence, step out of the conversation and Make it Safe.When safety is restored, go back to the issue at hand and continue the dialogue.Decide Which Condition of Safety Is at Risk • Mutual Purpose. Do others believe you care about their goals in this conversation? Do they trust your motives? • Mutual Respect. Do others believe you respect them?Apologize When Appropriate • When you’ve clearly violated respect, apologize.Contrast to Fix Misunderstanding • When others misunderstand either your purpose or your intent, use Contrasting. Start with what you don’t intend or mean. Then explain what you do intent or mean.CRIB to Get to Mutual Purpose • When you are at cross-purposes, use four skills to get back to Mutual Purpose. • Commit to seek Mutual Purpose • Recognize the purpose behind the strategy. • Invent a Mutual Purpose. • Brainstorm new strategies.Chapter 6: Master My Stories. How to Stay in Dialogue When You’re Angry, Scared, or HurtIf strong emotions are keeping you stuck in silence or violence, try this.Retrace Your PathNotice your behavior. If you find yourself moving away from dialogue, ask yourself whatyou’re really doing. • Am I some form of silence or violence? • Get in touch with your feelings. Learn to accurately identify the emotions behind your story. • What emotions are encouraging me to act this way?
  3. 3. • Analyze your stories. Question your conclusions and look for other possible explanations behind your story. • What story is creating these emotions?Get back to the facts. Abandon your absolute certainty by distinguishing between hardfacts and your invented story. • What evidence do I have to support this story?Watch for clever stories. Victim, Villain, and Helpless Stories sit at the top of the list.Tell the Rest of the StoryAsk: • Am I pretending not to notice my role in the problem? • Why would a reasonable, rational, & decent person do this? • What do I really want? • What would I do right now if I really wanted these results?Chapter 7: STATE My Path. How to Speak Persuasively, Not AbrasivelyWhen you have a tough message to share, or when you are so convinced of your ownrightness that you may push too hard, remember to STATE your path: • Share your facts. Start with the least controversial, most persuasive elements from your Path to Action. • Tell your story. Explain what you’re beginning to conclude. • Ask for others’ paths. Encourage others to share both their facts and their stories. • Talk tentatively. State your story as a story-don’t disguise it as a fact. • Encourage testing. Make it safe for others to express differing or even opposing views.Chapter 8: Explore Others’ Paths. How to Listen When Others Blow Up or Clam UpTo encourage the free flow of meaning and help others leave silence or violence behind,explore their Paths to Action. Start with an attitude of curiosity and patience. This helpsrestore safety.Then, use four powerful listening skills to retrace the other person’s Path to Action to itsorigins. • Ask. Start by simply expressing interest in the other person’s views. • Mirror. Increase safety by respectfully acknowledging the emotions people appear to be feeling. • Paraphrase. As others begin to share part of their story, restate what you’ve heard to show not just that you understand, but also that it’s safe for them to share what they’re thinking. • Prime. If others continue to hold back, prime. Take your best guess at what they may be thinking and feeling.As you being to share your view, remember: • Agree. Agree when you do. • Build. If others leave something out, agree where you do, then build.
  4. 4. • Compare. When you do differ significantly, don’t suggest others are wrong. Compare your two views.Chapter 9: Move to Action. How to Turn Crucial Conversations into Action and ResultsTurn your successful crucial conversations into great decisions and united action byavoiding the two traps of violated expectations and inaction.Decide How to Decide • Command. Decisions are made without involving others. • Consult. Input is gathered from the group and then a subset decides. • Vote. An agreed-upon percentage swings the decision. • Consensus. Everyone comes to an agreement and then supports the final decision.Finish ClearlyDetermine who does what by when. Make the deliverables crystal clear. Set a follow-uptime. Record the commitments and then follow-up. Finally, hold people accountable totheir promises.Chapter 10: Putting it All Together. Tools for Preparing and LearningIf we first learn to recognize when safety is at risk and conversation becomes crucial(Learn to Look) and that we need to take steps to Make It Safe for everyone to contributeto his or her meaning, we can begin to see where to apply the skills we’ve learned. Avisual model can also help us see where the principles and skills are needed.Using the tools and reminders will get us started in mastering the skills that help usimprove our crucial conversations.Chapter 11: Yeah, But. Advice for Tough ChoicesLet’s assume this person is pretty bad all of the time and with most everyone. Where doyou start? Let’s apply a metaphor here. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at atime. Choose your targets very carefully. Consider two dimensions: 1) What bothers you the most? “He or she is constantly assuming the worst and telling horrible stories.” 2) What might be the easiest to work on? “He or she rarely shows any appreciation.”Look for those areas that are most grievous to you and might not be all that hard to talkabout. Pick one element and work on it. Establish Mutual Purpose. Frame theconversation in a way that the other person will care about.“I love it when we’re feeling friendly toward each other. I’d like to have that feeling morefrequently between us. There are a couple of things I’d like to talk about that I’m prettyconvinced would help us with that. Can we talk?”STATE the issue, and then work on the one issue. Don’t nag; don’t take on everything atonce. Deal with one element, one day at a time.Chapter 12: Change Your Life. How to Turn Ideas into HabitPick a relationship; pick a conversation. Let others know that you’re trying to do better,then give it a shot. When you blow it, admit it. Don’t expect perfection; aim forprogress. And when you succeed, celebrate your success. Finally, when the chancearises, help others do the same. Help strengthen organizations, solidify families, heal
  5. 5. communities, and shore up nations one person – one crucial conversation – at a time. Path of Dialogue Model Safety Mutual Meaning Check out Left-Hand Columns Safety Safety Mutual Respect Advocate in ways that make it safe to respond. inquire in ways that make it safe to share Mutual Purpose Enter dialogue through Mutual Purpose Silence Start with me first! Violence Withdrawing Avoiding Masking Controlling Labeling Attacking “Path of Meaning” Dif f er ence bet w een obser vat ion, conclusion, f eeling, and behavio r s/ act ions. They behave. I observe. I conclude/ I feel. I behave. assumption. The meaning you assign to the action. Action Event
  6. 6. communities, and shore up nations one person – one crucial conversation – at a time. Path of Dialogue Model Safety Mutual Meaning Check out Left-Hand Columns Safety Safety Mutual Respect Advocate in ways that make it safe to respond. inquire in ways that make it safe to share Mutual Purpose Enter dialogue through Mutual Purpose Silence Start with me first! Violence Withdrawing Avoiding Masking Controlling Labeling Attacking “Path of Meaning” Dif f er ence bet w een obser vat ion, conclusion, f eeling, and behavio r s/ act ions. They behave. I observe. I conclude/ I feel. I behave. assumption. The meaning you assign to the action. Action Event

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