Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When…

Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second… (original 2002; edition 2011)

by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,407165,386 (3.85)7
Title:Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition
Authors:Kerry Patterson
Other authors:Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
Info:McGraw-Hill (2011), Edition: 2, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:dialogue, influence, KINDLE

Work details

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson (2002)




Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
A surprisingly good self-help type book about how to talk to people without getting emotional, have difficult conversations, how to get people to compromise with you, etc. Examples tend to be from the business world and include some jargon, but there are also examples from personal life. I got the book in conjunction with a training program. ( )
  nicole_a_davis | Aug 20, 2014 |
I have read Difficult Conversations - Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen and although both books talk about how to have these 'important' discussions, they are kinda different approach. I don't intend to say that they have any kind of a prequel/sequel relationship, but just that the ideas and techniques mentioned in this book are very interesting.

"Emotions don't exactly prepare us to converse effectively."

Recommended to anyone. ( )
  nmarun | Mar 11, 2014 |
I love this book! It changed my life and I recommend it to everyone.

One of the major problems that has plagued me all my life was becoming too emotional when things were important to me. This book has helped me recognize that I was getting upset and helped me deal with my emotions so I could come back to the conversations from a calmer place.

The book is written in simple language with lots of repetition and stories to make it easy to read and understand. The authors also use a lot of acronyms to help people remember what to do. Some of the reviews have complained about this. I have no complaints on this issue. The book is intended to accessible to low level readers. There are some areas where I don't feel they were simplistic or clear enough. I made myself flash cards of the basic principles to use during group discussion to keep myself on track.

I didn't find chapters #9 or #11 very helpful. I expected more practical advice on "moving to action" and "putting it all together". But just looking at the table of contents reminds me off all the skills and tools I need to keep a productive discussion from becoming a heated argument.

I wish they had an even more simplistic version of this book intended for teenagers. These are the sorts of emotion regulating skills teenagers could really benefit from.

I buy copies of this book to give to my friends. I know that giving other people a self-help book is rarely helpful but I just hope if there are enough copies of this book floating around out there more people will read it and become better at discussing instead of fighting or withdrawing. The more information in the pool of shared knowledge the better! ( )
  sheherazahde | Aug 9, 2013 |
If you are concerned about how to tackle a sensitive conversation with anyone, this is a must read book. ( )
  landlocked54 | Nov 26, 2012 |
Like most self-help and business books, this book presented ideas in a straightforward approach and with simple examples and explanations to the extent that most of the concepts presented felt very "common sense" and leaving the reader with thoughts like "well, yeah, why didn't I think of that?" The book discusses the topic of Crucial Conversations which are conversations in which there are 3 Elements: (1) High Stakes, (2) Varied Opinions and (3) Strong Emotions. In these situations, the authors posit that people generally trend towards one of two veins of communication: Violence or Silence.

The first few chapters do a good job at explaining their definition of what makes a conversation "Crucial" by presenting some key identifiers and using some "real world" examples. For example, what color shirt to wear or what to have for dinner may not be a crucial conversation…unless you're having that conversation on your anniversary with your spouse and even then, depending on your relationship with your spouse, that may not be a "crucial' conversation. Other examples include providing negative (or "constructive") feedback to a co-worker or (even more crucial) a boss, discussing sensitive lifestyle choices of a sibling/child/friend, etc. As the book continues, the authors make a point of teaching readers to look at themselves as much as they look at others…or even more, since the only person we can directly change/influence is ourself.

So once the book explains WHAT a crucial conversation is and how to recognize it, the authors proceed to give methods for identifying our personal way of dealing with the stress of crucial conversations (do we move to Violence or Silence…do we lash out at others with hurtful accusatory language, or do we pull back and refuse to add anything helpful to the conversation?). They also help provide insight into recognizing the dialogue styles of others. Once the dialogue styles are identified, then the task is to bring the Crucial Conversation to a healthy middle ground where thoughts and ideas can and will be presented without driving any of the participants to Violence or Silence and as a result, the participants can move towards a healthy resolution. The authors also provide examples of how to identify that successful outcome (because we may feel like the conversation ended well, when in reality the other person is now off sulking silently).

Overall, I felt like the book was an insightful and intriguing read. As I mentioned at the onset, many (or at least the better ones) business/self-help books are presented in such a way that it's easy to accept the concepts as logical and true. I felt like this book did a good job doing just that. The concepts and ideas presented may not be easy to adhere to (especially in the heat of an emotionally stressful discussion), but they are good ideas and I do believe that if a person could, at the very least, keep them in mind, that person would likely have more successful interpersonal interactions. The authors make some pretty audacious claims about things that will come if we master Crucial Conversations (ranging from being more successful at work or having a happier home life or a healthier body) and once again, they back their claims up in logical ways. I would be skeptical of their claims to the extent that they are based on becoming a "Master" of Crucial Conversations and so the caveat is that the definition of "Master" may not be possible to fully achieve. Still, I do believe that any progress along the trajectory will be beneficial and will help you make strides towards reaching the outcomes they claim.

I felt like this was a worthwhile read. It moves pretty quickly and has some humorous anecdotes to keep the reading fresh and accessible. If you're interested in communications, have your own "crucial conversation" coming up, or are just looking for some general advice that may help you relate better to others around you, go ahead and pick this book up. It had good advice and ideas that would help in both personal and professional venues.

3 out of 5 stars ( )
1 vote theokester | Mar 3, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kerry Pattersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grenny, JosephAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
McMillan, RonAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Switzler, AlAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Covey, Stephen R.Forewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
We dedicate this book to Louise, Celia, Bonnie, and Linda--whose support is abundant, whose love is nourishing, and whose patience is just shy of infinite. And to our children Christine, Rebecca, Taylor, Scott, Aislinn, Cara, Seth, Samuel, Hyrum, Amber, Megan, Chase, Hayley, Bryn, Amber, Laura, Becca, Rachael, Benjamin, Meridith, Lindsey, Kelley, Todd who have been a wonderful source of learning.
First words
In perhaps the most revealing of all the health-related studies, a group of subjects who had contracted malignant melanoma received traditional treatment and then were divided into two groups. One group met weekly for only six weeks; the other did not. Facilitators taught the first group of recovering patients specific communication skills. (When it's your life that's at stake, could anything be more crucial?)

After meeting only six times and then dispersing for five years, the subjects who learned how to express themselves effectively had a higher survival rate--only 9 percent succumbed as opposed to almost 30 percent in the untrained group.
People who are skilled at dialogue do their best to make it safe for everyone to add their meaning to the shared pool--even ideas that at first glance appear controversial, wrong, or at odds with their own beliefs. Now, obviously they don't agree with every idea; they simply do their best to ensure that all ideas find their way into the open.
The Pool of Shared Meaning is the birthplace of synergy
Second, clarify what you really don't want. This is the key to framing the and question. Think of what you are afraid will happen to you if you back away from your current strategy of trying to win or stay safe. What bad thing will happen if you stop pushing so hard? Or if you don't try to escape? What horrible outcome makes game-playing an attractive and sensible option?
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0071401946, Paperback)

Learn how to keep your cool and get the results you want when emotions flare.

When stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong, you have three choices: Avoid a crucial conversation and suffer the consequences; handle the conversation badly and suffer the consequences; or read Crucial Conversations and discover how to communicate best when it matters most. Crucial Conversations gives you the tools you need to step up to life's most difficult and important conversations, say what's on your mind, and achieve the positive resolutions you want. You'll learn how to:

Prepare for high-impact situations with a six-minute mastery technique Make it safe to talk about almost anything Be persuasive, not abrasive Keep listening when others blow up or clam up Turn crucial conversations into the action and results you want

Whether they take place at work or at home, with your neighbors or your spouse, crucial conversations can have a profound impact on your career, your happiness, and your future. With the skills you learn in this book, you'll never have to worry about the outcome of a crucial conversation again.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:55 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A seven-step approach to handling difficult conversations with confidence and skill. "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? This book 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' 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, readers also learn about the four main factors that characterize crucial conversations, and they get a six-minute mastery technique that prepares them to work through any high-impact situation with confidence.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 avail.
173 wanted
5 pay15 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.85)
1 4
2 7
2.5 2
3 31
3.5 8
4 58
4.5 5
5 39


Four editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,666,663 books! | Top bar: Always visible