Being able to successfully navigate a crucial conversation is a vital skill for each of us to develop. Do we have a defined process and tools to do so?
A respected friend and leader introduced me to Crucial Conversations, written by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. The authors and I have learned the importance of being able to conduct a conversation when the stakes are high. As a CEO I can honestly state that the skillful ability of individuals and groups to conduct tough minded, constructive dialogue is one of the distinguishing differences between failure and success. I believe when we have the right growth mindset, foundation values (The Character Triangle), and tools, we can literally talk about any issue with anyone and come to a better state of being. However we need the recipe and practice. As an example, the authors introduce the concept of CRIB to get past cross purposes. The C (commit to a mutual purpose) ; R (recognize the purpose behind the strategy) ; I (invent a mutual purpose); B (brainstorm new strategies).
This little tool set is just one of a number introduced in the book. The point is to recognize that having a successful crucial conversation is a learned process that requires understanding and purposeful practice. What process and tools do you use?
In order to fully embrace the value of RESPECT, I believe we have to be crucial conversation “certified.” Becoming skillful at doing this will improve your contribution and relations in and out of work.
Buy yourself a holiday present. Invest in being able to conduct a crucial conversation. (Note: there are other solid processes and tools in addition to those offered by Vitalsmarts. I have no commercial arrangement with them but they come highly endorsed.)
Live the Triangle,