Crucial conversations

by Andrew Wien

Posted on September 16, 2020

Crucial conversations
Crucial conversations is a popular book for how to navigate conversations when stakes are high. Rather than reading the book, check out this < 200 word summary:

Conversations are difficult when there are opposing opinions, strong emotions, and high stakes. We approach them in 3 ways: (1) avoid them, (2) face them poorly, or (3) face them skillfully.

Learning to face them skillfully is the key skill in being a good leader, teammate, parent, and partner.

The goal during the conversation is to make it safe to contribute to the shared pool of meaning. The more information that gets into the pool, the deeper it gets, and the better the outcome. Information gets into the pool by someone sharing something and everyone else listening.

Trying to win, punish, or keep the peace will not lead to the outcome you want. Ask yourself, what do I really want from this discussion?

Make the conversation safe by contrasting to fix understanding (I don’t mean ____. What I do mean is ____) and creating a mutual purpose.

State your perspective and explore others by first sharing the facts and then describing how you have interpreted those facts.

An effective conversation needs to be more than a dialogue. It needs to end in decision.

That’s it! Comment below on what you learned from this summary.

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