Words matter. In many situations, especially when it comes to leadership, what we say, and how we say it, determines our success.
Situations arise where emotions run high and the choices we make have significant outcomes. The pressure is high, how we react makes all the difference. These situations are referred to as crucial conversations.
In their book CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS: Tools for talking when the stakes are high, authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler provide the framework to act and interact with other people in a way that creates the most positive outcome. They literally take you through the process of mastering the moment when your decision makes or breaks the end result.
The authors define a crucial conversation as “a discussion between two or more people where the stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong.” They give examples of many different situations to help you recognize when a conversation becomes crucial. They make this ‘audacious’ claim: “Master your crucial conversations and you’ll kick-start your career, strengthen your relationships, and improve your health.”
When we face a crucial conversation, we usually do one of three things:
- We avoid them.
- We face them and handle them poorly.
- We face them and handle them well.
The book focuses on ideas and techniques we can use to handle crucial conversations effectively, gain the trust of those you interact with, and communicate effectively with others. You will learn how to improve your dialog. You will discover tricks to help you focus on what you really want. You will find triggers that warn you when safety is at risk.
If you find yourself in a situation where you depend on working with, living with or interacting with people, and you rely on those interactions for your success, you need to master your conversations. This book will give you the tools.
Questions: Why does what you say matter so much? What crucial conversation do you need to have today? Please leave a comment in the space below.
The Product Management Perspective: Product managers face crucial conversations daily. You are at the core of important decisions and what you say matters. Learn to master your conversations and you will reap major benefits in the products you manage.