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Crucial Conversations

TOC Team Workshop

Marcus Wittich

on 17 April 2018

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Transcript of Crucial Conversations

Tools for Talking
When Stakes are High

Crucial Conversations
The root cause of many if not most human problems lies in
how people behave when others disagree with them
about high-stakes, emotional issues.
Bold Claim
What is a Crucial Conversation?
Mastering Crucial Conversations
Start with Heart
Learn to Look
Make it Safe
Putting it all Together
How to Stay Focused on What You Really Want
Start with Heart
How to Notice When Safety Is at Risk
Learn to Look
How to Make It Safe to Talk About Almost Anything
Make it Safe
Putting It All Together
How to Stay in Dialogue When You're Angry, Scared, or Hurt
Master My Stories
How to Speak Persuasively, Not Abrasively
How to Listen When Others Blow Up or Clam Up
Explore Others' Paths
Advice for Tough Cases
Yeah, But
2. Face them and handle them poorly
1. Avoid
3. Face them and handle them well
(cc) photo by medhead on Flickr
How Do We Typically Handle Crucial Conversations?
Adrenaline is pumped into your bloodstream
Brain diverts blood to major muscle groups
Hairs stand up on the back of your neck
Higher-level reasoning sections of your brain get LESS, causing you to turn into this!
Conversation turns Crucial!
But hopefully not this...
We are Designed Wrong!
Learn to Spot Crucial Conversations
Look for signs that people don't feel safe
Look for Silence or Violence - both inhibit meaningful communication
Check your own style under stress
Any act to purposefully withhold information from the pool of meaning
Fool's Choice
Option 1. Telling the Truth
Refuse! Be Honest and Respectful
Option 2. Keeping a Friend
Mr. K, Do you like my new hairdo?
Don't make the fool's choice!
Dialogue and Filling the Pool of Shared Meaning
"When it comes to risky, controversial, and emotional conversations, skilled people find a way to get all relevant information (from themselves and others) out into the open."
The Pool of Shared Meaning is the Birthplace of Synergy.
The best way to fix "us" is to start with "me."
"Skilled people Start with Heart. That is, they begin high-risk discussions with the right motives, and they stay focused no matter what happens." p. 36
Don't resort to debate, silent treatment, manipulation, and so on. (volume and proximity)
Dialogue Killers:

Keeping the Peace
Don't Lose Sight of What you Really Want!
Refocus your brain.
Stop and ask yourself some questions that return you to dialogue.
What do I really want for myself?
What do I really want for others?
What do I really want for the team
Find your bearings...
Locate your own * North Star *
Learning to Look is a form of "Social First Aid"
Look at the content
Look at the conditions
The sooner you notice you're not in dialogue, the easier it is to get back and lower the costs.
Look for when things become crucial
Some people first notice their PHYSICAL signals-stomach gets tight, raising voice
Others notice their EMOTIONS-scared, hurt or angry
Brain is beginning to disengage and you are moving away from healthy dialogue.
Learn to look for Safety Problems
When it's safe, you can say anything
Dialogue calls for the free flow of meaning
Nothing kills the flow of meaning like FEAR
People begin pushing their ideas too hard, or they start withdrawing and hiding (fight or flight)
Silence and Violence
When people start to feel unsafe, they start down one of two unhealthy paths...
Silence (withholding meaning from the pool)
Violence (trying to force meaning in the pool)
Look for YOUR Style Under Stress
Style Under Stress Test p. 64
or www.CrucialConversations.com/sus
Mutual Purpose
Working toward a common outcome in the conversation
Must care about the common interest of others-not just our own
Mutual Respect
When people feel disrespected, they become highly charged
But can you respect people that you just don't respect?
feelings of disrespect come when we dwell on how others are DIFFERENT from ourselves
we can counteract these feelings by looking for ways we are SIMILAR
What to do if you see that either Mutual Respect or Purpose is at risk...
Step out of the conversation, then:
Create a Mutual Purpose
-When others misinterpret either your purpose or your intent, use contrasting.
-It's a don't/do statement.
You Try

I don't want___________
I do want_____________
Case Study #1
One of your team mates never volunteers when there is a request for extra staff during bad weather or an EOC. They do, however, perform excellent work when they are on shift but they often complain about others performance and never seem to help to improve the situation. Up until now, you haven't said anything, but it is really weighing on you. Is this a crucial conversation? How would you approach this?
Case Study #2
Your immediate supervisor has written you up for several inconsequential offenses, every time you approach him/her about anything, this person is always curt. You really feel that this person does not like you and is out to hurt you, to remove you from your position.
Case Study #3
Need Content here
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
-George Bernard Shaw
Dramatic improvements in organizational performance (insert team, relationship etc..) are possible if people
learn the skills routinely practiced by those who have found a way to master these high stakes “Crucial” moments.
How it Started
25 years ago 4 researchers began investigating why certain people were more effective than others
Kerry Patterson
Joseph Grenny
Ron McMillan
Al Switzler
Crucial conversations is a
of what these extraordinarily effective people do, broken down into steps anyone can learn and master
some were managers and supervisors but may were not
They asked over 20,000 people to identify the individuals in their organizations who could really get things done.A handful of people were named 30 times or more
Violates safety by trying to force meaning into the pool
Verbal strategy that attempts to
control or
compel others to your point of view.
The Tools
What is a Crucial Conversation?
Start with the Heart
Learn to Look
Make it Safe
Master My Stories
STATE my Path
Explore Others' Paths
Move to Action
1. First you see, hear, or experience something

2. You tell a Story to yourself about the Facts

3. You Generate A Feeling

4. You Act
Our Stories Create Our Emotions;

We Create our Stories!!
Full transcript