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Crucial Conversations

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Lauren Durand

on 7 August 2015

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Transcript of Crucial Conversations

Crucial Conversations
The key to having uncomfortable conversations...
Rules of Communication
Each person is responsible for their communication.
You have 100% control over what you say.

One communication impacts another communication.
What you say and do will have an impact on how someone reacts.

Emotions have an impact on communication.

There will always be challenges in communication.
People and human nature are involved.

Crucial Communication...?
1. Opinions vary
Get defensive
Fight or flight mode
Wired to protect yourself

2. Stakes are high
You have something to lose...

3. Emotions are strong
When operating off of emotions, you react rather than respond.
Confront means to hold someone accountable face to face.
Should I consider a confrontation?
to confront...

Make sure you are confronting the right problem
Pick one thing to discuss
Remember you are confronting a PERSON
Don't have much time before someone shuts down!

I confront...
Being silent but acting out
Ummmm. You are being passive aggressive.
Being silent while your conscious is loud and clear
I cannot stop thinking about it!
Can I succeed? vs. Should I try?
Your goal should be to address the problem, not create a solution overnight.

Why are these types of conversation so difficult?
1. Avoid conversation or stay silent
Trust, uncomfortable, backlash, relationships
2. Attack the person
Abrasive instead of persuasive
3. Don't care/care too much about other's interests or feelings
Too invested in the outcome that I want, so I don't want to communicate
4. Don't have a communication model
If I can't imagine it being successful, I avoid it
If you visualize failure, you are likely to fail
5. Hijacked by our emotions
I react rather than respond
Psychology of Downhill Conversations
Where the conversation begins.
Reacting vs. Responding

Impose your solution on the other person.
Insisting, blaming, criticizing, accusing, shouting, using force
Lower your expectations and settle for less than we you would have liked.
Giving in, giving up, agreeing so the conversation will end
Leave the scene of the conversation.
Ceasing to talk, leaving physically/emotionally, changing the topic

Wait for the conversation to be over.
Waiting, doing nothing.
Challenges come from not qualifying what we mean/setting expectations
You assume the other person knows what you mean
Cross generational communication

Qualify terms
Differentiate fact vs. feeling
Broken commitments
Unmet, agreed upon expectations
Unacceptable behavior
Confrontation is always about another person.
Fueled by emotions.
Can go quickly downhill.
This affects everything and we're often wrong.
Reaction happens in 2-3 seconds, but what if you interpret it wrong?
What is your communication style?
Why should you care?
Styles affect our interactions with others.
Knowledge of others' styles can prevent misinterpretation.
How you handle your style helps determine your success.
Better manage communications when emotions are high.
Gets to the bottom line
Speaks forcefully
Maintains eye contact
Presents positions strongly
Trouble Spots
Is a poor listener
Is impatient with others
Does not heed advice
Likes to argue
When dealing with others....
Focus on their goals and objectives
Keep your relationship businesslike
Argue facts, not personal feelings
Be well-organized in your presentations
Ask questions directly
Speak at a relatively fast pace
When might this person be effective?
Trouble Spots
When dealing with others...
When might this person be effective?
Listens well
Is a good counselor
Uses supportive language
Builds trust
Avoids conflict
Gives in easily
Keeps opinions to oneself
Overemphasizes feelings
Focus on your relationship
Be supportive of their feelings
Make sure you understand their needs
Be informal
Maintain a relaxed pace
Give them time to build trust in you
Trouble Spots
When might this person be effective?
When dealing with others...
Is persuasive
Is a good storyteller
Focuses on the big picture
Uses motivational speech
Does not hear details
Tends to exaggerate
Can be overdramatic
Focus on opinions and inspiring ideas
Be supportive of their ideas
Don't hurry the discussion
Engage in brainstorming
Be entertaining and fast-moving
Allow them to share their ideas freely
Trouble Spots
When might this person be effective?
When dealing with others...
Presents precisely
Focuses on facts
Is efficient in speech
Has a well-organized work space
Focuses too much on details
Fears personal disclosure
Can be terse
Uses little variety in vocal tones
Focus on facts, not opinions
Be thorough and organized
Provide written evidence when possible
Be systematic in your presentations
Avoid gimmicks
Allow time for analysis
to Create Dialogue!
Dialogue is the free flow of conversation that results in...
1. Understanding various perspectives
2. Influencing others and being influences
3. Discussing differences
4. Maintaining/building trust
5. Less miscommunication
But... responding is difficult because:
It takes a lot more time to respond than to react
Responses de-escalate the situation - get clarification, pause, ask questions
Acknowledge and validate
Now you're ready, for some crucial conversation.
Discuss problems as soon as possible.

When possible, plan how you will communicate to create dialogue.

Focus the discussion on the problem, not the person.
Step 1: Manage your Reactions
Identify emotions

Understand reactions

Manage responses
Step 2: Gain Clarity
What is the purpose of the conversation?

What do you really want? For yourself, others, the relationship?
Why do you want that?

What would you be saying or doing if you really wanted those results?
Step 3: Make it Safe
Find trust.

Content vs. Conditions

Fact vs. Belief

Defuse and De-escalate
Step 5: Listen with Empathy

Listen while suspending judgement.

Be curious, stay curious.

Ask questions.

Test your understanding.
Temporarily suspend your values, opinions, and beliefs.
Step 6: Plan the Communication
What's at stake for those who may disagree with you?
What are the main arguments you are trying to counter?
What do you need to address?
What is the appropriate time and context for the conversation?
Where is there opportunity for win-win?
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