Kerry Patterson – Crucial Conversations

Cover of "Crucial Conversations: Tools fo...

Cover via Amazon

Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan among others wrote Crucial Conversations back in 2002. Somehow I got noticed on this book in December, 2010, I think it was because of the release of the Dutch translation. A crucial conversation is a discussion between two or more people where stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions run strong.  Such high-risk discussions don’t come with notices and reminders. More often than not, they come as unwelcome surprises. The authors researched what people’s Style under Stress is, and what can be done to have better outcomes and relationships. In this 200 pages volume they share insights, first textual, enriched with real-life examples, differents paths to follow. At the end, putting it all together, principles and structures are visualized and presented as a wrap-up. Though changing habits and communication skills are no overnight business, the authors do their utmost to deliver tools for talking when stakes are high. Learn to look, make it safe, and retrace the path leading to conclusions are some basics. Stephen R. Covey, author of the 7 habits of highly effective people recommends reading it. His ‘try to understand others before wanting to be understood’ habit is elaborated in detail, and so inviting him for a foreword seems logical. Crucial conversations is not a book to read in 1 day, or even 1 week. It’s about changing habits, and needs to be practiced, meditated upon, reflected, re-read and practiced, and so on. You’ll be challenged to prepare for high-stakes situations, transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue, make it safe to talk about almost anything and be persuasive, not abrasive. It’s a New York Times bestseller wit over one million copies sold so far. You can add to that 😉

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