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Posted October 29, 2007

Book: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes are High
Authors: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
McGraw Hill. New York. 2002. pp. 240

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Crucial Conversations gives you the tools to handle life's most difficult and important conversations. You'll learn how to:

Prepare for high-stakes situations with a proven technique

Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue

Make it safe to talk about almost anything

Be persuasive, not abrasive

An Excerpt from the Book:

Learn to Spot Crucial Conversations

First, stay alert for the moment a conversation turns from a routine or harmless discussion into a crucial one. In a similar vein, as you anticipate entering a tough conversation, pay heed to the fact that you're about to enter the danger zone. Otherwise, you can easily get sucked into silly games before you realize what's happened. And as we suggested, the further you stray off track, the harder it can be to return.

To help catch problems early, reprogram your mind to pay attention to the signs that suggest you're in a crucial conversation. Some people first notice physical signals --- their stomach gets tight or their eyes get dry. Think about what happens to your body when conversations get tough. Everyone is a little bit different. What are your cues? Whatever they are, learn to look at them as signs to step back, slow down, and Start with Heart before things get out of hand.

Table of Contents:

1. What's a crucial conversation: And who cares?

2. Mastering crucial conversations: The power of dialogue

3. Start with heart: How to stay focused on what you really want

4. Learn to look: How to notice when safety is at risk

5. Make it safe: How to make it safe to talk about almost anything

6. Master my stories: How to stay in dialogue when you're angry, scared, or hurt

7. State my path: How to speak persuasively, not abrasively

8. Explore other's paths: How to listen when others blow up or clam up

9. Move to action: How to turn crucial conversations into action and results

10. Putting it all together: Tools for preparing and learning

11. Yeah, but: Advice for tough cases

12. Change your life: How to turn ideas into habits