Friday, February 6, 2015

Crucial conversations

Here's the claim: Any time you find yourself stuck in some area of performance or improvement that's important to you, what is keeping you stuck is very often one or two crucial conversations that you're not holding or not holding well.

-Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler, Crucial Conversations
I'm pretty sure this is a crux issue for me, and I'm pretty sure this will be a life-changing book, right up there with Drive.

My goal: One-a-day. One potentially emotional, high-stakes conversation that I don't particularly want to have per day--with a student, colleague, family member.

Not that I intend to force it, but if I interpret it a bit loosely, I doubt I'll have much trouble coming up with convos I need to have--like that conversation with a student about how his lab partner seemed distressed after the lab.

And I'm looking forward to honing my crucial conversational skills. After all, it's one thing to have a difficult conversation, and another to do it well--to make it a positive thing rather than a negative thing.

So maybe I'm broadening their concept a bit, but that's OK. More skilful communication, at the point and place and time where it's needed is the key.

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