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Figure 1 0-3. The Dialogue Model

yourself in dialogue by focusing on what you really want and then

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Figure 1 0-3. The Dialogue Model yourself in dialogue by focusing on what you really want and then behaving as if you really do want it
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behaving as if you really do want it. A void the Sucker’s Choices

that make it appear as if silence and violence are the only options.

When your emotions start running strong and taking control of

the conversation, use the Master My Stories principle to bring

your arrow back to the Pool of Shared Meaning. Retrace your Path

to Action, watch for clever stories, and tell the rest of the story.

When others move to silence or violence, Make It Safe. As we

strengthen safety, others are more likely to lay aside their silence

and violence and move back toward dialogue in the center.

What to do. The next three principles teach us what to do with

our meaning. First, we learned to STATE My Path. We share our

own sensitive or controversial views by following our Path to

Action. We share the facts first and then tentatively share our

story. We then demonstrate we’re serious about dialogue by

encouraging others to share their story (Figure 1 0-4 )-especially

if it’s different from our own.




Figure 1 0-4. The Dialogue Model

To help others share their meaning, we Explore Others’ Paths.

We ask, mirror, paraphrase, and prime (AMPP) as needed to get

to their feelings, stories, and facts. As we use these skills effec­

tively, we demonstrate that their concerns are discussable-that

dialogue can actually work. This helps others feel safer sur­

rendering their silence and violence and joining us in dialogue.

Finally, with the Pool of Shared Meaning full, we Move to

Action. We ensure that we are clear about how decisions are

being made and about what the decisions are. And we follow up

to ensure that dialogue leads to positive actions and results.

You can use the Dialogue Model first to diagnose what’s going

un. Remember to ask: “Where am I?” ”Where are others?” “Are we

in dialogue or in some form of silence or violence?”

Next ask, “Where do I want to be?” “Where do I want others to

be?” The principles and tools become the methods and means to

get to dialogue.





Here’s one last tool to help you organize what we’ve shared about

mastering crucial conversations. This tool will help you prepare

for an upcoming crucial conversation or learn from one that

you’ve already held.

Take a look at the table entitled Coaching for Crucial

Conversations, which follows. The first column in the table lists

the seven dialogue principles we’ve shared. The second column

summarizes the skills associated with each principle. The final

column is the best place to start coaching yourself or others. This

column includes a list of questions that will help you apply spe­

cific skills to your conversations.

Coaching for Crucial Conversations


1. Start with


(Chapter 3)

2. Learn to


(Chapter 4)

Skil l

Focus on what you

really want.

Refuse the Sucker’s


Look for when the

conversation becomes


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