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. 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.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER 1 85
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.
1 86 CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A CRUCIAL CONVERSATION
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
2. Learn to
Focus on what you
Refuse the Sucker’s
Look for when the