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Read reactions. If you’re not doing a good job of holding cru­

cial conversations, the results are going to be right in front of

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you. If you see that you’re getting off track, back up and start

over. Use real-life cues (e.g., the other person’s jaw tenses, he or

she clams up, etc.) to remind yourself that maybe it’s time to try

a new tactic. If necessary, apologize. Move to an earlier place in

the discussion and follow the process.

Build in permanent reminders. Order a poster of the model,

place it on the wall, and look at it each morning as you start the day.

Carry a reminder. Along with the poster, order a set of cue

cards you can tuck into your purse or shirt pocket.





We’ve tried to include in this book everything you’ll need to con­

duct crucial conversations. Our goal was to provide a complete,

stand-alone tool for personal change. Nevertheless, when it

comes to improving social interactions, the digital domain has a

lot to offer as well. Audio, video, and other digital tools can

enhance your learning experience.

As an additional resource, we invite you to our website. There

you’ll find a variety of tools for helping you transform the printed

word into daily actions. Digital tools include conceptual, behav­

ioral, and cuing tools.

Conceptual Tools

Watch. To give you live-action views of the skills we cover, we’ve

added video examples to our website. Visit us at www.crucial­

conversations.com and check out video clips for specific skills.

Listen. Many people enjoy listening to audiotapes or CDs as

they commute to and from work each day. We’ve put together an

audio mastery course that not only reviews the material chapter

by chapter, but also provides audio examples of what the skills

sound like when put into action. Move your knowledge from the

abstract to the concrete as you hear how the theories translate

into words and the words build into usable scripts .

Behavioral Tools

If you’d like to practice specific skills with the aid of a role-play

tool, go to our website and check out Free Resources to down­

load role-play rehearsals. Print out the role plays and then work

with a partner until you’ve mastered the skill.




Cuing Tools

Visit www.crucia1conversations.com to sign up for regular tips,

reminders, and other resources to keep you watching for oppor­

tunities to use your crucial conversations skills .


We’ll be forever indebted to the wonderful people who allowed

us to roll up our sleeves, work side by side with them, and study

their best practices. We’re particularly grateful to individuals

who allowed us to watch them as they struggled to work through

crucial conversations. It’s hard enough to sort out facts, stories,

and feelings without being scrutinized under a microscope while

you’re doing it.

We hope that by sharing the theories, skills, and models we’ve

learned from these dear friends and colleagues, we’ll help you

feel more comfortable stepping up to your own crucial conver­

sations. You’ll be able to add to the pool of available meaning,

make better decisions, and work in a way that both gets the job

done and enhances your relationships.

So we encourage you to pick a relationship. Pick a conversa­

tion. Let others know that you’re trying to do better, then give

it a shot. When you blow it, admit it. Don’t expect perfection;

aim for progress. And when you succeed, celebrate your suc­

cess. We hope you’ll take pleasure in knowing that you’re

improving and so are your relationships. Finally, when the

chance arises, help others do the same. Help friends, loved

ones, and coworkers learn to master their own high-stakes dis­

cussions. Help strengthen organizations, solidify families, heal

communities, and shore up nations one person-one crucial

conversation-at a time.





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