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
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.
CHANGE YOUR LIFE 227
A DIGITAL ASSIST
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.
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 .
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.
228 CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS
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 .
A PARTING THOUGHT
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.