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Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  6,540 ratings  ·  289 reviews
The authors of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations show you how to achieve personal, team, and organizational success by healing broken promises, resolving violated expectations, and influencing good behavior.

Discover skills to resolve touchy, controversial, and complex issues at work and at home--now available in this follow-up to the internationally popul
Paperback, 280 pages
Published August 26th 2004 by McGraw-Hill Companies
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  6,540 ratings  ·  289 reviews

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Kristy Tillman
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
If you want to really help people excel in life - this is a must have book on communication. It really deals with so much more than communication and confrontation. The chapter on motivation has given me so much more understanding on how people are motivated and it gave me some really great tools to help others and myself get unstuck.

I also loved this quote on safety "At the foundation of every successful confrontation lies safety. When others feel frightened or nervous or otherwise unsafe, you
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm not much of a confrontational person because I lose control when emotions and stakes are high. But after reading this book, I really do feel like I could talk to anyone about anything, if I had the time to plan for it. It takes preparation to make a crucial confrontation go well.
What I liked from the book is how the authors encourage you to have your crucial confrontations. So often we shy out of them and endure the unpleasant consequences. It's almost always worth it to have them. Another m
Denise Nutt-Beers
The business communication ideas in this book are sound. However, there are two example stories in this book that should banish it back to the 1950s. In one, the author uses the term “hussy” to describe a woman - clearly unacceptable in 2019, particularly in a business setting. In the other example, a husband tries to coerce his wife into an intimate encounter when she clearly says no. This is not a communication issue for the business environment. It perpetuates patriarchal stereotypes - clearl ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is essentially about the art of confronting other individuals in as safe a way as possible which allows individuals to articulate some of their challenging thoughts and messages they often want to convey to other colleagues or family members but are unable to do so for a variety of reasons. Not be up able to have these conversations can have hugely deleterious effects on any organisation or even a household as well where people don’t have the ability to speak truth to power or to artic ...more
Josh Steimle
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
It's been a little while since I read Crucial Conversations, so maybe I'm forgetting things, but it seems to me like this book is more or less more of the same. In that sense, it's good stuff. But if you're looking for something exciting and new that gives you valuable information on top of what you already learned from Crucial Conversations, well, not so much. I'd treat it more as an appendix to the original as opposed to a new volume. I'd give it four stars for the content, but only three sinc ...more
Melissa Bond
Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it
A very interesting and helpful resource in dealing with those uncomfortable situations that often waste time and leave with hurt feelings. However, it was quite a convoluted way to explain common sense, especially since there was too often little in exact details to handling a situation. To put it simply, imagine reading a book on how to change the oil in a car. If this author wrote that book, you would know all the signs leading up to changing the oil, but none on exactly how to do it. Still, t ...more
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This is an interesting book with many great suggestions for handling confrontations. The suggestions are well thought out and make a lot of sense. However, for me, they process of preparing and handling personal confrontations is to detailed and lengthy that by the time I get through the process, the person I am involved with will have died of old age. In real life situations where confrontations come up so quickly, are so involved and complicated, the intense evaluation of the situation is subj ...more
Mina Soare
Clear-cut and well-organised, but how applicable?

This is a often-recommended book: it has everyday scenarios, clear acronyms and a cohesive structure.

As a person who grimly goes alea iacta est into confrontations, the book presents numerous elegant options. They are all applicable, accessible to all and obviously better alternatives to "throw it out there and outrun the others until they run out of steam and they are willing to listen".

So far, the only issue I have found is that it didn't cram
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is a helpful resource for dealing with uncomfortable situations. I have already experienced success in its application. The principles it uses to guide accountability conversations are wholistic and well grounded, rather than a set of gimmicks or tricks to get people to bend to the desired outcome. The process leads to a win-win situation with both parties becoming better people.
Jeffery Thompson
The principles in this book are dynamite, but they are mostly a rehashing and reapplication from the original "Crucial Conversations," which I highly recommend. I would give this more stars if I hadn't read CC. Still, some of the newer material in this book might make its way into my Organizational Behavior course.
Dhara Parekh
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic
I didn't know how much I needed this book until I read it for one of my classes. As someone who has had hard time confronting people all her life, this was a precious little tool to learn those little techniques that could be used to have a proper 'accountability conversation' with someone you need to confront.
Brandon Lee
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tangible tips that every leader should know. I look forward to using this every single day in my job. The answers to dealing with difficult bosses, employees who fall short on promises... it’s all here
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
From beginning to quarter end of the book is very hard to understand, perhaps there were a lot of metaphors? however the end part is easily understandable and relate able.
Meghan Smith
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: improvement
This has a lot of very interesting and actionable information. I read a number of things that I’ll be working to include in my interactions. Overall, quite good.
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is exceptionally good. I listened to it on Audible, but it didn't work too well. It needs to be read, practiced and embodied. I highly recommend it.
Gordon Moore
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was the course book for University of Michigan training and has been very useful in understanding my thought process when involved in a confrontation.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Riveting and sooooo applicable.
Elias Thomase
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been a good read, I can apply the nuggets taken away from this book in my Family, Work, and Business.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwdb-books-read
Crucial Accountability

“If something comes up, let me know right away.” Then decide together.


Choose What and If

• What - Ask yourself what you really want. You can talk about the content, the pattern, or the relationship. To stay focused, ask what you really want.

• If - Are you talking yourself out of an accountability discussion? Don’t let fear substitute for reason. Think carefully not just about the risks of having the conversation but also about the risks of not
Barry Davis
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled “Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior,” this book is the updated version of “Crucial Conversations.” The authors are the leaders of Vitalsmarts, an innovator in best-practices training products and services.

After describing exactly what “crucial accountability” is, the authors start in Part One by having the reader look in the mirror, determining what should be addressed personally before any discussion takes place. Choosing “what” and “if” f
Angela Lam
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Managers, Leaders, People interested to improve communication/relationships
This book addresses how to deal with disappointments, and to handle sensitive discussions around broken promises, missed expectations, and bad behaviour. [Vs "Crucial Conversations" deals with disagreements]

The ideas and tips are good, probably one of the better books on communications. Especially since such scenarios are something that all of us face at work and at home, all the time.

But, the writing's style is really convoluted, which makes the book a little hard to read.
E.g. this paragraph i
Vasyl Pasternak
The book is full of recipes how to behave in tough conversations. Highly recommended to everyone, who works or leads groups
Mar 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio
Perhaps there are some great ideas there but the book as a whole is poorly written. Unorganized.
Shhhhh Ahhhhh
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good book. Not sure I got as much out of this as I could have. I think I probably should have read Crucial Conversations first. That's on my short list now.

My major takeaway from this book was safety. It hasn't really been a consideration of mine but the author goes through great pains to insist that safety be created and maintained for the duration of a confrontation, or else people will retreat to using silence or violence to attempt to make themselves safe. Confrontations happen in one on on
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall, a good read and definitely a resource I'm keeping at hand.

The work originates from the authors' desire to capture and study what enables individuals to excel in accountability discussions. I especially enjoyed the chapters on emotional/psychological self-awareness ("Mastering Our Stories") and the down-to-earth techniques for stepping out silence to give voice to accountability failures ("Describing the Gap"). As with Crucial Conversations, I deeply enjoyed the authors' humanist approac
Sean Kottke
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional, 2020
This is the companion book to the two day course of the same name I completed this week as part of the State of Michigan Civil Service Management Development Program. My doctorate is in educational psychology, and rests on a heavy foundation of the study of research and theory in human motivation. So, when I say there weren't any new ideas for me in here, take that with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, the book provides an excellent, cohesive framework that integrates and contextualizes within the ...more
K.M. M Hasling
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We did a book club at work on this book. Most didn’t like the extreme examples used (adultery??), but I felt like they proved the points with obvious conflict. Maybe not relatable but applicable sure.

To me I thought the book made me think of my own situations enough that I got value in the ideas for how to start a conversation and when to walk away too. It’s not an exact science. The causes for accountability problems can pretty much be summed up in either motivation (I don’t want to or I have o
Ryan Rodriquez
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every single issue that I have witnessed to be an element of toxicity in the workplace always comes down to an accountability issue. Always. The frustration, anger, in-fighting, contention, and general discord of any organization (or family) can be resolved by clearly communicating the expectation of accountability. And not just communicating it either, enforcing it.

The examples of failed accountability and the practical steps that the authors of this book provide are a fantastic framework for
Billie Pritchett
Crucial Accountability isn't a bad book, just not to my taste. I thought it would be more helpful than it was, and this could be my failing. The book offers advice about how to deal with problem situations in the workplace where you have to talk with an employee or colleague or superior and get them to understand when they've made a mistake or not followed procedure, etc. What made the book so difficult for me is that the book does not deliver a finite set of principles you can follow. What is g ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really loved the first couple chapters

Really loved the first couple chapters. Although it seemed too many at times having examples of both work and personal issues helped to frame the concepts well. For me it seemed this book lost a little horsepower after the first few chapters. The concept of accountability comes from an authoritarian view rather than one of mutual benefit. I wish a few more chapters could have been written on personal accountability as I think one needs to master this before
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Kerry is a prolific writer who has coauthored numerous articles and award-winning training programs. Kerry taught at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management and then cofounded Interact Performance Systems, where he worked for ten years as vice president of research and development. Kerry is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial ...more

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“If the story is unflattering and the feeling is anger, adrenaline kicks in. Under the influence of adrenaline, blood leaves our brains to help support our genetically engineered response of “fight or flight,” and we end up thinking with the brain of a reptile. We say and do dim-witted things.” 2 likes
“When it comes to risky, controversial, and emotional conversations, skilled people find a way to get all relevant information (from themselves and others) out into the open. That’s it. At the core of every successful conversation lies the free flow of relevant information. People openly and honestly express their opinions, share their feelings, and articulate their theories. They willingly and capably share their views, even when their ideas are controversial or unpopular.” 1 likes
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