Kelly's Reviews > Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson
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From the Forward message at the beginning "To KNOW and not to DO is really to not to know".
Crucial Conversation: A discussion between 2 or more people where (1) stakes are high (2) opinions vary (3) emotions run strong.

CH 1) tells you why your body reacts the way it does when faced with a heated moment.
Someone says something you disagree with, this happens: two tiny organs atop your kidneys pump adrenaline into your bloodstream. Your brain then diverts blood from activities it deems nonessential to high-priority tasks. As the large muscles of the arms and legs get more blood, the higher-level reasoning sections of your brain gets less.

When your spouse has to work late a lot and you try to figure out how to spend time with them but they can't break free, initial reaction is to get snippy.
"Your behavior is now actually creating the very thing you didn't want in the first place." You get caught in an unhealthy self-defeating loop.

Research has shown that strong relationships, careers, organizations, and communities all draw from the same source of power - the ability to talk openly about high-stakes, emotional, controversial topics.

Silence Kills. Ex, when nurses notice something a Dr does that is wrong and say nothing. When people don't speak up or speak out, it can kill.

The key to real change lies not in implementing a new process, but in getting people to hold one another accountable to the process

CH 2: "the mistake most of us make in our crucial conversations is we believe that we have to choose between telling the truth and keeping a friend"
"Dialogue" - The free flow of meaning between two or more people.
*Skilled people find a way to get all relevant info out into the open.

CH 3) work on me first: the first steps to achieving the results we really want is to fix the problem of believing that others are the source of all that ails us.
* "the best Way to work on US is to work on ME first."
* FIRST: ask yourself "what do I really want" do not attack back
* Remember that the only person you can directly control is yourself.
* refocus your brain - Find your bearings - Take charge of your body
* Second: Refuse the fools choice.
-watch to see if you're telling YOURSELF u must choose between winning and losing.
ASK YOURSELF, WHAT DO I WANT FOR MYSELF, THIS PERSON , AND THE RELATIONSHIP?
* Would I behave this way if I really wanted it?

CH 4) Learn To Look.
*Watch the content of the convo (topic under discussion) along with the conditions (how people are reacting.
*Watch for 2 conditions: the moment a convo turns crucial, signs people don't feel safe (silence or violence), and your own Style Under Stress.
It takes both knowledge and practice to know what to look for then actually see it.
* Silence: purposely withhold info. almost always done to avoid problems, but restricts flow of meaning.
3 most common forms of Silence:
Masking-sarcasm, sugarcoating, and couching are most popular forms.
Avoiding- steering away from the subject.
Withdrawing-pulling yourself out of the conversation.
Violence: strategy that attempts to convince, control or compel other to your point of view.
3 most commons forms of violence:
Controlling- coerce other to your way of thinking
Labeling- putting a label on ppl or idea to dismiss them under a category
Attacking- moved from trying to win the argument by making them suffer.
BECOME A VIGILANT SELF-MONITOR.Watch to see if you are having a good or bad impact on safety.

CH 5 Make it Safe
Step Out, Make It Safe, Then Step Back In
*If you really want to have a healthy conversation, that make or break your relationship, then for a moment or two you may have to set aside confronting the current issue.
**THE WORST at dialogue, say what is on their mind with no regard how it is rec'd.
**THE BEST, talk about the problem, no sugar coating. BUT they step out, take a moment to make it safe, then step back in.
- when other move to silence or violence, step out, make it safe, and when safety is restored, go back.
Which Condition of Safety Is At Risk?
MUTUAL Purpose -Do others believe you care about their goals?
Mutual Respect -Do others believe you respect them
APOLOGIZE when appropriate
- when you've clearly violated respect - apologize
When an apology is sincere, the motive should change.
THE BEST at Dialogue, use 4 skills to create Mutual Purpose. (acronym - CRIB)
*Commit to seek mutual purpose
*Recognize the purpose behind the strategy
*Invent a mutual purpose
*Brainstorm new strategies
CH 6 - Master My Stories - how to stay on topic when angry, scared, hurt
*learn how to take charge of your emotions
*The best at dialogue, act on their emotions (by thinking them out)
*Nothing in this world is good or bad,thinking makes it so. Shakespeare
*The best at dialogue, find a way to slow down then take charge of their Path to Action.
-retrace your PATH:
Act-Notice your behavior-ask" am I in some form of silence or violence?"
Feel-Get in touch with your feelings "what emotions are making me act this way?"
Tell Story-Analyze your stories "what is creating these emotions?"
See/Hear-Get back to facts "what evidence do I have that supports this story?"
- Question your feeling and stories
- Don't confuse stories with facts
- Separate fact from story by focusing on behavior.








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Reading Progress

March 17, 2015 – Started Reading
March 17, 2015 – Shelved
March 17, 2015 –
page 1
0.42% "Making key points as I go. \n From the Forward message at the beginning "To KNOW and not to DO is really to not to know"."
March 19, 2015 –
page 23
9.58%
March 19, 2015 –
page 23
9.58%
March 21, 2015 –
page 37
15.42%
March 29, 2015 –
page 51
21.25%
March 30, 2015 –
page 68
28.33%
March 30, 2015 –
page 103
42.92%
May 31, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Kelly (last edited Mar 18, 2015 05:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kelly Making key points as I go.

From the Forward message at the beginning "To KNOW and not to DO is really to not to know"."
Crucial Conversation: A discussion between 2 or more people where (1) stakes are high (2) opinions vary (3) emotions run strong.

CH 1) tells you why your body reacts the way it does when face with a heated moment.
Someone says something you disagree with, this happens: two tiny organs atop your kidneys pump adrenaline into your bloodstream. Your brain then diverts blood from activities it deems nonessential to high-priority tasks. As the large muscles of the arms and legs get more blood, the higher-level reasoning sections of your brain gets less.

When your spouse has to work late a lot and you try to figure out how to spend time with you but they can't break free, initial reaction is to get snippy.
"Your behavior is now actually creating the very thing you didn't want in the first place." You get caught in an unhealthy self-defeating loop.

Research has shown that strong relationships, careers, organizations, and communities all draw from the same source of power - the ability to talk openly about high-stakes, emotional, controversial topics.

Silence Kills. Ex, when nurses notice something a Dr does that is wrong and say nothing. When people don't speak up or speak out, it can kill.

The key to real change lies not in implementing a new process, but in getting people to hold one another accountable to the process.


Jenny (Reading Envy) This is such a great book. I feel it may be time to read it again.


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