Crucial Conversations

  • by Kerry Patterson
  • Narrated by Joseph Grenny
  • 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best seller that changed the way millions communicate is now available in audio.
Perhaps once a decade, a book comes along that transforms people's lives in a very real, measurable way. This is one of them.
Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene 10 years ago and revolutionized the way people communicate when stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. Since then, millions of people have learned how to hold effective crucial conversations and have dramatically improved their lives and careers thanks to the methods outlined in this book.
Now, the authors have revised their best-selling classic to provide even more ways to help you take the lead in any tough conversation:


New firsthand accounts of how these skills changed readers' lives
New case studies showing how business leaders successfully applied these methods to achieve results
New links to videos teaching what to do and what to avoid during crucial conversations
New research findings offering fresh insights for applying the skills taught in the book
Crucial Conversations is filled with practical advice you can start using today:


Prepare for high-stakes conversations
Make it safe to talk about almost anything
Transform unpleasant emotions into powerful dialogue
Be persuasive, not abrasive
Crucial Conversations gets you past the hard parts of dialogue and helps you achieve relationships that are real, productive, and that will enrich your life and career.

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What the Critics Say

"[Crucial Conversations] draws our attention to those defining moments that literally shape our lives, our relationships, and our world.... This book deserves to take its place as one of the key thought leadership contributions of our time." (From the Foreword by Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
"The quality of your life comes out of the quality of your dialogues and conversations. Here's how to instantly uplift your crucial conversations." (Mark Victor Hansen, cocreator of the number one New York Times best-selling series Chicken Soup for the Soul)
"Coming in as the new CEO of an organization with many tenured employees, I have had many crucial conversations. Using Crucial Conversations as my playbook during this time was paramount in guiding me through each conversation." (Joanne K. Bryson, CAE, Executive Vice President and CEO, Oregon Medical Association)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

There is something useful here

I am generally more than somewhat dubious of self-help books. They tend to be full of jargon and self-promotion with overly simplistic frameworks and have a few powerful truths that are somewhat obvious, but not so easy to actually execute. This audio book is no exception. Crucial Conversations uses a lot of words for self-promoting and testimonials with very little information content. It has its share of jargon and acronyms and oversimplifications. It also has its powerful truths (that are somewhat obvious and not so easy to actually execute). The single best transformative truth presented is that if someone is reacting with anger or retreating into silence it because of a story they are telling themselves. Really seeing and believing this for oneself and for others is (I think) the fundamental key in dealing with most emotional conflict.

Without the jargon and acronyms this mostly boils down to:

Look at how you and others are reacting
Make sure everyone feels safe
Notice what you really want
Notice if you are acting in alignment with what you really want
Think about your story before you start talking
Separate the facts from your story
Ask for, and understand, the stories of others
Ask for, and understand, challenges from others to your story
Align on a purpose
Come to a decision
Write down decisions with clear actions, dates and verification

OK, mostly pretty obvious. Some pretty easy to do, some pretty hard. If you do all these things, you will likely communicate well.

I did this as a training class as well as reading and listening to the book and viewing the videos (yikes!) and the audio examples. The training class was much, much better than the audio (or printed) book primarily because in the class there were many role-plays where the students had to actually attempt to use the techniques in semi-scripted scenarios. These role-plays made it clear how different these techniques were from most peoples’ normal communications habits and made it very clear it would take a lot of focus and practice to become proficient using these techniques.

There were a few things I particularly didn't like including; The time and words wasted in self-promotion and testimonials; Labeling natural fight or flight responses as “unhealthy”; and the narration was (as in many self-help books) so upbeat and positive as to be grating.
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- Michael "I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read."

Good book, HORRIBLE reading

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, good contents. I have a strong preference for "Difficult conversations" by Stone, Patton, Heen, but I found Crucial Conversations quite complementary.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

I found his constant emphasis on almost every word he read was unbearable, to the extent that I actually stopped listening to the book for a while, and took it again later when I had nothing else to listen to (I listen in my car only)


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- Jean-Stéphane Szijarto "JS"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-17-2012
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education