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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.
241 of 249 people found this review helpful
Useful enough of a book with good points. A slightly different take on the same subject as Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people," which if I were to choose between the two I would go with Dale Carnegie's seminal book as the message here isn't as direct, but if you're interested in the subject and have already read/listened to Mr. Carnegie's, then this is a good compliment.
33 of 36 people found this review helpful
I downloaded this audiobook based on a single reference made during a training session at work - more to help me get on board with new company owner's philosophy than a desire to learn it has to be said! However I have come back to write this review, because without even realising, I have absorbed some of the basic rules and techniques, intuitively used them when the need arose, and much to my surprise they actually work!
At work, at home and with friends: 'Make it safe' 'What do you want to achieve from this' ... it may sound stupidly simple but human nature in most of us tends not to this logic.
At work, time and time again I am able to pull back from being the obstacle or confrontational so enabling a more free flow of communication to everyone's benefit. And in my personal life I find I use what I've learned and can have (more often at least!) a calm, well considered conversation, with a positive outcome (even if that turns out to be completely different to my original expectation).
I will go back and listen to this book again, in the hope I will glean still more.
If truly effective communication counts for you, whether it's with your boss/es, your team/s, your family or your friends, the lessons in this book (even skimming the surface) will serve you well.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful
There are some very useful tips in this book, but they took too long explaining everything in too much detail. They nearly lost me at the beginning when it seemed to take forever just explaining what a crucial conversation is and why it is important. I stuck with the audiobook, but at times it was a little painful.
I think the book is valuable, but the audio version does not allow you to skip pages in the way you might with a book, if they explaining the obvious.
I think someone should have had a crucial (difficult) conversation with the author about about editing.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Really helped me have better conversations with my team. Takes a little practice to think rather than just react naturally but if you can master it, it could change your life!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
very powerfull tools for listening and making a difference. i am very impressed and look forward to adding the tools to my tool kit!