Crucial conversations: lessons from the worldwide bestseller book
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Crucial Conversations

Credit: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

For a summary of the book: Wikisummaries: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

This short page is my personal refresher of my reading of the Crucial Conversations book and my coursework attending the Crucial Conversatons course.


1. Get unstuck by using CPR

Get unstuck by spotting conversations that are keeping me from what I want, then unbundling them by talking about the "CPR" abbreviation.

  • Content: the current single instance of a problem

  • Pattern: any pattern of behavior over time

  • Relationship: how the problem is affecting my relationship with the other person

2. Start with my heart

Start with my heart to keep my focus on what I really want.

  • What am I behaving like I want?

  • What results do I really want, for myself, for others, for the relationship, for the organization?

  • How would I behave if I really did?

3. Master my stories

Master my stories -- even when I'm angry, scared, or hurt -- by separating facts from stories.

Skill: Tell the rest of the story by asking three questions.

  • What am I pretending not to notice about my role in the problem? Watch out for any "victim" story.

  • Why would a reasonable, rational, decent person do this? Watch out for any "villian" story.

  • What should I do right now to move toward what I really want? Watch out for any "helpless" story.

4. STATE my path

STATE my path by speaking persuasively, not abrasively.

  • Share my facts.

  • Tell my story.

  • Ask for others' paths.

  • Talk tentatively.

  • Encourage testing.

5. Learn to look

Learn to look for when when safety is at risk.

  • Look for when a conversation becomes crucial.

  • Look for silence and violence in myself and others.

6. Make it safe

Make it safe to talk by restoring safety.

  • When there is a clear problem, then ensure mutual respect by apologizing, and ensure mutual purpose by stating it or creating it.

  • When there is a misunderstanding, use the "Contrast" concept.

7. Create mutual purpose via CRIB

Create mutual purpose by using "CRIB" abbreviation.

  • Commit to seek mutual purpose.

  • Recognize the purpose behind the strategy.

  • Invent a mutual purpose, such a a more creative purpose, or higher purpose.

  • Brainstorm new strategies.

8. Explore others' paths via AMPP

Explore others' paths by using the "AMPP" abbreviation.

  • Ask to get things rolling.

  • Mirror to confirm feelings.

  • Paraphrase to acknowledge the store.

  • Prime when I'm not getting anywhere.

9. Move to action via WWWF

Move to action by using the "WWWF" abbreviation.

  • Who is working on actions?

  • What actions are happening?

  • When are actions complete?

  • Followup planning: how/when will we follow up?