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

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

Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

Language: English

Pages: 284

ISBN: 0071446524

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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 popular Crucial Conversations.

Behind the problems that routinely plague organizations and families, you'll find individuals who are either unwilling or unable to deal with failed promises. Others have broken rules, missed deadlines, failed to live up to commitments, or just plain behaved badly--and nobody steps up to the issue. Or they do, but do a lousy job and create a whole new set of problems. Accountability suffers and new problems spring up. New research demonstrates that these disappointments aren't just irritating, they're costly--sapping organizational performance by twenty to fifty percent and accounting for up to ninety percent of divorces.

Crucial Confrontations teaches skills drawn from 10,000 hours of real-life observations to increase confidence in facing issues like:

  • An employee speaks to you in an insulting tone that crosses the line between sarcasm and insubordination. Now what?
  • Your boss just committed you to a deadline you know you can't meet--and not-so-subtly hinted he doesn't want to hear complaints about it.
  • Your son walks through the door sporting colorful new body art that raises your blood pressure by forty points. Speak now, pay later.
  • An accountant wonders how to step up to a client who is violating the law. Can you spell unemployment?
  • Family members fret over how to tell granddad that he should no longer drive his car. This is going to get ugly.
  • A nurse worries about what to say to an abusive physician. She quickly remembers "how things work around here" and decides not to say anything.

Everyone knows how to run for cover, or if adequately provoked, step up to these confrontations in a way that causes a real ruckus. That we have down pat. Crucial Confrontations teaches you how to deal with violated expectations in a way that solves the problem at hand, and doesn't harm the relationship--and in fact, even strengthens it.

Crucial Confrontations borrows from twenty years of research involving two groups. More than 25,000 people helped the authors identify those who were most influential during crucial confrontations. They spent 10,000 hours watching these people, documented what they saw, and then trained and tested with more than 300,000 people. Second, they measured the impact of crucial confrontations improvements on organizational and team performance--the results were immediate and sustainable: twenty to fifty percent improvements in measurable performance.

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to the heart of the matter by asking what you really do want and don’t want—for yourself, the other person, and the relationship. IF. To determine if you’re wrongly going to silence, ask four questions: Am I acting it out? Is my conscience nagging me? Am I choosing the certainty of silence over the risk of speaking up? Am I telling myself that I’m helpless? To determine if you’re wrongly speaking up, ask if the social system will support your effort. If you are committed to speak up while others

sarcasm, and pointed humor), but the results are probably the same. Employees fail to deliver on a promise, and the bosses jump to a conclusion and jump hard. What makes these crucial confrontations interesting is that the underlying cause doesn’t really matter. If leaders start out with strong emotions, believing that they are on the moral high road, the interaction is likely to turn out badly for everyone regardless of the underlying cause. The scene continues as the managers rush in like so

contained in our model played a role: A supervisor had been sent to the scene, where she learned that the programmers were unfamiliar with the latest version of the testing software (individual ability). The supervisor had offered to obtain a tutorial, but the material was across town at headquarters (organizational ability). The team leader said he’d get it, but didn’t (social ability). The team leader never got the material because he was stopped in the hallway, where he was told to prepare

poor fellow has to get the submarine’s radio up and running to learn if the vessel should launch its missiles. If he fails, the captain will be forced to launch the sub’s nuclear arms blindly, cause the enemy to retaliate, and eventually destroy the world— even though it may not be necessary. (“Sorry. My mistake!”) In the real world the poor fellow probably would collapse from the pressure. In fact, the stress would be so debilitating that a smart leader would be doing everything in his or her

resolved and the relationship enhanced. Of course, not every opinion leader succeeded all the time. We can’t promise that the skills they taught us will make it so that you’ll always get what you want or magically transform the people around you. What we have seen is that crucial confrontation skills offer the best chance to succeed regardless of the topic, person, or circumstances. Crucial Conversations in the Headlines At this point you might conclude that this is a book about

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