Recently one of my colleague attended a workshop on “CRUCIAL CONVERSATION”. Loved the topic, so here is some of the things I read from that. Read & enjoy. Don’t forget to post your comments.
A crucial conversation is a discussion between two or more people where the stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. Below are some ways to be in crucial conversations:
1. Get Unstuck How to spot the Conversations That Are Keeping from What You Want?
THE LAW OF CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS
Anytime you find yourself stuck, there’s a crucial conversation you’re either not holding or not holding well
Skill #1: Identify where you’re stuck
Skill #2: Unbundle with CPR
“THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS “IF YOU DON’T TALK IT OUT, YOU WILL ACT IT OUT” …. Joseph Grenny
2. Start with Heart How to Stay Focused on What You Really Want?
WORK ON ME FIRST
The first step to change starts with a change in heart-which begins when you admit that you’re the person you should be trying to improve.
The Skill: Focus on what you really want.
- “What am I behaving like I want?”
- “What results do I really want-
- for myself?”
- for the relationship?”
- for others?”
- for the organization?”
- “How would I behave if I really did?”
“THE REASON OTHERS GET DEFENSIVE WITH US IS NOT BECAUSE WE LACK THE RIGHT SKILLS. BUT WE HAVE THE WRONG MOTIVES. CHANGE WHAT YOU WANT AND YOU’LL CHANGE HOW YOU ACT” … Ron McMillan
3. Master My Stories How to Stay in Dialogue When You’re Angry, Scared or Hurt.
Skill #1: Separate fact from story.
Skill #2: Watch for three clever stories.
Victim, Villain & Helpless Stories propel our emotions and help us justify our behavior.
Skill #3: Tell the rest of the story. Ask:
- “What am I pretending not to notice about my role in the problem?”
- “What should I do right now to move towards What I really want?”
- “Why would a reasonable, rational, and decent person do this?”
“THE CENTRAL SKILL FOR TAKING CONTROL OF THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE AND THE QUALITY OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS IS THE ABILITY TO MASTER YOUR STORIES” …. Joseph Grenny
4. STATE My Path How to Speak Persuasively. Not Abrasively
To express your views in a way that makes it safe for others to hear them(and even disagree), share your path the way you experience it- from observations to actions. If you start with the facts and are tentative in encouraging others’ points of view, you can be both totally candid and totally respectful.
The Skill: STATE My Path.
Share your facts
Tell your story
Ask for others’ paths
“YOU CAN ARGUE AS STRONGLY AS YOU WANT FOR YOUR OPINION AS LONG AS YOU ARE EQUALLY VIGOROUS IN ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO DISAGREE” …. Ron McMillan
5. Learn to Look How to Notice When Safety is at Risk
Watch for the signs that a conversation is turning crucial. When people feel unsafe, they typically move to silence or violence. Those who are best at dialogue interpret silence or violence as evidence that others are feeling unsafe and then do what it takes to make it safe. Remember, the sooner you catch problems, the sooner you can return to dialogue, and the less severe the damage
Skill #1: Learn to look for when a conversation becomes crucial.
Skill #2: Learn to look for silence and violence in yourself and others.
“WE GO TO SILENCE BECAUSE WE DREAD CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS. WE GO TO VIOLENCE BECAUSE WE’RE UNSKILLED AT HOLDING CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS”… Al Switzler
6. Make It Safe I How to Make It Safe to Talk about Almost Anything
The two conditions of safety are Mutual Purpose and Mutual Respect. Are people at cross-purposes, offended, or both?
Restore safety. Tools include:
“THE LIMITING FACTOR OF ALL COMMUNICATION IS NOT THE RISKINESS OF THE MESSAGE YOU WANT TO SHARE, BUT HOW SAFE YOU CAN HELP OTHERS FEEL HEARING THAT MESSAGE”… Kerry Patterson
7. Make It Safe II How to Create Mutual Purpose
The Skill: Create Mutual Purpose.
- Commit to seek Mutual Purpose. Commit to search for a goal that will benefit both of you.
- Recognize the purpose behind the strategy. What you want and what you’re asking for are often two different things. One is your purpose; the other is your strategy for achieving it. Recognize the difference.
- Invent a Mutual Purpose. Don’t settle for a compromise. Move to different (often more creative) or higher and more encompassing goals.
- Brainstorm new strategies. Once you’ve found a Mutual Purpose, brainstorm mutually satisfactory strategies.
“WHEN OTHERS FEEL RESPECTED AND TRUST YOUR MOTIVES. THEY LET THEIR GUARD DOWN AND BEGIN TO LISTEN”… Al Switzler
8. Explore Others’ Paths How to Listen When Others Blow Up or Clam Up
When others move to silence or violence, we need to encourage them to retrace their Path to Action to its source. When others are sharing feelings or acting inappropriately, it’s our job to make it safe for them to share their facts.
The Skill: Use AMPP to explore others’ paths.
Ask to get things rolling
Mirror to confirm feelings
Paraphrase to acknowledge the story
Prime when you’re getting nowhere
“THE BEST PREDICTOR OF YOUR ABILITY TO GET TO DIALOGUE IS THE AMOUNT OF CURIOSITY YOU BRING TO THE CONVERSATION”… Joseph Grenny
9. Move to Action How to Turn Crucial Conversations into Action and Results
The Skill: Document WWWF
It’s easy to let assignments fall through the cracks. When ending a discussion, document the following
and how we will Follow up
“THE KEY TO RED CHANGE IS NOT JUST TO BUILD A GREAT PROCESS—IT’S FOR PEOPLE TO HOLD EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE TO USE THE PROCESS. AND THAT REQUIRES CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS”… Ron McMillan
Don’t forget to share your thoughts.