Crucial Conversations

Crucial Conversations

Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
Offers techniques for communicating effectively in difficult and important situations to achieve positive results.

Book News
Patterson et al., teachers and trainers who run an organization focused on leadership, relationships, and personal change, show how to handle conversations that occur when stakes are high, opinions differ, and emotions are strong in workplaces, marriages, families, or other relationships. They outline specific steps for these conversations: staying focused, noticing when safety is at risk, staying in dialogue even when angry, speaking persuasively and not abrasively, listening when others blow up or clam up, and turning conversations into action and results. They also cover what to do in tough situations like sexual harassment, with sensitive spouses, and with failed trust, and how to remember the tools. This edition has a new foreword by Stephen R. Covey, a new afterword, and new research, facts and figures, skill applications, reader stories, case studies, and links to new videos and other online resources. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

McGraw Hill

The New York Times and Washington Post bestseller that changed the way millions communicate

“[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 #1 New York Times bestselling series Chicken Soup for the Soul®

The first edition of Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene and revolutionized the way millions of people communicate when stakes are high. This new edition gives you the tools to:

  • Prepare for high-stakes situations
  • Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue
  • Make it safe to talk about almost anything
  • Be persuasive, not abrasive

Publisher: New York : McGraw-Hill, [2012]
Edition: Second edition
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780071771320
Branch Call Number: 153.6 PATTE
Characteristics: xviii, 244 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Grenny, Joseph
Switzler, Al
Alternative Title: Crucial conversations
Notes: Revised edition of: Crucial conversations : tools for talking when stakes are high / Kerry Patterson [and others]. 2002


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Aug 16, 2018

A very informally written book: one idea often takes as much as ten pages to write, rather than one paragraph (for example, chapter two , whose idea is that techniques for engaging in crucial conversations constructively are learnable). A major drawback is that the emphasis throughout is what one wants for oneself is always given priority. Another is that the belief of the interlocutor is more important than what the case is (for example, on page 101, it is written "do others believe you respect them?" rather than one actually respecting others and then have them believe that one respects them). There are little advertisements for services from the authors' companies peppered throughout the book. Ultimately, its awkward to apply the lessons for one needs to take extensive notes and carry them around and then in the midst of a crucial conversation pull them out to apply them correctly (perhaps its a case of better awkwardly done than not done at all).

Jun 01, 2017

Life is about relationships and conversations, but when conversations become crucial (high stakes, emotional, and opposite opinions), we tend to do our worst. Get tips on dialogue and emotional intelligence. Also a great reminder when stuck to ask "What crucial conversation am I not holding or not holding well?"

May 08, 2017

This is an awesome book, which helps you identify unhelpful behaviours you may be engaging in, and how to approach dialogue when others are engaging in these unhelpful behaviours.

Mar 27, 2017

This is a great book for improving communications both in your personal life and work. Some commenters believe that this book is common sense but I don't find that to be the case. Sure, it makes perfect sense when you read it and the ideas are simple enough. However, the ideas presented here are not second nature to anyone I know. There is a lot here and it is well worth reading more than once to become truly familiar with the techniques.

JCLAmyF Sep 13, 2016

Highly recommended (at least give it a skim) if you want to communicate more clearly and positively, or if you find yourself in the same types of conversation ruts time and again.

Aug 15, 2015

A very interesting book.

Jul 05, 2013

Finished this June 30 2013.....some good ideas, that are good to keep in mind. "What do I really want!"

xaipe Sep 02, 2012

Most of this book addresses people in the corporate world mainly at the decision-making or managerial level.
I wish that the authors had included non-business situations, but the skills presented can be applied in many other areas.
The authors are four white men, Fortune 500 types, who could have used some input from women and minorities.There are places in the text which give links to online videos depicting conflict situations. It is assumed that readers will form discussion groups and apply their new, book-based skills to solving the problems. There is also a blog for discussion and a downloadable discussion guide. It's interesting that although this book stresses careful attention to feedback, the authors did not elicit any reader feedback that I could determine. I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked many of the conflict tools discussed, but in my opinion their application was not broad enough.

Jun 19, 2012

Has this book been lost? It has not become available for a couple months now.

June 26/12 - still no movement

Nov 18, 2010

Whether you are trying to have a hard conversation with someone at work, at home, or with a relative, these folks outline how to prepare for that difficult conversation. Check out their Web site and newsletters, too!


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