📚 Meister Book Club: Crucial Conversations (Grenny, McMillan, Switzler, Patterson)
I'm excited to be sharing my contribution to the Meister Book Club this month.
@Miša Hennin reached out to me after I mentioned Crucial Conversations in this thread - I hope you enjoy this short summary!
We've all experienced conversations where different opinions about a topic clash and emotions run high. When this happens, we go one of two ways: we either react in the heat of the moment or instead disengage to avoid the problem. Both approaches come with consequences which have short and long-term impacts. With this in mind, this month's book recommendation will help you discover how to communicate best when it matters most.
Crucial Conversations describes the 7 steps necessary to maintaining peace and respect in conversations with highly charged emotions.
- ❤️ Start with the heart (i.e empathy and positive intent)
More often than not, we forget that how we discuss something matters just as much as what we discuss. If we converse with respect for the other person, communication will flow and stay open. If we converse with anger, it's likely that a breakdown in conversation occurs.
It is also important to remember that we all have baggage which shapes the way we view things. As a result, we should try to keep an open mind and understand why somebody might be looking at a situation through a different lens.
- 🗣️ Stay in dialogue
It takes two to tango and, similarly, it takes two to maintain effective communication. Keep communication channels open, practice active listening and don't interrupt.
- 🔒 Make it safe
Being open, calm and receptive is key to making sure that the other person feels "safe" enough to continue talking and sharing their point of view. Once a person feels that the conversation is no longer "safe", there are 3 possible outcomes: Masking (where we only pretend to agree or listen); Avoiding (where we employ distraction techniques); and Withdrawing.
In Crucial Conversations, the authors suggest the following methods for keeping conversations in a safe space:
- Ask questions to get things rolling; for example: “I’d really like to hear your opinion on…”-
- Confirm what you are seeing but mind your tone of voice. For example, “I sense you are angry..." or ”You look unsure…”. These phrases can change the whole course of the conversation.
- Paraphrase what you heard to show genuine interest and empathy.
Also, never forget the power of the word "Sorry" if you did indeed say something wrong!
- 🪝 Don’t get hooked by emotion (or hook them)
The key is to be honest without being offensive - this requires a lot of practice! Whenever you engage in a conversation where emotions run high, remember to do it with confidence (do not start a crucial conversation feeling insecure), humility (remember that you don't know everything) and a focus on staying in dialogue.
- 🤝 Agree a mutual purpose
This is important for ensuring a positive outcome. It is difficult to solve all problems at once, but by finding some common ground, it is at least more likely. Ultimately, we might not agree on how we view things but if we agree on what we want to accomplish, it will be easier to continue the conversation without one perspective dominating.
- 📘 Separate facts from story
Facts can be verified. We create stories based on facts that reflect our personal past experiences. For example, one person might think that their partner is not answering their call (fact) because they are having an affair (story) while another person can think that they ran out of battery (story).
- 👍 Agree a clear action plan
Just because we have reached a middle ground and did everything mentioned above, it does not necessarily mean we will have a successful outcome. We still need to make sure that actions are defined and taken to improve the situation. We should also plan on a follow up to see the results of our actions and to assess if we are on the right path.
Since reading this book, I've tried to implement the principles in my own communication patterns. Changing our ways isn't easy, but being aware of better ways is a great start!
I'd love to hear what you think of these principles and whether you've heard of or read the book. Let me know in the comments.
Have a great day!
- All Categories
- Roadmap und Feature-Board
- MeisterTask Academy
- Help Center
- MeisterTask Feature Board
- Inspiration Hub
- Ask the MeisterTask Community
- 1 Frag die MeisterTask-Community
- 1.1K MindMeister Community
- 770 MeisterTask
- 188 MeisterNote
- Ask a Question
- Community auf Deutsch
- 265 MeisterTask - DE
- 69 Community Central
- 12 MindMeister en Español