Monday, September 12, 2011
Crucial Conversations - Review
Although this book has already sold over 2 million copies, I did not pick one up until this second edition came out. Crucial Conversations is the type of book that you can recommend to just about anyone and have them thank you for it. It has valuable, practical tools that will help you have conversations that are useful in very real ways. Whether you are looking for conversation advice in business, marriage, love, friendship, or just about anything else, this book will help you push through your emotions and accomplish your real purpose in conversation.
The authors start off with a detailed discussion on what makes someone successful. They argue, unsurprisingly, that it is the ability to effectively communicate and not be locked into a Fool's Choice when making hard decisions. Fool's Choice is a false either/or dichotomy and the authors do a great job of exposing it, maybe the best I have seen in print.
After arguing why conversations are so important, the authors go on to give you the tools to help you communicate effectively. Some of the best takeaways include:
* The advice on page 46,47 on overcoming Fool's Choice's. Great advice, extremely helpful for all.
* The Chapter 5 tools for creating a Mutual Purpose. "Lord, help me to forgive those who sin differently than I."
* The advice in Chapter 6 on how to reframe your stories and control emotions. Very good, especially the section on taking another look at victims, villains, and the helpless.
* The last three chapters are very practical explanations and tools from the rest of the book. If you aren't sure if this book is right for you, just flip to Chapter 10 and read through some scenario's where conversation is crucial and you will be convinced.
Though I have not read the first edition, there are some great bonuses in the second. You get access to the authors' video archive with many of the conversation tools acted out. There is also an online test to measure your "Style Under Stress", a Crucial Conversations visual model, and real life stories about how Crucial Conversations has helped others throughout.
Some of these things are obvious, some of them aren't. Though you are probably skilled in some areas already, this book will help you see the motivation behind your actions and help you see what needs to be done to improve other areas. This is a valuable book and recommended to all - I wish I had found it sooner.