Sunday, January 28, 2007

Success Books - "Crucial Conversations" Part 1

I learned about Crucial Conversations from the remarkable collection of books put together by Josh Kauffman in The Personal MBA. This book has key insights into one of the most important questions of personal and business success: What really differentiates the person who gets things done from the rest of the pack? The answer? The super-effective person gets results where it counts: where the stakes are high, where emotion is involved, and where opinions differ, in otherwords at Crucial Conversations. The examples the authors give are the scariest, toughest encounters we face: Asking a friend to repay a loan, critiquing a colleague, a delicate issue with a spouse.

Frankly, I believe that even a 10% improvement in communication at these crucial times would lead to 1000% improvement in one’s life. I also believe that it only takes a few failures in thse areas to relegate careers to a backwater, relationships to a dying ember, and a community to a ghost town. This book is important.

So, how do we go about improving our Crucial Conversations? The authors (who spent 25 years in exhaustive research) contend that the free flow of relevant information is the key, and that dialogue is the master skill. To dialogue, we first must address our own inner selves, especially the “fight or flight” reflex. We need to find that key avenaue of dialogue and avoid the twin detours of "flight" (avoidance and withdrawal) or “fight” (debating so hard that the other party shuts down).

I found as I read the first part of this book, that my own, ineffective reflexes were blindingly obvious to me. I also got equal or better insights than many full-day seminars and multi-CD programs that I had gone through.

More in Part 2

Related Links:

12 negotiation Tips

The Five Essential People Skills


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