Communication is a very common challenge we all face, both personally and professionally. According to Crucial conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high, a book by Joseph Grenny, everyone experiences crucial conversations throughout the day in their regular interactions. A simple conversation can turn into a crucial conversation in a matter of minutes when there is a difference in opinions, stakes are very high, and emotions are running strong. The key ability of effective leaders, teammates, parents and friends is to skillfully address and respond to emotional and risky problems whilst maintaining mutual love and respect.
Humans communicate all the time, but when the stakes are high, our skills to handle a conversation effectively are significantly reduced. This could be because we are used to communicating in everyday low-stakes exchanges, which have turned us less attentive and more automatic with our responses. As a part of influence skills training, with the right conversation, you can influence your people to do well, increase productivity and get through conflict easily.
In conversations which can make or break the results and relationships, one wants to be conscious of everything concerned within the communication, such as thoughts, emotions, words, voices, facial expressions and behaviors. As we are not used to paying such shut attention, our communication might take a bad step and fail.
In order to develop your skills for crucial conversations, it is important to first mirror how you usually respond in these situations and analyze your own effectiveness. Also, one should contemplate requesting feedback from others about how they read your ability to handle disagreeable things to gain more insight.
From this, you'll be able to discover your strengths and weaknesses and have a better understanding of areas you need to work upon. After these initial steps, managing crucial conversations becomes considerably easier and considerably less daunting. The final goal of dialogue isn’t simply to make a healthy climate or a transparent understanding between parties but also to establish the purpose and get unstuck in tough situations in order to take appropriate action.
Here is how it works:
- Get unstuck: identify problems contributing to poor results and broken relationships.
- Start with heart: consider others’ perspectives and assume they have good reasons before speaking up.
- Master my stories: keep composure when feeling angry, defensive, or intimidated. Identify victim, villain, and helpless stories you might be telling yourself to justify behavior.
- State my path: speak honestly and respectfully.
- Learn to look: spot the warning signs that indicate safety and dialogue are at risk.
- Seek mutual purpose: seek a purpose that both parties are committed to. Find common ground.
- Explore others’ paths: bring people back into dialogue when they clam up or blow up.
- Move to action: Turn each Crucial Conversation into a course of action that leads to results.
Without action, all the healthy dialogue within the world is for nothing and can eventually result in disappointment and arduous feelings. In order to move to action, one should invariably agree on when and who will arrange the follow-ups along with the timelines. It works as an Influencing Course to help people get through rough dialogue that usually ends up in conflict. It might be a straightforward email confirming action by a particular date. It might be a full report in a team meeting. It is a one-way road to becoming a master at Crucial conversations after deliberate practice.