Oct 31

Book Review: Crucial Conversations

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are HighCrucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson

This book reads like a textbook, because it sort of is. It’s about something that all of us need, but don’t know we need: how to have conversations with people about important topics without ruining everything. How to have a conversation in which you exchange information and come to an agreement, instead of how to bully or alienate people.
I read Crucial Confrontations a couple of months ago, so much of this book felt like review. It talks about why people clam up or get defensive (they don’t feel safe) and about some of the ways to avoid defensiveness (state the facts, allow for other possible interpretations, beware of buying into your own story.)

Best thing about this book: Everyone needs to know this information, and mastering it will make you a better parent, spouse, friend, sibling, employee, manger. Better all-around human, actually. Good techniques, well tested.

Worst thing about this book: It reads a little like a textbook, and I am not sure this is the best way to get this information. (They do have seminars and weblinks.) Very valuable information, worth reading, but not a compelling read. Think of it as braised kale–really good for you, but perhaps not as tasty as chocolate.

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