Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior

Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior

Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

Language: English

Pages: 284

ISBN: 0071446524

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The authors of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations show you how to achieve personal, team, and organizational success by healing broken promises, resolving violated expectations, and influencing good behavior.

Discover skills to resolve touchy, controversial, and complex issues at work and at home--now available in this follow-up to the internationally popular Crucial Conversations.

Behind the problems that routinely plague organizations and families, you'll find individuals who are either unwilling or unable to deal with failed promises. Others have broken rules, missed deadlines, failed to live up to commitments, or just plain behaved badly--and nobody steps up to the issue. Or they do, but do a lousy job and create a whole new set of problems. Accountability suffers and new problems spring up. New research demonstrates that these disappointments aren't just irritating, they're costly--sapping organizational performance by twenty to fifty percent and accounting for up to ninety percent of divorces.

Crucial Confrontations teaches skills drawn from 10,000 hours of real-life observations to increase confidence in facing issues like:

  • An employee speaks to you in an insulting tone that crosses the line between sarcasm and insubordination. Now what?
  • Your boss just committed you to a deadline you know you can't meet--and not-so-subtly hinted he doesn't want to hear complaints about it.
  • Your son walks through the door sporting colorful new body art that raises your blood pressure by forty points. Speak now, pay later.
  • An accountant wonders how to step up to a client who is violating the law. Can you spell unemployment?
  • Family members fret over how to tell granddad that he should no longer drive his car. This is going to get ugly.
  • A nurse worries about what to say to an abusive physician. She quickly remembers "how things work around here" and decides not to say anything.

Everyone knows how to run for cover, or if adequately provoked, step up to these confrontations in a way that causes a real ruckus. That we have down pat. Crucial Confrontations teaches you how to deal with violated expectations in a way that solves the problem at hand, and doesn't harm the relationship--and in fact, even strengthens it.

Crucial Confrontations borrows from twenty years of research involving two groups. More than 25,000 people helped the authors identify those who were most influential during crucial confrontations. They spent 10,000 hours watching these people, documented what they saw, and then trained and tested with more than 300,000 people. Second, they measured the impact of crucial confrontations improvements on organizational and team performance--the results were immediate and sustainable: twenty to fifty percent improvements in measurable performance.

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Fast Company (February 2014)















and your conscience is nagging you—you probably ought to speak up. * * * Am I Choosing the Certainty of Silence over the Risk of Speaking Up? When it comes to deciding whether we’re going to speak up, we kid ourselves into making the same error over and over. We choose the certainty of what is currently happening to us (no matter how awful it may be) over the uncertainty of what might happen if we said something. This of course drives us to silence, quietly embracing the devil we know,

say that he thought the pilot was being reckless or irresponsible, the copilot just dropped hints. “See all those icicles on the back there and everything?” or “Boy, it’s a losing battle here trying to deice those things, it [gives] you a false sense of security, that’s all that does.” As the pilot continued his takeoff routine, now taxiing the plane down the runway, the copilot continued to raise concerns, but, again, only obliquely. “That doesn’t seem right, does it?” The copilot didn’t want

short, he didn’t know how to step up to a crucial confrontation and deal with it well. When People Don’t Question Authority A middle-aged man checked into a medical clinic for a simple earache and walked out, the puzzled owner of a brand-new vasectomy.2 How could this have happened? Hint: It wasn’t a typographical error. Later the doctor explained that the patient had been wide awake as medical professionals prepared him for the surgery. That included shaving him in a place that was a

actively not as an intellectual exercise but as a way to get to results. Create a Safety Valve Before we bring this chapter to a close, let’s look at one final issue. You approach your boss with a problem that he is causing, and he immediately becomes aggressive. You silently seethe because you were hoping he would help you resolve the problem, not shoot the messenger. Despite your best efforts to stifle the fuming volcano of hate and loathing that is overtaking your “employee of the

example, a group of waitresses at a Matsushita plant in Tokyo received the Presidential Gold Medal for saving money on the tea they served in the company cafeteria.2 The waitresses noted who typically sat where and how much tea they consumed and then poured the appropriate amount at each table. They didn’t save the most money—not by a long shot—but earned the award because they followed the process better than others did. Add Spontaneity to Structure We’ve nibbled at this issue; now let’s

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