Review: Crucial Conversations
Months ago I shared my difficulties with leading others and sharing opinions effectively with Josh Little from Bloomfire. He recommended I pick up the book Crucial Conversations and even mentioned he has had to re-read it many times over the years. It was the first book I finished on my vacation, and I am very grateful for his recommendation.
After the first few pages, I was initially put off by the number of buzzwords and new vocabulary (e.g. "shared pool of meaning"). I often get turned off with authors who would rather invent vague terminology than give clear meaning. However despite the capitalization, I felt the book provided great insight.
Some especially key take-aways for me were:
- Reaffirmation to first improve myself especially since it's much easier than trying to change others.
- The differences between content and context. I certainly get bogged down with specifically what someone says rather than thinking about their frame of mind. Or what they're not saying and merely hinting at.
- Highlighting the connection between open dialogue and a safe environment, with steps on helping set the context in a safe way.
- The differences between apologizing vs contrasting, and when apologizing is and isn't appropriate. This book helped me realize that I've used apologizing as a social crutch rather than expressing regret over a transgression.
- I liked the authors opinion on attitude, and how someone else doesn't change your attitude, you ultimately control your attitude and your actions that result from it.
- I think the authors did a great job emphasizing the scenarios of how conversations could be handled better. They didn't just throw out their points for their readers to interpret alone.
And for my biggest take-away: I appreciated that the book focused more on positive, open-minded dialogue and not subversive techniques to manipulate someone else. The points in the book were meant for the contentious and not for the silver-tongued. That just feels right to me.
So along with Josh, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. I feel it can help bridge communication break downs between couples and peers alike.