Crucial Conversation

Posted on Oct 8, 2020

Chapter 1

:::: anki 6365a6b2-7296-482f-af37-1164cb207054 What is a crucial conversation, one that has: high stakes, emotions and opposing opinions #Flashcard :::

Chapter 2 - Power of dialog

::: anki 9cd0c219-28f1-448d-bea3-ad6b27051a24 Fool’s choice paradox you have only two options, tell the truth and make an enemy or suffer in silence #Flashcard ::: 👆 is a lie!

Fill the pool of shared meaning

  • People who are skilled at dialoge, do their best to make it safe for everyone to add meaning to the pool of shared meaning

The pool of shared meaning is the birtplace of Sinergy

Chapter 3 - Start with heart

  • work on me first, us second

    • Try to change yourself first, since it’s the only thing you can control
  • Focus on what you really want

    • When heated, do a step back and ask
    • What do I really want for myself
    • What do I want for others
    • What do I want for the relationship
  • Instead of focus on win, on forcing ideas to the pool of shared meaning.

Chapter 4 - Learn to look

  • SAFETY -> Is what makes dialog work, we should always feel safe, anything can be said in a safe environment
  • How we do that? ->? detecting lost of safety
    • Spot crucial conversations (remember high stakes + emotions + opposing opinions)
    • Silence -> is “flight” strategy
      • masking -> selectively showing our true opinion
      • avoiding -> talk without addressing the real issue
      • withdrawing -> exit the conversation
    • Violence -> is the “fight” strategy -> attempt to conveince control or compels others in your point of view
      • controlling -> forcing views or dominating the conversation (cutting others off, overstating facts, speaking in absolutes)
      • labeling -> putting labels to ideas to dismiss them
      • attacking ->moving from wanting to win, to make the others suffer

Chapter 5 - Make it SAFE

When you spot that the conversation is going without safety, step out and stop looking at the content and try to make it safe. If others are not safe.

Two conditions for safety:

  1. Mutual purpose: make sure others perceive you are working towards a common goal/outcome
  2. Mutual respect

How to gain this conditions?

  1. apology -> if needed
  2. contrast -> make sure you make the boundaries of your points, I meant A, B, C and by any means I want Z, Y and W.

Chapter 6 - Master my stories

Just after we observe and before we feel an emotion, we tell ourself a story, we add meaning (we makes guesses, with our own previous experience / bias) to what we observe

See and hear » Tell a story » Feelings » Our acts (behavior)

Retrace your path -> is kind of reverse engineering the story we tell ourserlf, to be able to see if there other possible stories.

  1. See your acts -> understand your feelings
  2. Why I am feeling that? what is the story
  3. Go back to the facts

There are 3 types of stories we tell our self:

  1. victim’s story -> It’s not really my fault
  2. villian’s story -> it’s all your fault
  3. Helpless story -> there is nothing else I can do (fools choice paradox)

Chapter 7 - State my path


  • Share tour facts <- least controversial
  • Tell your story <- be rational and reasonable
  • Ask for other’s path <- invite others to share/expand the problem How:
  • Talk tentatively <- Tell the story as an story, and not as facts “In my opinion….”
  • Encourage testing <- make sure that people feel safe no matter what they are sharing

Chapter 8 - Explore other’s path

How to make enough security that others can share their path:

  • Ask -> to encourage walking the path together
  • Mirror -> confirm their feelings
  • Paraphrase -> to acknowledge their story
  • Prime: if nothing worked, with all the info try to get the most reasonable story and talk them back " I think that ….”

For disagreeing:

  • Agree -> on the common things you have(normally we only disagree on the details)
  • Build -> If something is missing, add it after agreeing
  • Compare -> when you disagree significantly, don’t suggest others are wring, just compare both views

Chapter 9 - Move to actions

Who does, What by When, set a follow-up time, and record the commitment (send an e-mail)

4 Methods for deciding:

  1. command -> faster but less engagement (less buy-in)
  2. consult -> somebody is making the decision but wants others points of view
  3. Vote -> most options are good, we need to decide one
  4. consesus -> is hard and slow to get a decision made, only for big stakes that will be hard to change.