Crucial Conversations is by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, and Ron Mcmillan. In the opening chapters the authors explain that a crucial conversation is any exchange where the stakes are high and emotions are running rampant. They describe how avoiding these conversations or handling them badly can leave lasting repercussions on our wellbeing.
Over the following chapters they describe how to recognise safety, how to reinforce it, and how to reach a positive outcome. It’s really strong stuff, in fact I’ve incorporated many of their ideas in my own style and recent talks.
The book isn’t targeted to a work environment, in fact many of the examples are close to home and personal scenarios. Asking for a raise or disagreeing with someone over a design choice will seem like small fry compared to some of the issues the characters in the book face.
However, I believe strongly that by using these techniques teams can communicate more effectively. By using some of the ideas Kerry and his fellow authors use to monitor safety in a conversation we’ll have better retros, planning sessions, and general collaboration.
If you’ve not read it then I strongly suggest you pick up a copy – it’s one of the few books I’ve rated 5* this year.