Crucial Confrontations - Book Review

"Crucial Confrontations" is the partner book to a book I reviewed last year called "Crucial Conversations." As the subtitle suggests, the book is an attempt to offer "tools for talking about broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior."

I'll just cut to the chase: if you deal with people on a regular basis, are not omnipotent or omniscient, and choose not to read this book, you're making a huge mistake if not being altogether irresponsible.

There are only a few people on the planet who enjoy confrontation. Those people do not need to be doing it.

The rest of us normally hate confrontation because we are lousy at it. Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler have provided us with a resource to help all of us prepare for confronting virtually anyone, and develop a game plan for engaging in and managing high-stakes confrontations about any topic.

This book will be helpful for the parent who needs a healthy way to confront a child about her lack of piano practicing as well as for the Senior Vice President of a corporation who needs to confront his CEO about a serious character issue. The authors lay out a no-nonsense, simple road map for navigating difficult confrontations of any shape or size.

Crucial Confrontations will give you a strategy for your anger (mastering stories), the other person's emotions (protecting safety), articulating the problem (describing the gap), detours in the confrontation (focus and flexibility), and developing an action plan to end the conversation and move forward (move to action).

On every page of this book, I saw specific ways that confrontations in my past could have gone differently. I wish I had read this book ten years ago.

Although I'm still not excited about engaging in confrontation and cannot guarantee that all my confrontations in the future will go well, I can guarantee that after reading this book I'll go into those hard conversations exponentially more equipped and confident of a good outcome than I have been able to be in the past.


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