The Latest

Influence Versus Manipulation

Influence Versus Manipulation

Posted in Influencer

Dear Crucial Skills, The culture in my organization is toxic. We have intelligent, proud, committed leaders who are beginning to learn the talk of collaboration and empowerment. However, they still cling to the quick-and-dirty solution of compliance. My question is, how is intentional...


French-fried Memories

French-fried Memories

Posted in Kerrying On

When I entered the eighth grade in 1959, I was given the option to study either Latin or French. I chose French because from what I understood, the French weren’t dead yet. Miss Limply, the school’s French teacher, launched the first day of class by showing a cartoon of the Three Little Pigs....


How to Speak Up For Your Morals and Values

How to Speak Up For Your Morals and Values

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I work in Information Technology and our company was recently bought. Several members of the parent company came in to bring our network up to their standards. Me, two of my coworkers, and five employees from the new company worked together all weekend and late into the...


Do Crucial Conversations Skills Make Others Defensive?

Do Crucial Conversations Skills Make Others Defensive?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, When identifying styles under stress (silence or violence) how do we confront them without “calling someone out” inappropriately? In another Crucial Skills post that I read recently, the author recommended that we address silence and in one example suggested we might...


How to Apply New Skills

How to Apply New Skills

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Justin, I have attended many courses that make use of skill models, including the VitalSmarts courses. Crucial Conversations, for example, provides a model that outlines what to do before, during, and after a crucial conversation. In Getting Things Done, I learned multiple steps for how...


How to Get the Right Things Done

How to Get the Right Things Done

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, as a teenager. I loved it. I purchased the FranklinCovey planner and for years I defined my roles and tried to execute on important-but-not-urgent matters related to those roles. I loved getting clear on my values and...


How (Not) to Lend Money to a Friend

How (Not) to Lend Money to a Friend

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, About a year and a half ago, a friend approached me about borrowing a significant amount of money. Over the years, he has paid back previous loans faithfully. At the time we talked about this, he offered to pay back with interest. I told him paying interest was not...


How to Confront a Suspected Thief

How to Confront a Suspected Thief

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Cricket, Recently, I dressed up for a presentation at school. (I am 14, by the way.) I brought a drawstring bag with me with, an extra set of pants, and my $160 sneakers to change into when my presentation was done. I accidentally left my drawstring bag with my pants and sneakers in...


The Two-Minute Rule and How to Use It

The Two-Minute Rule and How to Use It

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, The two-minute rule often blows up on me. I frequently find that what I thought would be a two-minute task takes longer than two minutes. For example, I’ll open an email and think I can respond quickly by just confirming one thing, but when I check that one thing, I...


How to Improve Employee Morale

How to Improve Employee Morale

Posted in Influencer

Dear Crucial Skills, How do you suggest a large institution go about changing a can’t-do attitude to a can-do attitude when morale is low? We’ve had budget and staffing cuts and have a history of “silos” throughout the organization. Can you help? Signed,Salvaging What...


How to Deliver Feedback without Insulting Someone

How to Deliver Feedback without Insulting Someone

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, How do you deliver feedback that seems to relate less to behavior and more to personality? I oversee an Employee Resource Group (ERG). The leader of this group, like the members of it, volunteers his time and energy to the ERG. We all want the members to thrive and...


Responsibility—It Cuts Both Ways

Responsibility—It Cuts Both Ways

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I am one of four adult sisters (all of us over 50 years old). We have a highly critical father who recently has begun making pre-inheritance gifts with ridiculous conditions attached. For example, he recently gifted us two condos, then later told us they are a...