The Latest

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...


What Science Says About Stress, Cognition, and Clarity

What Science Says About Stress, Cognition, and Clarity

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, GTD teaches that “your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them.” What does the science say? Does it support this statement? Sincerely,Curious GTD Student _____________________ Dear Curious, Your head is a terrible office. Your mind evolved to do...


How to Say No at Work Without Ruining Your Reputation

How to Say No at Work Without Ruining Your Reputation

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, What’s the best way to say no? On a recent webcast, you mentioned the importance of declining requests and renegotiating commitments. So, I tried it. A coworker came to me with an emergency and I declined to help. I didn’t have the time and I said, “No, I’m sorry. I can’t...


How to Harness Technology So it Doesn’t Harness You

How to Harness Technology So it Doesn’t Harness You

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, Do you ever feel that technology gets in the way of productivity? That tools slow things down? I agree that some communication and project- and time-management tools are invaluable. But often they get in the way of getting things done. For example, the number of apps and...