The Latest

How to Talk with Your Manager About a Promotion

How to Talk with Your Manager About a Promotion

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, What do you say to your manager in order to move from a level two to a level three? How do you talk about career advancement and convince them you are ready for the next step? Signed, Moving On Up _____________________ Dear Moving, Oh, yes. The “level-up” conversation....


My Parents Always Correct Me, But Are They Always Correct?

My Parents Always Correct Me, But Are They Always Correct?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Joseph, My parents correct me often. The way they do it is very blunt. When they do, I feel unsafe. I have tried over and over to explain this to them, but they just tell me it’s my problem because I’m prideful. They believe they never do anything wrong. They say I don’t take...


How to Help Your Boss Be More Productive

How to Help Your Boss Be More Productive

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I have teammates (and even my manager, at times) who are inefficient and often unproductive. This is causing issues for me because I end up picking up the slack. I’m not perfect, but I’d like them to more effectively manage their workload. How can I handle this?...


How to Foster Accountability in a Tight-Knit Culture

How to Foster Accountability in a Tight-Knit Culture

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, Our organization is non-profit with a family-oriented culture. Unfortunately, we act like a family that has no accountability. Instead of holding people to account, our approach is to avoid and dumb down. No one is ever fired for poor performance. People arrive late, fail...


The Painful Truth about Silence and Violence

The Painful Truth about Silence and Violence

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I took the Style Under Stress test in the Crucial Conversations book during a group discussion class. I was upset and offended that I was classified as “violent” in my communications. Everyone else in the class tended more toward “silence.” We concluded that “silence”...


How to Respond Effectively to Fierce Criticism

How to Respond Effectively to Fierce Criticism

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, If someone accuses me of something or yells at me, my reaction is: they must be right. In my mind, I’m always guilty, even if it’s not true. As a result, when people are verbally aggressive with me, I freeze up. What do I do? Help! Signed,Frozen _____________________...


How to Advocate for Your Direct Report

How to Advocate for Your Direct Report

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I have a staff member (let’s call him Tom) who recently began reporting to me, and he has a history of having a bad attitude. I discussed my expectations with him at the onset of our relationship, and his behavior has improved. He even took some of my feedback to his wife,...


How to Discuss Childhood Immunization with Reluctant Parents

How to Discuss Childhood Immunization with Reluctant Parents

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, With the recent rise of children getting measles and the increasing number of people who refuse to have their children vaccinated, I have become very curious about the decisions that parents are making about their children. I work in healthcare and support...


How to Talk With Your New Spouse About Your Stepchildren

How to Talk With Your New Spouse About Your Stepchildren

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I recently got married and moved into my husband’s house. My husband has three children: two sons, 23 and 19, who don’t live with us, and a daughter who lives with us part time. I love them all very much and am happy to be part of this family. But there is one thing...


How to Adapt to New Technologies at Work

How to Adapt to New Technologies at Work

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, My organization has just rolled out a new collaborative software tool and my manager let us know we are expected to use it. I’m excited about the new tool, as several people on my team have used it at previous organizations and swear by it. Yet, I still don’t use it. When...


How to Align Your Management Team

How to Align Your Management Team

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I’m the Human Resources Business Partner for a region within a global organization. We often feel as if we are our own freestanding company, but, in fact, we all have bosses at headquarters. Many of our local leaders condemn headquarters’ decisions in front of their peers...


Responding to False Accusations

Responding to False Accusations

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, One of my coworkers said I didn’t involve him in a decision I made, but I did. I told him I relayed his input—he is the expert in this area—to another person, as he asked me to do. He said I made the decision to meet with this person without inviting him. When I try to...