Crucial Conversations

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 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...


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 (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...


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...


How to Approach a Coworker Who Goes Over Your Head

How to Approach a Coworker Who Goes Over Your Head

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, What should I do when my coworker complains about my performance to my superiors before or without addressing the concern with me? I wish I had the opportunity to talk with her, but she always goes over my head. Signed, No Opportunity to Address...