Crucial Conversations

Who’s the Smartest Team in the Room?

Who’s the Smartest Team in the Room?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

We’re excited to welcome a new contributor to the Crucial Skills Newsletter. Please enjoy a special introduction to Brian Wansink from author Joseph Grenny. A Message from Joseph Grenny If you haven’t met him yet, I want to be the first to introduce one of my newest VitalSmarts colleagues. I...


Unconscious Bias in Science

Unconscious Bias in Science

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I work with scientific communications. My team leader dismisses any scientific paper that doesn’t agree with her beliefs or the company’s messaging, regardless of the quality of the research. On top of that, she always interrupts us when we’re trying to present the...


Doing the Right Thing

Doing the Right Thing

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, Here’s my struggle: I work for a very well respected company that prides itself on doing the right thing, always having integrity, etc. I recently discovered that one of the HR employee conference rooms has a hidden video camera. The vast majority of employees who meet...


My Coworker is Late Every Day. What Can I Do?

My Coworker is Late Every Day. What Can I Do?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, My coworker walks in after 8:00 a.m. every single day. They never get to work on time and are five to fifteen minutes late every single day. I have spoken to my manager who has spoken to my coworker several times but my coworker goes back to their old behavior. I am...


Changing Behaviour in Adult Children

Changing Behaviour in Adult Children

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, My daughter just turned 40 and has gained more weight than ever. Conversations about her weight gain over the years have mostly been negative, though she did actually lose weight with the help of a trainer about eight years ago. She says her schedule doesn’t allow time, but...


How to Talk to a Student’s Parent in Crucial Moments

How to Talk to a Student’s Parent in Crucial Moments

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I am a school principal and recently we had an incident where a student injured another student. I will be meeting with the father of the injured child, who is very angry. He feels the school has failed to protect his daughter in the past and this exacerbates the...


My Coworker Does This Annoying Little Thing . . .

My Coworker Does This Annoying Little Thing . . .

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Joseph, Our offices look soundproof. But they are not. Even with the doors closed you can hear almost everything above a whisper from the adjacent office. My coworker in the office next door hums and sings very loudly. I put headphones on to try to cover it with my own music, but I can...


What To Do When a Conversation Fails

What To Do When a Conversation Fails

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Candace, I work at a church, and sometimes the members cause drama. Recently we received from a parent two angry emails about our children’s ministry. This parent has a reputation for getting angry, but she’s rooted in the church so probably isn’t going away. For a long time, I...


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...


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 _____________________...