Crucial Conversations

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...


What To Do When You Think a Coworker Resents Your Promotion

What To Do When You Think a Coworker Resents Your Promotion

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I have recently been promoted and am now responsible for a group of program managers and their projects. I have been with the company about two years and am the newest member of the team. One of the program managers has taken significant issue with my promotion. He has...


How to Respond to Public Criticism from a Coworker

How to Respond to Public Criticism from a Coworker

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I have a challenge with a relatively new coworker who consistently tells me how “he would do my job if he were me.” He says this in front of my staff members. I respect his knowledge and leadership, but the frequent digs are starting to get to me. I have taken him aside...


How to Solicit and Receive Feedback You Might Not Want to Hear

How to Solicit and Receive Feedback You Might Not Want to Hear

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, My church says they need the members to help with various responsibilities, so I volunteer often. But when I do, I’m told to focus on my family. Or people tell me they’re worried I’ll get burned out. They’ve also suggested my excitement is “a little over the top.” Other...


How to Mend a Relationship That’s Been Broken for Years

How to Mend a Relationship That’s Been Broken for Years

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, My husband and I have not talked to my brother-in-law and his wife for five years. The reasons are insignificant. They live on the first floor, and we live on the ground floor of the same house. I once took a step forward to mend the relationship, but they declined my...


How to Tell Your Employees of a Coming Pay Reduction

How to Tell Your Employees of a Coming Pay Reduction

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, If I needed to inform employees of a medium-large company that a small reduction in pay is forthcoming due to declining revenues, how could I do this in an email that would be supportive and factual? Signed,Bearer of Bad News _____________________ Dear Bearer of...


Turned Down for a Promotion. Now What?

Turned Down for a Promotion. Now What?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, Recently, I was turned down for a promotion to director. My boss said the decision was made by the others involved in the interview process. She said that had they recommended me for the position, she would have promoted me. I later initiated a crucial conversation with her....