Crucial Conversations

My Coworker Cuts Me Off, Doesn’t Listen, and Always Says No. What Now?

My Coworker Cuts Me Off, Doesn’t Listen, and Always Says No. What Now?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I am a new director in a healthcare environment. I am struggling to collaborate with another director who reports to a different administrator. She and I have very different leadership and communication styles, and it feels as if she does not respect my role. She does...


How to Talk About Racism

How to Talk About Racism

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I have never actually had a vulnerable conversation on racism with someone of another race than me. The conversation seems scary and awkward, but with everything going on, I’d like to reach out to my friends and colleagues of a different race so I can learn and...


Why It’s Time to Listen

Why It’s Time to Listen

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Over the past two weeks, many of the peaceful protests regarding the horrifying death of George Floyd have grown violent. I am not an expert in racial injustice. When it comes to the issues facing our country right now, I’m a student, not a teacher. I’m reading and watching and listening...


COVID-19 Back to Work Basics: How to Speak Up, Listen, and Be Accountable at Work

COVID-19 Back to Work Basics: How to Speak Up, Listen, and Be Accountable at Work

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, Leaders at my company announced they would like employees to return to the office in July. After working at home in quarantine, what should my company be doing to help employees feel more comfortable about coming back to the office? Signed,Wary _____________________...


How to Speak Up in a Pandemic

How to Speak Up in a Pandemic

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, Where I live, concern about COVID-19 seems lax. I’m often surrounded by people who have already thrown social distancing and mask-wearing out the window. Just the other day, while in line at the grocery store, the man behind me blatantly ignored the big sticker on the...


How to Respond to the Silent Treatment

How to Respond to the Silent Treatment

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, A couple of months ago, my father stopped answering phone calls and texts from my siblings and me. He hasn’t been home when we’ve attempted to visit him. He doesn’t have voicemail. We’ve reached out to his wife who says she doesn’t want to get in the middle of it. He...


How to Keep Your Distance and Your Friends

How to Keep Your Distance and Your Friends

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m trying to be safe by following the health practices outlined by the CDC, WHO, and other officials. I don’t consider myself stringent, nor lax. I feel I am somewhere in between. But apparently that’s not how others see me. My requests...


5 Crucial Skills to Survive a Crisis

5 Crucial Skills to Survive a Crisis

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Your friends at VitalSmarts want to offer both our love and some suggestions for the challenging days ahead. We hope and pray that any encounter with the COVID-19 virus is brief and mild. And we offer our heartfelt sympathy to any for whom it is worse. Research shows that while times like...


What is the Difference Between Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability?

What is the Difference Between Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, What is the difference between a crucial conversation and a crucial accountability conversation? I believe all accountability conversations are crucial, but are all crucial conversations about accountability? Sincerely,Confused Manager _____________________ Dear...


Working or Shirking from Home?

Working or Shirking from Home?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

As the coronavirus sends more of us home, business casual dress goes from slacks to jeans to sweats to pajamas. Before the coronavirus, a lot of companies were hesitant to let people work from home. “Working from home” rhymes too closely with “Shirking from home.” It includes surfing,...


Crucial Skills for Crucial Times

Crucial Skills for Crucial Times

Posted in Crucial Conversations

When I went to bed a few nights ago, life was strange enough already. Offices and businesses were shuttered. Friends and family were cloistered many more hours each day in our homes. A general unease had us listening to recycled news for hours on end. But I got to sleep. My plan was to hit...


How to Manage Newly-Remote Teams

How to Manage Newly-Remote Teams

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, In the past week, our entire workforce has been sent home. I manage a small team and I’m feeling a bit at a loss on how to most effectively keep the team afloat, positive, and accountable given the new normal. Our team is used to working face-to-face and seems our success...