The Latest

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...


How to Help Someone Be More Organized and Productive

How to Help Someone Be More Organized and Productive

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I am loving the impact of Getting Things Done® (GTD®) on my professional life. Not only am I getting things done, but I have a vision of where I want my work to take me. At work, I feel productive, energized, and excited about the next action items I can knock out. But when...


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...


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...