The Latest

How to Handle a Company Strike

How to Handle a Company Strike

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, We are headed for our first nursing strike. Employees are heartbroken at the situation. Patients and families are concerned about the quality of care with contingent workers on site, and long-term relationships are being fractured by the decision to picket or work. I...


How To Ensure To-Do Lists Don’t Overrun Your Life

How To Ensure To-Do Lists Don’t Overrun Your Life

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I have always been a list maker. This has served me well over the years. I’m getting older now and find that I make lists over and over and tend to have multiple lists—on my desk, in my pockets, etc. What can I do to either organize my lists or keep just one list that has...


Sometimes It’s About the Conversation You Don’t Have

Sometimes It’s About the Conversation You Don’t Have

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I attend a church with a small congregation. One of our members sings at the top of her lungs and is very much off key. Always. She overpowers the rest of us. I have witnessed people plugging an ear or intentionally sitting farther away. It seems that something could or...


How to Hold Your CEO Accountable

How to Hold Your CEO Accountable

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, I am on the leadership team of an organization that is in the beginning stages of a significant cultural change. In reflecting on the work in front of us, I realized that I do not trust the CEO to lead us through this change. This is a person I like and respect, but it...


When the Skills Seem to Come Up Short, Consider This

When the Skills Seem to Come Up Short, Consider This

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I believe in the Crucial Conversations skills and I’ve seen them work. But sometimes, no matter what I seem to do, I get poor results. People still get offended, dig their heels in, etc. What should I do if the other person doesn’t want to change his or her behavior—or...


How to Deal with Delicate Workplace Issues

How to Deal with Delicate Workplace Issues

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, I have a coworker who has FMLA approval (Federal Medical Leave Act), and I think she abuses it. She doesn’t come to work on time. Multiple times she has run out of the office, citing various personal issues—issues not related to her FMLA approved issues. We have all agreed...


A New Gratitude

A New Gratitude

Posted in Kerrying On

Norman Chadwick didn’t mind walking to high school even though it was nine blocks away. He did mind the fact that most of the students who shared his route made fun of his shoes. “Hey, Clodhopper,” the boys would shout as they passed by Norman. “Do you think your shoes are big enough?” Or, if...


How to Balance Meetings and Work

How to Balance Meetings and Work

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, How do I find time to do actual work when all I do is spend time in meetings? I wish I could opt out of meetings, but that’s not an acceptable practice at our organization. And yet my work is suffering. Help! Signed,Suffering From Meetingitis ______________________...


How To Forgive Someone

How To Forgive Someone

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, What responsibility does the receiver of an apology have in the healing of deep-seated hurt? I have felt alienated from my brother for eight years. We had a blowup (no one really remembers what it was about). He said some words that cut deeply into me. Then a couple of...


Confessions of a Professional Trick-or-Treater

Confessions of a Professional Trick-or-Treater

Posted in Kerrying On

One crisp October day as I walked home from school with Rick Eherenfield (my grade-school best friend), he asked me a rather naïve question: “Would you like to go trick-or-treating with me next week?” What a rube! Didn’t he know anything about the finer art of extracting candy from strangers?...


The To-Do List: Do or Do Not. There is No Try.

The To-Do List: Do or Do Not. There is No Try.

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I’ve been reading and hearing about the trend to gravitate away from to-do lists. The consensus is that lists get too long, people suffer from to-do fatigue, and despite having things listed out, they continue to procrastinate. But somehow, I still need to keep track of...


How to Listen Actively

How to Listen Actively

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, My husband and I have had a communication problem for years—due, I think, to our different communication styles. I crave active conversations, yet he prefers I remain silent and listen any time he has an issue he wants to tell me about. When I begin to talk during what I...