The Latest

How to Talk With Your New Spouse About Your Stepchildren

How to Talk With Your New Spouse About Your Stepchildren

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I recently got married and moved into my husband’s house. My husband has three children: two sons, 23 and 19, who don’t live with us, and a daughter who lives with us part time. I love them all very much and am happy to be part of this family. But there is one thing...


How to Adapt to New Technologies at Work

How to Adapt to New Technologies at Work

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, My organization has just rolled out a new collaborative software tool and my manager let us know we are expected to use it. I’m excited about the new tool, as several people on my team have used it at previous organizations and swear by it. Yet, I still don’t use it. When...


How to Align Your Management Team

How to Align Your Management Team

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I’m the Human Resources Business Partner for a region within a global organization. We often feel as if we are our own freestanding company, but, in fact, we all have bosses at headquarters. Many of our local leaders condemn headquarters’ decisions in front of their peers...


Responding to False Accusations

Responding to False Accusations

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, One of my coworkers said I didn’t involve him in a decision I made, but I did. I told him I relayed his input—he is the expert in this area—to another person, as he asked me to do. He said I made the decision to meet with this person without inviting him. When I try to...


How to Say “No” and Reclaim Your Career

How to Say “No” and Reclaim Your Career

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, How do you say “no” to requests and projects that come across your desk? I want to be helpful and do everything that’s asked of me, but if I said “yes” to every request I received, I wouldn’t actually get to my top priorities and that would reflect poorly on my...


Influence Versus Manipulation

Influence Versus Manipulation

Posted in Influencer

Dear Crucial Skills, The culture in my organization is toxic. We have intelligent, proud, committed leaders who are beginning to learn the talk of collaboration and empowerment. However, they still cling to the quick-and-dirty solution of compliance. My question is, how is intentional...


French-fried Memories

French-fried Memories

Posted in Kerrying On

When I entered the eighth grade in 1959, I was given the option to study either Latin or French. I chose French because from what I understood, the French weren’t dead yet. Miss Limply, the school’s French teacher, launched the first day of class by showing a cartoon of the Three Little Pigs....


How to Speak Up For Your Morals and Values

How to Speak Up For Your Morals and Values

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I work in Information Technology and our company was recently bought. Several members of the parent company came in to bring our network up to their standards. Me, two of my coworkers, and five employees from the new company worked together all weekend and late into the...


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 to Apply New Skills

How to Apply New Skills

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Justin, I have attended many courses that make use of skill models, including the VitalSmarts courses. Crucial Conversations, for example, provides a model that outlines what to do before, during, and after a crucial conversation. In Getting Things Done, I learned multiple steps for how...


How to Get the Right Things Done

How to Get the Right Things Done

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, as a teenager. I loved it. I purchased the FranklinCovey planner and for years I defined my roles and tried to execute on important-but-not-urgent matters related to those roles. I loved getting clear on my values and...


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...