The Latest

What to Say When Your Boss Pulls Rank

What to Say When Your Boss Pulls Rank

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, How do you have a crucial conversation when someone pulls rank and shuts down dialogue by saying something like, “Because I’m the boss!”? I’m in a situation where I would like to discuss better solutions, but when I do, the other person uses her authority to stop...


Recovering from a Ruined Reputation

Recovering from a Ruined Reputation

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, I am the victim of a character assassination at work. I have been at my current workplace for ten years. A new colleague seems to be jealous of my successes and has started spreading stories, gossip, and rumors, stating that I am a difficult colleague to work with. At work,...


How to Talk to People You Don’t Respect

How to Talk to People You Don’t Respect

Dear Crucial Skills, I feel like our current discussions of politics and social issues are so divisive. I struggle to engage with them and frankly, I disagree with many of them—even when they are the opinions of my friends, family, and neighbors. It’s hard for me to understand how people can...


Is It Ever Okay to End a Relationship with a Family Member?

Is It Ever Okay to End a Relationship with a Family Member?

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, Is it ever acceptable to remove oneself (and spouse) from family relationships that repeatedly cause pain and trouble in a marriage? Using crucial conversations skills has worked in several cases, but not all. I guess I am seeking validation for my decision to severely...


Your Very Own Culture Change

Your Very Own Culture Change

Posted in Kerrying On

When my partners and I first organized our company nearly thirty years ago, we were surprised by the stance our employees took on snacks. That’s right, snacks. The day we opened the doors of our burgeoning consultancy, we decided to stock the communal refrigerator with tasty fruits and juices....


The Manager’s Guide To (Appropriately) Advocating For Your Team

The Manager’s Guide To (Appropriately) Advocating For Your Team

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, One of the most important roles I have as a manager is to be sure my people are properly recognized for their contributions. I do that through verbal gratitude, annual reviews, monetary compensation, and at times, career advancement. I feel heartbroken these days because...


Overcommitted? How To Renegotiate Your To-do List

Overcommitted? How To Renegotiate Your To-do List

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Justin, I have a lot to do. Just my standard job responsibilities are more than enough to occupy every minute of my work day, and then some. I’m maxed out, but I hate to turn people down when they ask for my help. So, I end up committing to more work than I really have time to do. I’m...


Dealing with Toxic Gossip at Work

Dealing with Toxic Gossip at Work

Posted in Crucial Accountability

Dear Crucial Skills, One of my main concerns at work is how we talk about each other—the staff lunchroom can be especially toxic. What feels most shocking to me is how our boss is often thrown under the bus. I am having a hard time thinking of an appropriate comment to make as I feel...


The Perfect Amount of Abuse

The Perfect Amount of Abuse

Posted in Kerrying On

In the spring of 1964, as I approached my eighteenth birthday, my dad concocted a harebrained scheme (is there any other kind?) to help save money. His plan was to take advantage of our family’s health insurance by having me undergo medical procedures that our carrier would stop paying for—the...


Paper vs. Apps—The Tools in Your GTD® System

Paper vs. Apps—The Tools in Your GTD® System

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I can’t seem to get rid of my paper and pencil system. I love to write down lists, track things on sticky notes, and hoard notebooks and handouts from my meetings. In today’s world of fancy phone apps and calendaring systems, I feel a bit archaic. Am I doing it wrong if...


Surviving a Messy Roommate

Surviving a Messy Roommate

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, How do I get my roommates to clean up after themselves? They don’t seem to care about the mess they make and how dirty our house gets. I tried to talk to them about it but any attempt to reform their behavior only lasts a day or two. I end up being the one to have to...


How to Make Crucial Conversations Part of Your Culture

How to Make Crucial Conversations Part of Your Culture

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear David, I work for a global manufacturing company. We are in the process of redefining our workplace culture and recognize that one of the key business behaviors we need to develop, at every level, is the ability to effectively have crucial conversations. What recommendations do you have...