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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...


How to Argue Civilly

How to Argue Civilly

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Joseph, My father often peppers his speech with declarations like “Obama is a Marxist” or “Eighty percent of Americans don’t pay taxes.” I can sometimes leave the conversation and look up details of what he calls “facts,” but in the moment I don’t have any tangible information; just...


Start With Heart, and Finish With Heart, Too

Start With Heart, and Finish With Heart, Too

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Emily, I like to think of myself as someone who knows how to have crucial conversations. I’ve read Crucial Conversations, attended the training, and recently, I became a certified trainer for my organization. However, I can never seem to make headway with my teenage daughter. We...


3 Skills For Getting the Most From Your Vacation

3 Skills For Getting the Most From Your Vacation

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, I’m back to work after returning from our family’s annual week-long summer trip. I’ve got to be honest, as much as I love getting away with my family, I dread returning to what piles up in my absence. I stress during vacation when I should be relaxing and enjoying time with...


How to Get Over a Grudge

How to Get Over a Grudge

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I was in a business relationship where it became apparent that the managing partner no longer saw my contributions as valuable. I had watched this partner gun for others in the past and “transition” them out of the company. Now her sights were set on me. So, before things...