Crucial Conversations


How to have conversations when both stakes an demotions are high


Key Points

  • spend time early on establishing shared pool of meaning, make it safe for people to take
  • key to change is not implementing new process but getting people to hold one another accountable for existing process
    • share fact
    • tell story
    • ask for other path
    • talk tentatively
    • encourage testing
  • AMPP
    • ask
    • mirror
    • paraphrase
    • prime



Crucial Conversation

  • stakes high
  • opinions vary
  • strong emotions

Shared Pool of Meaning

  • common beliefs in which people are committed to (vs compliance)



"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it takes place"

  • George Bernard Shaw

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"

  • Martin Luther King Jr

"He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still"

  • Samuel Butler

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret"

  • Ambrose Bierce


  1. what's a crucial conversation
  2. mastering crucial conversation
  3. start with heart
  4. learn to look
  5. make it safe
  6. master my stories
  7. STATE my path
  8. Explore others paths
  9. move to actio9n
  10. yeah, but
  11. putting it together