A crucial conversation, as opposed to a casual exchange, is a discussion between two or more people about tough issues where opinions vary, stakes are high, and emotions run strong. When a topic needs to be breached that could easily lead to disaster, such as approaching a boss who is breaking his or her own safety or quality policies, or critiquing a colleague’s work, or talking to a team member who isn’t keeping commitments, talking openly is a must, but can be very difficult. Through the art of dialogue, a free flow of meaning between two or more people, we are able to put all the relevant information out in the open. We safely share our ideas and as a group are able to use the most accurate and relevant information to make better decisions.
According to the authors of Crucial Conversations, mastering your crucial conversations can kickstart your career, strengthen your relationships, and even revitalize your organization and your community.