Striking up a conversation with people can be hard, so a tough conversation that needs to be had – the kind where emotions run high and opinions greatly vary - can be downright scary. However, those who master the art of a difficult conversation are the ones who advance the furthest in their career. Whether it’s the difficult decision to announce budget cuts or to simply ask for a raise you know you deserve, those who choose to change the subject or avoid the conversation all together are the ones whose careers stall.
That’s the thought behind Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High…
The authors also offer seven effective steps to mastering a crucial conversation:
1. Start with Heart – What is the desired result from this conversation? What exactly is at stake?
2. Learn to Look – Be on the lookout for a lack of mutual purpose. Continuously ask yourself whether you are leading the conversation with dialogue or defensiveness.
3. Make it Safe – When you notice that you and others have moved away from dialogue, do something to make it more comfortable.
4. Master your Story – Retrace your path to find out what facts are behind the story you’re telling.
5. State your Path – Share your facts and conclusions in a way that will make the other party feel safe telling their story, too.
6. Explore Others’ Path – A dialogue allows you to actively inquire about the other party’s views.
7. Move to Action – Come to a consensus about what will happen, document who does what by when.
Check out Crucial Conversations here.
—Jon Minners, Vault.com