Last week we had the first of several trainings in Crucial Conversations(TM) in our department. Crucial conversations happen when stakes are high, there are opposing opinions, and emotions are running strong. Almost any conversation can go from just a conversation to a crucial conversation in the blink of an eye. Only 5% of the population is good at staying in dialog during a crucial conversation .
We will be holding the training again next semester. There are also copies of the books from which the training was developed around the front office for PPEM members to borrow. If you are stuck (unable to talk about the things you need to talk about) in relationships either at work or at home, these tools might be useful to getting you unstuck. Ask one of the new recruits about the event because they should be able to fill you in on the details of the workshop and whether they think the tools will be useful to them.
After the training was over, the prizes were given away, and the ice cream was eaten, a few participants shared with me the issues they were having and how they hoped to use these tools immediately. After two days of training, they, like all of us, may not be able to apply the tools perfectly, but my guess is that they will feel better about their role in the conversations they have as they employ these tools. I hope they will help to lead the department toward even healthier dialog when conversations get crucial.
May you have the tools you need for any crucial conversation that comes your way.