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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High Paperback – Jun 18 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (June 18 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071401946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071401944
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 14.4 x 21.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 349 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When people first hear the term "crucial conversation," many conjure up images of presidents, emperors, and prime ministers seated around a massive table while they debate the future of the world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Irini on July 12 2013
Format: Paperback
I am still around chapter 8, but I find it extremely useful and I wanted to second others' recommendations for checking out this book. I never thought that I was an expert on conversations, but I had the impression about myself that I was at least "ok". So, I didn't experience it as an enjoyable reading (especially at first), because it reminded me of so many crucial conversations in my life where I did all the wrong things, injured relationships, and got exactly the opposite results of what I intended out of a conversation or for not having the conversation at all. So it was more of an emotionally painful but sobering reading, and with some hope at the end of the tunnel, as I continue to read. If nothing else, I am now more aware than before that my skills in this area are certainly in need for improvement.

And the authors' entire premise and set of techniques are described very simply and clearly, without all the heavy wordiness and theorizing that social scientists usually use in their books. It's very practical, short sweet and to the point, which I personally appreciate very much. I understood better through this little book what Kaheman tried to bring across in his large book "Thinking Fast and Slow" regarding the interaction of System 1 and System 2, even if the authors did not use these terms at all.

I am not promising that we won't be struggling with improving our crucial conversations for as long as we live even after reading the book, but even if we are able to remember even a couple of the tips and implement them during our next high-stakes conversation, it might make a big difference to an important relationship in our lives. And there lies my hope.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan Ricketts on Aug. 2 2009
Format: Paperback
I ran across this book in the business section of my local bookstore while looking for help in having some difficult conversations with people who I like very much. I noticed that the forward to the book was written by Stephen R. Covey, authour of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which made me more comfortable in reading this.
This book brings interesting insights and easy readability together. Some many years ago, Howard Hughes hired a group of gifted engineers and told them that he wanted them to create a steam-driven car. After working for a number of years on the project they came up with a car which had a large piping system throughout the vehicle so that it could travel long distances. When they presented it to Mr. Hughes, his first question was 'What happens to the passengers if there is an accident?' The answer was that they would be scalded to death. Mr. Hughes had them cut up the prototype into pieces no bigger than three inches across.
We all have trouble starting and maintaining important conversations. Do you think the fault was in Mr. Hughes instructions or in the engineers forgetting that this was to be used by human beings? This intriguing book walks us through good crucial conversations, better crucial conversations and best crucial conversations.
It discusses to all kinds of situations from talking to your teenager to telling the boss something unpleasant about his/her behaviour. There are many actual tools to help you start the conversation, make it safe for everyone involved, ways to actually get a consensus of everyone's opinion and how to use the results to make better, more compatible relations with those concerned.
The reason that these conversations are so difficult is that the human system has been wired for survival.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6 2003
Format: Paperback
When I obtained a copy of Crucial Conversations, I had very high expectations of this book having read the authors' outstanding earlier work, The Balancing Act. I must say I wasn't disappointed; in fact, I was delighted! Crucial Conversations is an extremely insightful and very practical book. Indeed, it is a very rare combination to find a book that contains profound ideas as well as provides actionable tools and Crucial Conversations delivers both.
The book addresses a topic that is largely misunderstood and vastly underestimated: high stakes dialogue. The authors define crucial conversations as those where 1) stakes are high, 2) opinions vary, and 3) emotions run strong, or in other words, much of both our professional and personal lives. We're all involved in crucial conversations at home and at work but most of us are not very aware of the interpersonal dynamics at play and/or we're unskilled in how to respond differently. The book helps the reader first understand the principles involved in "crucial conversations" but then also helps the reader develop real skills and abilities to choose or change their communication patterns. The end result is remarkable. The book's impact is a much bigger idea than simple communication--it's all about effective human interaction and getting results with and through people.
The book is highly readable, extremely engaging and actually quite fun. It is filled with illustrations and stories from all walks of life: business examples, personal examples and family examples. The fact that the principles and skills the authors teach can be applied in all dimensions of life--work, home, personal--is very appealing to me and made the book extremely helpful on many fronts.
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