Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We need to talk...

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
We all like to think of ourselves as good communicators. After all, life is once endless succession of communication – be it oral, physical, written, etc. “Crucial Conversations” is a book about communicating when stakes are high – when we’re really invested in the topic at hand, when the outcome really matters, and when emotions are high.

I am good listener, but I am not a good communicator. Often when things matter most, I shut down. I stop speaking or I start avoiding. Despite it’s initial appeal, that approach is damaging. Reading this book made me realize that my communication weaknesses do not have to be mine forever. In recognizing weakness, we are able to start to change. I started trying to be more open and honest more than a year ago, but it was not until I read this book and listened to my Organizational Behavior class lectures that I realized how critical it is that we be good communicators.

This is not a perfect book. The anecdotes are a bit much, but life can be a bit much. People’s reactions can be ridiculous sometimes, and the authors have worked hard to provide different applications for these crucial conversations (whether it’s with children, coworkers, partners, etc.) I cannot say I am completely changed communicator, but I am working on it, and that’s what the authors emphasize. Learning these steps and these concepts is a process. I will reread this book, and like other habits, I will change one piece at a time, one conversation at a time.

[ps. I know I already told you about Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (which is still SO GOOD), but I am also loving "Falling Slowly" and "If You Want Me" from the "Once" soundtrack. I love that these two actor/singer/songwriters are actually in love in real life. I am also loving Jennifer Hudson's "Let It Be" and Justin Timberlake's "Hallelujah" from the "Hope for Haiti Now" cd. SO GOOD.] Happy listening and happy reading!

1 comment:

Annalee Allen said...

mmm...yep. Amen on J.H.'s Let it be!