Do You Know How to Have “Crucial Conversations” Successfully?

Dec 8, 2016 | Leadership

Do You Know How to Have “Crucial Conversations” Successfully?

I have a top 10 list of books that I recommend to admins and other professionals I work with, and one book had held the #1 spot since the day I started reading it years ago: Crucial Conversations.

It should be required reading for everyone! But it is definitely required reading for success-minded administrative professionals.

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with two or more people that you did not know how to manage your way through? Did opinions vary? Were the stakes high? Did emotions run strong? If so, you were having a “crucial conversation.”

The authors make an audacious claim in the first chapter: Master your crucial conversations and you’ll kick-start your career, strengthen your relationships, and improve your health. As you and others master high-stakes discussions, you’ll also vitalize your organization and your community. The authors demonstrate through their research that strong relationships, careers, organizations, and communities all draw from the same source of power – the ability to talk openly about high-stakes, emotional, controversial topics.

Dialogue skills are learnable. This book takes you step by step through the mental and emotional processes to help you understand how you personally react in these situations, including the physical and chemical changes that take place in your body, and how to overcome them. You’ll learn how to stay focused on what you really want, how to notice when safety is at risk, and how to make it safe to talk about almost anything. One of the key skills the authors teach is how to stay in dialogue when you’re angry, scared, or hurt, and how to listen when others blow up or clam up. Finally, once you learn and apply all of these new skills, they show you how to turn crucial conversations into action and results.

When this book was recommended to me several years ago, I had no idea the profound impact it would have on my personal and professional life. Now, I apply the principles of how to have a crucial conversation every single day. Some days I’m more successful than others. But the skills are priceless. Learning how to have a crucial conversation is truly one of the most powerful tools that you can add to your skill set and apply to every aspect of your life.

What books have you read that have profoundly impacted your professional development?

© 2016 Julie Perrine International, LLC

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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at

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