2Mastering Crucial ConversationsThe Power of Dialogue

Give me a lever long enough and I shall move the world.—ARCHIMEDES

We (the authors) didn’t always spend our time noodling over crucial conversations. In fact, we started our research into organizational and personal excellence by studying a slightly different topic. We figured that if we could learn why certain people were more effective than others, then we could learn exactly what they did, clone it, and pass it on to others.

To find the source of success, we started at work. We asked people to identify who they thought were their most effective colleagues. In fact, over the past twenty-five years, we’ve asked over twenty thousand people to identify the individuals in their organizations ...

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