Chapter 3

Having Critical Conversations

In This Chapter

arrow Timing your critical conversations

arrow Doing your pre-conversation prep

arrow Building a foundation for conversation

arrow Staying on track in a challenging situation

arrow Leaving a critical conversation with a plan

Look around and you see that people are talking everywhere and talking about everything. But a conversation where all the parties involved examine the facts, express each person's point of view, and allow others to do the same — and then come to an agreement about what to do next — is much harder to find. That's where critical conversations come in.

A critical conversation occurs when two or more parties discuss an issue, problem, or situation in which there are different points of view. Most critical conversations involve high emotions, and the goal of the conversation is for something to change after the conversation ends. For example:

  • A manager needs to work with an employee to improve his performance at work.
  • Employees aren't getting ...

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