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Crucial Confrontations: Tools for talking about broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior [Paperback]

Kerry Patterson , Joseph Grenny , Ron Mcmillan , Al Switzler
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2004
The authors of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations show you how to achieve personal, team, and organizational success by healing broken promises, resolving violated expectations, and influencing bad behaviour

Discover skills to resolve touchy, controversial, and complex issues at work and at home now available in this follow-up to the internationally popular Crucial Conversations.

Includes scripts modelling the best way to deal with confrontations.

Product details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional (1 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071446524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071446525
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.3 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 247,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

"Hey, if you read only one 'management' book this decade...I'd insist that it be Crucial Confrontations."--from the foreword by TOM PETERS

"Revolutionary ideas...opportunities for breakthrough..." -- STEPHEN R. COVEY, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"...unleash the true potential of a relationship or organization and move it to the next level...."-- KEN BLANCHARD, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and The Secret: What Great Leaders Know--and Do

"The most recommended and most effective resource in my library."-- STACEY ALLERTON FIRTH, Vice President, Human Resources, Ford of Canada

"Brilliant strategies for those difficult discussions at home and in the workplace..."--SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, cohost of CNN's Morning Edition

"This book is the real deal....Read it, underline it, learn from it. It's a gem."-- MIKE MURRAY, VP Human Resources and Administration, Microsoft (retired)


Behind the problems that routinely plague families, teams, and organizations are individuals who either can't or won't deal with failed promises. Others have broken rules, missed deadlines, or just plain behaved badly. If anybody steps up to the issue, they often do a lousy job and create a whole new set of problems.

New research demonstrates that these disappointments aren't just irritating--they're costly--sapping organizational performance by 20 to 50 percent and accounting for up to 90 percent of divorces. Drawn from over 10,000 hours of real-life observations, Crucial Confrontations teaches skills to increase confidence in facing tough issues. Learn to:

  • Permanently resolve failed promises and missed deadlines
  • Transform broken rules and bad behaviors into productive accountability
  • Strengthen relationships while solving problems

About the Author

Kerry Patterson has consulted with hundreds of Fortune 500 companies using his award-winning training program to teach development and maintenance of healthy organizations.

Joseph Grenny has 20 years of experience coaching thousands of corporate and government leaders around the world in the art of communication.

Ron McMillan cofounded and was the vice president of research and development of Covey Leadership Center.

Al Switzler is currently on the faculty at the Executive Development Center at the University of Michigan.

Together these authors have founded VitalSmarts and have trained more than 500,000 people world wide. They live in the greater Salt Lake City area.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When two Stanford researchers pulled up to a plywood mill in the foothills of northwestern Washington, they were surprised to see an ambulance parked out front. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Knowledge! 25 April 2005
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Although confrontation is difficult for many people, it is often necessary. Failure to confront someone over bad behavior may be misinterpreted as approval. Confrontations can help bring people back to a better, more productive course. However, confrontations also can go off track and become shouting matches (or worse). Authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler outline a method for approaching confrontations when the stakes are particularly high; those are the crucial confrontations. Boiled down to its essentials, the methodology consists of focusing on facts, remaining calm, listening to the other person with respect and working to motivate the other person and to enable a change in behavior. The book is light, anecdotal and easy to read. Yet, we find that it offers so much sound advice that any manager, parent or spouse could find something useful.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peril or Opportunity? 23 Sep 2005
By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER
As I read this exceptionally informative book, I was again reminded of the fact that the Chinese word for "crisis" has two meanings: peril and opportunity. As those who have been or are now involved in process simplification initiatives already know, every problem encountered offers a valuable learning opportunity. The same is also true when encountering "broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior" either within or beyond the workplace. The authors of this volume address questions such as these:
What's a "crucial confrontation"?
What to do before one occurs?
How to know when -- and when NOT -- to initiate one?
How to "get your head right before opening your mouth"?
How to begin a crucial confrontation?
How to involve and engage others to take appropriate action?
How to make keeping commitments (almost) painless?
What to do when others "get sidetracked, scream, or sulk"?
What to do after a crucial confrontation?
How to gain commitment and move to action?
How to solve "big, sticky, complicated problems"?
How to deal with the truly tough? (i.e. the twelve "yeh buts")
The authors also provide four appendices: A self-assessment for measuring confrontation skills, "The Six-Source Model," "When Things Go Right," and discussion questions for reading groups. Although any one of the appendices is worth far more than the cost of this book, their greatest value will be derived when the information and counsel are correlated with the material which the authors share in the nine chapters.
My own rather extensive experience in the business world suggests that "broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior" really do offer both perils and opportunities. A careful reading of this book and then an equally careful application of the advice which the authors offer will, in my opinion, reduce (if not eliminate) the former while helping to achieve effective fulfillment of the latter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have read the previous Crucial Conversations from the same authors and found this insightful, useful and well written. I thought I would give Crucial Confrontations a go (and it was well priced on Amazon), and I was very pleased I did. Too often writers of books like these hit on some great insight as in Crucial Conversations, and are tempted to regurgitate the same thinking in a new book to cash in but without adding anything new - this was not the case here. Crucial Confrontations builds on and references many of the principles in the earlier work - you would be surprised if it didn't - but introduces new insights and skills to challenge your thinking. It is well written in a structured and easy to follow way and the examples from work and personal life are very recognisable. I would highly recommend both books - even better if you read these with people you work and live with.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
First of all, when I say 'Manual', it is not the 5 easy steps to deal with all difficult discussions (either fights or people withdrawing from constructive dialogue). The topic is too broad and too complex to cover this. But the book is a 'how to' book as it provides plenty of concepts to frame discussions and also practical examples to use and experiment with yourself. For me as a consultant in - at that moment - a merger process between two companies, the concepts of mutual respect and mutual trust were very enlightening in understanding the different behavior the participants from both companies were displaying. I better understood and thus could better act upon this. Better, but definitely not perfect. Therefore, you need to practice the concepts of the book many times.

This book has made me better aware of what is at stake and what needs to be done to address the key issues within difficult discussions. I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to take a step back and resolve difficult issues with other people in a constructive way but doesn't know how. Useful in a professional and a personal context.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read and reread this book and despite having done the same with their other books, there is something I learn or resonates on every reading.
Should be required reading for all managers and parents...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best in town 20 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Do not hesitate to buy this book. useful and easy to read.
I recomend it to any manger, team leader, father or mother
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