Strong relationships develop from good communication. Communication begins to unravel when we draw a line in the sand and focus more on the opinions we disagree about instead of the facts we can agree upon.
The crossroad between fact and opinion is where a crucial conversation may help people focus more on finding a point of agreement and building consensus from that point forward.
Crucial conversations between co workers, friends, and family are the best way to get people focusing on facts and finding common ground to begin to work toward solutions.
When is a conversation crucial?
According to Kerry Patterson in his book, “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High,” a conversation is crucial when two or more people have opposing opinions, strong emotions, and the stakes are high. Notice, the key element of “opposing opinions.” What people disagree about is almost always what causes strong emotions to rise up. However, when opinions are replaced with facts, people can begin to find common ground. Asking questions and active listening are the two most important factors of a crucial conversation.
I feel if more people learned how to actively listen, there would be less fighting and more understanding. There would be deepening of trust in relationships. We would begin to discover and focus more on the things we agree about, instead of what we disagree about.
What would you say to entrepreneurs that need to put themselves out there with crucial conversations?
Be ok with having that difficult conversation. Fear of conflict is dissolved when you step out in courage with the motive to find points of agreement. You have to embrace it and grow with it.
The message to people in businesses is that crucial conversations work when a person complains about your business. The opinion he or she holds may be right or it may be wrong. But the best chance you have of resolving the issue is by listening and asking great questions without forming opinions.
This book, “Crucial Conversations,” confirmed the power of active listening and trusting it to bring about a positive outcome even when there are opposing opinions, strong emotions and high stakes.
Trust and active listening in a crucial conversation WILL bring a positive outcome. Have you read this book? If so, what was your biggest take away?