Joseph Grenny's Mastering The Art of Crucial Conversations

Joseph Grenny is a four-time New York Times bestselling co-author, keynote speaker, and leading social scientist for business performance.  He co-founded the company Vital Smarts, which teaches business leadership through online training classes, conferences, and webinars all based on the philosophies of his four books.  The speech we've decided to write about (video linked below) is based on his first book "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High."

In this speech, Grenny asks the question, "What behavior if changed would make the biggest difference in the world?"  His answer:  the method with which we communicate during conflict of ideas, perspectives, and problems.  According to the philosophy, conflict is inevitably achieved during the pursuit of every goal causing emotions to run high.  It is during these intense "crucial conversations" where most people fall short of inspiring change.

Grenny explains that the cost of avoiding "crucial conversation" means to either strive for a meaningless life and career, or to "act out" the conflict (IE physical manifestations of anger and disrespect).  He argues that silence isn't truly silent because it will show up in accelerated and unhealthy ways in the future.  Conflict is not a pit or obstacle to avoid, but stairs to creation.  So, how can we handle these conversations in a way that creates positive growth instead of a growing conflict?  

As a leader, how can you make sure that your message is heard properly, that your intention is received positively, and the follower is self motivated to make the changes you desire?  How do you receive crucial conversations that are begun by those around you?  How can you react to these conversations more effectively?  

Grenny ultimately explains the importance of connecting emotionally with the people around you.  That people never become defensive about what you're saying, they become defensive because of why they think you're saying it.  Don't run from it, don't sugarcoat it, just be candid, honest, and respectful.  

Positive intention requires:
1. Mutual Purpose - Sharing a common goal
2. Mutual Respect - The Continuance of knowing that I care about you

What crucial conversations have you experienced recently? Were they life changing or did they fall flat?  How can you strengthen the relationships with those around you so that next time it makes more progress?