This book falls on the heels of its cousin Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High. Those who have read this previous offering or heard about it or bought the action figures are sure to wonder : What s the difference between a crucial conversation and a crucial confrontation? We re glad you asked. Both are high stakes. Both are likely to be emotional. That s why they re both crucial.
Here s the difference. The hallmark of a crucial conversation is disagreement . Two or more people have different opinions , don t know how to work through their differences, digress into silence or violence, and kill the free flow of ideas. Disagreements, poorly handled, lead to poor decisions, strained relationships, and eventually to disastrous results.
Crucial confrontations , on the other hand, are about disappointments . They re made up of failed promises, missed expectations, and all other bad behavior. Confrontations comprise the very foundation of accountability. They all start with the question: Why didn t you do what you were supposed to do? And they only end when a solution is reached and both parties are motivated and able to comply . Confrontations are the prickly, complicated, and often frightening performance discussions that keep you up nights.
Now, here s how the two books relate. This book draws on the principles found in Crucial Conversations ”with an occasional and brief review of those pivotal concepts. With that said, almost all of the material you ll find here is new and stand-alone. Pick up this book, read it, put the ideas into action, and you ll never walk away from another conflict again.
We acknowledge with enormous gratitude these friends , colleagues, mentors, and loved ones:
First, to our colleagues at VitalSmarts, our sincere thanks for dedication, competence, passion, and friendship. Thanks to James Allred, Lauren Baum, Mike Carter, Sandi Carter, Ammon Chesney, Mary Dondiego, Bob Foote, Janet Gough, Rebecca Jarvis, Roice Krueger, Sarah Maitland, Kyle Moosmann, Brian Nielson, Michael Poore, James Russell, Phil Simkins, Joanne Staheli, Mindy Waite, Brett Walker, Yan Wang, Steve Willis, Mike Wilson and Mark Woffinden.
And thank you, David Maxfield, our esteemed colleague, whose research, expertise, and ability to teach have been invaluable.
Also to our associate friends and trainers around the world who work skillfully to improve lives and organizations, our kudos and thanks. Special thanks to Walt Aptacy, Pat Banks, John Bourke, Dan Brunet, Mike Cook, Amy Daly-Donovan, Rodger Dean Duncan, Doug Finton, Hayden Hayden, Richard Lee, Simon Lia, Sharon Lovoy, Margie Mauldin, Paul McMurray, Jim Munoa, Scott Myler, Stacy Nelson, Larry Peters, Michael Quinlan, Jim Rowell, Howard Schultz, Lynda Schultz, Kurt Southam, Neil Staker, and Greg Stephens.
Thanks to our editor and her associates ”Nancy Hancock and team have been insightful, collegial, and all-around spectacular. To our editor, Mary Glenn, welcome new partner and friend. To our agent, Michael Broussard, thanks for your terrific support. Thanks to Lynda Luppino and the McGraw-Hill marketing team for their efforts.
And one final, large, embracing thanks ”to our families, all dear, all supportive in so many ways . . . and to our teachers , friends, and mentors who have encouraged us and taught us along our path .