June 9, 2024

Navigating Crucial Conversations

Dear Uncommon Leaders, 

Happy Sunday! Hope you each have a productive week ahead and are challenged to lean in where needed. Be uncommon!

Your Sunday Nugget

This Week's Question:

Is there a crucial or uncomfortable conversation you’re avoiding?

This Week's Challenge: 

There have been many times I have avoided or delayed a necessary conversation because it would be uncomfortable or awkward. As leaders, we will be faced with the need of these types of conversations again and again so, we might as well learn to execute them well and develop the discipline to lean in and have them as needed. I think one of the reasons many of us fear them is that we just haven’t learned the techniques to prepare for them. Some of what has helped me has been:

  • Sitting in a crucial conversation with someone who does them well
  • Reading the book Crucial Conversations
  • Preparing for them by thinking through how they might go, choosing my key words ahead of time, and preparing for the “curve ball” from the other party
  • Practice

I highly recommend the book Crucial Conversations. It’s a must read for the leader and it gives great instruction for handling these talks. A crucial conversation handled with excellence can influence needed change in relationships and work performance.

Your challenge this week is to learn from someone who does this well, research tips to improve this skill or even begin reading the book. The more we learn, the less likely we are to avoid them. Have a great week!

This Week's Quote to Ponder:

"Most of us have a tendency to avoid crucial conversations. We either avoid them altogether or mishandle them when they do occur. And the cost of this avoidance or mishandling is high. It leads to strained relationships and stalled reputations. It results in missed opportunities, flawed decisions, and even costly legal entanglements.” - From the book Crucial Conversations- Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High

Until next week,


W. Kevin Harrison

Founder and Executive Coach

Uncommon Influence

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