Category Archives : Personal Accountability


How to Broach a Difficult Topic?

  Dear Crucial Skills, As the mother of two adult children who are each very intelligent and gainfully employed, I try and stay out of their personal decisions. However, one of them started smoking during his high school years. The smoking has continued for almost twenty years. His father and I worry about his health [...]

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The Roi-Tan Cemetery

By Kerry Patterson When I was a little tyke, I loved insects. Sometimes I’d watch ants for hours as they hauled Lilliputian bundles down footprint valleys and up tennis-shoe mountains. On listless summer days, I’d crumble a Necco wafer over our front-porch deck and then sit back and watch as hundreds of tiny stevedores struggled [...]


Are You Being Passive-Aggressive?

Dear Steve, I recently took the Crucial Conversations course and learned about the silence-dialogue-violence spectrum. I believe my tendency is to go to silence at work, but violence at home. I’ve wondered why I react differently in these two situations. I speculated that perhaps the reason was that I felt safer at home. However, I [...]

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How to Increase Your Conversational Skills

Dear David, How do you make and keep friends when you are inept in conversation? I can be in a crowded room, sit in one corner and just people watch because I have nothing to say. Also, if I have an opportunity to go out to places where there will be more than two people, [...]


Pink Slips of the Tongue: VitalSmarts Study Reveals the Top Five One-Sentence Career Killers

A new study by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, authors of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations, shows nearly everyone has either seen or suffered from a catastrophic comment. Specifically, 83 percent have witnessed their colleagues say something that has had catastrophic results on their careers, reputations and businesses. And 69 percent admit to [...]

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