An Ode to a Meaningful Conversation

Crucial Conversations is quite a notion,

When stakes are high, opinions differ & there’s excess emotion,

There seems to be an underlying annoyance,

As we toggle between Silence & Violence.

Sure it’s good to get rid of all the muck,
And identify where we are actually stuck..,

Backtrack from the ‘unhappy’ result,

Step-out of the content, observing the process – difficult?
For sure emotions have a Big role to play,

And do lead us astray,
As the blood flows out of our brain,

Fight or flight, seem impossible to constrain.

For truly when it matters the most,                                                                        

We are often at our worst..,
Dialogue being the true principle,

True flow of meaning, between two people..

As ironical as is amazing,
When we give up ‘trying’ to convince – we are more convincing, And slower is surely faster,

Something that we surely wish to master..
To Start with the Heart,

Is truly an art,

As in a crucial conversation,
We are blind to ‘self-reflection’.
As our motives degrade,

And our choices fade,

We must work on Me first,

As accessing and changing self is a must..
Focus on what we really want,                                                           
Restart the Brain, making it an active participant,

Most of all refusing the “suckers choice”

Replace the “or” with the “and” and bring “I wonder” in our voice..

Mastering our Stories is a big ask,

As stories do mask,

And they make us feel and act,

As if the concerns are the Fact!
The mind does play games,          
3 clever stories are our bane,
We play the Victims, Helpless and villainize the other,

Getting into a downward spiral, into the proverbial gutter!
STATE-ing our Path is about ‘What & How’ when conversing,

Helps in sharing persuasively & encourage testing,

Keeps our motives in check by keeping us assertive yet tentative,

Ensuring we are minimizing the other becoming defensive
Learning to Look,

Can take us off the hook,

As we start the seek and realize,
The moments we ‘adrenalize’..
This helps us in being wise,

When crucial conversations catch us by surprise,                           
As Silence becomes revealing,
When there is Masking, Avoiding or Withdrawing..
Violence too becomes more disclosing,
In the form of Controlling, Labeling & Attacking,

Aids us understand afresh,
What’s our own style under stress..


Making it Safe to share is next in line, Showing care,

when things don’t seem fine, Expressing with Candor & keeping Mutual Respect,

Rebuilding Mutual Purpose when safety is suspect..
When the problem is of respect, there is honesty in apologizing,

Misunderstanding of respect & mutual purpose, is best managed by


As we ‘don’t’ want to be misread,

And ‘do’ want to state what we actually meant..

To help others leave Silence & Violence,

Exploring the others Path makes sense,

Asking, Mirroring, Paraphrasing & Priming,

Retraces our steps to Dialogue through 2-way sharing..

The learning was because of the synergy the learners brought,

Even though two “full” days of complete commitment was sought,

And the ‘Focus’ you kept to enhance your knowledge,

What better way could a Facilitator be acknowledged..

I am so glad I could be present,

An actor and the observer of such an attendance,
With so many insights that were realized,

Am certain real Crucial Conversations will be energized!

As times passes let not your memory fade,

Pass on these skills and do cascade,

For as we share we’ll ourselves grow,

And through the shared pool, true meaning shall flow!