Tag Archives : Interpersonal skill development training


Help! I’m Stuck on an Airplane and Need Some Skills

Dear Joseph, Recently, I was on an overnight flight, trying to sleep. The person in the next seat was using headphones and laughing loudly every two minutes or so. I told her, politely: “Excuse me, you probably do not realize it, but you are laughing quite loudly, and it is preventing me from going to [...]

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VitalSmarts Blog

How to Manage Tech Teams: Four Unique Rules for Success

In 2015, The New York Times published a damaging exposé on the culture of tech-giant Amazon. The Times reported that among many abuses, employees were encouraged to “Tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late, …and [hold] standards that the company boasts are ‘unreasonably high.’” This unsavory report left many grateful they [...]


How to Raise Sensitive Issues During a Virtual Meeting

Hassan jammed a pencil eraser into his palm over and over to deal with his frustration. He was 80 minutes into a virtual meeting with counterparts from five other countries. A financial downturn had cut their revenue outlook dramatically. Those on the call had been tasked with taking 15% out of their cost structure, to [...]

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The Return of the Rational—Separating Facts vs. Stories

Dear Joseph, Since the election, I’ve been noodling on one of the core competencies of Crucial Conversations: Separating facts from stories. We live in strange times where many people can no longer distinguish what is true vs. what is something they believe is true—seeing them as equivalents. How do you have a reasonable conversation with [...]


What to Say When People Break Boundaries

Dear Steve, I recently built and moved into my dream home. My partner’s daughter has four very unruly children who do not respect my boundaries. How do I have the crucial conversation I need to have, so both my partner and his daughter understand that the children need to be taught to respect others and [...]

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