Book Freak

By Mark Frauenfelder

Book Freak #58: How to Have a Crucial Conversation





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Book Freak

June 2 · Issue #58 · View online

Short pieces of advice from books

Scrivener is an application (Mac, Windows, and iOS) that helps writers complete longform writing projects. I’ve been using its powerful organization, research, and writing tools for years to write books and magazine articles. It’s the most well-designed software application I’ve ever used, and the tutorial videos and support are excellent. At $49 it’s a bargain. If you’re serious about writing, you should give Scrivener a try! – Mark

Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler are international corporate consultants who have developed corporate training programs for dozens of fortune 500 companies. Here’s advice from their book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.
Keep your mind open to ideas that seem ridiculous
“People who are skilled at dialogue do their best to make it safe for everyone to add their meaning to the shared pool–even ideas that at first glance appear controversial, wrong, or at odds with their own beliefs. Now, obviously they don’t agree with every idea; they simply do their best to ensure that all ideas find their way into the open.”
Convince yourself to do better
“As much as others may need to change, or we may want them to change, the only person we can continually inspire, prod, and shape—with any degree of success—is the person in the mirror.”
Is doing nothing is the best action?
“Think of what you are afraid will happen to you if you back away from your current strategy of trying to win or stay safe. What bad thing will happen if you stop pushing so hard? Or if you don’t try to escape? What horrible outcome makes game-playing an attractive and sensible option?”
Avoid victim and villian stories
“When we make mistakes, we tell a Victim Story by claiming our intentions were innocent and pure. ‘Sure I was late getting home and didn’t call you, but I couldn’t let the team down!’ On the other hand, when others do things that hurt or inconvenience us, we tell Villain Stories in which we invent terrible motives or exaggerate flaws for others based on how their actions affected us. ‘You are so thoughtless! You could have called me and told me you were going to be late.'”
Book Freak is published by Cool Tools Lab, a small company of three people. We run the Cool Tools website, a podcast, a video review YouTube channel, and a couple other newsletters, including Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales, What’s in my bag? and Recomendo. I hope you’ll check them out. You can support our work by becoming a patron via Patreon.
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