The crucial conversations you get into during the course of your day have an effect on the quality of your personal and professional life
Conversations become crucial when opinions vary, for example, when you and a boss differ on whether or not you are ready for a promotion; when the stakes are high, for example, in a strategy meeting when the company is not meeting its annual growth rate; and when emotions run strong, for example, when you are in the midst of an emotional standoff with your spouse.
Crucial conversations are what they are because the results have a huge impact on the quality of your life. We often back away from having them because we fear that we will make matters worse. Instead, we adopt all kinds of tactics to dodge touchy issues. We send an email to a colleague instead of walking down the hall to talk cold-turkey. Bosses leave voicemails in lieu of meeting with their direct reports.
Strong relationships, careers, organizations, and communities all draw from the same source of power — the ability to talk openly about high-stakes, emotional, controversial topics.