Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, Third Edition

Book review by Deane Barker

So, weird situation with this book – I don’t remember a lot about it. I had sitting on my chair table for a month or so. Turns out I read it, I just don’t remember it.

So I paged through it, and I now remember why I don’t remember it – and that’s an interesting point in itself.

The book is so dense, and so full of amazing points and wisdom, and I sort of remember “checking out,” while I was reading it. And this has happened before. I can think of a couple books, like Thanks for the Feedback and Getting to Yes, where I immediately thought, “I need to read this again with a bunch of people in a study group or something…”

And, because of that, I tend to switch into “pre-reading” mode. In my head, I’m thinking, “This isn’t the last time I’ll read this. So I’ll just sort of absorb it, and then I’ll go back with a group and dig through it in-depth.”

Of course, I never do that. It like “perfection procrastination” – the idea and promise of picking through a book like this and learning everything from it is so amazing that I don’t want to actually do it.

This reminds me of a blog post I wrote years ago: Content Firehoses, Absorption Rates, and The Endowment Effect. Not being able to absorb all the content causes us anxiety about all the content we’re “losing.” And that matches my experience with this book – there was just so much there, that I kept getting frustrated because I didn’t have some situation or exercise immediately at hand to reinforce it, so I just knew it was going to fall out of my head.

I really struggled with putting this back on the shelf, because I need to read it again. But I don’t want to do that alone. It’s so good, and so full of lessons, that I just need to read it in a group, and I don’t know what to do about that.

Book Info

Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, Emily Gregory
  • I have read this book. According to my records, I completed it on .
  • A hardcover copy of this book is currently in my home library.

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