Improve at Conversations and Unlock a New Life

Tommy Leung wrote this on Aug 15, 2018
2 minute read

There used to be mail order book clubs. They probably don’t exist anymore given the rise of Amazon and digital e-readers.

I loved books so deciding to join a mail order book club was easy. One of the books I got was Crucial Conversations.

I only read it once because I lent it to a friend and never got it back. But the ideas in the book resonated and core ideas stuck with me.

It is one book that I still recommend to others.

“You’re not learning anything unless you’re having the difficult conversations.”

- Gwyneth Paltrow

My local library had a book sale one day. I am still as enthralled with books as I’ve ever been so I went to check it out. While browsing the wares I noticed a familiar red and white cover. I looked closer and there it was. A copy of Crucial Conversations that looked like it was in new condition.

Buying it was a no-brainer. It is once again on my bookshelf to remind me of the importance of crucial conversations.

Most of us dislike difficult conversations.

We’d rather sweep it under the rug and let our thoughts and emotions fester than talk about it.

It could be because we don’t like conflict, embarrassment, or something else. Maybe we think it’ll get worse if the conversation is had.

But that’s not a good reason to avoid hard conversations. Instead, we should tip the odds in favor of a positive outcome.

Books like Crucial Conversations provide us with insight into how we can do this. We can’t escape or avoid all of life’s difficult conversations. There are no safe spaces.

There are many cases where I wished I would have spoken up instead of staying silent. Times when I should have had the difficult conversation instead of letting a small nothing build itself into a massive problem.

There have also been times when I confronted a difficult conversation head-on and ended up with a positive result. I credit that to having read Crucial Conversations many years ago.

Forward progress is best made when everyone is on the same page.

I’m grateful that I randomly found the book again. It has already reminded me to have crucial conversations instead of avoiding them.

And that is easily worth more than buying the book twice.

“Love without conversation is impossible.”

- Mortimer Adler [dress]: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/02/world/asia/chinese-prom-dress.html