Crucial Conversations®

Crucial Conversations® Training is the Answer

Crucial Conversations is a two-day course that teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around high-stakes, emotional, or risky topics—at all levels of your organization. By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you'll begin to surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on your decisions with unity and commitment.

Crucial Conversations Video Overview

What Does Crucial Conversations® Training Teach?

Crucial Conversations teaches participants how to:

  • Resolve individual and group disagreements
  • Build acceptance and overcome resistance.
  • Foster teamwork and better decision making.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect?

When people can discuss difficult workplace issues and make the best decisions, it can have a number of positive consequences,including:

  • Greater efficiency
  • Improved working relationships
  • Increased employee satisfaction

"The Crucial Conversations program my team attended enabled us to strengthen our relationships with internal customers and partners, achieve common goals and create win/wins rather than avoid conflict situations or railroad our views. They say it's the best class they've ever attended!"

Michelle Seals, Manager, Serviceability Design Engineering, Cisco

What is Your Style Under Stress™?

Take this 33-question test to explore how you typically respond when you’re in the middle of a stressful situation. The answers may surprise you.

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Crucial Conversations®

Crucial Conversations® Training Course Detail

Crucial Conversations Training infuses fourteen hours of classroom time with more than 60 original video clips of “before and after” situations. Enjoy video-based instruction from the authors of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High. Engage in extensive in-class practice, group participation, and personal reflection as you explore and master these crucial skills.

Trainer Certification

Use our trainer certification program and Trainer Suite to enable your trainers to offer the highest quality in-house training program available today.

We also advocate leader-led training as the most effective approach for helping employees acquire and retain new skills.

Crucial Conversations

Participant Materials

  • Crucial Conversations Participant Toolkit (157-page training workbook)
  • Cue cards and model card
  • A copy of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, 2nd edition
  • Crucial Conversations Audio Companion (6-CD set for strengthening Crucial Conversations skills)
  • Certificate of completion
  • A subscription to the Crucial Skills Newsletter, a weekly e-mail service
  • A follow-up process that includes multiple Web resources (premium subscription to www.ChangeAnything.com, a self-scoring Style Under Stress self-assessment, video examples, downloads, and more)

If your team or organization struggles to deal effectively with difficult subjects, undercommunicates, or fails to act with unity and conviction, Crucial Conversations Training is for you. Call today at 650-529-8980 or register for one of our upcoming workshops.

Day One (* class times vary, actual agenda is flexible)

8:00 A.M.

Lesson One:
Get Unstuck

  • Spot the conversations that are keeping you from what you want.
  • Avoid moving to silence or violence during crucial conversations.
  • Share facts, ideas, feelings, and opinions candidly and honestly.
  • Discover how better information helps identify problems earlier and keeps them from getting out of hand.
9:30 A.M.
Break

9:45 A.M.

Lesson Two:
Start with Heart

  • Identify your own Style Under Stress and manage it.
  • Stay focused on what you really want and maintain dialogue.
  • Learn how to work on me first.
  • Understand how motives change when conversations turn crucial.
11:00 A.M.
Break

11:15 A.M.

Lesson Three:
Master My Stories

  • Stay in dialogue when you're angry, scared, or hurt - "think" your way to the root cause of negative emotions.
  • Discover your stories - how do you justify your behavior?
12:00 P.M.
Lunch

1:00 P.M.

Lesson Three:
Master My Stories – cont.

  • Eliminate Victim, Villain, and Helpless Stories, and improve your results.
2:00 P.M.
Break

2:15 P.M.

Lesson Four:
STATE My Path

  • Speak persuasively, not abrasively.
  • Get your meaning across even with potentially threatening messages.
3:30 P.M.
Break

3:45 P.M.

Lesson Four:
STATE My Path - cont.

  • Share strong opinions without shutting down contrary views.
  • State your mind while making it safe for others to do the same.
5:00 P.M.
End of Day One

Day Two (* class times vary, actual agenda is flexible)

8:00 A.M.

Lesson Five:
Learn to Look

  • Spot the warning signs that indicate safety is at risk.
  • Notice various forms of silence and violence.
  • Step out of a conversation and notice how to make it work.
9:30 A.M.
Break

9:45 A.M.

Lesson Six:
Make It Safe I

  • Take steps to rebuild safety and return to dialogue.
  • Talk about almost anything - without silence violence.
11:00 A.M.
Break

11:15 A.M.

Lesson Six:
Make It Safe I - cont.

  • Use specific skills to keep everyone sharing information.
12:00 P.M.
Lunch

1:00 P.M.

Lesson Seven:
Make It Safe II

  • Establish and maintain mutual purpose and mutual respect.
  • Recognize when you’re at cross-purpose.
2:00 P.M.
Break

2:15 P.M.

Lesson Eight:
Explore Others' Paths

  • Use exploring skills to make it safe for others to speak up.
  • Diffuse others' violence and eliminate silence.
  • Encourage others to share issues they fear bringing up.
  • Get safely to the meaning behind others’ emotions.
3:45 P.M.
Break

4:00 P.M.

Lesson Nine:
Move to Action

  • Put Crucial Conversations principles and skills together.
  • Move from healthy dialogue to taking action and achieving results.
5:00 P.M.
End of Training
Crucial Conversations®

Case Studies & Research

Don't just take our word for it. Read about the impact of Crucial Conversations in organizations like Lockheed Martin, AT&T and Sprint.

Past studies have indicated more than 60 percent of medical errors are caused by mistakes in interpersonal communication (JCAHO). All too often, well-intentioned people in healthcare institutions choose not to speak up when they’re concerned with behavior, decisions or actions of a colleague. The authors provide a series of recommendations for actions leaders can take to improve people’s ability to hold crucial conversations - making it safer for healthcare workers to speak up and eliminate medical errors.

Learn how Crucial Skills can help you make difficult but necessary changes in your organization.

 

What People are Saying

Crucial Conversations offers a practical and powerful tool set to increase the effectiveness of conversations in every aspect of your life.

Christine Landon
Director of Executive Development, Agilent

I now use the tools and techniques I learned in Crucial Conversations every single day.

Ben Treynor Sloss
VP of Engineering, Google

We know that these skills from Crucial Conversations have positively impacted revenue, retention, productivity, quality, and teamwork...

John Thompson
Chairman of the Board, Symantec

Crucial Conversations yields a practical set of skills that leaders can make actionable when handling complex issues.

Nisha Advani
Director of Executive Development, Genentech / Roche

We have been offering Crucial Conversations at Synopsys and its perceived value just keeps increasing among managers at all levels. I am convinced that if all of Synopsys becomes confident and competent at holding difficult conversations we will be more efficient, more effective, and more successful, both personally and as a company.

Linda Thompson
VP of HR, Synopsys

Great course … I would like to see others in my company taking Crucial Conversations.

Tony Rogers
Sr. Mgr of Operations, Cisco Systems

When you get right down to it, the one key tool that managers have to achieve their results is conversation. Crucial Conversations provides a framework and set of tools that are key to ensuring that every conversation moves people forward in order to achieve their stated results.

Mike Girone
Global Learning & Leadership Development, Agilent

Crucial Conversations was the course in the greatest demand from business leaders at Sun. It is a practical skill development that is immediately applicable to drive business results.

Jenny Dearborn
Former Americas CLO at Sun Microsystems; Director Technology Services L&D, Hewlett-Packard

I found the content not only incredibly relevant to business scenarios, but to be useful in nearly all aspects of my interactions with others. I felt that Richard Lee was a phenomenal facilitator/instructor and really guided the learning in a constructive, collaborative way. I believe the Crucial Conversations curriculum would be beneficial for just about anyone.

Erika Willhelm
L&D Global Business Partner, Technology Services, Hewlett-Packard

Crucial Conversations is the communication tool we implemented across 100% of all managers at Cadence and Agilent. Very practical, works very well with engineers and functional groups alike. I have worked with Richard Lee as a delivery person for the tool for nearly 10 years now.

Sonia Clark
Then Leader of Talent Strategy, Juniper Networks

The Crucial Conversations program my team attended enabled us to strengthen our relationships with internal customers and partners, achieve common goals and create win/wins rather than avoid conflict situations or railroad our views. They say it’s the best class they’ve ever attended!

Michelle Seals
Manager, Serviceability Design Engineering, Cisco

Richard Lee ensures learning and organizational solutions create powerful and lasting business impact. High energy, innovative, insightful yet practical. Crucial Conversations is first class and Richard is outstanding as its facilitator.

Steve Umphreys
Formerly VP of HR, Salesforce.com

The course was insightful and as the feedback shows, the concepts definitely resonated with the attendees.

Kiran Oak
HR Business Partner, Google

Crucial Conversations is an essential behavioral tool for Product Management... My staff uses the skills daily... Virtually all attendees rank this one of the best courses they've taken.

Robin Purohit
Formerly VP at Symantec, now VP/GM Software Products, Hewlett-Packard

Crucial Confrontations was relevant and immediately effective for our teams in realizing better results in strategic planning. Richard is an outstanding instructor – his delivery of this material is motivating. It was especially rewarding to hear the accolades from my team colleagues after sponsoring this program.

Tom Carhart
Then VP of Strategy and Corporate Development, Hewlett-Packard

Crucial Confrontations became one of the highest rated programs ever with broad application in our project teams and relationships with our customers. I recommend it to any organization that wants to improve its performance and level of satisfaction at work.

Todd Pierce
Then CIO, Genentech / Roche

In this ever changing environment, the ability to effectively engage in high stakes conversations is essential to having impact and influence in business, the community and in your personal relationships. Crucial Conversations offers a practical and powerful tool set to increase the quality and effectiveness of those conversations in every aspect of your life.

Christine Landon
Director of Executive Development, Agilent

Symantec began offering Crucial Conversations to its employees in 2005. Over the years we have seen many instances of business advantages gained by our employees’ utilizing the superior communications skills that enable them to conduct productive conversations in difficult situations. We know that these skills have positively impacted revenue, retention, productivity, quality, and teamwork... (put over 5,000 people through the 2 day program)

John Thompson
Chairman of the Board, Symantec

We began our work with Crucial Conversations in 2004 as part of a transformation of our IT culture and leadership. The skills and insights gained from the program immediately improved our ability to deal with difficult situations and to strengthen our capacity for teamwork and higher performance. When Crucial Confrontations was developed, it became one of the highest rated programs ever with broad application in our project teams and relationships with our customers. Together, these programs have deepened our capacity to build and improve relationships and to handle difficult situations with greater confidence, ease, and effectiveness. With nearly half of our employees completing the program, it has become an integral part of our culture and our way of working together. I recommend it to any organization that wants to improve its performance and level of satisfaction at work.

Todd Pierce
CIO, Genentech

Crucial Conversations has been a popular workshop, garnering a 96% grade for the overall learning experience.

Mark Sato
Then Sr. Mgr., Leadership Development, Oracle

Crucial Conversations still continues to be our MOST Popular class.

Stacy Kuehnis
Cadence Design, Cadence University

Richard Lee is a very talented and effective consultant and trainer that drives impactful business outcomes by aligning and building individual, team and organizational capability. He has in-depth expertise in Learning and Development, Executive Coaching and Facilitation. Richard is highly collaborative and insightful, always focused on the needs of the business and his clients. Richard possesses an outstanding ability to deliver state of the art programs such as Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations. He engages his audience and provides them with relevant and tangible tools. I highly recommend Richard Lee.

Joan Cronin
Formerly VP HR, Applied Biosystems

Richard ensures learning and organizational solutions create powerful and lasting business impact. High energy, innovative, insightful yet practical. Crucial Conversations is first class and Richard is outstanding as its facilitator. I’ll use his services again.

Steve Umphreys
Formerly VP of HR, Salesforce.com

Richard Lee is one of the most expert professionals that I know. He is solely dedicated to the success of his clients and freely donates his time and expertise. Richard has had an amazing impact for us in communications skills development. His efforts have benefited both my organization and myself personally. I gladly and whole-heartedly endorse Richard Lee.

John Castaldi
Crucial Conversations Project Head, Symantec

Richard and I have partnered together to bring Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, and Influencer to Sun Microsystems. Richard’s in-depth experience in both the learning field and the high-tech industry has been instrumental in implementing the Vital Smarts training programs in our fast paced technical environment.

Denise Wolf
Formerly Sun, now Leadership Development, Oracle

Richard has provided invaluable consulting work to us in the area of leadership development strategy, program facilitation and delivery of the Crucial Conversations workshop. I find Richard a pleasure to work with. He always operates with the best interests of his clients in mind.

David Crighton
Formerly Director of L&D, AAA (Northern CA, Utah, Nevada)

I have worked closely with Richard off and on for several years. He has helped to develop custom training for my organization as well as the Crucial Conversations training that he has made such a specialty. I believe that he is one of the best communicators that I have ever met and a tremendous educator. Richard understand how to define mutual goals well and find solutions that are mutually beneficial. He can deliver difficult messages in a way that is direct and constructive. I regularly send my folks to his courses and recommend him to others. Richard is one of those outstanding people that you meet.

Devin Jones
Sr. Manager, Customer Advocacy, Cisco Systems