Crucial Conversations - Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler

This is probably my first proper management book since joining Google. In fact, it was lent to me by a colleague (I'm not special - they're lending it to everyone they can. :).

The basic idea is that there are some conversations that are important, emotionally difficult and where you have a difference of opinion with the other party. The kind of conversation you probably shy away from. Or go in guns blazing. The point of the book is that these conversations are really important, and really important to get right. Moreover, the book discusses how to get them right.

There are lots of useful tools in the book. Remember what you're having the conversation for - it's probably not "winning" the argument at the cost of losing the war. Don't try to bowl your opponent over with argument, but listen. Make dialogue open by making people feel safe to discuss what they're thinking. All good stuff.

Nothing felt terribly new to me, having read a pile of manage-y books before. On the other hand, it consolidates a lot of communication-related ideas into a single place, fills in a bunch of gaps, and provides an overall framework. As always with this kind of book, it feels longer than it really needs to be (230 pages) for its core content, but the repetition and discussion help flesh the book out, so I can't complain too much.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I've already personally recommended it to a friend.

Posted 2016-01-12.