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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High. By Kelly Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. McGraw-Hill, 240 pages. $16.95.

More than anything, Crucial Conversations belongs squarely on the managerial self-help shelf. This paperback reissue of the 2002 best-seller aims to provide good touchstones for executives in their careers, and to ask them to tap into their emotions. In fact, noted self-help guru Stephen Covey wrote an introduction.

The four authors are colleagues at VitalSmarts, a Utah-based company they founded in 1990 offering resources such as videos, assessment skills, self-study courses, Web training and more. But the book isn't a commercial for their products. It offers an easily digestible compendium of ideas about how individuals can master crucial conversations--a broad definition that could encompass confronting colleagues or loved ones, critiquing a co-worker's ideas or giving a boss feedback about unwelcome behavior--and put themselves on the road to a better career, better relationships and even improved health.

While it's hokey at times, it's a book that means well, has something instructive to say and really makes a case that proactive communication is far better than letting problems fester.
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Title Annotation:bookshelf
Author:Marshall, Jeffrey
Publication:Financial Executive
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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