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Re-read Saturday: Crucial Conversations Week 10 – Chapter 9 Move To Action

Book Cover


This week we tackle Chapter 9 of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler. titled Move To Action. The subtitle is a fair summary of the ideas in the chapter: how to turn crucial conversations into action and results.  

Just getting information doesn’t necessarily translate into action. This might sound like a truism, however, I can not tell you how many meetings I have observed that get to the end only to let discussion and ideas evaporate like fog. Like airplane trips, the beginning and the ending of crucial conversations are the most dangerous. The authors point out that conversations fail to translate into action for two basic reasons.  The first is that no one has agreed on how a decision will be made and the second is a lack of a plan and assigned responsibility for acting. 

The book recommends agreeing on how to decide before making the decision. It is hard to argue with that advice and I have heard it come out of my mouth even before reading this book. The type of decision process will be influenced by whether one person in the conversation has authority and responsibility to make a decision or if it has to be a group decision (no one has the authority to make the decision individually). The book points out four basic forms of decision-making:

Command, Consult, Vote and Consensus. 

It is my observation that most corporate organizations have fallen into the trap of purely using the consensus approach so that responsibility is defused. 

Arguably my favorite part of the chapter are the four questions that can be used to guide which decision-making approach will be best. They are:

Who cares about the decision?Who knows what is needed?Who must agree on the decision?How many people is it worth involving? 

The approach is very similar to a simple checklist I like to use.

After making a decision a plan must be put in place to make something happen.  Being an agilist, I translate decisions into user stories and put them into the tool being used.  Simply put, without a plan of some sort for action, decisions will just evaporate into nothingness.

Chapter 9 is a good actionable chapter that really puts a cap on the whole idea of crucial conversations: 

decide what you want to get out of the conversation, make things safe, create a pool of shared information, make a decision, and then dosomething

This was a short chapter but instead of adding chapter 10 (Chapter 10 discusses what to do when things go wrong) I’m going to start the poll for the next book.Crucial Conversations has two more chapters and an afterword left which means we have approximately three weeks to choose what we will read next. I am going to try something a little different this time by focusing on books I’ve read in late 2019 early 2020 and that I carry around with me when I am working. One exception is the inclusion of the runner up from our last poll.

Poll – let me know what you’d like to revisit next!

Take Our Poll

Have other ideas? Feel free to add them  in the comments. I will be happy to add ideas to the poll.

Previous Installments

Week 1 – Logistics, Forewards, and Preface

Week 2 – Chapter 1: What’s a crucial conversation? And who cares?

Week 3 – Chapter 2: The Power of Dialogue

Week 4 – Chapter 3: Start With Heart

Week 5 – Learn To Look

Week 6 – Make It Safe

Week 7 – Master my Stories

Week 8 – State My Path

Week 9 – Explore Others’ Paths

If you do not have a copy or have tossed it at someone during a crucial conversation, it is time to buy a copy. Please use the link (using the link helps support the blog and podcast).


By: tcagley
Title: Re-read Saturday: Crucial Conversations Week 10 – Chapter 9 Move To Action
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Published Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2020 23:55:42 +0000

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Written by Michael Paul

Michael is the Founder of the Fuseology Creative Brand and Socialtap. Michael's passion is in seeing and helping small business succeed. Some call him a "local genius" with a knack for uncover and connecting all the dots in chaotic digital world helping it make sense. Whether it is Website development, mobile websites or social media Michael and his team at Fuseology Creative & Socialtap are a great choice.

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