While Alan and I are on road trips, one of our favorite pastimes is listening to audio books. Have you noticed that when your kids are little, you read to them, and as they get older, you recommend good books for them to read…but when they grow up, they start recommending books for you?! Crucial Conversations is one of two books that our first-born recently recommended to us. (Thanks for the Feedback is the other, but so far I can’t find any hard-copy audio C.D.’s for under $4,633.14 on Amazon…) At any rate, Crucial Conversations goes into great detail on how to frame discussions when the stakes are high and emotions start flaring. It even has some great advice for people trying to approach stoic non-confronters who don’t want to talk about anything that’s seriously controversial. It was so helpful and hopeful for me that I’m going to listen to it again, because I came from a home where my father demanded: “Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” in its raw, unvarnished state. In diametric contrast, Alan’s mother’s mantra was, “If you can’t think of anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” This resulted in Alan getting lots of splinters in his heart from trying to handle my rough-hewn articulations…and my total exasperation over trying to get a grip on his impossibly slippery interlocutions. If you have loved ones or colleagues who are nigh unto impossible to understand or seem unwilling to get involved in candid communications, think about it! We bought Crucial Conversations for about $15 on Amazon, which was worth more than every penny…and cost a whole lot less than $4,633.14! 🙂
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6, ESV).