Talk About What Matters: Content, Pattern, Relationship

[This is a follow-up to my post about three crucial books.]

“I talked to him, about his lapse. But he had a valid reason. Just like last time.”

Sounds familiar? Do you keep talking to someone about the same rule violations? Or worse, did you stop, because nothing ever changed?

Cover: Crucial Confrontation “Crucial Confrontations” suggests that you may have held the wrong conversation. After the first violation, that incident – the content – is the right thing to talk about.

“Yesterday you’ve made changes in the live branch, that you did not discuss with anyone. We have rules against this. Live changes are always risky and we want to minimize risk by requiring two sets of eyes to check for errors.”

If violations happened before, you can get you sidetracked, if you talk about the individual incidents. People tend to come up with good reasons for the single occurrences. “Sure, you’re right, but I had little choice, because of $extenuating_circumstance.” One of our scrum trainers used to counter strings of extenuating circumstances with “Excuses, excuses, excuses.” And he’s right. You’ve seen this before, multiple times. It’s about a pattern. Continue reading

Three Crucial Books

As I’m constantly reading, this is the first of probably quite a few book recommendations. Ye have been warned 😉

Up first is not one, but a set of three books by the same authors:

Cover: Crucial Conversations Cover: Crucial Confrontations Cover: Influencer

You’ve probably heard of them, but if you haven’t read them yet, let me give you a nudge. More of a  shove, really. Given, my knowledge of difficult conversations was limited to “I-messages, not You-messages” before reading these, but I found them highly insightful. The “Now that you point it out, it’s so obvious. Why haven’t I realized this before?” kind of insightful. Continue reading