“The health of an organization is measured by the number of crucial conversations not being held or not being held well.” That is a quote from Joseph Grenny, a speaker at this year’s Global Leadership Summit. Undoubtedly most of the people listening were impacted as I was by the underlying truth that this statement applies not only to companies and churches, but also to families and marriages.
In fact, the reality is that the health of virtually every relationship depends upon whether or not crucial conversations are being held and the degree to which they are being held well.
A crucial conversation is any conversation between two or more people where opinions vary, emotions are running strong and the stakes are high. It is a conversation that will either hinder a relationship or help it, put it in a pit or on a path, lead to talking it out or acting out. As distinguished from a casual conversation, a crucial conversation requires skill in navigating the first 30 seconds because that often will either make or break all that follows. Grenny calls this the “hazardous half-minute.”