Recommended by Bill, hatch, and shane

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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer

Shane says: I read this book off of recommendation from a fellow colleague and later attending a training seminar that was based on the core foundation of the book. Overall it was a great book and the class was eye-opening as well. 

For me this book spoke mainly to two items. First one being able to and willing to understand when a conversation is becoming “tricky” (my words) and second, to be careful not to assume what the narrative or message is. Be careful feeling in the blanks with your own thoughts and perspectives…

Hatch says: I see this book as a road map or instruction booklet in how to have those tough conversations that everyone avoids. No one likes confrontation, but what if you could turn that confrontation into a positive outcome?

Bill says: I read this book because it was recommended by Deputy Chief Willie Tanks (Ret.), and I wasn't disappointed. I must admit, however, that I did struggle at the beginning. At one point I wanted to put it down, but I'm glad I didn't.

This book spends a good deal of time teaching you to identify when a conversation is approaching critical mass, and then gives you the tools to potentially keep the conversation from devolving into a completely unproductive exchange. The chapter entitled "Master My Stories" particularly hit home for me for reasons too extensive to go into here.

I'm confident that any objective reader of this book will identify strategies for improving their communication skills using the principles taught in this book. It's worth your time.

Bill recommends for all ranks