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A crucial conversation, also known as a hard conversation or a difficult conversation, is any high-stakes dialogue that addresses sensitive or important topics and might have a significant impact on individuals, teams, or the organization. These discussions often involve differing viewpoints, strong emotions, and potential conflict. Examples include addressing a direct report's underperformance, asking for a promotion, Giving Feedback to a peer, or discussing organizational changes. Engaging in a crucial conversation requires open and honest communication, Active Listening, and mutual respect. Successfully navigating these conversations can lead to improved understanding, collaboration, and problem-solving, fostering a healthy work environment and facilitating positive outcomes.
Crucial Conversations is part of our Engineering Career Leveling Framework. Explore next steps in your career from this industry-standard model.
Curated Learning Resources
- Crucial Conversations at GitLabWhether or not you read the book on crucial conversations, this example from GitLab can help. It covers: • What are crucial conversations? • How Crucial Conversations align with GitLab Values • Strategies for Successful Crucial Conversations • What GitLab Managers Say about Crucial Conversations
- Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are HighCrucial Conversations provides powerful skills to ensure every conversation―especially difficult ones―leads to the results you want. You’ll learn how to: • Respond when someone initiates a Crucial Conversation with you • Identify and address the lag time between identifying a problem and discussing it • Communicate more effectively across digital mediums