This book was one of the biggest influences at GFC in 2013. We were blessed by one of our members to come do a training with all of our pastors and directors and he chose this book as his teaching point. Pastor Craig established from the very beginning that we would have an “honest, straight forward” environment. We will not back away from the hard conversations and we will be respectful, but forthright in our words. This book just reinforced his value for a work environment where people deal with issues and people straight on instead of going sideways. Do we do it 100% of the time – no. However, we are growing forward and picking up momentum in this area that it is more prevalent than ever before.
No one likes confrontation or pain. I do like pain if it means growth. And most of the time growth comes out of painful situations and conversations. I have learned that one of the greatest ways to convey respect to someone is to be honest with them. If I cannot be honest with you, then how can you trust me. Brutal honesty is many times just that – brutal and raw. If you value someone (and that is the key to a crucial conversation), you will be honest with them in a manner that will leave them with their dignity and self-worth.
“You confront the issue never the person.” My mentor, Bill Morris, says that all the time. It is a profound principle. If you are having a crucial conversation because you want to “get the person,” it will not be successful. Even if you make all your points and they are right, an obliterated person will not respond in a healthy way. I continue to learn this principle. It is so easy to go bomb someone with a crucial conversation. It takes a lot more work, preparation and even some prayer, to have a great crucial conversation. Yep, I pray over them a lot when I am initiating them. Once again, Bill gave me a great clarifier for my own heart before I enter into one of these exchanges. “Are you having the conversation because you are judging them or caring for them?” It is easier just to judge but we all know that the Bible tells us not to do it. And, if we took a step back, judging is all about me. There are so many “I’s” in it that it becomes unhealthy. If we enter into a situation with care as the primary motivator, we continue to bring out the truths but now the context is their steps of growth and improvement. Phenomenal concept if you are trying to build an organization and grow a team.
Here my final thought – this isn’t just for business. The phrase “crucial conversation” has shown up at church, home, and even relationship that are social. It has become a buzz word at my house and work so that when someone brings it up, he knows what is about to happen. I would hope that the people we love the most and interact with on a daily basis would be valued so highly, that we would be compelled to have crucial conversations that show value and care for them.
Growth can be painful at times…so worth the journey! Have that crucial conversation today and you will begin to see that culture, relationship and lives begin to grow.