Crucial Conversations

Course: Crucial Conversations

Audience(s): Executives, Managers, Supervisors
Method: VitalSmarts® Certified Crucial Conversations® Instructor-led Course
Length: 2 days

Crucial Conversations® is a two-day course (MBA779) that teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by promoting open dialogue around high-stakes, emotional, or risky topics—at all levels of your organization. By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), one will begin to surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on decisions with unity and commitment. In this practical and interactive learning session, wparticipants will learn to converse more effectively with their colleagues. In partnership with VitalSmarts®, we have locally certified Crucial Conversations® instructors that are ready to work with your team. Participants will learn how to create alignment, manage disagreement and keep business conversations concise while encouraging spirited dialogue and creative thinking.


This course provides participants with a foundation tool set for communication of your leadership vision in practical and collaborative language.

What Does Crucial Conversations® Training Teach?

Crucial Conversations teaches participants how to:

  • Speak persuasively, not abrasively
  • Foster teamwork and better decision making
  • Build acceptance rather than resistance
  • Resolve individual and group disagreements

Who Needs Crucial Conversations® Training?

Does your organization suffer from taboo topics, deference, disagreement, analysis paralysis, information hoarding, office politics or alienation? Is your organization battling declining productivity, safety violations, low morale, reduced quality, poor customer satisfaction or other bottom-line concerns? Then you, your team, or your organization needs Crucial Conversations® Training. Fortune 500 organizations around the world have turned to the award-winning Crucial Conversations® Training to improve bottom-line results like quality, efficiency, satisfaction, safety, etc. Results include:

  • Productivity & Quality
  • Teamwork
  • Relationships
  • Performance


Day 1

Lesson 1:
Get Unstuck

  • Spot the conversations that are keeping you from what you want.
  • Avoid moving to silence or violence during crucial conversations.
  • Share facts, ideas, feelings, and opinions candidly and honestly.

Lesson Two:
Start with Heart

  • Identify your own Style Under Stress and manage it.
  • Stay focused on what you really want and maintain dialogue.
  • Understand how motives change when conversations turn crucial.

Lesson Three:
Master My Stories

  • Stay in dialogue when you’re angry, scared, or hurt—“think” your way to the root cause of negative emotions.
  • Discover your stories—how do you justify your behavior?

Lesson Three:
Master My Stories, cont.

  • Eliminate Victim, Villain, and Helpless Stories, and improve your results.

Lesson Four:

  • Speak persuasively, not abrasively.
  • Get your meaning across even with potentially threatening messages.

Lesson Four:
STATE My Path, cont.

  • Share strong opinions without shutting down contrary views.
  • State your mind while making it safe for others to do the same.

Day 2

Lesson Five:
Learn to Look

  • Spot the warning signs that indicate safety is at risk.
  • Notice various forms of silence and violence.
  • Step out of a conversation and notice how to make it work.

Lesson Six:
Make It Safe I

  • Take steps to rebuild safety and return to dialogue.
  • Talk about almost anything—without silence or violence.

Lesson Six:
Make It Safe I, cont.

  • Use specific skills to keep everyone sharing information.

Lesson Seven:
Make It Safe II

  • Establish and maintain mutual purpose and mutual respect.
  • Recognize when you’re at cross-purpose.

Lesson Eight:
Explore Others’ Paths

  • Use exploring skills to make it safe for others to speak up.
  • Diffuse others’ violence and eliminate silence.
  • Get safely to the meaning behind others’ emotions.

Lesson Nine:
Move to Action

  • Put Crucial Conversations principles and skills together.
  • Move from healthy dialogue to taking action and achieving result