If there is one book I would recommend, I would recommend Crucial Conversations.  It’s like the miracle cure, the miracle gro, the fix-my-work-and-home medicine.  That’s pretty big talk for anything, let alone a book.  Even if you don’t believe me, then consider that American Express gives classes on it, Steven R. Covey wrote the forward, Dain Hancock from Lockheed Martin endorses it, and Wolf Creek Nuclear gives training on it.  This is not your ordinary self-help book.

 So it’s important, but what is it?  It basically outlines why we are awful at important conversations, when to recognize important conversations and how to achieve mutual success in important conversations.  If you’ve ever seen someone tackle a difficult conversation with finesse – whether stopping the boss from doing something unilaterally stupid or achieving harmony in their marriage despite discussing “the promotion” that requires a move – you’ve seen someone understand what’s really important in a Crucial Conversation.

This is not a book about getting your way.  It is about bring knowledge out of everybody while keeping everyone involved in the conversation.  Its about why we clam up or fight and destroy any good things that could come in conversations that are important to us.

In short:  Read it.  Its a lifechanger.