Essay on A Crucial Conversation

Essay on A Crucial Conversation

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A crucial conversation, according to authors Patterson, Grenny, McMillian & Switzler (2012), is one in which “opinions vary”, “stakes run high”, and “emotions run strong” (p.1-2). Leaders will often avoid these conversations until the situation has become serious (Patterson et al., 2012). It is an important nursing leadership skill to effectively manage these tough conversations. Whether the conversation is about disrespectful behavior, professional practice issues, or patient safety, it is never easy (Maxfield et al., 2005a; Patterson et al., 2012).
Key Points
Some key ideas presented in this book include the following:
Start with the Heart
Before beginning a crucial conversation, ask what is at stake and what is the desired outcome. It is important to identify motives, and make sure they are appropriate for the situation (Patterson et al., 2012). By identifying motives, it allows one to be clear as to what the goals are. This helps to keep the conversation on track, but also recognize what is at stake not only for the individual, but also for others involved. “If you can’t get yourself right, you’ll have a hard time getting dialogue right” (Patterson et al., 2012, p. 33). When presented with a crucial conversation, it is common for individuals to revert to forms of communication they grew up with, “…debate, silent treatment, manipulation, and so on” (Patterson et al., 2012, p. 34). In nursing, by identifying the motives, one is able to critically think about the situation. To help ensure the outcome they are pushing for is truly the desired outcome.
Learn to Look
A simple discussion can turn instantly into a crucial conversation. Stay alert for the moment the conversation turns. To help catch a crucial conversation early,...


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...ard to practice these crucial conversations where pushback from others involved is expected.
Conclusion
Crucial Conversations bring attention to the goal, and where the conversation should go. It brings attention to what should be looked over in regards to the conversation, instead of simply jumping right in and skipping the big picture. Crucial conversations are generally not easy to conduct, leading to avoidance until the situation has become more daunting. When possible, don’t be drawn into the conversation spur of the moment. The key to success in crucial conversations involves planning, intention, and an outcome. For new nurses these conversations can be particularly painful. Over time they should become easier, and realize the importance of being able to encourage dialogue. These conversations will improve relationships, and help individuals grow as a leader.

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