Crucial Conversations written by Stephen R. Covey is a must-read for any business person. Whether you’re a C-level executive, a director, or an up-and-coming manager, Crucial Conversations is a tremendous learning tool to help you grow and achieve your goals. We all have moments in our lives where there is a turning point or a defining moment. These come from crucial conversations sometimes and most of the time many of us don’t handle them as best as we could.

Crucial Conversations will give you the “tools for talking when the stakes are high.” Basically, the book is broken down into the following eight steps:


1 | Start with the Heart

2 | Learn to Look

3 | Make it Safe

4 | Stay in Dialogue

5 | State Your Path

6 | Explore Others’ Paths

7 | Separate Facts from a Story

8 | Agree on a Clear Action Plan

The Breakdown

Relationships are very important in our everyday lives. Essentially unless you isolate yourself on an island somewhere, you’re going to have to deal with day-to-day conversations that affect your life. That is known as a crucial conversation. Crucial conversations occur when there are opposing opinions, stakes are high, and strong emotions are involved.

This book gave me insight not only on others around me but on myself as well. The entire book emphasizes the concept of starting with yourself—because that’s really the only part you have complete control over. Your actions are your own and theirs are their own. Don’t try to change someone and tell them what they are doing wrong. They likely will not make that change unless they recognize it for themselves and make the decision on their own to change.

Overall I gained useful tips and knowledge about how to have better crucial conversations with those around me. The book also uses work and personal stories to bring the process to life, which helped make the material even easier to digest and understand.

With all that said, I felt this book was a great learning tool and I now can recognize what I need to do and what I need to change to make my crucial conversations better.

Stephen Covey (1932–2012) was recognized as one of Time magazine’s twenty-five most influential Americans. He was an internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and author.