Crucial Conversations by Al Switzler, Ron McMillan, Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson

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THE “HOW” SKILLS

Talk Tentatively

If you look back at the vignettes we’ve shared so far, you’ll note that we were careful to describe both facts and stories in a tentative, or nondogmatic, way. For example, “I was wondering why . . .”

Talking tentatively simply means that we tell our story as a story rather than disguising it as a hard fact. “Perhaps you were unaware . . .” suggests that you’re not absolutely certain. “In my opinion . . .” says you’re sharing an opinion and no more.

When sharing a story, strike a blend between confidence and humility. Share in a way that expresses appropriate confidence in your conclusions while demonstrating that, if called for, you want your conclusions challenged. To do so, change “The fact is” to “In my opinion.” ...

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