Conversing is Crucial

job           It is nearly impossible to please everyone all the time. We all have different views, backgrounds, ideas, and we all perceive information in our own way. This is very true amongst a group of teachers. We are a hard group to have others opinions and ideas forced on us. Forcing information on someone and expected them to be a positive influencer is not going to work. When creating a change that includes teachers having to do more work you better be ready for some opposition. My plan, implementing e-portfolios in the classroom, will create more work for the teacher initially, but it will decrease their workload after it is created and being used as a tool in their assignments. It is my job to make them see this.

           I’m sure I will have many crucial conversations in this change implementation. I am one who prefers to avoid conflict if at all possible. The things I have learned through the book, Crucial Conversations, and the videos will help me in these awkward situations.

 There are three defining features to a crucial conversation:

  • The stakes are high
  • Opinions vary
  • Emotions run strong

The conversations can be about any key information that needs to be shared upfront that will have an effect on your plan.

            faces-426077_960_720In the video review by Kerry Patterson it is pointed out that we must be very clear in talking about what we want. Your goals should be shared and you can’t try to force others to accept your ideas or way of doing things to work toward the goals.

There are 8 steps we can take when preparing for a crucial conversation.

  • Get unstuck- We must be prepared to get everyone’s input and be willing to use their input if it is advantageous to our plan.
  • Start with the heart- Focus on ourselves and make sure our motives are good. Focus on what we are really trying to achieve.
  • Learn to look- Notice signs the conversation is becoming crucial. Avoid negative emotion.
  • Make it safe- People must feel safe in order to share their thoughts. We must spot when safety is at risk and turn it around by exemplifying mutual respect.
  • Master your stories- We have to control our emotions, don’t let negative influences lead us astray.
  • State your path- Be direct, clear, precise, and respectful when talking to your colleagues.
  • Explore others paths- Be open to exploring others perspectives and get their ideas. Be prepared to consider their input/ideas.
  • Move to action- Once we have our plan of action in place it is time to talk. It is imperative to end the conversation positively.

Taking all these points into consideration is definitely going to help me in approaching my staff when I am ready to begin implementation of e-portfolios. Because I know there will be much opposition. Crucial conversations will help me more than differentiated leadership because I work with a lot of closed minded people who do not accept change easily.


Callibrain (2015, August 20). Video Review for Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson. [YouTubeVideo]. Retrieved from 


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