Lindsey Evans
EDU 713

Book Review

The authors, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, of Crucial Confrontations: Tools for resolving broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior, provide and interesting read for those who are trying to improve their skills at dealing with confrontations in all aspects of their life. The authors studied a variety of people in their work environment to examine what makes a good communicator in the sticky situation of a confrontation. They also observed those who may not have been seen as great communicators; from them they learned many of the “Don’ts” of communicating during a confrontation.
The overall purpose of the book is to give people a series of important steps to work through a confrontation; suggestions for before the confrontation, during the confrontation, after the confrontation, and what to do throughout the confrontation. By taking these steps, making sure the person that is being confronted feels safe, and by staying focused but flexible, the authors suggest that a person can greatly improve their skills at confronting someone who had failed to live up to certain expectations or has broken promises. The book is not only meant for those who need to confront those whose status is below theirs, such as an employee or a child, but also those who have higher authority, such as a CEO or boss.
While giving recommendations for how to confront someone effectively, the authors gave real life examples and made the suggestions meaningful. The stories that were included were from their own studies of businesses, school settings, and home life. Crucial Confrontations is an easy read that while very informational, is also enjoyable to read. The authors include humor within their writing to lighten the mood of these very stressful situations.
I found it very beneficial to do the self-assessment which is included in the appendix of the book. It helps the reader better understand where their skills at confrontations stand. After doing the assessment, the reader can see what areas they need improvement in, skim the chapters where they are more competent, and really dig into the chapters in which the authors discuss the areas the reader needs improvement in.
I would recommend this book to everyone. It is definitely useful in the business world, and in personal life with regards to family members or friends. It would be beneficial for teachers who are co-teaching, working with paraprofessionals, have a problem with a parent of a student, or simply have an issue to bring up with the administration.