Crucial Skills Logo The Official VitalSmarts Blog

Helping Your Child with Addiction

Our twenty-year-old son has unfortunately been using prescription drugs for some time now. He came to me and my wife for help, and we immediately placed him in a well respected center for the twenty-one-day medical detoxification and rehab program. He went willingly and seemed to learn quite a bit about the entire rehab process and what was required of him in his near future. Although he got clean, we suspect he is still not equipped with the skills to stay that way. We would like to apply the model in Change Anything to help him stay clean and live a happy, productive life. Here are our questions: Do we apply the model in a certain sequence or all at once? Are there sources of influence that need to come before or after another source? Should he help construct activities within each source or should we create them before we present anything to him? What are some known best practices when applying the model to this problem?

READ MORE >

How to Say A Different Kind of No

At work, many times we have to say no to internal customer requests because they aren’t priorities or because we aren’t the people who can help them. The problem is that our staff has learned to say no too well and it’s becoming a negative experience for our internal customers. What ideas do you have for saying no without turning off our internal customers?

READ MORE >

Kerrying On: A Holiday Gift for the Children

Thirty years ago, after landing my first consulting job, I could hardly wait to get started. For years, I had studied how to change the world and now it was my turn to roll up my sleeves and actually do something. The goal of this particular project was to take an adversarial, punitive, and authoritarian corporate culture and turn it into a productive, team-oriented place. At least, that’s what the plant manager requested.

READ MORE >

How to be Genuine During a Crucial Conversation

I try to use crucial skills in my workplace but have struggled to sound genuine and have even turned people off with my approach. I’m no actor and I sometimes have to take a moment to recall some techniques. However, I’m worried that I might still be coming off as too calculated because of some of the formulas I generally follow.

READ MORE >

Working With Youngsters

I recently joined a new company that I love. The technology and services I will be working with are cutting-edge and I’m excited to be part of this thriving organization. The only downside, if you can even call it that, is that the majority of my colleagues, and even my supervisor, are significantly younger than me. While I’ve known this from the beginning of the hiring process and it’s something I willingly stepped into, I’m simply wondering if you can share tips for navigating an environment where I’m now the “old guy” and the pace and attitude of my colleagues is somewhat different than I’m used to.

READ MORE >

From the Desk of Joseph Grenny: Gratitude and Thanks

One of the most humbling—and to me, sacred—experiences I’ve had over the past thirty years has been hearing stories like those of Laura and Jim below. I say “sacred” because I realize more fully now that when we founded VitalSmarts, our mission meant entering some of the most intimate areas of people’s lives. Our goal was to discover key skills and insights that would assist people in solving the important human problems they faced.

READ MORE >

A Second First Time

When I was a young boy, I lived with my parents and older brother in a one-bedroom house at the end of a long dirt road in the middle of the forest. Couple this isolation with the facts that we didn’t own a TV and our car wasn’t roadworthy enough to go very far, and it would be correct to conclude that I lived a rather cloistered childhood. By the time I was six, I doubt that I had ventured more than three miles from our home.

READ MORE >

Speaking Up To The Boss

I’m trying to follow the chain of command in our organization when presenting ideas and suggestions, but the ideas seem to stop at my boss and never get to the people who would benefit from the suggestion or idea. My boss doesn’t like conflict or change, believes that getting along is more important than addressing issues that might cause conflict, and doesn’t see the value in sharing feedback unless it is to tell people they are doing a good job. How can I motivate my boss to take action on ideas presented to him to improve our organization?

READ MORE >