In The News

Holiday secret: 8 of 10 couples have an overspender

Is Black Friday breaking your budget? Turns out you're not alone. VitalSmarts research shows 8 out of 10 couples overspend during the holidays, but most never address their squandering partner. Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield share tips for holding this crucial conversation....

Facebook Gets Ugly: Politics Brings Out the Troll In Us

Research by Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations, shows 81% said “difficult or emotionally charged” conversations they have held over social media remained unresolved. Two out of five blocked, unsubscribed to, or defriended someone over arguments that took place via social media....

Why Teamwork Matters at Every Level

The July 2016 Corporate Culture Chasm survey from VitalSmarts found a disparity between how employers and employees perceive competition. While leaders say they value teamwork in the workplace, employees say they believe employers really want to see staff compete with one another....

How to Make Feedback Feel Normal

Joseph Grenny says the primary reason people struggle with giving and receiving feedback is not a lack of proficiency but of frequency. He shares the success of implementing feedback at The Other Side Academy and tips leaders can use to create a similar environment in their...

What did you say?

Some 31% of respondents to a recent study by VitalSmarts executives Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield said making a catastrophic comment cost them a pay increase, a promotion, or their job....

How to Talk About the Orlando Shootings at Work

How can you discuss your feelings about violence like the Orlando mass shootings without upsetting coworkers? David Maxfield, vice president of research at VitalSmarts, says, “ask yourself what the purpose of having this conversation is. If you want to express sadness for the victims or support,...

7 Ways to Stop a Meeting from Dragging On

Joseph Grenny shared seven of his favorite interventions for stopping a meandering meeting. These tips are tactful things anyone can do to not only take responsibility for my own investment of time, but to become a healthy voice for the silent majority....

5 Career-Crushing Things Employees Say

VitalSmarts has come up with a list of what we'll describe as "five career-crushing ways to express yourself," and we've adapted that survey-supported list here. The conversations and exchanges that require some degree of caution include: offering feedback to a co-worker; discussing race, politics, religion...

Can You Recover from a Major Gaffe at Work?

VitalSmarts recently surveyed 775 U.S. employees and found that 69% admitted they had said something at work that they later had cause to wish they hadn’t. Of those, VitalSmarts reports, 27% said inserting foot in mouth had “undercut or destroyed a working relationship,” and almost one in...

Curious Things That Will Kill Your Career

A recent survey by VitalSmarts found that 83% of people had seen someone make a blunder that had catastrophic results for their career, reputation, or business, and 69% admitted that they themselves had done something that had damaged their careers....

5 ways to minimize distractions at work

Research continually tells us multitasking decreases productivity rather than increasing it. By dividing your focus, you’re increasing your stress levels and decreasing your performance abilities, write Joseph Grenny for Harvard Business Review. Grenny shares five ways you can minimize your workplace distractions....

Why Keeping Quiet May Sabotage Your Relationship

A lot of couples might keep it to themselves when they're mad at each other because they're scared of starting potentially relationship-threatening arguments. But a new study by VitalSmarts has found that avoiding these conversations is actually more likely to do a relationship in....

Trick Yourself into Breaking a Bad Habit

Joseph Grenny writes that most of us are blind to the many forces that shape our choices. We overestimate the degree to which we are the product of conscious choice and grossly underestimate the power of situational and social forces. It’s time we learned to...

New Year’s Resolutions: Why We Do What We Do

David Maxfield, author of Change Anything, has studied failed resolutions. He's also studied what the successful few do who actually succeed at changing behavior. His research shows those who include six sources of influence in their resolution plans are 10 times more likely to succeed...

6 Workplace Realities Women Will Face In 2040

VitalSmarts research, conducted by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, found that women’s perceived competency drops by 35% and their perceived deserved compensation by $15,000 when they're seen to be assertive or forceful—violating ingrained cultural expectations for women to be caring and nurturing....

See Something, Say Something

Bad customer service is costing the average company $54,511 annually per employee, according to a new study released by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, authors of Crucial Accountability....

Silence Costs You in Customer Service

Joseph Grenny writes that we’re facing a “crisis of silence” in the corporate world; people simply don’t hold their colleagues accountable for delivering poor customer service. The key to creating distinguishing customer service is to create a culture where anyone can speak up to anyone...

What your child’s teacher wants to know

According to research by VitalSmarts, teachers and parents are great at communicating - just not in the areas each wants to know about. Parents, for example, say that teachers are not communicating with them on issues like drug abuse or depression. Teachers say that they...

The Six Ways Your Financial Behavior Is Manipulated

In his research, Grenny breaks it down: The first two domains, Personal Motivation and Ability, relate to sources of influence within an individual (motives and abilities) that determine their behavioral choices. The next two, Social Motivation and Ability, relate to how other people affect an individual's...

5 Things to Immediately Stop Doing at Work

These actions are sabotaging your career and workplace happiness. [No. 1]: Staying silent. A recent study conducted by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, co-authors of "Crucial Conversations," found that 56 percent of employees refrain from addressing troublesome issues at workfor more than a year....

Six Ways to Increase Your Influence

Until we get all six of the sources of influence flowing in the direction of change, we’ll continue to fail. Even more damaging, we’ll pin the failure on moral deficiencies in our people rather than on our own insufficient understanding of human behavior....

Book It — Summer Reading From SHRM

Another book in hand was “Crucial Conversations,” which she thought will help with developing deeper, broad relationships among employees. “Performance conversations, collaboration, merit pay — these are all important issues we need to deal with.”...

Things Are Not Always What They Seem

The book Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson is a wonderful resource to help us realize that human interactions can be difficult and that we can often misread the process unless we are willing to get our hands dirty and break down the communication machine....

5 Secrets to Mastering Conflict

By Travis Bradberry Between the two of us, Joseph Grenny (bio below) and I have spent 50 years studying what makes people successful at work. A persistent finding in both of our research is that your ability to handle moments of conflict has a massive impact on...

How to Raise Ethical Issues at Work

If the person with questionable ethics is your boss, it’s best to proceed with caution. Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Accountability, tells Fast Company that you should begin by letting your boss know you have their best interest in mind....

5 Books to Help You Deal with Work Drama

The book [Crucial Accountability] outlines keys skills we’re rarely taught in college or business school, such as how to foster greater personal accountability among teammates and how to deliver praise when things do go right to keep everyone motivated....

Are You Present When Viewing Real Estate?

A recent VitalSmarts survey reported that 91% of the more than 1600 people involved had seen tourists miss out on an important moment by trying to capture it on social media. Since buyers are "tourists" in someone else's real estate, this research may be extrapolated to...

Why we no longer talk with each other

“‘Likes’ are a low-effort way of producing a feeling of social well-being that takes more effort to get in the real world,” said Greeny in the study. “This study is a warning that we are beginning to take the easy over the real.”...

Column: Social media often makes us anti-social

Co-authors of New York Times bestsellers like “Crucial Conversations,” Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, recently analyzed how “likes” and the need for other social media praise impact our lives. The results paint a picture of a media-obsessed society and found, for one thing, that 58 percent...

How to Change Your Employees’ Bad Habits

Joseph Grenny, a co-founder of corporate training and leadership development firm VitalSmarts, conducted a study of close to 1,000 professionals and found that 97 percent of them admit to having a "career-limiting habit." These bad habits can range from unreliability to procrastination to just a...

It’s Never Too Late To Be Nice

Kerry Patterson, co-founder of VitalSmarts and co-author of Crucial Conversations (a company and book that are all about empowering people to make better interpersonal choices), has just published a magnificent children’s book titled It’s Never Too Late To Be Nice. When I saw the title,...

Top 10 Simple New Years Resolutions

We observe, we tell a story, and then we feel. …Since we and only we are telling the story, we can take back control of our own emotions by telling a different story. These are the claims made in Chapter 6 of Crucial Conversations...

Why are resolutions so hard to follow?

While many of us assume that the key to changing our habits is having enough willpower, social scientistJoseph Grenny, co-author of Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success, says our will to change is only a small factor that contributes to our ability to...

Lessons Learned: Small Business Takeaways from 2014

“Too often, organizations ask Millennials to bide their time and wait their turn,” says David Maxfield, the company’s vice president of research. “That’s not how you nurture knowledge workers, no matter their age. VitalSmarts’ research shows that organizations can help through training and by making...

Does Santa make our kids selfish?

Maxfield, a social scientist and author, said parents need to talk about generosity — it doesn’t just happen. “Have them be involved in being generous where they actually take action,” he said. “Brainstorm with a young child as to what their siblings or daddy or...

Creating an Open Sales Environment

I recently read a posting on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network by Joseph Grenny entitled “4 Ways Leaders Can Create a Candid Culture.” I have long believed that the most successful distribution reps use leadership skills instead of the typical sales tactics to achieve...

Neutralizing the Workplace Bully

A recent survey conducted by VitalSmarts, a corporate training solutions provider, found that workplace bullies can have better job security. According to the survey, some bullies have kept the same job for more than 30 years....

The Top 10 Books to Build Your Business Acumen

Much of what we are able to accomplish is based on the quality of conversations we have – whether they are personal conversations with family or friends, or business conversations with customers, employees, or your boss. Based on 25 years of research, Crucial Conversations presents...

Community Date Night

Those tired of having the same argument with their spouse – or wishing their kids would follow through on chores – or looking to teach their kids some responsibility – should benefit from the seventh annual Community Date Night, supported by the United Way of Utah...

How to set expectations with your employees

“Sometimes we wait to offer criticism until we’re irritated,” says Joseph Grenny, co-author of “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.” “That’s a bad idea, because in spite of our best efforts to mask our emotions, the way we offer criticism inevitably changes....

Inc. Magazine

VitalSmarts was ranked No. 4875 on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America -- and was named a Five-time Inc. 5000 Honoree....

Facebook Users Are More Likely to Divorce, Study Finds

VitalSmarts found that 19 percent of respondents decreased their offline contact with a person because of something that individual said on social media. [Joseph Grenny told The Christian Post last year that the findings showed there is a need "for manners to catch up with technology."]...

Taking Aim at Workplace Bullies

One study, released in June by Provo, Utah-based VitalSmarts, found that 96 percent of 2,283 individuals had experienced some form of workplace bullying. What's more, the survey found 86 percent of bullies have been at it for more than one year and 54 percent have...

The Social Media Skills Gap

Social media has potential for improving organizational performance and driving business, but new research from VitalSmarts, a corporate training solutions provider, found that many organizations persist in discouraging its use in the workplace. Rooting out organizations' remaining distrust of social media starts with training....

4 Challenges of Being a Young Boss

Joseph Grenny suggests having an honest discussion in which you let the other person know you want a productive working relationship that doesn’t skirt sensitive issues like age differences. (See PDF to May newsletter_Silence 7 common complaints) ...

How to Avoid a Political Minefield

Joseph Grenny shares what to do if your political discussion turns heated despite your best efforts to remain in dialogue. (This article ran in the Sunday print edition of The New York Times and was also picked up by the Philadelphia Inquirer)....

2012 Inc. 5000 List

VitalSmarts is No. 3311 on the 2012 Inc. 5000 list. The Company has been ranked by Inc. as one of America's fastest-growing companies for eight consecutive years....

Culture Change at Paychex

Crucial Conversations Training taught Paychex leaders how to achieve spirited dialogue at all levels in the organization, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on decisions with unity and commitment....

The Science of Career Success

David Maxfield shares how the Change Anything approach empowers employees to take control of their own career path by teaching them the knowledge and tools to change their behavior and improve their performance....

Can You Keep the Change?

Change Anything works great on a personal level, and could also help trainers to assist employees looking to turn over a new leaf for better performance and a more successful work-life....

Change Anything Review

Change Anything is heralded as a "smart, sensible work" containing a "highly detailed holistic plan, illustrated by encouraging case studies, for making systemic changes that approach problems from every angle and promote active change."...

Tough Talk

According to a poll by VitalSmarts, only 15% of U.S. employees feel comfortable dealing with "tough" conversations....

Hard Talks

Kerry Patterson shares how having the right training programs and processes in place allows managers to engage employees in difficult conversations....

The Peer Principle

Joseph Grenny references VitalSmarts' recent cost of conflict research as well as discusses the importance of building cultures of accountability....

LOL @ Work

Joseph Grenny discusses how the lack of laughter in an organization reflects a lack of trust. He shares his insight for building humor and candor into your leadership style....

Cream of the Crop

The editors of Human Resource Executive announce their selections for the top 10 HR products and top five training products of 2009 -- products that are capable of delivering on their promises and making HR's job easier....

Up Close and Crucial

An interview with bestselling authors Kerry Patterson and Al Switzler, who--together with Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield--have identified a straightforward process to resolve performance gaps, improve accountability, and ensure execution. Patterson and Switzler discuss their views on personal and organizational excellence, dealing with high-stakes interactions,...

Silent Treatment

Joseph Grenny responds to the Joint Commission's call made in Jul 2008 to warn healthcare professionals of the dangers of hostile behavior. He share tips for encouraging healthcare staff to speak up....

Up Close and Crucial

George Hall talks with Kerry Patterson and Al Switzler about accountability, workplace interactions, and what to do when faced with your touchiest dilemmas....

Crucial Confrontations

Crucial Confrontations is highlighted by Rolf Dobelli (Founder and Chairman of getAbstract). He recommends this book as one out of three outstanding works on this topic....

How to deal with desk rage

A new poll by VitalSmarts, a Utah-based training firm, says 3 out of 4 employed adults expect their employers to lay people off in the next 12 months, and fully 1 in 3 believe their jobs are at risk right now....

Talking Politics

A new study by VitalSmarts found that a lot of us are reluctant to talk about politics. Ron McMillan shares a few ideas on why and how we can learn to talk comfortably about politics....

Office Politics

Ron McMillan advocates holding actual training sessions in which employees are given the opportunity to learn and rehearse right and wrong ways to handle potentially thorny confrontations....

Nine questions to ask your boss

Author Kerry Patterson says Workers choose silence over dialogue because they worry about damaging credibility, fear retaliation from key decision makers, or doubt their voice will make a difference. And when employees choose silence, progress suffers....

Book Reviews

The authors of Influencer have hit yet another home run with a book that makes accessible essential tools that nursing leaders need when moving a good idea along the path to action....

Waning Influence

Ninety percent of leaders say dysfunctional behaviors have become acceptable in the workplace - Joseph Grenny speaks to the trend and offers advice from his book Influencer...

The Problem Solver

Every company has problems. And Joseph Grenny, the co-founder and co-chairman of VitalSmarts has spent the past two decades helping businesses zero in on the answers....

Books tackle the business of changing your life

Influencer, has something to offer anyone who wants to be more effective, whether at losing weight, improving a company's product or promoting a cause. The authors maintain that the most effective way to solve a problem is to identify and change the behaviors that would...

Family Times: Ways to change human behavior

Educators are confronted daily with the need to instill specific skills and promote positive habits. Becoming someone who can effectively bring about change and development is the subject of a new book, Influencer: The Power to Change Anything....

Book of the Month

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything is one semi-pop psychology book that is worth a read because the world can no longer afford for people to sit back and do nothing....

No easy fixes for doomed projects

In an online poll about high-stakes business initiatives, nearly half the respondents said they were involved in a failing project. Seventy-seven percent compared these projects to "slow-motion train wrecks," according to the Feb survey by VitalSmarts....

A Nation of Scardey-Cats?

VitalSmarts surveyed 1,000 people and found that rather than say anything, most people do nothing when confronted with blatant displays of digital rudeness. Joseph Grenny provides readers with solutions for speaking up....

Monday Morning Manager

Harvey Schachter suggests reading Crucial Conversations to learn how to raise unpleasant topics with others rather than avoid those topics and let problems fester....

Make Time for Yourself

A VitalSmarts study showed that almost half of respondents don't take all the vacation days they've earned and a third describe their work/life balance as poor or very poor....

Make Time for Yourself

A VitalSmarts study showed that almost half of respondents don't take all the vacation days they earned and a third describe their work/life balance as poor or very poor. ...

Officials: You’re parents, not pals

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) urges parents to sharpen their conversation skills after a Crucial Conversations Online Survey shows parents have difficulty talking to their teens about drug use....

Do You Refuse to Hear No?

Kerry Patterson provides managers with four ways to notice and navigate a "no" response from their employees. His tips help managers avoid the proliferation of bogus ideas....

Article

VitalSmarts Announces Crucial Conversations Training 3rd Edition; Hundreds Make Award-Winning Training Even Easier to Implement and Measure....

Don’t work too hard

A Crucial Conversations Online Survey showed two-thirds of employees don't get to truly take a vacation. Kerry Patterson says employees are responsible for the vanishing vacation by not speaking up when their vacation is threatened....

Bah Humbug

In a Crucial Conversations Online Survey, 73% of respondents claim their holidays were more stressful thanks to callous coworkers who pawn their work off onto others. ...

Talking Hi-Tech at Work

With the advent of new technology, Joseph Grenny addresses the parameters we must use to monitor our method of communication to ensure that it appropriately matches our message....

Smelly Coworker?

What do you do when your coworker has a personal hygiene problem? Kerry Patterson provides six tips to help you avoid skirting the sensitive issue and start solving the problem....

Lost in Translation

Technology is not inherently evil, but it can be the kiss of death when used to communicate anything sensitive, important, or complicated, says Ron McMillan....

Only the Ethical Need Apply

As corporate America experiences the "great global brain drain," a trend where technology takes over routine work tasks, a focus on ethics will intensify. VitalSmarts' Joseph Grenny says we must either resolve the weaknesses ethically or suffer more acutely....

When a Subordinate Goes Wide to the Boss

What do you do when an ambitious employee goes to your boss behind your back to pitch an idea you originally rejected? According to Grenny this situation may illustrate your tendency to micromanage and not give people opportunities to vent their ideas....

How to Pick Your Fights Wisely

There's a way to have constructive confrontation in the office. VitalSmarts' Joseph Grenny says maintaining the status quo might look like the best option but leads to lost productivity and profits and causes great personal frustration and stress....

Book Review: Crucial Confrontations

Crucial Confrontations provides a refreshing approach to handling unpleasant conversations and confrontations in the workplace. This enormously readable book addresses issues never before considered and, with a hilarious twist, provides serious advice on how to confront life's most frustrating and confrontational situations. Here is a...

Better Communication Needed to Reduce Medical Errors

Healthcare organizations trying to reduce the rate of medical errors frequently overlook a common but important variable—candid communication. Too often, medical professionals avoid having "crucial conversations" when they observe problems that can lead to unacceptable error rates, according to a new study....

Job Goals On List Of Resolutions

In a poll of more than 200 people, VitalSmarts determined 69% of people set New Year's resolutions related to things they want to change at work. VitalSmarts' Joseph Grenny provides several keys to meeting goals at work: preparation, defining the goal, creating safety, and dealing...

How to Deal: Crucial Confrontations

"Just when you thought Crucial Conversations had said it all, along comes Crucial Confrontations. The content and subject matter of this sequel adds support and additional steps to take crucial situations one step further. Supported by extensive research, Crucial Confrontations will improve productivity, retention, quality,...

Putting the Teeth in Learning

Despite common trends and beliefs, corporate training programs and education efforts can change behavior. VitalSmarts' Kerry Patterson reveals the trick—implement a program with teeth and teach skills of crucial confrontations....

CNN

Joseph Grenny, coauthor of Crucial Confrontations, appeared on CNN's American Morning, discussing how to get along with unruly family members this holiday....

Political Spats Get Personal

In a survey conducted by VitalSmarts, two-thirds of Americans say political discussions lead to "attacks and controlling behavior" and consist primarily of "name-calling and exaggeration." VitalSmarts' Joseph Grenny says you don't always have to agree with family and friends....

Newsday Article

Debating in the office—Getting across your ideas at work might not get you elected, but it's an art worth learning. When emotions run high and the debate gets heated, how can you effectively get your ideas across? Check your ego at the door and don't...

Celebrating Entrepreneurs

VitalSmarts honored in the 2004 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Joseph Grenny says VitalSmarts add rigor and value to the fuzzy industry of training and organizational development. Crucial Conversations has helped companies worldwide quantify the results of better organization....

Crucial Conversations

Where are you stuck? That's where a crucial conversation is waiting. VitalSmarts' Joseph Grenny shares tips on how to communicate best when it matters most....