My Crucial Conversations Review is based on The Rubric.

I began reading Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler on 11/15/2019 and finished 11/21/2019.

Check out my Crucial Conversations Notes for my thoughts, including my favorite quotations, associations, and takeaways.

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Crucial Conversations by The Rubric

Crucial Conversations Review – Arguments


Perhaps I’m a bit biased because the authors wrote in the language of arguments, but I didn’t find much at fault with their logic.

There were allusions to thousands of data points that I didn’t find cited well enough or incorporated into the writing well enough on my first pass (this will get more attention on another pass).

But mostly the premises were easily verifiable from one’s personal experience, and the conclusions are easily tested by anyone who interacts with other people regularly.

Ultimately, the expertise represented in the collective voice of the four authors is easily backed with the argumentation put forward in this book.

By The Rubric, Crucial Conversations was mostly graded as “Excellent” for its Arguments.

Crucial Conversations Review – Practicality


As is typical, this book starts with a lot of promise-making in the “how-to” department.

What’s not so typical about Crucial Conversations is that it systematically keeps its “how-to” promises.

Independent of the external resources that are provided, the steps provided within the book’s pages are easily understood and practiced.

There is one caveat; that it requires practice to get good at these techniques. But that’s to be expected.

Still, the authors provided techniques and acronyms to help remember the various suggestions in the moment.

By The Rubric, Crucial Conversations was graded at “Excellent” on average for Practicality.

Crucial Conversations Review – Readability


I think I found one error in the book on the first pass. One.

Crucial Conversations is written beautifully.

While it’s apparent the vocabulary is a bit elevated, the organization and presentation aspects make the authors easy to understand.

By The Rubric, Crucial Conversations scored “Excellent” on average in Readability.

Crucial Conversations Review – Enjoyability


This book met all the requirements as an enjoyable read.

What contributed the most to this, though, was how relevant and applicable the material is to anyone who interacts with other human beings.

It inspires emotions as it brings back memories of difficult situations and moments we’ve had with loved ones, or at work, or in any event where our ideas and emotions are in conflict with the ideas and emotions of others.

By The Rubric, the enjoyability of Crucial Conversations was scored at “Excellent” on average.

Crucial Conversations Review – External Resources


This is the first time I’m writing specifically about the external resources of a book I’ve reviewed by The Rubric…

That’s because it’s a brand new section. You can read more about it here.

In the meantime, Crucial Conversations did a good job with its external resources in terms of availability, usability, and the quality of the resources themselves.

It lost some points in two ways:

  1. You have to endure a sales page persuading you to buy courses from the authors in order to find the external resources.
  2. And you have to trade a decent amount of information in exchange for the external resources.

Let’s be clear. I don’t mind gates for bonus, tangential material.

But if there’s a direct reference to a specific video that will help cement the idea from the book in my mind, and it’s hosted on YouTube, I’d prefer not to have to enter my personal information to get to it.

And yet those references to gated material were constant in Crucial Conversations.

Every chapter referred back to the “exclusive” page on the authors’ site where you could access videos and other related material, after you traded your name, work email, company name, job title, and phone number.

By the brand new section of The Rubric, Crucial Conversations only scored “Decent” on average for its External Resources.

Crucial Conversations Review – Rhetoric


Crucial Conversations is definitely promoting the courses and other services provided by its authors, as evidenced by the gated nature of the external resources.

Still, it’s done within value-packed pages that really stand alone in terms of conveying important ideas and skills to its readers.

Which is why the score for the promotional nature of the book didn’t tank too badly.

The work the authors have done over the last several decades is impressive. They demonstrated their thought leadership on the pages of Crucial Conversations and in their external resources.

By The Rubric, Crucial Conversations scored “Excellent” on average in terms of its rhetoric.

Crucial Conversations Review – In Total


This book is worth reading, and belongs on the shelves of all business people.

There, I said it.

By The Rubric, Crucial Conversations scored “Excellent” on average in total.