Part One
Work on Me First

What to Do before a
Crucial Confrontation

When we approach a crucial confrontation it’s important to know that we must work on ourselves first. We can’t go in determined to “fix everyone else” and expect to get the results we’re really after. We can only really ever change ourselves.

That being said, remember that crucial confrontations live and die on the words people choose and the way people deliver them. Those words, and particularly the way they are delivered, live and die on what people think before they open their mouths. No amount of preparation can save a confrontation if the person who brings up the failed promise isn’t in the right frame of mind. Here’s how those who master crucial confrontations make sure their thoughts are in order before they put their mouths in gear:

Image They make sure they are confronting the right problems. (Chapter 1, “Choose What and If ”).

Image They make sure that the thoughts rushing around in their heads—their facts, stories, and emotions—help them see the other person as a person rather than a villain. They learn to control their strong emotions by revisiting the stories that caused them. (Chapter 2, “Master My Stories”).

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