1.) Why use Crucial Conversations?
Crucial Conversations is currently delivered in over 32 countries and in 18 different languages. Crucial Conversations skills training is globally recognised as the key skill set required for leaders, managers and their teams to step up and hold the tough conversations well. Based on 30 years of research, Crucial Conversations is well grounded in human behaviour fundamentals and is currently used, by more than 300 of the fortune 500 companies, to shift from avoidance behaviours to more accountable, transparent and open communication cultures. Australian and New Zealand research clearly indicates that every organisation has people who go to silence and avoidance when under pressure. Unfortunately, there are no systems or checklists that can help. Only Crucial Conversation skills training and the organisations permission to speak up can resolve the performance issues caused by silence and avoidance.
2.) How is Crucial Conversations different?
While many communication-training programs teach ‘what to do’, Crucial Conversations skills’ training teaches ‘how to’ hold the tough conversation well. Crucial Conversations training teaches what to say while creating the psychological safety required for the best possible results. The training is less about being a better negotiator or being more assertive and is more about creating the safety necessary for two or more people to speak openly and candidly, yet professionally, compassionately and with respect about even the most difficult issues.
3.) What industries get the best result when using Crucial Conversations training?
VitalSmarts’ extensive global research shows every organisation profits from adding Crucial Conversations to the skill sets of their workforce. Having said that, Crucial Conversations training has been shown to be particularly effective in organisations looking for a long-term intervention, rather than just a one-off training program. This is typically in organisations with a well-developed L&D leadership framework that recognises the need for professional soft skills development and the use of culture measurement/assessment tools. These organisations know how leaders and staff, with strong communication skills, can deliver high performance outcomes.
4.) What is the difference between Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability?
Crucial Conversations skills’ training has a broad focus on creating the psychological conditions and the communication techniques necessary for two or more people to talk safely about pretty much anything. Crucial Accountability focuses more on performance and managing performance gaps. It provides a comprehensive diagnostic tool to help two or more people talk about performance problems in a way that solves the problem without making each other the problem.
5.) How is Crucial Conversations training delivered?
Crucial Conversations is a two-day classroom program covering all the principles and skill practices required for success. It is a fully facilitated program, with the most modern learning aids available. The program can be compressed into a one-day program, with a two-day workbook, for organisations that need exposure to the main skill sets but are desperately short on time. One-day does not cover everything but it provides a good start. The two-day program is delivered in consecutive or nonconsecutive days, with a typical gap between sessions of no more than one week. Online training is also available using either a moderator from our team or alternatively by an internally certified moderator from within the client organisation.
6.) Who delivers the training?
Our expert trainers deliver great programs but internally certified trainers, from the client organisation, can also deliver Crucial Conversations. Globally, the internal trainer method has proven to deliver the best possible outcome for organisations that have used Crucial Conversations as a cultural change intervention tool.
7.) What is required to become a Crucial Conversations Certified Trainer?
The potential client trainer attends the two-day program, as a participant, and then works with a Master Trainer for around two days to learn all the delivery skills. Prior to the initial training, one of our VitalSmarts team will help you develop a rollout plan, including prospective dates for your internal trainers to deliver their first training programs. There is also online trainer certification available as an alternative for those who have completed the initial participant program. Trainer certification is limited to trainers delivering only to staff in their organisation. Global VitalSmarts IP rules do not allow your trainers to deliver externally.
8.) Is Crucial Conversations training available online?
Yes, Crucial Conversations online training is available for those organisations needing more delivery flexibility. A VitalSmarts trainer either moderates the sessions or we will train internal moderators to access the platform and deliver the online training within your organisation.
9.) What happens after training?
The two-day program provides comprehensive skills training but most people will need post training activities to master their Crucial Conversations skills. So, we help in two ways.
- No internal trainers certified – we provide a range of activities that your teams can use to practice the skills
- With internal trainers – you receive full access to the VitalSmarts trainer zone, which offers a range of videos and exercises to help participants practise their skills and change their behaviours. We also offer a comprehensive ‘Fulfilment’ program that provides a very structured process to help embed the skills and ensure the best ROI
10.) What is Influencer Training?
While Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability are specific skills training programs, Influencer is a globally proven framework and system designed to effect lasting behaviour and cultural change. It provides a very structured framework to meet all manner of challenges by developing a permanent change in behaviours. Influencer training is delivered over two days, can be delivered consecutively or nonconsecutively and has an internal trainer certification option.
11.) Where should my VitalSmarts journey begin?
Some organisations have an immediate need to address issues around poor communication or a lack of accountability. Others need to change a whole culture. So where is the best place to start? Most organisations will tell you that building the Crucial Conversations capacity of staff is the best starting point because the program provides comprehensive skills to deal effectively with all manner of situations, from the management of simple misunderstandings, keeping meetings on track or helping others to speak up through to handling the really tough issues well. Starting with Crucial Conversations training provides the best opportunity for all staff to deal successfully with almost any issue involving other people.
12.) How does the trainer agreement work?
Every internally certified trainer must sign an agreement to only deliver within their own organisation. Internally certified trainers cannot deliver training for any other organisation. All certified trainers must sign a Vitalsmarts International Trainer Agreement and this is effectively a company agreement. So, when the trainer leaves the organisation, the training software and all rights to the training materials remain with the client organisation and cannot be taken by the trainer. The client organisation may certify another trainer to use the materials.
13.) How do we access both Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability?
Both are two day programs but people who successfully complete two days of Crucial Conversations training are eligible to participate in the one-day Crucial Accountability ‘Companion’ program. This program overviews the principles contained in both programs and then covers specific accountability skill sets. This is known as the ‘Crucial Skills Suite’ and provides access to both programs over three days rather than four days. There is also a one-day Crucial Conversations ‘Companion’ program for those who have only attended two-day Crucial Accountability training.
14.) What are the logistics for delivering Crucial Conversations within my organisation?
Organisation achieve best possible ROI outcomes by following nine Crucial Conversations delivery steps:
- Pre-plan the training strategy with a VitalSmarts Account Manager
- Deploy a pre-training culture/behavioural assessment
- Deliver a first program using a VitalSmarts master trainer and include prospective internal trainers
- Certify the internal trainers
- Purchase training kits through the VitalSmarts website
- Commence internal training delivery
- Include as many senior and influential people as possible in the initial training
- Commence a post training ‘Fulfilment’ program, with VitalSmarts support
- Do ongoing culture/behavioural assessments to ensure training effectiveness
15.) If I am already certified in Crucial Conversations can I become certified in other programs?
Yes, there is a simple and fast track process to help you become certified in either Crucial Accountability or Influencer. The process consists of attending either the two-day program or a one day ‘Companion’ program then move to the online, fast track trainer certification program. Once completed, you will receive a trainer certification kit and full access to the trainer zone.