Crucial Conversations

So…I’ve been trying to read this book.  It’s been sitting on my nightstand for nigh on 4 months, just staring at me, saying “Heather, you really know you should read me.  Put down all that interesting science fiction and read a nice, important, New York Times bestselling book.  Come on, you know you should…”  I finally caved and started to read it.  The book is Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high.  I won it in a sort of lottery at a business seminar I went to.  The speaker said it was a good book. Since I finished business school over two years ago, I haven’t picked up one of those suckers, and I felt it was time to get back in the loop of business speak.  That was until I got to page 23 and this quote, “The Pool of Shared Meaning is the birthplace of synergy.”  That sentence just sucked away my will to live and all desire to finish the book.  Sure, sprinkled among the jargon may be some good points about how to have those conversations that no one likes to have, but I just cannot force myself to read one more sentence about synergistic pools of meaning.  Man.

I’ll go back to my Ursula K. LeQuin and sentences like this, “Sacrifice might be demanded of the individual, but never compromise: for though only the society could give security and stability, only the individual, the person, had the power of moral choice – the power of change, the essential function of life.  The Odonian society was conceieved as a permanent revolution, and revolution begins in the thinking mind.” (Quoted from The Dispossessed).

They are both getting to the same thought – that you have to speak your mind and stand up for what you see as truth to get anything accomplished.  I just much prefer Ms. LeQuin’s way of saying it.

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