red tulips | copyright Jill J. Jensen



Silence Fails

more tools for crucial conversations


From the folks who brought you Crucial Conversations comes a website showcasing another set of useful business communication tools.

Defying the premise that productivity and employee satisfaction can be improved by focusing only on "strategy, structure, systems, processes, resources," these consultants remind us that communication is critical to every success. Recognizing that "silence fails" to empower anyone, they ask us to look at the part of the communication iceberg typically below the waterline.

Important issues, such as the top team, embedded leaders, corporate history/legacy, economic climate, demographics, geography, hidden control logic, and unwritten rules, are often ignored or kept underground. By examining the "five crucial conversations for success" and asking businesses to assess their conversational capacity, the study shows how organizations can improve the opportunities for success by bringing key areas to the surface and dealing with the fallout directly.

The Five Crucial Conversations touch on the topics of:

    1. Fact-Free Planning
    2. AWOL Sponsors
    3. Skirting (manipulating the priority-setting process)
    4. Project Chicken (not admitting problems)
    5. Team Failures (members unable or unwilling to support the project)

Any and all of these issues may cause a project to fail on their own. All of them can help a project succeed through effective communication — if they are addressed early and often throughout the work process.

At the Silence Fails website, you can take the Silence Fails Assessment (a downloadable PDF) to see what you can do to enhance your business communication skills.


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