Crucial Skills®

A Blog by Crucial Learning

Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue

Before & After: My BIG Crucial Conversation by Maureen Winningham

Like many of us, Maureen Winningham didn’t grow up in a home where family members practiced crucial conversations regularly and well. Rather, she grew up in one of those households where he who yells the loudest gets his point across. The worst culprit of all was her father whom she labeled “Mr. Blow-and-Go” for his explosive temper and anger-filled communication style.

Many years later, after one particularly dreadful Christmas dinner, Maureen used her skills to hold a long overdue crucial conversation with her father in which she recognized her role in the problem, explained the damage her father’s communication style had caused in her life, and asked him for a way to repair their relationship to a healthy level of love and respect.

Watch as Maureen describes how that one conversation literally changed her life and helped her build a special relationship with her father before it was too late.

You can learn more insights and skills like this in Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue

12 thoughts on “Before & After: My BIG Crucial Conversation by Maureen Winningham”

  1. jmy

    Wow. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jill

    This is an amazing, deeply touching story, and encouraging as well. Thank you so much, Maureen, for sharing your story!

  3. Cheryl

    Very powerful, instructive, and encouraging. Thank you, Maureen.

  4. Kerry Sawick

    That was one of the most heartfelt and wonderful video clips I have seen. And Maureen did an outstanding job of relating her experiences and what she went thru. I am so thankful she was able to develop the relationship she had really wanted with her Dad and thanks to curcial converations and also to her husband who stepped in at just the right times with just the right words.


    I would have loved to read this amazing, deeply touching story since I can’t hear well enough to watch it. I’m not seeing any captioning, either.

    Shall we have a crucial conversation about that, gentlemen?

  6. editor

    The entire transcript of Maureen’s video is available here:

    At the bottom right of the video player you’ll see a link that says “show the transcript of this video”. When you click on that, you’ll be able to read instead of listen.


    I would suggest that you move that link to the top of the video, not the bottom. I did not scroll down to see the whole thing.

    But thanks! And in the future, how about captioning the videos. It is cheap.


    It was indeed a wonderful story, and I am so happy for Maureen. It was also really, really hard to read because of a lack of paragraphing. Your Deaf readers almost certainly would have been unable to read it.

    I hope you will improve the transcripts in the future.

  9. Cheryl

    Very inspirational. Maureen’s story gives hope to those of us in challenging family relationships that have unfortuantely gone on far too long. As a non-confrontational family, we are terrible about not forcing our underlying issues to the surface with our sister who continues to emotionally drain the family. I hope to take Maureen’s wonderful example to confront/address my sister’s behavior in my upcoming visit in August. Thanks for sharing such a personal story.

  10. SLCCOM

    I’m not whining — just trying to give some constructive criticism.

  11. Vicki

    Very, very great story!Very inspiring and motivating!

  12. Laurie

    I reiiterate that this was one of the most heartfelt and wonderful video clips I have seen too. Maureen, Thank you for sharing your story and in being such a wonderful person to move from silence to build a meaningful relationship with your dad. You and your story are a true inspiration. So sorry for the loss of both your parents so close together too.

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