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Crucial Learning Releases Third Edition of Acclaimed Bestselling Book, Crucial Conversations

November 9, 2021—Provo, UT— Crucial Learning, a learning company with courses in communication, performance, and leadership, today announced the release of the third edition of the perennial bestselling book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High (McGraw-Hill, 2021).

Over the last twenty years, the book has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide and has transformed the way people communicate at home, at work, and in life.

“We’ve always known Crucial Conversations skills were foundational to success, but our work and research over the last two decades has shown us that they’re absolutely essential,” said Joseph Grenny, co-author of the New York Times bestseller. “What we’ve learned is that the health of any organization, team, or relationship is a function of the lag time between identifying a problem and discussing it.”

New research from Grenny and his colleagues at Crucial Learning also illustrates the need for dialogue skills now more than ever before.

The recent study of more than 1,300 people found that a shocking 9 out of 10 respondents have felt emotionally or physically unsafe to speak their mind more than once in the past 18 months. The topics people most fear include political and social issues (74 percent) and COVID-19 issues (70 percent). And yet, the authors say that while current issues are particularly polarizing, the fact that we’re retreating from tough dialogue isn’t new.

“We’ve always struggled to speak candidly when the stakes are high, emotions run strong and opinions differ,” says Emily Gregory, a new addition to the author lineup on the third edition. “It’s also true that today’s topics are so divisive and so difficult that they reveal, more than ever before, our style when under stress. Under the pressure of such weighty issues, we are performing poorly – lashing out in anger, disrespect, and judgement or retreating entirely from social discourse.”

And that’s why, after two decades of teaching more than five million readers from around the world the skills to handle difficult dialogue, the authors decided to release the third edition of Crucial Conversations.

Gregory has worked alongside authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler for the last 15 years as an executive at Crucial Learning. She has also taught and developed the award-winning Crucial Conversations course the company offers to both individuals and organizations. Grenny and his coauthors invited Gregory to co-author the third edition because of her vast experience with the skills and unique contribution in teaching and sharing them with clients around the world.

“Emily’s voice, life experience, and masterful teaching make the third edition the best yet,” says Grenny. “The book would not be what it is without Emily’s contribution. She dug deep to make this edition a powerful gift for generations to come.”

In the third edition, Grenny and Gregory wanted to better reflect the complex interpersonal realities people face in today’s world. They see the third edition as an evolutionary adaptation of the skills and principles, with an emphasis on current examples and applications.

The third edition of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High  is now available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold. Readers will enjoy the following changes in the third edition:

  • A Case for Crucial Conversations: We’ve updated the first chapter with a refined and powerful case for dialogue. We’ve always known dialogue was foundational to success, but our work and research over the last twenty years has shown us that it’s also essential. Ultimately, the health of organizations, teams, and relationships can be measured by how long it takes someone to see something and say something.
  • New Tips and Scripts: We’ve added advice for tough cases where people commonly and frequently find themselves at a loss for what to say and how to say it.
  • How to Respond: Sometimes we start a Crucial Conversation, and sometimes we are surprised by one. We’ve written a new chapter that explores the principles of dialogue through the lens of response rather than initiation.
  • Contemporary Examples and Diverse Representation: The examples, stories, and scenarios taught in Crucial Conversations are meant to demonstrate the skills so people learn how to apply them in their own lives. And yet if those examples don’t resonate with a person’s lived experience, they become unrelatable and unhelpful. So, we’ve updated the examples and scenarios to better reflect the diverse world we live in and speak to a diversity of lived experience. You’ll find in this new edition greater representation of race, age, ability and background; examples of dialogue in virtual environments; updated research and case studies; and reference to current cultural events and trends.



Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, and Emily Gregory are the cofounders and leaders of Crucial Learning, a learning company that improves the world by helping people improve themselves. Crucial Learning offers courses in communication, performance, and leadership, focusing on behaviors that have a disproportionate impact on outcomes, called crucial skills. The company’s award-winning courses and accompanying bestselling books include Crucial Conversations® for Mastering Dialogue, Crucial Conversations® for Accountability, Influencer, The Power of Habit™, and Getting Things Done®.


CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High (Third Edition)
By Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, and Emily Gregory
$23.99/Hardcover/304 pages
ISBN: 978-1260474183
Publication Date: October 26, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Jordan Christiansen +1-801-995-5458,