Cybersecurity Canon Candidate Book Review: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are

save
Share and earn Cybytes
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email

We modeled the Cybersecurity Canon after the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, except for cybersecurity books. We have more than 25 books on the initial candidate list, but we are soliciting help from the cybersecurity community to increase the number. Please write a review and nominate your favorite.  

The Cybersecurity Canon is a real thing for our community. We have designed it so that you can directly participate in the process. Please do so!

 

Executive Summary
Based on 20 years of field research, four authors compiled guidelines of how to communicate effectively when professional or personal discussions with potentially impactful results get heated or emotional. In the rapidly-changing world of Information Security, communication skills are proving to be essential for professionals in this field to get important messages across to both end users and executives.

 

Review
After hearing Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High recommended so often during professional development workshops, I figured that now was a good time to explore this book through the lens of an information security practitioner. I assumed that it was a straightforward guidebook on interpersonal communication in a business setting. I was then surprised to learn while reading this New York Times bestseller that it was labeled as “self-help.” While the authors did provide plenty of workplace examples, overall, the book is a guide for how to think and react differently in varied of situations. Although that unto itself is not a bad thing, it didn’t meet my expectations based on the hype I heard about it as a professional communication aide.

So, what is a “crucial conversation?” The authors defined it as a conversation with high-stakes in value; the people engaged in the conversation held differing opinions; and emotions ran high. The updated second edition of this publication utilized eleven chapters to outline examples and various scenarios of crucial conversations, along with techniques to speak persuasively, listen with purpose, and keep the conversation on topic. Acronyms like ABC (Agree, Build, Compare), AMPP (Ask, Mirror, Paraphrase, Prime), and STATE (Share your facts; Tell your story; Ask for other’s paths; Talk tentatively; Encourage testing) were offered as ways to recall tactics to handle difficult conversations, which was said to have been studied by the authors for over 20 years.

What surprised me the most about this book was how, at times, it felt like a pyramid scheme or cult indoctrination. Contained in each chapter are testimonials from people who successfully utilized the “Crucial Conversations” method in their work or personal lives. Many references were made to website links for more material, as well as the mention of official “Crucial Conversations” coaches with whom you could meet to deepen your understanding of this method. The emphasis on those extracurriculars spoke to me, as this was more of a lifestyle change, rather than just a new skill one could pick up by reading the book.

The Afterword was the most surprising section of the book to me. Each of the book’s four authors were asked to reflect upon the years since the book’s initial release in 2002. One mentioned that most people tell him they have really only ever skimmed the book and not actually read it. Personally, that made me wonder how much of the hype surrounding the book was from success stories versus people trying to make themselves sound more interesting by saying they recommended this book.

Another author stated that he was surprised to learn that a “low-level IT person” explained how she successfully utilized lessons in the book in her work environment. He seemed more puzzled that it was useful outside the C-suite, rather than content that the methods were successful in ordinary workplace conversations. That particularly struck a chord with me, because that was close to my own intentions for reading this book. To read of his surprise about the book’s usefulness in a non-executive level made me wonder how useful this book is.


Conclusion
It’s not necessarily a bad book; I was just disappointed. The methods outlined in Crucial Conversations can be useful, if employed correctly. This truly felt like a self-help book in that the techniques offered did appear to take some time and practice to perfect. Instaread published a 35-page analysis and review of this title, which I would recommend as a more succinct way to get tips on improving interpersonal dialogue skills.

 

The post Cybersecurity Canon Candidate Book Review: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High appeared first on Palo Alto Networks Blog.

Share this post and earn Cybytes
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email
Follow
52 Followers
About Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto Networks is the next-generation security company maintaining trust in the digital age by helping tens of thousands of organizations worldwide prevent cyber breaches. With our deep cybersecurity expertise, commitment to innovation, and game-changing Next-Generation Security Platform, customers can confidently pursue a digital-first strategy and embark on new technology initiatives, such as cloud and mobility. This kind of thinking and know-how helps customer organizations grow their business and empower employees all while maintaining complete visibility and the control needed to protect their critical control systems and most valued data assets. Our platform was built from the ground up for breach prevention, with threat information shared across security functions system-wide, and designed to operate in increasingly mobile, modern networks. By combining network, cloud and endpoint security with advanced threat intelligence in a natively integrated security platform, we safely enable all applications and deliver highly automated, preventive protection against cyberthreats at all stages in the attack lifecycle without compromising performance. Customers benefit from superior security to what legacy or point products provide and realize a better total cost of ownership.
Promoted Content
Unit 42 Report - Ransomware: Unlocking the Lucrative Criminal Business Model
Ransomware, specifically cryptographic ransomware, has quickly become one of the greatest cyber threats facing organizations around the world. This criminal business model has proven to be highly effective in generating revenue for cyber criminals in addition to causing significant operational impact to affected organizations. It is largely victim agnostic, spanning across the globe and affecting all major industry verticals. Small organizations, large enterprises, individual home users – everyone is a potential target. Ransomware has existed in various forms for decades, but in the last several years criminals have perfected the key components of these attacks. This has led to an explosion of new malware families and has drawn new actors into participating in these lucrative schemes.

Our Revolution

We believe Cyber Security training should be free, for everyone, FOREVER. Everyone, everywhere, deserves the OPPORTUNITY to learn, begin and grow a career in this fascinating field. Therefore, Cybrary is a free community where people, companies and training come together to give everyone the ability to collaborate in an open source way that is revolutionizing the cyber security educational experience.

Cybrary On The Go

Get the Cybrary app for Android for online and offline viewing of our lessons.

Get it on Google Play
 

Support Cybrary

Donate Here to Get This Month's Donor Badge

 
Skip to toolbar

We recommend always using caution when following any link

Are you sure you want to continue?

Continue
Cancel