Crucial Conversations

About the Program

A Crucial Conversation is a discussion between two or more people where stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. These conversations - when handled poorly or not at all - lead to strained relationships with dismal results. By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you will begin to surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on your decisions with unity and commitment. Through Crucial Conversations, you learn to see issues through the lens of our collaborators, make it safe to have dialogue on important issues, work more effectively as a committed team member, and problem-solve in ways that reduce barriers.

Registration is open to OSU faculty and staff on a quarterly basis, and also available upon request to OSU teams of 12+.

  Program at a Glace

The Crucial Conversations program consists of five sessions and presents nine powerful skills for working through disagreement to achieve better results.

Participant materials include:

  • Crucial Conversations Participant Toolkit
  • The New York Times bestselling book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High (4th Edition)
  • A course completion certificate

Workshop Information

About the Program

Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue is a course developed by CrucialLearning that teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around topics involving opposing opinions, high stakes, and strong emotions - at all levels of the organization.

The course employs the Crucial Conversations Model to present skills that can be applied before, during, and after a Crucial Conversation. Each lesson is highly engaging, and consists of group activities, pair-shares, and self-reflection work. Throughout each session, learners will have the opportunity to apply these principles and skills to a real-life challenge they may be facing, and discuss their plan with a Learning Partner.

Learning Outcomes

This workshop will teach you how to:

  • Identify problems contributing to poor results and struggling relationships
  • Keep composure when feeling angry or defensive and identify what stories you may be telling yourself
  • Be clear with yourself and others about what you really want
  • Share strong opinions without shutting down others’ viewpoints
  • Create safety so you can talk to almost anyone about almost anything
  • Spot the warning signs that indicate safety and dialogue are at risk
  • Find common ground even when it seems impossible
  • Listen and respond effectively to other peoples’ concerns and feedback
  • Turn each Crucial Conversation into a course of action that leads to better outcomes


Organizational Benefits

  • Equity & inclusion:
    • When people feel psychologically safe to speak up, they add their meaning to, and take responsibility for, their culture
  • Agility & adaptability: 
    • Staying agile in changing circumstances requires people who can dialogue with care in the face of stress and uncertainty
  • Ideation & innovation: 
    • In cultures of dialogue, people share novel ideas and challenge the status quo
  • Decision-making: 
    • When people can quickly surface critical information, decision-making is efficient and fueled by facts rather than ego and politics
  • Engagement & teamwork: 
    • When employees have evidence their voice matters, they see their role as vital and their contribution as critical



For OSU Faculty & Staff

This program is offered to OSU faculty and staff on a quarterly basis. Open enrollment opportunities can be found below.

Advanced registration is required; please review the Cancellation Policy regarding no-shows and late cancellations.

Additional information can be found on our Crucial Conversations Q&A page.



For OSU Teams

This program is available to groups and teams of 12 or more, in the following formats:

  • Online workshop (five sessions)
  • In-person workshop (five sessions)
  • Blended learning (self-paced learning supplemented with facilitated group discussions)

Please contact [email protected] with your request.

Register for a Workshop!

The Crucial Conversations program consists of five sessions - location/format varies each term. Please ensure that you can attend all five sessions (to receive a certificate of completion, all five sessions must be completed).

NOTE: There is a $255.00 fee to attend this workshop which covers the course materials. University Human Resources is supplementing the remaining program costs.

PAYMENT: Upon registration you will receive a form requiring your Budget Authority’s signature to approve the course fee. To complete your registration, the Budget Authority form must be submitted to [email protected] at least 1 week before the first session. You will receive a confirmation of completed registration once the Budget Authority form is received. View the cancellation policy here.



There is a minimum enrollment of 12 participants needed to conduct a Crucial Conversations workshop, with a maximum of 25.