What is the link between hospitals in Switzerland and diesel engines?

About 2000 people die every year in Switzerland of nosocomial diseases caught at the hospital and, although the sources of these infections are various, this death toll could be certainly reduced with a better hand hygiene compliance.

The problem with the wrong pollution levels of diesel engines was partly linked to an incredible pressure from management: engineers were forced to silence. As a result, millions of francs lost in claims and shareholder value.

In both situations there are people who do not dare to speak up because they do not know how to approach a conversation with opposing opinions, strong emotions and high stakes.

How many projects in your organisation are finished on time and on budget? 10%? Less? This is exactly the same issue: in your organisation, people very likely do not know how to address crucial conversations with their employees, their peers or their managers.

The following challenges are at the core of all crucial conversations:

If you, your colleagues or your coworkers do not dare to talk, it is not because they do not have anything to say, it is because they do not know how to say it.

Because you do not address your crucial conversations, you are not getting the results you need and you risk damaging the respect towards other people.

Actually, we have learned how to fail our crucial conversations.

Since our first day of birth, we cry when we are hungry or cold, or when we need attention, and we actually get what we want. Therefore, since our first day, we learn that by having a selfish, aggressive behaviour, sometimes manipulative or even passive, we actually get the results we want. Then, 20 years, 30 years, 50 years later, we continue to repeat the same pattern, in a more subtler way: sometimes we raise a finger or an eyebrow, or we withhold information to control outcomes we want.

Here are 3 myths about what we think is happening during crucial moments:

“It's the other person's fault. I have done nothing wrong!”

“I cannot tell them what I want, it's going to make things worse!”

“I've tried to talk but they did not want to listen to me!”

During a crucial conversation, we are our worst enemy.

When a conversation turns crucial, when we would actually need a clear head and a rationale approach, our emotions drive us in the wrongest possible directions: we either impose our point of view or just back off.

Crucial Conversations® is a 2-day workshop where you will learn to restore dialogue which will allow you and the other person to get results and mutual respect:

Crucial Conversations training is adapted for any employee, team-leader, manager or executive working in any kind of industry, including hospitals and public service.

It is available in English, French, German or Italian, in classroom or as virtual sessions with blended learning.

The Crucial Conversations training is available either in  “open” public session or in private “company” (intra-company) trainings, for groups of 4 to 20 people, in your venue or an external training location.

The fee for an “open” public session is CHF 1450.- per person, taxes, material and lunches included.

For “company” offerings, ask us for a quote!

All our certified trainers have 20+ years of business expertise.

All participants receive:

  • The 150-page Toolkit (participant's guide) in English, German or French
  • The New-York Times Bestseller book Crucial Conversations, in English, German or French
  • Access to more than 6 hours of MP3 audiobook files for download
  • Access to additional resources as PDF files
  • Subscription to a newsletter filled with useful reminders and additional information


Next “open” public training sessions:

  • October 18+19, Zürich
  • Oct 30+Nov 1, Geneva
  • November 29+30, Zürich
  • December 6+7, Geneva

If you are working in a Learning & Development function, join us for free on our next Learning Forum:

  • September 21, Zürich
  • September 22, Basel
  • October 13, Lausanne

Ask us for a free introductory webinar by WebEx or for an personal speech during your next company executive or HR meeting.


What our participants say about Crucial Conversation training:

Lots of practical exercises and movie clips illustrated the concepts very well and in an interesting manner. (SwissRE)

You leave the meeting with clear examples & solutions adapted to your personal situation. (Edwards Lifesciences)

Well structured, multimedia presentation, very relevant content. (Syngenta)

“It opened up my eyes on how much trouble I am making to myself. (P&G)

Arturo Nicora


VitalSmarts Switzerland

Claudia Nicora


Administration and logistics

Alexandre Krstic

Senior Consultant and Master Trainer

Lausanne, Genève

Shivangi Walke

Senior Consultant and Trainer

Zürich, Zug, Bern

Karen Cody

Consultant and Trainer

Neuchâtel, Jura

Diana Ritchie
Katja Rieder
Kathy Hartmann

Consultants and Trainer

Basel, Zürich, Genève

Discover a new way of getting results through respectful dialogue!

Call us:

Write to us:

021 320 60 63 (in Switzerland)

+41 21 320 60 63 (from abroad)

Monday-Friday 9h-17h

Mail us:

Share us with your friends and colleagues:

Win every month a free copy of the New York Times Bestseller Crucial Conversation book in English, French or German! We will draw a winner amongst all the people who will contact us by phone or by mail through this site.


you will learn to create new emotions to address the crucial situation in a completely different and fresh mindset.


you will practice  verbalising the key first sentences that will come out of your mouth and will help restore dialogue.

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you will discover tools that create security and that will enable the other person to feel safe to join into sharing their meaning.


you will apply all these new skills on personal or professional situations and you will get results and confidence.



Crucial Conversations is an offering of

VitalSmarts LLC, Provo, Utah, USA and
represented in Switzerland exclusively by

VitalSmarts Switzerland

Inspiring Culture Sàrl

Av. Eglise Anglaise 4

1006 Lausanne

Establishing dialogue with safety to get results and building respect

Holding other accountable and addressing any gap

Acting as an influencer to make changes that actually work

Embracing personal change for good

To book your next seat or group session, call Claudia on 021 320 60 63 or mail