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Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time Paperback – January 6, 2004
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Susan Scott believes that interpersonal difficulties--at work and at home--are a direct result of our inability to communicate well. Fierce Conversations is based on principles from her international consulting practice, in which she teaches executives how to conduct such exchanges more dynamically and ultimately more effectively, thereby improving the relationships they enjoy with their various dialogue partners "one conversation at a time." Using identifiable anecdotes from her experience to inspire and inform, along with a series of practical exercises designed to impart the requisite skills, Scott walks readers through the individual steps she's developed to build better associations through more robust and honest discourses. Addressing all aspects of the process, from several methods for listening more attentively to specific ways she's fashioned to confront and resolve issues "that stand between you and success," Scott offers the type of concrete advice and confidence-building counsel that should help even the most reticent improve their communication skills dramatically. --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
An offshoot of Scott's international consulting firm, Fierce Conversations Inc., this book lasts as long as a Monday morning shuttle. Yet its thesis, that relationships both professional and personal hinge on how conversations go, and that the best conversations require determinedly gentle honesty and a willingness to listen, lingers long enough to make an impact. "It takes a certain fearlessness to make your private thoughts public. But if what you're thinking makes you squirm and wish to wriggle away, you are probably onto something," she says. On the book's Web site, a streaming-video talk feels fake and rehearsed. But Scott's written words contain substance and, as an author, she's levelheaded and funny. She quotes a wide variety of writers, from Ernest Hemingway to Maya Angelou to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and clearly explains her key concepts, including "obey your instincts" and "let silence do the heavy lifting." Careerist marketing ploy it may be, but this cleanly written, if cliche-laden, book boasts enough psychological sensitivity to merit success. Those whose conversations with co-workers or family members aren't producing the results they want will find plenty of helpful tools and assignments in this succinct guide.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This quote shows the emphasis Susan Scott's book places on the important role conversations have in our lives. The book might better be named authentic conversations as the goal is not to make us fierce in the sense of that word's usual connotations. Instead, the author emphasizes truly being present to the person you are speaking with and honoring them both with clear, direct communication about what matters and also by truly listening, allowing for significant silences, and being open to being changed in the midst of the conversation.
Not groundbreaking as a book, but well thought out chapters on how to move past the surface at work and at home to have meaningful, life-changing talks with co-workers, your boss, your family and a significant other. The starting point is a fierce conversation with yourself about your values and hopes, with enough time for silence within oneself before beginning to engage others.
A better than usual business book in opening up how much we can improve our relationships not through some strategic plan, but one authentic conversation at a time.
Some outstanding quotes include:
* "...our very lives succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time." (1)
* "The conversation is the relationship." (6)
* "For some people, win/win translates to I win. I win again." (16)
* "One of the goals in a fierce conversation is to get everyone's reality out on the table, so it can be interrogated. Everyone's!" (23)
* "Ground Truth - what's actually happening on the ground versus the official tactics...You have to get at ground truth before you can turn anything around." (47)
* "If your behavior contradicts your values, your body knows." (53)
* "I may think I see you as you are, but in truth, I see you as I am." (83)
* "The issues in my life are rarely about you. They are almost always about me." (83)
* "When someone has a behavior at work that is causing a problem, it is inevitably showing up elsewhere in his or her life, causing similar problems." (161)
* "The most valuable thing any of us can do is find a way to say the things that can't be said." (174)
* "Recognize that everything you say creates an emotional wake." (207)
The Appendix provide useful worksheets for using: Mineral Rights; Questions For One-To-Ones; The Decision Tree; Preparing An Issue For Discussion; The Confrontation Model.
My critique of the book is that it could have been organized better. For instance, when she introduced Mineral Rights, I had no idea what it was or what it looked like until much later in the book. I figured she would expound better what it was, but instead, she gave an example that illustrated it but did not really set the boundaries for what it actually is. Also, I felt that her chapter titles did not align with the content of the chapters. For instance, chapter four, "Tackle your toughest challenge today" sounds like chapter to motivate immediate action and to reject procrastination. Instead, while it focused on tackling issues, the "today" aspect of it was missing.
Overall, it is an easy read with many stories and illustrations that provides good guidance for having the tough, difficult, brutally honest conversations that need to happen for growth to occur.