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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
One of the topics discussed is called "Mineral Rights", a type of conversation designed to get deep, past the surface and into the truth of what is going on. The approach accomplishes four purposes: Interrogate reality, provoke learning, tackle tough challenges, and enrich relationships. It has been my experience that this rarely happens in corporate America, and is rarer still where I work now. The book uses examples from various companies that have identified their core values and been honest enough with themselves and others to start acting on them. The many questions posed throughout the book, and the sections at the end of each chapter are a great way to start interrogating reality in your workplace. The answers usually are "in the room" if we can really get honest and start looking for them.
In addition to some great business council, much of the book focuses on how we get honest with ourselves. Often we are the problem, and our own inability to truly understand where our own issues lie, is an essential journey to better facilitate the kind of change we want in our business or relationships. Another great approach used is the "Decision Tree" to help build empowerment in others. Communicate clearly what decisions can be made and what must be communicated to others. (Page 252). Her insights into how silence is an effective communication tool, both internally and in interactions with others, were right on.
While this was all excellent, and perhaps the most well written summary of engaging communication approaches, what was the most powerful for me were the sections on our "emotional wake". We all leave an emotional wake behind us as we engage in conversations with people. The question is, what kind of wake do we want to leave? How do we want people to feel? This served as a great wake up call for me while reading.
Overall, this book is so full of great wisdom and insights I couldn't begin to do it justice here. From the opening examples to the very useful questions in the back and the study guides throughout, I believe this to be one of the best books on business and personal communication I have read. It is both deep and practical, both academically sound and real world tested, and is written in such a way that it felt like a conversation itself. Highly recommended!
I am generally put off by simple "formula" approaches to dealing with tough issues, but Scott mixes the importance of reflection and courage along with a simple structure. As a corporate consultant who was using this book as a resource, I was prepared to write it off as too "pop" or simplistic, and instead found solid reference to the importance of showing onesself, understanding the value in recognizing that each party to a conversation brings their own set of "truths," and grounding our conversations in a solid understanding of who we are and where we want to go. Furthermore, she makes a point of using listening as a key strategy for leaders -- one that is often talked about, but rarely reinforced as ably as it is here.
Some of Scott's examples are stilted and overly simplistic,she holds herself up as a model of perfection a little too often, and she ocassionally lapses into self-help verbiage that is annoying, and a distraction from a solid product. Nevertheless, for those of us who need to persuade others about the importance of authentic one-on-one communication, or for those of us who forget the magic of intense one-on-one communication with those we care about, this is worth reading and acting upon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely golden and essential for not only business, but in personal