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Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time Hardcover – September 16, 2002
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Minimal shelfwear w/scuffing on back cover of DJ. No markings. Pages are clean and bright. Binding is tight.
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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.
Thank you for your step by step examples, scripts, and approaches to encourage your readers to try to try, be better listeners, and engage with others.