Fierce Conversations, by Susan Scott, is one of the best communications books I’ve read; hands down. Our relationships evolve one conversation at a time, and we have the ability to enhance their significance and power enhancing the “fierceness” of our conversations. Our conversations are not separate from our relationships. They are the relationship.
What is a fierce conversation? It embraces compassion woven with candor, empowering questions that interrogate reality, deep presence, operating from a position of alignment versus competition, and owning our behaviors and words.
Our preference for politeness and “niceness,” are prettily clad justifications for avoiding the truth and accepting mediocrity. Sugar coating, couching, ignoring… we all see it daily. Conversations where preserving someone’s feelings is a larger goal than reaching an optimal solution.
Imagine engaging with peers in a way that maximizes the ideas, intellect, and intuition of all parties? Where trust, compassion, and candid expression of truth are high? No more sub-optimal compromises leaving everyone feeling drained.
Susan Scott encourages us to bea crucible, or as she defines, “a strong, resilient vessel in which profound change could safely take place.” How? Enter a conversation without expectation of others, commit to non-judgment, & stay true to who you want to be. We are not victims to a topic, another person’s words, or our own experience.
I have worked with 100s of people in my career; many truly brilliant, sub 4 minute milers.
Yet, often the potential of an individual is KILLED by the dysfunction of their work team. Can you think of a single team you belong to that lives at superstar status? Most tap dance around root issues, become territorial, and thus, result in people leaving and wispering the “real conversation” in teh hallway or behind a closed door. Imagine the results these teams would generate if fierce conversations happened?
Susan closes her book with her personal testament to live her life “at the conversational cliff’s edge.” What if we all did this? In other words, we made the conscious decision to be present, fierce, compassionate, and intentional in our conversations (aka: relationships). What would change for you?