Fierce Conversations: Achieving Sucess at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time
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Fierce Conversations: Achieving Sucess at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,248 ratings  ·  174 reviews
The Wall Street Journal bestseller, now with new material.
The master teacher of positive change through powerful communication, Susan Scott wants her readers to succeed. To do that, she explains, one must transform everyday conversations employing effective ways to get the message across. In this guide, which includes exercises and tools to take you step by step through t...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Berkley Books (first published 2002)
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Jan
Of all the professional books I've read in my life, this is the one I would list at the very top, as the one I should have read 27 years ago as I was just launching a career in educational leadership. No, let me take that back. This is the book I should have read 33 years ago when I became a mother. Hmmmmm.... In fact, this is the book I should have read 40 years ago as I was launching my first marriage. Wait--let me try one more time: This is the book I should have read 50 years ago as I began...more
Meghan
The ideas and action items provided in this book were thought-provoking and helpful; however, I felt most of the examples were tailored to readers in management roles at companies. I just couldn't relate to those ideas (hence the 4 instead of 5 star rating).

The stories and information I could relate to were fantastic, if shocking. It was hard to sit and honestly think about how I have conversations with people. I realized a lot of the time I am practicing bad conversation tactics and enter with...more
Amanda Samaha
This book was recommended as a good read if you liked "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg. Although I didn't like it as much as Sandberg book, Scott's principles for having real, focused, and direct conversations with people spoke to me. The book was a bit repetitive and I found some of the anecdotes hard to relate to because so many of them were about CEOs of companies. However, I began to appreciate the idea that, no matter what level you are in at a company, school, or organization; your voice is im...more
Anne
Ugh, this was a hard book to get through. There are too many ideas, it's hard to pick out one that will work. Also, this lady thinks she's awesome and wants to tell you all about how awesome she is. She isn't awesome.
Cheryl Fletcher
Phenomenal! One of the best books I've ever read on leadership. It will go on my "read once-a-year" list for sure.

This book is practical, practical, practical. She gives amazing tips and assignments to help you assimilate the information into your mind, heart and life. So good.

A fierce conversation is not a mean conversation. It is "one in which we come out from behind ourselves into the conversation and make it real." "In a fierce conversation there is neither a struggle for approval nor an att...more
Carrie
Fierce Conversations, Inc is a company that works with business and industry CEOs to help them be more effective leaders and build more effective teams. Over the years, workshop attendees encouraged Susan Scott, the CEO of the company, to publish a book to spread her message and help more people engage in “fierce conversations.” To clarify, “fierce conversations” are not yelling, screaming, throwing matches. They are not verbal battles. “Fierce conversations” are robust, intense, passionate, aut...more
Donna
Scott puts forth some interesting models to use for tough conversations at work, but though she tries hard to advocate for these same type of conversations in personal relationships, I don't agree with her. Being honest, facing tough issues head on with someone, is important in some situations, but you have to know when to back off a bit and Scott advocates going directly, hard forward all the time it seems.

I did find some of her models helpful for the times when you need to face tough conversat...more
John Overman
I had the great pleasure of listening to this audiobook while driving to and from work.

Susan Scott provides a comprehensive approach to having meaningful dialogue with others "one conversation at a time." She identifies seven key principles and illustrates each with real-life examples. In one case, a CEO must confront his sales team in order to increase collective aims without discouraging individual competitiveness. In another case, Susan herself shares a unique insight while working as a secre...more
Margaret Zhang
Dec 08, 2012 Margaret Zhang rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone! And especially leaders or leaders-in-training
A quick, easy, but nonetheless worthwhile read. The basic premise is that each relationship is made up almost solely of the conversations between the parties. The rest of the book tells you how to make those conversations ones that promote integrity and authenticity.

Since I read it without trying too hard too put it into practice right away, the immediate effect is limited on whether its principles and techniques are effective. My hunch is that they are very effective... For me, having read quit...more
Ben Lall
I discovered this book while browsing through the shelves at the Chapters bookstore at 401 and Kennedy in Toronto. As I flipped through the book I came across this snippet that mentioned a newly married couple. The first weekend the wife wanted to talk about their relationship, the husband relented. The next weekend once again the wife wanted to sit and talk about their relationship, the following weekend it was the same thing. Now the man began to wonder 'Hey this is not what I want.' 'What's g...more
Lee Anne
A so-so business/personal relationship book that encourages you to be completely honest and ask probing questions to get to the real issue in your conversations with others. A little touchy feely, easier said than done (on the honesty part, anyway), but it did give me some good ideas for asking the right questions.

The author inserts too much of her life into the advice--it may be easy and affordable for her to take a retreat and really think about things, or wake up at 4 to sip tea and meditate...more
Alissa Thorne
This book is probably better than I think it is. To me, there is no great revelation in the importance of having fiercely authentic conversations. Moreover, I feel that the language was targeted at a different audience. As a result, while all of the ideas were generally agreeable, there was very little that really resonated with me personally.

My opinion may have also been heavily influenced by the voice of the author who did the reading. The so earnest and maternal intonation just rubbed me the...more
GoldGato
This is one of those business books handed out to employees at companies where such books get handed out because each change of leadership requires a new bible to be read by the Kool Aid drinkers. It seems to serve a purpose for employees who love to talk about themselves, which is about 98% of working Americans. There are Samurai Games and Mineral Rights conversations, but I basically lost interest in the self-absorption.

I wonder if anyone has completed a fully researched comparison of the rise...more
Frank
"While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a business, a marriage, or a life, any single conversation can."

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 the...more
Hans
The format of the book didn't always work for me and I probably rushed my reading a bit too much--so that I could get the book back to the library on time. (Almost used the word "but" and will try to avoid that in this write-up.) There are definitely some good ideas and Scott gives space to explain much of how her work has evolved. I liked that she gave credit to others for their ideas and for their place in her work. There is a lot worth reviewing and I think it will take more than one reading...more
Kris
I was looking for information to help my team and myself hone communication skills in the workplace. This book is so much more. Susan Scott is insightful, sharing her experiences in the field providing a path to better conversations. Her work is helpful to all people looking to expand interpersonal relationships.

The book includes opportunities to reflect on the reading and practice the work. The simple practice of exchanging "and" for "but" softens the conversation without losing the message. T...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
I just finished reading Fierce Conversations and it was really quite good. 'Fierce conversations is a style of conducting business, an attitude, a way of life'. Susan Scott is a Communications expert and has spent 16 years helping clients improve their conversations, and the book contains many case studies from CEOs who have engaged her services. Many of these were quite entertaining, and great eye openers.

Much of the book is guff, but there are pearls of wisdom scattered amongst the pages, and...more
Phillip
"Fierce Conversations" would fit comfortably on the shelf beside "Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success" and "Never Eat Alone".

By 'fierce conversations' the author is referring to conversations people need to have in order for relationships and projects to move forward in a desirable way. The opposite of a 'fierce conversation' would be stuffing it and trying to get by, or having conversations that don't say what needs to be said in a productive way.

The author is a consultant to...more
Cynthia
The premise of the book is that our lives succeed or fail one conversation at a time. What if every conversation you had was one in which you were grounded in reality (not life as it could/should/might be but as it is), you spoke authentically and with responsibility for the powerful impact your words have, and were willing to really listen to what the other person said? The book provides skills (and homework!) to help make such conversations possible.
Roger
Part motivational, part informational, this book tell us that beating around the bush is destructive to conversations, and hence a relationship (which is formed on conversation).

People are afraid to be direct and relevant. They may act to avoid confrontation, to protect themselves from backlash, or hope it'll go away. These all cater to one of the strongest emotions we have: fear.

However, hotblooded manliness can destroy fears, justifiably or not. By having the cajones to know what you want out...more
Kristine Morris
The advice and approach given in this book on how to have authentic conversations is both valuable at work and at home (in fact often there's overlap between the two). The author provides good examples for both spheres of your life. She's especially good at describing the internal monologue that we all use to avoid what needs to be said. Areas she explores that resonated: having the same conversation over and over again, getting past the "how are you" so that you can connect with your friends an...more
Jeff
1. Replace but with and[return][return]1. Name the issue:[return]2. Select a specific example that illustrates the behavior or situation.[return]3. Describe your emotions about this issue[return]4. Clarify what is at stake[return]5. Identify your contribution to this problem:[return]6. Indicate your wish to resolve the issue[return]7. Invite your partner to repspond[return][return]1. This is where we're going.[return]2. This is why we're going there.[return]3. This is who is going with us.[retur...more
Tehemina
This book is hands down one of the nicest leadership books I have read. Maybe I'm in the right frame of mind to read it, but anyone who's ever had a communication problem should read this book. Anyone who wants to be able to talk more with their spouse, their boss, that pain-in-the-butt coworker-- this is the book. She lays it all out. It's not about them, it's about you. Change the way you do things, offer the invitation with grace, and hear their side of the story.
Rebecca
"What are we pretending not to know?" These words from this book have helped me look at every conversation through this lens. There are very practical steps to have a fierce conversation and what is at stake if we choose to avoid them.
Zoe
There are a few gems of wisdom sprinkled throughout this book, usually gleaned from other authors, and some tips on how to prepare for "Fierce Conversations" with work, family or friends but the book is written from a business model where goals such as productivity, sales or profits are more easily defined. As it was assigned for summer reading for work (elementary education) I read it with an eye to how we can hold "Fierce Conversations" when the 'bottom line' is a lot more fuzzy. Could we all...more
Fritz
I am a big fan of the book Crucial Conversations. So when this was recommended to me I wondered if it could compare to that book. Also, would it give me conflicting advice?

I've just completed it, and have already put its principles to use in my business life. Fierce Conversations is one of the best books I've ever read. It's not just full of insight. It gives you simple, practical things that you can do to improve your communications with others.

And it really works!

Having read it all the way t...more
GinaMaria
Honest and forthright, Susan Scott has a bold approach to how the conversations in the workplace must change for business to survive. We all must "interrogate the conversation."
H
1. Master the courage to interrogate reality. (everything changes; apprehend & admit the truth)

2. Come out from behind yourself into the conversation and make it real.

3. Be here, prepared to be nowhere else. (speak as if each conversation matters in a transformative way)

4. Tackle your toughest challenge today. (name & face the problem; stay current)

5. Obey your instincts. (don't just trust them)

6. Take responsibility for your emotional wake. (the conversation is the relationship)

7. Let s...more
Sera Lewis
A book that made me say "hmmm" rather than "aha!"... certainly a clear reminder of the undercurrent of unspoken truths in every arena.
Jenifer Holland
For me, the first couple of chapters dragged and it wasn't clear how they contributed to the whole book. But, after that it got incredibly rich and accomplished something that many management/self-help books do not: balanced tools and theory with *many* *rich* real-life stories that perfectly illustrated the point with examples. I would recommend this book to anyone that works in a training/consultative fashion with individuals - or, simply supervises people at work. It's less clear how successf...more
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