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

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  3,195 Ratings  ·  286 Reviews
Fully revised and updated--the national bestselling guide that will help you achieve personal and professional success one conversation at a time.

The master teacher of positive change through powerful communication, Susan Scott wants you to succeed. To do that, she explains, you must transform everyday conversations at work and at home with effective ways to get your messa
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by Berkley Books (first published 2002)
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Jan
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
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
Paula W
Aug 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The president of my company recently encouraged all members of the leadership team to read this book. I do not feel that I am being harsh in any way by giving this 1 star.
I guess it might contain okay-ish information for people new to management or leadership, but it is fairly basic info. Have honest conversations with people at work, be authentic, ask probing questions to get to the root cause of problems, etc. and blah blah. That isn't 'fierce'. That's common sense. I could have summed this up
...more
Meghan
Aug 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Anne
Sep 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2008
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.
Ben Lall
Jun 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: relationships
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
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
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Jen Schroeder
This is one that the "leadership team" recently read at work. I usually try to read those pretty quick so that I know what management may be trying on us next.... :)

Anyway, at first I thought it was going to be a pretty boring and standard "well duh" management book - i.e. have "real" and "honest" conversations at work and it will be more productive for all involved..... Which was, well, pretty much what it was.

However, I did get a couple of gems out of it here and there, so I would recommend i
...more
Carrie G
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
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Brandon
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly insightful. After reading I've decided to buy a copy for each of my coworkers for christmas. Thank you Susan Scott!
Marjorie Elwood
This book teaches you how to have the conversations, both at work and at home, that move things forward, that are honest, and that come from a place of deep caring. I came away with some good tips and a rejuvenated desire to be forthright in my discussions. However, it's not just a how-to manual: Scott offers a list of books she has enjoyed recently, a recipe for listening to yourself, a poem that inspires.

Mark N.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Basic sense, good to give to people who have none.
Amanda Samaha
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Cheryl
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership-books
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
Leigh
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awful-read
I don't usually like to leave negative reviews but this book compelled me to. In short, it is a terrible read because it teaches very little, and the little it teaches is taught in an awful way. Here's the crux of the problem: Susan Scott doesn't appear capable of saying anything without using an anecdote or drawing reference from things that should have no bearing on the topic (eg. in this book she tries to get her points across via Winnie the Pooh, what Scott's high school classmates wrote abo ...more
John Overman
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Donna
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Margaret Zhang
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Don
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
The type of professional self-help book that has good advice but treats its readers like buffoons, forcing us to trudge through many, many unnecessary examples and repetitions as we arrive at a few very simple points which could have been made in 10 or 15 pages.
Alhanouf
Read parts of it as a curriculum requirements. it force you to questions your entire life and makes you feel unease to do so if your it already lost its balance. Any book that does this is worth reading!!!! I cant wait to re-read it in better situations!
Stephanie
I won an advance reading copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

This book was assigned reading for work. I read it along side the edition that was published in January 2004 (which was the copy assigned for my job) so I could get a better understanding of how books are changed when they are revised and updated. This edition talked a lot more about current technology and gave more examples from clients she has worked with. Given the choice, I would recommend reading the 2017 version over t
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Andrew
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. I'll give the author credit for trying to create a better society through frank and honest conversations. Her prescriptions are not unwise and make sense, but as a book I was not that impressed with this. My two big complaints are (1) this book could have a been a third as long as it was due to a great deal of filler and (2) the author cannot go more than two paragraphs without quoting someone who "said that" or "wrote that"... At times I felt that I was reading Bartlett's Quotations. On th ...more
Alex Rodriguez
The overall ideas I got from this book are pretty helpful and clarifying. The author details 7 key ideas to improve your ability to communicate effectively and meaningfully. The main downside to this book is her use of numerous quotes that don't really seem to push her ideas as much as she probably thought. But overall the book has some good take a way points and is definitely a recommended read for anyone looking to work on improving any aspect of their life. The truth hurts, but the truth need ...more
JH
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Fierce Conversations covers how we should not run away from the tough issues in our life. Relationships being how we interact with the world, and conversations being how those relationships improve or worsen in our day-to-day life.

Make use of every conversation to probe meaningfully, and listen attentively. It covers listening techniques, inquiring techniques, as well as self-reflection.

Generally a good read. As with all self-help books, it gets repetitive, but the first 3 chapters, at least, we
...more
Jennifer
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: careers, coaching
My coach for CTI certification recommended this to me and I'm glad she did. Scott lays out seven basic rules for having effective, real, authentic conversations with the people you work and live with. Her examples and strategies helped me give a name and new awareness to a couple of my weak spots and the phrase "what is at stake here" has already gotten me through several difficult conversations with groups I'm a member of.
Puffling
I'll need to read this one again, because I think I can get more out of it from a more focused reading in which I do more of the exercises. Also I need to think about how I want to adapt the information for my own language patterns. Specifically, a couple of the main questions she asks just sound so unnatural and I can't imagine saying them either in relationships or at work. But the ideas behind them are sound.
Carrie
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has the potential to change lives. It was provided by my school as part of a training for leaders and I honestly believe that there are immensely beneficial conversations that will result from reading this book. I've had two fierce conversations with my husband following the principles in this book and have definitely enriched our relationship as a result. I think this coupled with the in-person training has the capacity to change the lives of many individuals.
Laura Willming
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The frameworks, tactics, and principles laid out in this book were valuable for me. I will definitely use them in the future. Note that my job is about building relationships, I am a socially anxious person, and think about the value of conversation a lot.

My one qualm is that there are a lot of anecdotal stories that reinforce the principles, but sometimes they're not super relatable (and boring) to me.
Надежда Пятаченко
It’s a decent book: it definitely will provide you with some interesting ideas about practical approaches in conversations, will give you some insights on how to be more open minded towards others and thus to get honest answers.
Apart of that, there is fluff on philosophy and some unnecessary stories that in the end made book a bit boring for those who are not new to this subject.
Stephanie
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was assigned reading for work. I read it along side the edition that was published in May 2017 so I could get a better understanding of how books are changed when they are revised and updated.

Fierce Conversations is a fabulous read for anyone looking to better their communication style. It gives advice for communicating better both in the office and at home. I highly recommend it to managers, employees, parents, and students alike.
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