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Fierce Conversations (Revised and Updated): Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  4,274 ratings  ·  374 reviews

While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation can.
In this revised edition of Fierce Conversations the bestselling classic guide to getting your message across and getting what you want master teacher and leader Susan Scott gives you the tools
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by New American Library (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  4,274 ratings  ·  374 reviews

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Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
Ben Lall
Jun 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Fierce Conversations has made its way into the conversation of Steven Covey, John C Maxwell and Ken Blanchard style self-improvement and business books.

It’s a good premise in that all relationships are series of conversations. Thus, we should have those fierce conversations. We should always be our genuine self and we should never take a conversation for granted.

All noble ideas that you may not need a book for, but Scott outlines ideas she says will work.

It is a popular book that is still “hoppi
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
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mark N.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Basic sense, good to give to people who have none.
Khanh-linh Lê
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not earth shattering. Could be more synthetic. Principle #6 is worth reading though
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A couple areas in the book I plan on talking to my manager about to promote within our company: (1) Decision Tree and (2) 1-1s.
Likely to have a second read of this book and already recommending it to a few people I know.
Carrie G
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly insightful. After reading I've decided to buy a copy for each of my coworkers for christmas. Thank you Susan Scott!
Marjorie Elwood
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.

William Dollins
This book suffers from many of the same issues as other books on business leadership and business thought. It discusses issues that hint at the underlying science related to leadership - psychology and sociology - yet avoids delving into them, instead treating leadership as a distinct entity. The book treads similar ground as "Crucial Conversations," but "Crucial" provides more actionable tools to help participants engage in more effective communication.
Sandy Reenders
Mar 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Notes from the book- overall the book has good ideas but was not about fierce conversations until about chapter 7. Better idea than was executed

Pg 0 Our lives succeed or fail one conversation at a time

The conversation is the relationship
Make every conversation count!

Interrogate reality
Make it real. Unreal conversations are expensive!
Be here, prepared to be nowhere else. Speak and listen as if this is the most important conversation you will ever have with this person. It could be.
Tackle your to
Lori Gosselin
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me a lot to think about in terms of working with groups. My favourite takeaway was to listen, listen, listen and then, when I feel compelled to interject my own "wisdom", to continue asking questions and listening some more. A valuable read.
Ava Pomerantz
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read! It has completely changed the way I think about conversations.
Vianey H
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book is incredibly useful at home. Work. Where there are people the lessons found in these chapters apply! Decision tree...I loved this concept!! Reading this felt like being called to be courageous for others in my life. And we are given useful techniques and a path to follow. I will definitely be using this as a resource.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Amanda Samaha
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Never have I made so many highlights in a book! While the principles in this book should be common sense, they are not. We weren't all raised to have fierce conversations and say what's on our mind while controlling the emotional wake. This book has already helped me have better more real conversations in my life.
John Overman
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
May 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read this book because it was recommended to me by a career advisor who I greatly admire and trust. However, I found it to be very self-indulgent, replete with unnecessary examples, and without a lot of real mental challenges. I think the final nail in the coffin was the summary/epilogue where the author, in a few pages, tries to address sexism at work by saying women should be more [aggressive/forward-thinking/less blame-y, less victim-y], and says the pope should have run for President in 20 ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Re-assign to correct author and combine editions 3 12 Oct 10, 2015 11:04PM  

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