A review of the book ‘Fierce Conversations’
By Tania Arora, Staff Writer
I bought this book because I had an assignment this semester which required me to read a book related to communication. But this book, Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott, offered me techniques that apply beyond the classroom. We all aim at achieving success in work and in life—and this requires a mix of personal efforts and meaningful relationships. Certainly, relationships play a major role in success; it is the foundation of great achievement which we often ignore. Conversations are equal to relationships.
Susan maintains a practice of consulting CEOs and company leaders through her firm Fierce Inc. The firm provides programs and courses related to leadership and conversations. It was founded in 2001 and has evolved each day, catering to changing times. After publishing Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time, she went on to publish Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst “best” Practices of Business Today.
The accomplished author gives a detailed introduction as to how she came up with the idea of starting fierce conversations and figuring out the gaps in communications. She then wrote elaborate chapters explaining her entire theory using principles. Each part of the principle is elongated using anecdotes, giving the reader a better picture of how to build and use conversations to achieve success in every aspect of life. It is one of the bestselling classic guides to spreading your message the way you want to spread it. The tools and methods used in Scott’s book will get you thinking and breaking down the entire thought processes behind conversations.
Here is an excerpt from the book which hit me hard: “Have you ever left a meeting only to discover that apparently, we were all just in the same different meeting? Or sent a perfectly innocent e-mail or text and been appalled to learn how it was received? It seems one of the most common outcomes of communication is misunderstanding.” With every conversation we make, we are either building relationships or losing them. So, we must go at it, one conversation at a time.
The principles that Scott’s book mentions are the following: “be here, prepared to be nowhere else; tackle your toughest challenge today; obey your instincts; take responsibility for your emotional wake, and let silence do the heavy lifting.” Towards the end, Susan Scott concluded the principles with the title “Embrace the Principles.” She wrote, “it is not enough to be willing to speak. The time has come for you to speak.”
I wish I had read this book sooner because it completely changed my mindset on having conversations and why I have them. It gave me a reason to pause and contemplate why I was and was not able to build certain relationships in the past and what I must do to not lose the ones I have now and in the future.