Essentials #10 – Fierce Conversations

What is at the basis of everything?

It is conversations that people have or don’t have with each other.

I really like Fierce Conversation by Susan Scott. I originally got the lead from a posting on the FC Now blog by John Byrne. I was drawn to the questions Susan says you should be asking those around you:

  • What is currently impossible to do that, if it were possible, would change everything?
  • If you were competing with our company, what would you do?
  • What topic are you hoping I won’t bring up?

Those questions cut to the chase. They don’t dance around sensitive subjects. They are truly powerful.

I worked on a team about six years ago where those questions were common. We had fierce conversations daily about the project we were working on. I think it was the best work experience I have ever had. We accomplished something rare: a successful software implementation.

I also like the book because it applies to life. Susan says the conversation is the relationship. Think about the quality of the conversation you are having with those around you. It reflects the quality of the relationship.

Here it is in Susan’s words.