And there are mean ones. Of course, mean conversations tend to be one way destructive diatribes more about pulling down for the joy of seeing things (and people) collapse than the exhilaration of watching them grow.
And then there are non-existent ones leaving us with relationships, marriages, businesses, and churches that are nicely captured in dilapidated old barns long without care or attention.
I read most of the way through Susan Scott’s book Fierce Conversations right before severe anemia laid me flat and the right and left hook of cancer knocked me out for a year. Still getting back up. Was reminded of it yesterday and literally blew the dust off it. Time to reread and then finish.
Ken Blanchard in the foreword writes “If you don’t have time to read the whole book, it’s a mistake. But since God didn’t make junk and you are unconditionally loved, I will hold back on a One Minute Reprimand. And as humanist, I will go one step further and give you the essence of this powerful book. Here’s what it says:
Our lives succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time.
While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a business, a marriage, or a life, any single conversation can. The conversation is the relationship.
I agree. It is a mistake not to read this whole book. Remedying that now.
Susan Scott navigates seven principles of fierce conversations in a highly readable style filled with anecdotes. Nothing dry here. The dryness is in our conversations. She injects some wondrous life and vitality into them if we will read the whole book and take to heart. And then have a few of them. And then make a practice out of them in every relationship we care about.
I will share the first principle and it’s summation. You’ll have to get and read the whole book for the rest. It’s worth it. It could serve as the ice-axe that can break up the frozen sea of a stagnant relationship.
Principle 1: Master the courage to interrogate reality.
No plan survives its collision with reality, and reality has a habit of shifting, at work and at home. Markets and economies change, requiring shifts in strategy. People change and forget to tell each other — colleagues, customers, spouses, friends. We are all changing all the time. Not only do we neglect to share this with others, we are skilled at masking it even to ourselves.
Oh yes. Take and read.