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August 7, 2006

News & Opinion: Lost Essentials - Fierce Conversations

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:56 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

In my pre-8cr days, I wrote alot on my A Penny For... blog. In moving things over to the Astronaut Projects site, I found some entries over there that I thought you all might be interested in. This first book is one that still sits on my shelf...

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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 nine 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 conversations you are having with those around you. It reflects the quality of the relationship.

Here it is in Susan's words.

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[The original APF post]


About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.