Navigate / search

Review of Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

This is a book review of Susan Scott’s Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time.

If you’ve ever felt the need to have an important conversation, but couldn’t bring yourself to it, this book is for you. Author Susan Scott details the exact methods for the conversations we know will change our life, but we procrastinate having usually because of fear. It’s important to overcome whatever barriers we face in communication because a conversation is not about the relationship – it is the relationship.

What is a Fierce Conversation?

When people see the word “fierce”, they may think pain, tough, or brutality. As written on the book’s cover, “fierce” means robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager, and unbridled. A “fierce conversation” brings authenticity into your life as you communicate who you are and what you believe.

Fierce Conversations will get you to have the most important conservation you can have with someone, right now. Fierce Conversations will be especially helpful to you if you have trouble: expressing yourself, talking with others who have trouble expressing themselves, dealing with passive-aggressive people, or resolving an ignored issue people know exists. After all, if you want someone or something to change, you need to initiate the change. If something bothers you, you need to be the one who does something about it.

Whether through fear of hurting a person, receiving retaliation, or someone pointing out our mistakes, we delay the conversations we need to experience. The problem comes down to how we present ourselves to others in conversations and how we think when we are by ourselves. All conversations are within yourself and some are with others.

The Lessons You Discover

It is the book’s purpose to achieve four outcomes: interrogate reality, provoke learning, tackle tough challenges, and enrich relationships. These are achieved through the following 7 principles of fierce conversations:

  1. Master the Courage to Interrogate Reality
  2. Come Out from Behind Yourself into the Conversation and Make It Real
  3. Be Here, Prepared to Be Nowhere Else
  4. Tackle Your Toughest Challenge Today
  5. Obey Your Instincts
  6. Take Responsibility for Your Emotional Wake
  7. Let Silence Do the Heavy Lifting

As a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, Scott leans the book’s examples of principles and models, towards business communication. If someone has communication problems at work, however, Scott says the same problems likely show up in their personal lives so the book is just as applicable to personal communication. We need to have fierce conversations with family members, spouses, students, and friends; not only with those we share a business relationship.

We delay the conversations we need to experience.

Scott gives you a series of simple and practical exercises to do at the end of each chapter to help you use the chapter’s communication skills. She also provides insightful scenarios of her experience with clients’ use of communication models and their notable improvements from the change.

Be warned: Fierce Conversations is no emotional walk in the park. You’re forced to face hard questions about your reality. “It takes a certain fearlessness to make your private thoughts public,” writes Scott. “But if what you’re thinking makes you squirm and wish to wriggle away, you are probably onto something.”

If you choose to awaken to the truth by beginning a fierce conversation, communication opens up to improve your relationships. You will talk about what everyone pretends to not know. Don’t miss having one conversation that could change your life. Achieve success at work and in life, one conversation at a time by getting your copy of Susan Scott’s Fierce Conversations directly from today by clicking here.

(You may also want to read Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen’s Difficult Conversations for another source of tips to have the conversations you avoid. Both books provide good tips, but lack the psychology and fear of talking about tough issues. Because I never could find a book that explained this problem, I wrote a course that shows how I solved my fears of conversations, which shy persons around the world use to conquer their fears. To understand the deep psychology of fear in social situations, read the first chapter of my program Big Talk.)

Related Media Links

  1. Video and audio links – Links on the Fierce Incorporated website with Susan Scott.
  2. Companies, careers built or lost one conversation at time – An article published in a Seattle newspaper by Susan Scott discussing how conversations, one by one, shape our lives.
Enjoyed this article?
Never miss a tip
Instantly get new articles and bonus tips for free (about once a month) by signing up to the newsletter:

Joshua Uebergang aka "Tower of Power"

Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to


The Power of Apologizing

[…] compulsion to avoid remorse. You no longer cover your behavior; you have brought it into the light. Tough conversations take courage! Your new-found courage will roll into other areas of your life as you begin to address other […]

The Greatest 15 Myths of Communication

[…] delaying a difficult conversation in fear it will worsen a problem. Susan Scott in her bestselling Fierce Conversations encourages us to “come out from behind ourselves into the conversation and make it real.” […]