Fierce in What I Say

March 21st, 2012

Guest blog by Alexa Cole, VP of Client Services, Cole Consulting

In the recent wake of my family trip to Seattle I’ve been thinking a great deal about what makes me me. What makes you you? I’ve been musing that there are three main reasons I am myself, me, I.

What I think, do, and say are all uniquely me. Of course, there are often outside factors, social pressures, and judgments that enter my mind affecting these things, but still I am the ultimate controller, guider of these three gauges that mark me.

Seattle also marked me in a proactive way of wanting to cultivate and expand the things I think, do, and say, and the latter was the main reason for the trip from San Francisco to the Evergreen State. I was there with my brother and father, associates of mine as well as family, to take a training in Fierce Conversations. Fierce Inc®, started by Susan Scott, is a training company that “helps organizations develop leaders, transform cultures, increase engagement, and create authentic, energizing and rewarding connections with colleagues and customers through skillful conversations.” It is a refreshing lens into the deeper constructs of how what we say and how we say it, really does shape us. The most popular adage of Fierce is: While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a business, a career, a marriage, or a life, any single conversation can®.

I pride myself a great conversationalist, an extrovert who can make friends with the bus driver, the Executive, and the check-out clerk all in a single day. But what about going deeper with these people? What authentic conversations are necessary in my personal and professional life for growth? What am I hiding behind? These are all questions that have been stirred up, not only for me, but for my brother, father, and the people around us who we have been sharing the principles of Fierce with.

I felt astounded and thrilled to be learning the tools of Fierce and immediately put the practices in place upon returning home to the Bay Area. I was astounded because in my nearly 30 years of studying, I had never before taken a class in how to have genuine, heart-felt, and direct conversations. Since it’s basically a no-brainer what Susan Scott says, that any one conversation can change the course of your life, why have we never been taught this?

I encourage you, dear reader of this blog, to take a minute and think about a conversation that has been hanging on the precipice for you whether in your personal life or career. Acknowledge that you are risking more by not saying what needs to be said than by risking being authentic and truthful to your friend, colleague, or boss. Take a deep breath, speak from your heart, and try to look at the issue alongside of the other person, rather than in opposition with him/her. After all, the root of the word conversation stems from “con” meaning with someone. Be present with that person and with the real issue at hand, and I guarantee you will feel relieved by the genuine, authentic you that is revealed.

If you’ve tried this or are going to try this, we would love to hear your comments below…