This is the FINAL of several posts this week based on my review of the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott (The Penguin Group 2002)—available on Amazon. I highly recommend this book for solving problems and building deeper relationships—in both your personal and professional lives.
I ask clients to “script out” their fierce conversations and then practice them before meeting with the other person. Based on the above scenario, here’s what a sample script might look like. Note that it’s fairly brief and to the point. Remember the main objective is to LISTEN to what the other person has to say in response to your introduction of the issue at hand.
1. “Joe, I want to talk about our working relationship.”
2. “Last week in a meeting, you told me to shut up and listen. And two weeks ago, you cut me off when I was offering an observation about the new building plans.”
3. “When you say things like “shut up” especially in a public setting, I get angry and insulted…then de-motivated and unhappy.”
4. “There’s some important things at stake here. Our working relationship and the success of our division.”
5. “Look, I know I’ve contributed to this problem, by not speaking up on the first day when you told me to shut up. I just thought that behavior would stop over time, but it hasn’t, and I’m very concerned.”
6. “I want to resolve how we can work together in a way that works for you and also gives me the kind of respect I think I deserve.”
7. “I want to understand what’s happening from your perspective. What do you think about what I’ve said?”
NOW LISTEN to what Joe has to say.