Most of you are probably thinking, “What the heck is a FIERCE conversation?”  I was definitely thinking that when I first heard the term.  Well, the last day and a half of training this week was a workshop hosted by a company called Fierce, Inc.  During our time with Fierce, we  talked about different types of conversations, and everything we learned can be applied in the workplace as well as our personal lives.  I’m not going to post every single thing that was presented to us (I’d probably get in trouble for that), but I do want to share some of the key takeaways that I think you would enjoy.

  • Essentially, a fierce conversation is one where you take off all the  masks you wear on a daily basis and make it real, both for you and the other individuals involved.  This is really important because our conversations are our relationships.  This concept confused me at first, but when you really think about it, without real conversations, your relationships are based on nothing but empty words.
  • We learned about 7 “conversation enabling” principles.  Our facilitator told us to pick one to work on and master.  The one I picked is about being present and nowhere else when engaging with someone in a conversation.  I tend to multitask throughout the day and am never 100% present in any situation.  This is not something I am proud of because it’s rude and disrespectful.  I expect those interacting with me to be alert and focused, so I think I owe them the same respect.
  • “Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.”  I love this quote because when I read it for the first time I saw two people stepping out of a black and white background into a colorful one.  I think that instead of shying away from opinions and thoughts that are different from our own, we should try to learn more from those who disagree with us or present a different view from ours.  It’s scary to let go and open ourselves up to other possibilities, but that’s how we grow. 
  • “The problem named is the problem solved.” I think this is something we should all remember when addressing issues with others.  When the facilitator said this, I automatically thought of my arguments with Vishnu where I would dance around the issue and not just say what was bothering me.  Ultimately, the real problem would surface, and it would get addressed, but it would have made life so much easier (especially for him) if I had approached him with the real issue.  I’ve gotten much better about this over the past few years, and I think he would agree!  Also, something else that goes along with this is “a careful conversation is a failed conversation because it merely postpones the conversation that wants and needs to take place.”  SO TRUE!
  • Apathy is worse than dislike.  This one really hit home for me.  If you just stop caring about someone or something, that really is worse than you not liking them or it.  I always say that you only tend put forth an effort for things that are worth something to you.  By being and acting apathetic, you are making a statement that you don’t care anymore and that it’s just not worth your time.  Slowly, someone or something that may have meant a lot to you at one time no longer does.  Apathy is a really sad thing to me, so now every time I feel that way, I’m going to stop and think about why, and hopefully that helps me explore my feelings at a deeper level.
  • “There is something within us that responds deeply to those who level with us, who don’t suggest our compromises for us.”  This goes back to my first few points about being real and present when engaging with others.  This quote also, in my opinion, refers to the notion of being honest and truthful.  You are only hurting people when you don’t tell them the truth.  We should always “find a way to say the things that can’t be said.”  And the truth ALWAYS makes an appearance, sooner or later.
  • “Emotional wake is what you remember after I’m gone.  What you feel after I’m gone.  The aftermath, aftertaste, and afterglow.”  My new thing is to really engage with people who elevate me even after our conversation is over.  And I want to do the same for others as well.  How many of us continue to engage with individuals who bring us down, and it may not be their intent but just their style, body language, vocabulary, etc.  If you don’t walk away from them feeling like a better person, why keep engaging?  Something to think about…
  • My new favorite quote – “If you want to see someone in real pain, watch someone who knows who he is and defaults on it on a regular basis.”  Profound and powerful!  I can’t really put into words how I feel when I think about this quote, but the one thought that does come to mind over and over again is if I can’t be myself in every facet of life, why is that and what is holding me back?  Again, something to think about.

I don’t know about y’all, but I love thought-provoking sessions like this one – the kind that make you question yourself and your reality.  We’re all works in progress.  Every situation, interaction, and challenge changes and shapes us, and it’s up to us to make note of the lessons learned and really be an active participant in our own lives.  Sorry for all the words today, but I hope I was able to introduce you to a different way of thinking…that was my real goal.  In my opinion, this information was just too good not to share. 🙂

Thanks!  I promise to be back with pretty pictures soon!

By Parita

4 thoughts on “Fierce Conversations”
  1. I really enjoyed the quote about finding “a way to say the things that can’t be said.” Personally, this quote made me think of my belief that life is too short to not tell people how you feel and what you are feeling. It doesn’t just go for relationships or friendships, but even small acts of kindness. If you like another woman’s purse or outfit, say so. It could make her day. This may be extrapolating too much on the quote but that is just my interpretation of it.

  2. I do think that many people have conversations where they just say what you want to hear and when you have a real conversation then everything just seems to get thrown out there. Sometimes we just hide things under the rug without actually addressing them which later on is just worse for everyone. Great post! 😀

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