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“A fierce conversation is one in which we come out from behind ourselves into the conversation and make it real–” that’s how Susan Scott defines authentic communication in her book “Fierce Conversations.”

She also writes, “The goals of fierce conversation are to . . . *Interrogate reality *Provoke learning *Tackle tough issues *Enrich relationships.”

Scott gives some great insights into why our conversations tend to stay at a surface (and thus often meaningless) level. For example, “While we tell ourselves we are softening the message so as not to hurt someone else’s feelings, we are really trying to protect ourselves.”

She concludes that, “The best leaders talk ‘with’ people not ‘at’ them.”

If you want to sharpen your communication skills then this is an important read.