Fierce Conversations Principles 4 & 5

We’re starting the new year fresh with a video series on the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. Each video will dive into one or two of the seven principles Scott outlines in her writing on how to have difficult conversations.

Today are principles 4 & 5.
Principle 4: Tackle your toughest challenge today.
Principle 5: Don’t just trust your instincts. Obey them.


Hi, I’m Amy back with Iluma Learning in our series on Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. Today we’re gonna look at the principles four and five as part of our seven Principles of Fierce Conversations. So in the fourth principle because we’ve already talked about three in our first couple of blogs, we talked about mastering the courage to interrogate reality. Then the second one is come out from behind yourself into the conversation and make it real. Third one is be here, prepare to be nowhere else. And the fourth one is tackle your toughest challenge today.

So this one, Susan, the author, says, burnout doesn’t occur because we’re solving problems. It occurs because we’re trying to solve the same problems over and over. The problem named is the problem solved, confront the real obstacles, travel light, agenda free. So what does that mean? Travel light, agenda free. So if you’ve ever been in conversation with someone who brings up something you did 30 years ago, they’re not traveling light nor agenda free. So I think that’s where she’s starting to take that idea. But burnout doesn’t occur because we’re solving problems. It’s the same problem over and over, and we get stuck in a rutt in our relationships at work and at home, and we will tend to try to fix something, and keep doing the same thing to try to resolve it and it doesn’t work. And so, of course, it’s exhausting. It’s like beating your head against the wall over and over. So when we start looking at just taking on what’s hard, but taking it on with the reality of what’s happening and really being present to it, and really taking on what’s going on now, not what’s going on in my head, what story am I telling myself? And what am I gonna bring up that happened 30 years ago? That today I need to move into what’s now and deal with what is now. And so I like that. I think it’s an interesting idea to contemplate as we’re thinking about how do we improve the quality of our conversations.

And then the fifth principle, I love this one too. The fifth principle is about obeying your instincts. So Susan says, don’t just trust your instincts. Obey them. Tune in, pay attention. What we label as illusion is the scent of something real. Coming close now to the men and heavy equipment that I work with, I know that could sound a little woowoo, but let’s break that down. When you are in conversation and you know you need to say something and you are afraid it’s gonna hurt or you’re afraid it’s going to destroy, or you are, concerned that it is going to make you vulnerable in some way, you know that because there’s that, that pit in your stomach and that part there kind of in your chest where you know you need to speak. That’s what she’s talking about. Obey your instincts. What is being said, that’s not being said? What is being communicated that’s not coming from words? And, and to really start to trust that we have a great radar and in conversation that really matters. So it also helps us kind of get out away from the ego where we’re trying to defend everything and we’re really taking in with all our senses what’s going on in the situation. That’s how we’re gonna get change in conversation.And so I’ll see you next time for the final principles.

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