In Susan Scott’s book Fierce Conversations, there are 7 principles every leader should know:

1. Manage the courage to interrogate reality – We create the bubble we live in: the information we consume, our closest confidants, and the topics that interest us. Get out of your comfort zone and attempt to understand what reality is.

2. Come out from behind yourself into the conversation, and make it real — Uncomfortable conversations are the ones that make us grow. Transformation starts with listening and being open to change. 

3. Be here, prepared to be nowhere else — Be genuinely present in the conversation. Stop projecting or strategizing your response and participate with intention. 

 4. Tackle your most formidable challenge today — Stop avoiding or postponing the problematic things. Then you end up carrying the burden longer than necessary. Once a problem is named, it is almost solved. 

5. Obey your instincts — They come from the oldest part of our brains and manifest in feeling rather than words. Trust your gut – they are another way of being present and aware. 

6. Take responsibility for your emotional wake — Conversation is not about the relationship; conversation IS the relationship. How people feel leaving the discussion is what they will remember. 

7. Let silence do the heavy lifting — Don’t let ideas get lost between words. Allow silence to foster inner dialogue. Insight occurs in the spaces between the words.

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