I’m not related to Susan Scott but I love the concepts in her book Fierce Conversations! I’ve used her 7 simple steps to build clarity into quality conversations for myself and with others. She proposes a one minute delivery that can produce clearer communication than has been had in years.
Here’a a quick summary of her method:
- Name the issue. (I’d like to talk about our relationship.)
- Select a specific example that illustrates the behavior or situation you want to change. (It’s hard for me when I hear you talking about me in a negative way.)
- Describe your emotions about this issue. (This makes me feel like I’m not good enough for you and I never will be.)
- Clarify what is at stake. (I’m concerned there is a wall growing between us that will affect the future of our relationship.)
- Identify your contribution to this problem. (I probably should have let you know how I felt sooner.)
- Indicate your wish to resolve the issue. (I really want to work through this together so we can be closer.)
- Invite the other person to respond. (I really want to hear what you have to say.)
Recently while I was praying one day I felt like God asked me #4, “What’s at stake?”, about the situation I was praying for and that sparked me to think about applying these FIERCE conversation principles to crafting a prayer.
(I doubt Susan Scott has pushed out her concept toward this end, but I think it could be wonderfully clarifying.)
Let’s give it a shot.
7 Steps To Crafting Fierce Prayers by Cindy Scott
1. Name the issue.
Take some time and think about what the core issue really is. What is at the root of whatever it is you want to pray about? Here’s some ideas:
- You’ve been having trouble at work – maybe the core issue is that you need to learn how to talk to your boss or co-workers, maybe you need a better time management system, maybe you need to consider moving on or maybe you need to simply get more sleep…
- You’ve been having trouble talking to a family member – maybe you are afraid to be honest because of what they will think of you, or maybe you are embarrassed because of their seeming ease with something that is hard for you, maybe you feel they are cold or insensitive…
- Starting here with drilling down to the actual issue is so much better in prayer than just saying, “God please help me at work” or “God please make my family better.”
God, I want to talk to you about my angst at work.
God, I want to talk to you about my relationship with Sally.
2. Select a specific example that illustrates the behavior or situation you want to change.
- Think about why this issue is on your heart and share that with God.
- Sometimes this step needs to come first and then be repeated, for instance, maybe you are short with people at work, and then you drill down to one of the issues above and it shows you the why under the what.
- Or maybe you are not bringing your true self to your situations and you get silent or violent when you actually want and need to communicate clearly.
I hate it when I am short with people, like yesterday when I got sarcastic in that meeting.
When Sally cut me off like that I went silent and I don’t think that is healthy.
3. Describe your emotions about this issue.
- Sharing your heart with God is truly communicating with Him. He already knows but He loves it when we share willingly with Him.
- Think of what it means to you when one of your friends or kids willingly shares their emotions with you regarding a situation. It endears you with them. God wants us to share with Him in the same way. He is endeared to us.
I feel confused and afraid sometimes at work and I am not sure what to do.
I feel inferior all too often and that makes me feel small and insignificant.
4. Clarify what is at stake
- Consider what is going to happen if the situation you are praying about is not resolved.
- Talk to God about why this particular issue is on your mind.
I’m concerned that if I don’t deal with this situation at work in a healthy way I will either blurt something I regret some day, or that I’ll get an ulcer if I just keep it in.
I see my relationship with Sally drifting apart and I really do care about her and want to be closer as the years pass. If we don’t work on our relationship now I’m afraid I will miss an opportunity to learn how to resolve conflict.
5. Identify your contribution to this problem.
- Take a moment to see where you went off track.
- Owning our part of any situation is something we can ask forgiveness for, learn to manage, and walk out our response to in a transformed way.
I can see now that I have been avoiding dealing with this and just asking You to change things.
I’m wondering if my view of this situation has been what You were after all along and You have good things planned for me even in the midst of this.
6. Indicate your wish to resolve the issue.
- Commit to God that you want to be a part of the solution and you are willing to move forward as He guides.
- Be willing to release yourself to moving into whatever mode God has next for you.
God, I want You to know I will move forward in faith at you lead.
God, I am willing to wait or whatever You want in this situation.
7. Invite the other Person to respond.
- God always offers a plan. If you seek Him He will be found.
- Ask Him what He wants to show you about Himself, you or the other person in this situation.
God, I want what you want for this. Show me Your heart in this. Make clear to me my next step and then can I ask that You partner with me as I move forward.
Now it’s your turn.
Here’s the 7 Steps To Crafting FEIRCE Prayers in condensed form:
- Name the issue.
- Select a specific example that illustrates the behavior or situation you want to change.
- Describe your emotions about this issue.
- Clarify what is at stake.
- Identify your contribution to this problem.
- Indicate your wish to resolve the issue.
- Invite the other Person to respond.
I’ll be sharing my FIERCE crafted prayer on the Bridges Coaching Facebook page. I invite you to do the same!