Don't Dodge Discomfit

In our August video blog, PDA's Sarah Vogel shares insights from conversations with clients about how putting yourself into uncomfortable situations is crucial.

If you avoid discomfit, then current problems can turn into bigger situations. Grievances and disciplinary situations that could have been prevented are allowed to develop their own momentum.

Sarah looks at how conversations and mediation can play key parts in allowing organisations to get out of a potential grievance culture. And the ability to lean into discomfit is part of individual people's and their organisation's strengths. 

14 Years of making sure conversations are #Fierce

Susan Scott and her team at Fierce Inc are celebrating 14 years of Fierce Conversations. Susan has led the drive to make conversations in the workplace really meaningful: helping people communicate more effectively in every aspect of their lives.  

In this podcast, Susan looks at the personal challenges that lay behind the creation of Fierce, and its transformational ideas and principles. And she looks to the future of leadership where connectivity and transparency will be key. You can find out about our next Fierce workshops here.



Midlands Academy Staff benefit from Fierce

Staff at The City Technology College, Kinghurst Academy in Solihull in the Midlands are benefiting from Fierce coaching, and there are plans to use the approach for some students later this year.

"Fierce has helped me be more aware of my emotional wake"

"Fierce has helped me be more aware of my emotional wake"

Debbè Reilly, associate leader at the academy with 1500 pupils, says:

“Our aim is to be the best we can be. The Fierce coaching model is a great tool to help people reflect on their practice and help them pin point where things are going wrong.”

Initially, Debbè attended a Fierce taster course, and then arranged training for the academy’s leadership team.

“They liked it as well and wanted it rolled our across the school,” she notes. Debbè and her colleagues now use the approach in staff coaching and support.

Debbè explains:

“I am a better listener, and far more patient and understanding with people by reminding myself to look at the ‘context’ within which others are operating.

Fierce has helped me be more aware of my 'emotional wake' and  has made me do a lot of  'stop, think, talk'.”

Debbè  says career progression and performance are just some of the areas that have been the focus for Fierce Conversations.

CTC Kinghurst Academy's senior leadership team will be working with the heads of faculty to train them on the principles of Fierce and the tools available.

And in the summer term, Debbè will be working with students on how to use Fierce skills in their own conversations.

Stop the silence: turn grievances into conversations

PDA's Sarah Vogel gives her thoughts on how organisations need to aim for a ‘non grievance culture' where people in conflict talk to each other.  

Often in organisations, when problems arise in relationships between individuals and formal grievance procedures kick in, the people with a conflicted relationship are told not to talk to each other.


Line managers’ fear of not adhering to internal procedures also means that any attempt to sit down and talk about the conflict doesn’t happen.


I think that has to change.


Trying to resolve issues, by telling people not to talk to each other, seems to be plain illogical.


And the vast majority of ‘grievance’ cases taken out just do not work in resolving conflicted situations.


Organisations need to make it easier for people to informally resolve things. There needs to be a drive towards a ‘non grievance’ culture where the last thing we ever think of is to throw grievances around like confetti whenever we are upset by something or someone.


Leaders need to be courageous in nipping things in the bud and encourage a culture of transparency and openness in their own teams, with their colleagues and peers and of course up the line to senior execs.


The Harvard Business Review article ‘A culture of candor’ by James O’Toole and the late Warren Bennis is brilliant at naming this issue. We often recommend it to clients. In it, Bennis and O’Toole point out:


"This task begins with creating norms and structures that sanction truth telling. Such organizational practices as open-door policies, ombudsmen, protection for whistle-blowers, and internal blogs that give voice to those at the bottom of the hierarchy can help”


Mediation can be part of this drive away from a grievance culture. It helps to create a safe space to explore the roots of the conflict and also what needs to happen to resolve it. You can learn more here.


Training leaders and managers to have clear, honest and direct conversations can really help build their confidence, which is hugely important in helping them to grasp the nettle and get on with difficult conversations.


I believe if we can help managers and leaders drive this culture change, it can help improve productivity, attendance, engagement and retention, and create a culture where people do not fear feedback, and talk things through, openly and honestly. Before it gets so bad that things crash and burn.


It is heartbreaking when we are called in to help an organisation resolve a conflict and it emerges that the situation has been brewing or festering for years. All that time living with upset, stress, hindered performance and compromised results could have been avoided if things had been tackled sooner and differently.


Part of me understands that sometimes people may feel threatened by each other or afraid of speaking out, but I think organisations could help to facilitate informal resolution conversations rather than just keep people apart.


Keeping people silent won't work.


How to deal with red flashing lights: Fierce Open Workshops

Just when you think that the economy is getting better: a Prime Minister chips in to say ‘beware’.


So what should you do if the lights are flashing red on the dashboard?


Our Sarah Vogel says continuing doing the same isn’t a plausible option.


“What you have done in the past might get you to a good position but it isn’t going to get you to an outstanding one” Sarah explains. “And it’s being outstanding that will make you and your organisation more resilient.”


Your heart might be sinking if you’re thinking that you will need to throw everything at the situation.


Not so.


“It’s the way we talk to, and work with our colleagues and those around us which is key,” says Sarah. “It’s connecting positively and dealing with the real challenges that confront us.”


The public and private sector delegates on our Fierce Open Workshop in Birmingham on December 2nd and 3rd will be working on improving their own conversations and the ways they collaborate.


That will put them in good stead for dealing with what is actually flashing red on their dashboard.

Fierce Conversations O2 – small chunks and remote learning


Remote Locations

We know from talking to you about our Open workshops that there are times when face to face workshops are not a practical option – it could be for budgetary reasons, remote locations or a diary that is so jam packed a day’s training can’t be shoehorned in.


Fierce Conversations O2

So we are thrilled to be offering Fierce Conversations O2 – virtual instructor-led training that is delivered online in 2 hour chunks.


The content is the same as Fierce Conversations and involves virtual break out rooms, a live facilitator, e-workbooks and online chat rooms to connect with one another.


The sessions are interchangeable so you choose which Conversational Model  you would like to work on first. You can even use them to complement face to face programmes in a sustainable way to embed the learning over several sessions.


We will be hosting taster sessions in the New Year so look out for more details and if you would like to know more sooner then please email

Have a conversation with yourself - it could lead somewhere wonderful

Fierce Conversations with ourselves

I received an email this week from a delegate on a previous Fierce Conversations Workshops. He said that he had had a Fierce Conversation with himself about his current role and his future.  The result of which was a career and a country move! It was a dramatic reminder that the conversations we have with ourselves are very powerful and sometimes the ones we put off the most.


To lose one's footing momentarily

What a sequence of events he had set in place – for himself, his family and his company. I could hear the energy in his email. This must be exciting and scary at the same time and be taking an enormous amount of courage. It reminded me of the fabulous words of the 19th Century Danish Philosopher Kierkegaard “ To dare is to lose ones footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."


And I wish him the very best of luck!

Top Tip - Use trees to gauge trends in a group


Fierce Conversations raising accountability

Doing Fierce Conversations with a group of fabulous managers last week, some of them in HR business roles and all improving performance, we were looking at the Delegation Conversation model – which deepens accountability and gets leaders focused where they are needed most.


The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

We talked about individual decision trees and how they look with tasks and areas of responsibility placed on the tree. One of the delegates – who is into innovation – looked thoughtful at the end of the session and then said how useful it would be to look at a project teams trees collectively and that by looking at them together you could gauge the health of the project or department. You would be able to see if people were holding onto tasks and micromanaging or whether they were working at stretch and responsibility was being moved and progressed.


An individual tree contributes to a larger picture that gives different and valuable information about the team. That allows HR and other leaders to track trends and celebrate the successes or make changes. The group liked the sound of that – and so do we.


Thankyou to Deli and Janet for letting me use their amazing tree photo.

By Tasha

What do you think are the Facilitators Strengths?

Here is the feedback from Fierce Conversations with Emily Parker and Tasha George, May 2013


“Both facilitators were very friendly, relaxed in approach and took the time to listen to participants view and give feedback to support understanding. They promoted group discussions and learning very well”


“subject knowledge”


“Intervention and guidance – making taught concepts meaningful through the exercises and offering good challenges and observations”


“Good Fierce knowledge”


“ Clarity, Time Keeping/Pace, Mix of theory and exercises”

Schools in UK to become “Fierce” with better conversations

Schools throughout the UK are beginning to seek – and see the benefits of – alternative tools in order to improve standards and achievements that could ultimately effect the success of their students' futures.  

PDA, a training and development company based in Birmingham, has recently seen their own programme – called Fierce Conversations – make a presence in our schools. It is championed by senior staff such as Nicole Fowles, an Advisory Deputy Headteacher for 19 schools in the Borough of Solihull.


Fierce in the Schools (FITS) is already commonplace in the USA. Deli Moussavi-Bock, the Director of Training for Fierce in the Schools, tells us that transformations in schools can begin and end with the conversations that people have everyday, which is what Fierce is based upon. She said: “Taking Fierce programs to schools in sustainable, meaningful ways is integral to our unabashed vision to build a better world, one conversation at a time.”


She continued: “For students, it's about equipping them with the skills to navigate and drive the quality of their education, the success of their future careers and personal lives and the health of their families and communities. They are future stewards of our planet.”


Nicole Fowles spoke to us about implementing these changes within our own schools and how Fierce fits in with that: “The various models in Fierce cut across several strands of school improvement and directly relate to raising standards. Key aspects including curriculum, assessment for learning, professional development and leadership are all encompassed within the various programmes.”


In fact, Nicole – who is taking her Fierce Conversations Accreditation with PDA so she can bring her passion to school leaders and students – has already trialled Fierce within the classroom. What she noticed was that students quickly sought out conversations when they wanted feedback or didn't fully understand a subject within class. She noted: “This improved their learning across the curriculum because they made the connection of how important it is to have that conversation about their learning and the benefits of doing so.”


She concluded by saying: “Teachers already have the desire to move learning forward but what if we instilled this desire in future generation for themselves and gave them methods for real empowerment? [Fierce] is not more of the same. It brings innovation to fore and will require bold and courageous application.”


Further information on Fierce Conversations workshops can be found on or by calling PDA on 0207 503 1400. The next workshop will be held in Manchester in June 2013.

Top 5 things to help managers deal with underperformance


Karen Findlay (HR Manager at St Monica Trust) and Sarah Vogel ( Co-director at People Development Associates) share their best tips…



1. Develop a positive mind set about tackling things


Many managers fear the worst and worry ‘what will happen if…’ In fact they almost certainly fantasise in their darker moments that world war 3 will break out if they dare to tackle x about their performance


So why are these kind of conversations avoided? Popular reasons we get told are:


It will make it worse: I don’t want to open up the can of worms

it will spoil the team atmosphere

They have too much on their plate right now to deal with this

I have too much on MY plate right now to deal with this

No one’s ever told x before, why should I (how should I??)

I don’t have time to plan how to get the conversation right


The likelihood is it is almost certainly costing managers more NOT to tackle it, (in terms of lost business, team morale, the insidious spread of underperformance, their own reputation) than it would to tackle it and get it resolved. So before you even begin, develop a positive mind set about the conversation.


After all, what we all want is to bring about a resolution. What could be bad about resolving things? A good, healthy confrontation conversation is not about ‘giving someone a good telling off, putting them straight or getting it off your chest’. It is about both parties explaining their side of things and having some space and time to work out together how to resolve it.


Remember: the mind set you take into the conversation, will affect the results you get.


2. Talk it through with your line manager and HR


An early conversation about underperformance can often avoid cases developing into formal processes. So as soon as under performance is spotted talk it through with your manager and or HR. Consider what options you have and how best to have the conversation with the individual.


Ask your manager and or HR about how they think this person may react and what strategies you could adopt to deal with these. Be clear what the support mechanisms for you are in this. Canvas their support. Often people fear taking a performance case to the formal stages as they worry they will not get the backup they need, and this may be unfounded.


So DO talk it through with someone who’s not involved. Ask them to challenge your reality and perception. Rarely does the worst happen. Our catastrophic imaginings can just be a reason to continue to leave it, letting it grow, build and spread….


3. Become skilled at having ‘the conversation’


Many people fear fluffing it up in the first minutes of a conversation.


Look at the 7 Fierce principles and think about which ones could help you. Consider where you want to start your conversation. Practise saying out loud what you want to say. Ask an independent person to listen to what you plan to say and tell you how it sounds.  Remember you will need to be light on your feet when handling the resulting conversation. You can’t script the whole thing (which under confident managers will want to do), you have to stay connected and use your intuition, and work out together what the next steps will be. Most of all master the courage to interrogate THEIR reality.


4. Get support as you take someone through a process to improve their capability


Anyone who’s ever had to take a member of their team through a capability process knows it is a bumpy and arduous road to travel: energy sapping, time draining and generally not on anyone’s ‘fun things to do at work’ list. But remember, successful outcomes are reached ‘one conversation at a time, gradually then suddenly’ and hanging in there in this long game of performance improvement is exactly what we need to do and support managers in doing.


One of our clients who has been really successful at sustaining a great positive performance culture runs ‘performance clinics’ for any managers having to take someone through capability. They get to meet up and discuss how it is going with HR, let off steam, get support (and constructive challenge if they want it) and generally realise they are not alone.


Remember it’s like joining the under performer at their bus stop and taking them on the journey to get them to where you need them to be.



5. Practise what you preach


Any organisation wanting to develop a performance culture where it is safe for anyone to raise issues, where people are encouraged and supported to resolve them as quickly and effectively as possible and where it generally feels like the Mokita* count is low, also needs to make sure that there is an upward flow of feedback too.


Do you encourage team members to tell you when they are off track? Are your  teams encouraged to name the unnameable? Are real issues raised and tackled at meetings?


If not, then managers in middle or first line positions will not feel best able to tackle their own teams and individuals. Leaders in the organisation may need to demonstrate by example that they too do what they are asking others to do. Attend the same training, be in the room, ‘here, prepared to be nowhere else’ and ask tough questions like


‘what’s getting in the way of our success and happiness?

What would you do if you were in my shoes?


*Mokita: a Maori word meaning ‘that which is known but never talked about’

We got on the Stage! PDA wins Elevate Award at Fierce Summit

PDA wins for the most global sales


There we are, having an amazing time at the Fierce Summit. Hearing a keynote speech from Steve Uzzell, photographer at National Geographic,  taking part in engaging sessions such as Fierce Generations and the latest in online training delivery, being moved by the passionate speakers for Fierce in Schools and laughing out loud at Susan Scotts’ sparkling presence when, imagine our surprise, the announcement is made that we – People Development Associates – have won the Elevate award for the most Global sales of Fierce Conversations!


... Cut to a mini scuffle as we decide who will go and collect the award and then the brilliant Halley Bock called all three of us up.  Sarah Vogel, Co-Director said "I couldn't be more delighted: it's a massive shot in the arm for us to realise that we have managed this during difficult economic times, by sticking at it, hanging in there, one conversation at a time"


Now the fight begins as to whose mantelpiece it is going to sit on – we will all have to take a turn so it does a tour around the UK to visit our associates!


Lots more photos of our trip to Seattle on our facebook page 

Becoming conscious about the power of conversations……by Nicole Fowles


 Engaged in a conversation

I have just come in from walking in the snow and being engaged in a conversation with a very old friend. Immediately, I am compelled to write this short reflection about my connection to the conscious power of conversations.


I reflect on content

During my talk with Cheryl, we talked about all sorts of things but as I reflect on the content, much of it filtered down to the relationships we have (or could potentially have) with others; both personally and professionally. We know the conversation is the relationship but I wonder whether people realise that the majority of conversations that hold any meaning are also about relationships in one guise or another. Go on – try it! The next time you engage in what you would consider a meaningful conversation, reflect on the content and it is my guess that much of it centred on some form of relationship with or about others.


The potential that bounces around Fierce®

There was much dialogue about the notion of ‘Fierce conversation’ and the potential that bounces around it. What if we had more of these conversations? What if we had them with particular people? What if we mastered them and could identify them from a distance? So very often, we notice that a conversation was powerful and created a positive outcome after the event, when the ‘outcome’ appeared and revealed itself. How could we make it so we fostered these conversations and they became ‘normal’? Are they already normal and we just needed to give them more status and value? If they became part of the everyday experience would they still warrant the title of ‘fierce’ because maybe these conversations would no longer be different?


No single conversation is guaranteed to change your life but one conversation could

It is useful to pause here and recognise that we must go back to the principles of ‘Fierce’ and remember that no single conversation is guaranteed to change your life but quite simply, one conversation could. The reason I felt compelled to write this was because I believe the conversation I have just had with my friend Cheryl may have done just that. As a result of that conversation, I am writing this. As a result of that conversation, I have a list of items in my head that I am working out how I should set about putting these into action. How? Who? When? Where? It goes on……And, as a result of completing these actions, there is a strong possibility that my life is going to change – for the better.


What makes a conversation 'Fierce'?

So, what makes a conversation ‘fierce’ and sets it apart from a good conversation? The short answer is – nothing. Fierce conversations are good conversations and they can come in many shapes and sizes. But I suppose it could be said that not all good conversations are fierce. For me, I think good conversations come naturally most of the time. I doubt if I would have written such a bold statement a year ago but the fierce conversations I have engaged in since have helped me to become more confident with identifying and recognising this. Moreover, it is that recognition that is as important as having such conversations in the first place.


This learning is a blessing

All of this learning has been a blessing and the mission begins to spread the idea of not only having these conversations but developing a deeper understanding about WHY this is so important. The truth about human nature is people want to know why – why have conversations about having better conversations? The debt I owe to individuals such as Susan Scott and Sarah Vogel is the realisation that we can and should be far more competently conscious about the power of conversations. The ‘why’ factor for me is about enriching relationships and generating positive life chances but I am sure there is a whole raft of ‘why’ factors out there and I sit and wonder what may be pertinent to others.



In some respect I come full circle to the Foreword written by Ken Blanchard in Fierce Conversations. It all just seems so obvious. We all have conversations and we have them all of the time; they are intrinsic to who we are. True. However, the difference lies in becoming conscious and generating awareness about the nature and power of those conversations. The company Fierce sets out to do this but I am also advocating that on a very individual level we should all be doing this. Surely then, conservations become vehicles to change our lives for the better – one conversation at a time.

Learners of today are the Leaders of tomorrow and I can assure you ……….they are Fierce! by Nicole Fowles

Nicole contacted us at PDA after reading (and loving!) Fierce Conversations. At the time she was a Deputy Head at a local Primary School but has since taken up a post as Advisory Deputy Head teacher at a collaborative of 19 schools in the Borough of Solihull. She joins us on our open Fierce workshop in Birmingham this month to take her Fierce Conversations Accreditation so she can bring her passion for this powerful work to school leaders and students. Here she tells us what happened when she started to use Fierce in the classroom:  

Journey begins with Fierce®

Through my own journey of engaging with ‘Fierce’ and under the guidance of Sarah Vogel (PDA Ltd), I had the opportunity to trial some lessons with learners between the ages of 8-11 years old. This revealed several insights into the possibilities that delivering ‘Fierce conversations’ could bring to our young people. In addition, the potential it has to impact pedagogy, assessment and apply more readily what we know about the learning process. This is just a brief outline of the effect that the sessions had on the classes and also the implications it raises for teaching.


 'Outstanding' Elements

The sessions encompassed some key elements of what would be considered ‘Outstanding’ under the Inspection Framework 2012 and these were: Passion, High levels of pupil participation, Thinking skills, discussion skills, high level questioning and Challenge. Pupils were learning something ‘fresh and new’ and this led to higher engagement and generated an air of curiosity about what they were learning. Due to the content being fairly challenging in the form of the FITS Field guide, I adapted the material and created new resources while maintaining all key principles and messages. This ensured that different learning styles were included and much attention was given to the style of delivery and the range of activities available.


Understanding Mokitas and asking for feedback

The skills that pupils learnt through this programme began to transfer to other areas of their learning as well as their lives. An example of this came through them understanding about ‘Mokitas’. I shared with the children how we could use this within other lessons and invited them to express how and when they might apply this concept. Within the same week, they were asking for feedback in areas such as mathematics and being more vocal about what they didn’t understand. In short, the number of conversations they actively sought out increased. They became confident to interrogate their view of their own learning as well as become more open about what they struggled with. This improved their learning across the curriculum because they made the connection of how important it is to have that conversation about their learning and the benefits of doing so. Being so ‘real’ about their learning can be alien for many children because they spend a lot of energy doing the exact opposite. This is down to their desperation to ‘look smart’ rather than actively engaging in their learning process (See Carol Dweck – Self theories and Mindset).


Provoked my thinking

As a teacher, leader and educationalist, this really provoked my thinking about how the system maybe partly responsible for un-doing the ‘Fierceness’ already so very apparent and present in our young people. The polarised standpoints we take on this issue, when the world of Business (apprentice programmes and young enterprise) is literally crying out to Education to equip young Leaders with these skill sets is at the very least disappointing. The same can be said of other areas of Teaching and Learning with a prime example being questioning. By the time children reach upper Key stage 2 we used ‘Higher order’ questioning techniques to support progress and thinking. Teachers labour over the fact that they want pupils to ask more questions themselves, yet, my experience in early years education tells me that young children are excellent at asking questions that start with the words ‘Why and How?’ Therefore, what happens in-between? What messages do we give these young leaders? It really is a crucial debate to be had! Having said all of that, I am thrilled at the prospect of having a real and tangible solution at hand. Even though there is some way to travel, what a positive and enchanting pathway lies before us!


Realisation hit me like a truck

After I had completed a number of sessions with the youngsters, the realisation hit me like truck one day as I went about my daily leadership walk between class to class just checking out the learning and visiting staff. On entering the room a voice projected itself over the tops of heads…”Miss, have you come in to teach us more about conversations?” As I scanned the room I realised that pupils had stopped in their tracks and were waiting eagerly for the reply. Some turned to look at me; some looked at the plucky young man who asked the question, some just froze mid- task and didn’t make a move as they were sitting on a table with their class teacher. “Not today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a Fierce conversation with someone else.” Even before I had reached the end of my sentence, a wave of disappointed sighs and expressions exploded across the room. As I walked down the corridor and back to my office the expression on that child’s face stayed with me. His image spoke to me and immediately I contacted Sarah to set up a time to feedback about the materials. Some may say how effectively he interrogated reality – he wanted to know then and there – what I am learning today? Oh – and is it going to be relevant because that ‘conversation stuff’ helps me at school and at home. This is extremely profound because it is something that teachers everywhere battle with. Walk into any school and you will find committed, hard-working teachers that share a common issue and that is called trying to develop pupil ownership. There are whole companies and methods just dedicated to improving pupil engagement and participation. It certainly sent a shockwave through me!


I embark on the facilitation programme

I am about to embark on the facilitation programme and feel humbled by the outlook of where this could lead. Not solely for myself, my family, my friends and colleagues but for all of those young people and young leaders who may just get to hold onto their ‘Fierce’ nature. They somehow could get the chance to let it blossom, receive some guidance and above all, be supported in and allowed to have the conversations that could change their lives for the better. That alone, without question, should give us the reason to take this forward.


Tension HR Headache? Let PDA bring you some Fierce© Relief

Such a good summit we are back again!

Let us bring you Fierce relief from those tension HR headaches at the HR Directors Summit this month! It’s a lively meeting of minds in the human resources world and is structured in such a way that you can work on your own issues as well as investigating current trends. Last year PDAs Co-Director, Sarah Vogel, led a Masterclass to a packed audience ( standing room only) and this year we have a stand so we can meet you all and spend some time finding out what you want to work on this year and what conversations you want to be having.

Improving results by having the conversations that matter


Where to find us

We are at Stand 40 at the ICC Birmingham, 22nd and 23rd January and you can find out more at

Highlights for the summit this year

  • Assessing the increasing strategic importance of HR as organisations move from recession proofing to future proofing by redesigning their structures, leadership and talent.
  • Best case practice for organisational transformation,  assessing value, competency and capacity in your company and communicating change to employees.
  • New methods of talent management for a diverse and increasingly globalised workforce.
  • Analysing the importance of leadership in promoting sustainable growth.
  • Discovering the winners of the HR Distinction Awards 2013.

Dates for your Spangly new calendar

The dates for the 2013 PDA workshops are below, the venues are yet to be confirmed and we will make sure the details are on the website as soon as we have booked them. We will no doubt be visiting our friends at The Studio, Birmingham and Manchester and if you have any suggestions for great venues across the UK then please do let me know!  

Fierce Conversations 2 day Workshop

March 19th/20th Birmingham

June 11th/12th Manchester

September 24th/25th London

December 3rd/4th Birmingham


Influencing Skills 2 day Workshop Venue TBC

May 1st/2nd

July 23rd/24th

Oct 16th/17th


You can book a place on


Fierce Conversations Workshop recommended by David Bryant and Paul O'Keeffe

  We were pleased to work with David Bryant, Area Manager  London & Surrey at Andrews & Partners Ltd on our Fierce Open Workshop


'I have held various management positions in a very target-focused industry for 14 years - challenging and ‘confronting’ people is very much part of the job, albeit not an enjoyable one. Now, having received two days of ‘Fierce Conversations’ training from Sarah, David and Paul, I have seen this area in a different, and certainly more positive, light. The topics covered, and techniques trained, focus absolutely on clear, ‘high quality’ conversations as one might expect - they are certainly ‘fierce’, but not aggressive. By following objectives including ‘provoke learning’ and ‘enrich relationships’, ‘Fierce Conversations’ ensures that the important issues are raised, but more than that, they are effectively dealt with (there is a difference!). From my experience, putting my learning into practice has enhanced the quality of my conversations, and in turn, has increased the ‘wins’ for me and my team'


And Paul O'Keeffe, Partner at Thomas Tosh, Dumfries.


'Fierce Conversations is one of the best courses I have ever attended. When you are on the course, and using the accompanying manuals, hard to crack problems get a massive dose of sense. So you can go back to work, get on better with your colleagues, and achieve what you really want.'

Jackee Holder recommends Sarah Vogel for Fierce Conversations

“I have worked with Sarah on several occasions on the Fierce Conversations Leadership & Management programmes. Sarah is an expert in the field of Fierce Conversations and delivers this programme with passion, integrity and clarity but also in a fun and engaging way. Sarah is not one to shy away from a challenge and brings this quality with great impact to her work. The nature of the quality of our working relationship ensured real team work with all the groups we worked with. Sarah is the UK's best Fierce Conversations trainer whom I would highly recommend.” April 4, 2012  

Jackee is an Executive and Leadership coach, coach supervisor, coach trainer, action learning set facilitator, intuitive facilitator, writer, published author, interfaith minister and creativity expert. Jackee works nationally and internationally with teams, groups and individuals. She is the author of Soul Purpose, Be Your Own Best Life Coach & 49 Ways To Write Yourself Well.