IT Gets Fierce

Fierce Trainees

“While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship or a life – any single conversation can.”

Fierce Conversation started as a book written in 2002 by Susan Scott and has since spawned a training methodology designed to improve conversations in all aspects of life. Susan writes that a Fierce conversation is, "one in which we come out from behind ourselves, into the conversation and make it real." Noel Wong, CIO and VP of IT, brought Fierce to Tulane after taking the course several times in his past positions and seeing a University-wide need for the training. He personally had new realizations during every session and felt that it would work to improve our collaboration and culture. Fierce's focus for Tulane is organizational improvements in retention, productivity, transparency and purpose…one conversation at a time.

At the end of November 2018, 60 leaders from IT, Campus Services and HR trained over two intensive 2.5 days sessions. Since then, Jeremy Pelegrin, a certified Fierce trainer and IT System Administrator, has trained 30 additional team members within IT.  The goal is for all team members to have completed training by the end of summer. The models being taught focus on Foundations of Fierce, Team Conversations, Accountability conversations, Confrontation conversations, and Feedback conversations. The next rounds of training are May 30-31, June 27-28, July 11-12, and July 25-26. Links are provided for the sign up forms. Both days are mandatory for the course.


Feedback from IT attendees has been overwhelmingly positive:

•    "If this training is implemented department-wide,  this could represent some real change for the department.  That is exciting to hope for."

•    "Fierce Conversation is valuable both at home and work."

•    "I thought the training was good and I am excited about having our whole office taking it.  I believe it may help open up conversations."

•    "After my completion of the program, I was amazed at how much I did that would annoy other people, it was an eye-opener for me, and I am trying very hard to make sure that I stay true to myself but in a manner that would not offend others (as I am sure that I do)  But I am very opened, and I would like to think that I can still be that way and not offend the individual whom I am speaking to."