conversations | the fierce newsletter


February 2015 Edition
Welcome to the February edition of Conversations, the Fierce newsletter.

This February, we highlight an article on assumptions of workplace romance. We also introduce the newest member to our Fierce team, share articles on difficult coworkers, romantic relationships, and we invite all facilitators to our 2015 Fierce Facilitator Summit. Additionally, the Fierce in the Schools team shares updates.

As always, we're interested in hearing your thoughts on our Fierce blog, and don't forget to check out upcoming workshops, webinars, and other events!
1. Love in the Air: Let's Talk About Assumptions
2. Fierce News!
3. Fierce in the Schools News!
4. Fierce Events: Save the Date

1. Love in the Air: Let's Talk About Assumptions  

Office Romance. Whether this term conjures up thoughts of fondness, anxiety or dread, it is an unavoidable reality in today’s workplace. This Valentine’s Day, here at Fierce, Inc. we have decided to set the record straight on the reality of inter-office dating. There’s a need to question the assumptions many of us have with the idea of dating a colleague—and to take the negative notions out of the equation.

We have to keep this a secret; we’ll both get fired if anyone finds out.

Reality: In this day and age of social media and a need to overshare, chances are, people will find out. And you don’t want your boss or colleagues to find out via a tweet or Facebook post that you are dating their officemate. Even if you aren’t officially “friends”, news gets around (as do retweets). Instead, schedule a meeting early in the relationship, and come clean. Open communication is key here. If it happens, the goal is to be open and honest while sharing the perspectives, so you can figure it out as a team. Most companies acknowledge that relationships between colleagues occur and provide guidelines around what is acceptable and what is not. For example, relationships between supervisors and direct reports are prohibited and professional behavior is required at all times, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to date within the organization.

It will be awkward for everyone.

Reality: A new couple should be open and honest about their relationship, however beyond that, if a couple is handling the situation correctly, you do not need to be reminded hourly, or even daily, of the fact they are dating. While once the news is out the couple may feel relieved to not have to sneak around, this does not give them carte blanche to flaunt their new love around the office. Sure, you may see them getting lunch together more frequently, but any and all visible romance should, and for the most part is, kept out of the workplace. If this isn’t the case, speak with your boss about how it’s affecting your work. Chances are they may not be aware of the impact they are having, and once brought to their attention, will cool it around the office.

Productivity will drop- I am going to have to pick up their slack while they flirt all day

Reality: Often, the opposite is true. Couples just starting out are often very self-conscious of their reputation within an organization once people know they are dating someone at the office, and to avoid rumors or claims of slacking, will actually step up their game and work harder than ever. It is important that their relationship does not define their place in the company. Once the novelty of the relationship wears off, things will settle down and the grove of a team will go back to normal.

Two co-workers dating is a recipe for disaster—it’s just a matter of time before the company will be sued for sexual harassment

Reality: By far the majority of office romances are not construed as sexual harassment, nor will that topic ever come up throughout the relationship. With that said, every organization needs to provide a sexual harassment policy that clearly states how a claim will be handled and the consequences for such behavior. Underscore that the company has a zero-tolerance policy and doesn’t discriminate on the basis of title or tenure.

So this Valentine’s Day, rest assured knowing that if you do feel a spark with the guy or girl down the hall, all is not lost. Or if you have two employees that seem to be hitting it off, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Being open and honest about these relationships is the best way to ensure the drama is avoided… at least where the office is concerned.

2. Fierce News! 


Welcome to New Fierce Team Member

Meet the newest member of our growing Fierce team, Ellie Marqulies, Director of Client Solutions. Be on the lookout for a conversation coming your way!



How to Stay Professional While Having An Office Romance

This article speaks to office romance. An old adage that tends to hold negative connotation, and it doesn't have to. Check out these tips for romantic relationships at work.

Read the article

Difficult Coworker? One Quick Way to Turn the Relationship Around

This article highlights one way to overcome the need for nasty confrontation in the workplace. Can you say passive aggressive, stonewalling, or yelling? Let's turn that relationship around.

Read the article

4 Tips to Improve Communication, So You Don't Have to Whack Anyone With a Book

This article reveals the not so pleasant thought many of us come across at least once in our life. The urge to hit someone over the head with a book. Instead, try these 4 conversation tips.

Read the article



How to Mentor Your Millennials

This article acknowledges the need millennials have for mentors. With a desire of willingness and wanting to give more, Gen Y is looking for the know how.

Read the article

GAMA International LAMP Conference 2015

Fierce will be attending the 2015 GAMA International Lamp Conference in Orlando, Florida. Stop by booth #308 if you're in attendance, we'd love to see you there.

Learn more here

Fierce Facilitator Summit 2015

The Summit is just about two months away. Early bird registration is still available for singles or groups of 3+ so make sure to register prior to April 3rd, 2015. If you haven't received your email invites, let us know.

Experience the Summit

Blog Posts

Fierce Tip of the Week: Delegate, Don't Dele-Dump – This week’s tip is to reflect on your current responsibilities and highlight three that are no longer the best use of your time.

Why Managers are the New Trainers – This blog shares the importance of leaders becoming trainers for their own teams. What would the impact be?

Fierce Tip of the Week: Know They Can Handle It – This week’s tip is to hold people able to handle the truth.

No Excuses: Have the Conversation – This blog looks at how easy it is to make up an excuse not to have an important conversation.

Fierce Tip of the Week: Address Your Mokitas – This week’s tip is to write down three mokitas. Where do they exist? Now have the conversations.

Fierce Tip of the Week: Cut Your Victim Bonding– This week’s tip is to not victim bond about a situation and have the direct conversation. What's holding you back?

What People are Saying

"Fierce is embedded in our organization at this point. People are speaking up, and they’re speaking up in a way that’s courageous, tactful and far from limiting."
– Tiffany Austin, Internal Learning Consultant, Symetra

"Since launching Fierce to our management team, people have embraced the common language and framework to address issues, which previously would have been ignored."
– Jayne White, Director, Talent Management, Forest City Enterprises

"A lot of companies have certain expectations of people in leadership roles. They expect you to leave all your problems at the front door and come in and do your job. Leaving everything at the door is unrealistic. Our personal life is a part of who we are and how we behave and react to things. Fierce provides coping skills and tools for communicating well regardless of what is going on in our personal lives."
– Sue Van Tuinen, Executive Director at Chesterley Meadows Senior Living, Emeritus Senior Living

3. Fierce in the Schools News! 

Fierce, Inc.’s 2-Year Adoption of Local Orting School District

It has been nothing short of a joy for the Fierce in the Schools team to work with local Orting School District staff and students for the past 4 years. Under the leadership of Superintendent, Michelle Curry who has worked with her staff to put Fierce Conversations into practice as a common language throughout the district. The results? Curry has transformed her district. Read the case study or listen to how she and her team continue to keep students top of mind with conversations, listen here.

We are thrilled to announce that our company as a whole has adopted Orting District for the next two years. We are focused on working with Orting teachers and students, donating time and materials to further their mission: All students prepared for college, careers and life.

Orting Schools are home to 2,300 students in four schools. In an ever-changing community our highly skilled teachers must engage students to develop Twenty First Century Skills, provide rigorous and aligned academics to prepare students for college, careers, and life.

Northwest PBIS Spring Conference in Eugene, Oregon
March 4-6, 2015

The Fierce in the Schools team will be attending the conference and we'd love you to stop by to say hi! Learn how Fierce Conversations supports PBIS and how conversations empower your district, school, faculty and students.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

PBIS is a team based, systematic approach in teaching behavioral expectations throughout the school. It is based on a proactive model which teaches the behaviors, reinforces and recognizes students who are able to model these behaviors and has systems in place to support students who have a difficult time or may present with more challenging behaviors.


What Educators are Saying

"I was committed to being a learner, an advocate, and a collaborator, and I was going to speak my truth and help others to speak theirs."
– Michelle Curry, Superintedent, Orting School District

"At the root of staff development within the Divisional Student Affairs is the desire to challenge our staff to move forward beyond status quo and pursue higher levels of excellence with determination and enthusiasm. The goal of Student Affairs is to help transform the lives of our students and help students with their discovery of self and the world in which they live; this effort is completely reliant on staff having rich, meaningful and productive conversations."
– Juan C. González, Vice President, Student Affairs, University of Texas, Austin

"When the models are practiced, coached, and reinforced, they become second nature. That's when lives change, and we see what a powerful difference Fierce makes."
– Troyce Fisher, Executive Director, School Administrators of Iowa

4. Fierce Events: Save the Date 

Attending one of our workshops is a wonderful way to evaluate Fierce for your organization. If you would like more information, please click on the options below.

March 9-10th in Seattle, WA

Fierce Conversations Workshop (2 Days)

March 16-17th in New York City, NY

Fierce Conversations Workshop (2 Days)

March 19th, online

a Taste of Fierce Confrontation

April 13-14th in Seattle, WA

Fierce Conversations Workshop (2 Days)

April 21st, online

a Taste of Fierce Confrontation

May 11-12th in Seattle, WA

Fierce Conversations Workshop (2 Days)

May 19th, online

a Taste of Fierce Confrontation

June 2-3rd in New York, NY

Fierce Conversations Workshop (2 Days)



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