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Sunday, April 28, 2013


The Chocolate Conversation by Rose Fass - Book review

The Chocolate Conversation

Lead Bittersweet Change, Transform Your Business

By: Rose Fass

Published: April 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 168 pages
ISBN-10: 1937134490
ISBN-13: 978-1937134495
Publisher: Bibliomotion

"for leaders to make a difference all through the levels of their organizations, they must listen to, and understand, where people at each of those levels are coming from and communicate in language the teams understand so they can build consensus", writes leadership strategist and founder and CEO of fassforward Consulting Group, Rose Fass, in her interpersonal connection building and organizational transforming book The Chocolate Conversation: Lead Bittersweet Change, Transform Your Business. The author describes how communications between leaders and employees often break down due to a lack of common understanding, and provides the tools for becoming an effective conversational translator to ensure full comprehension of all involved.

Rose Fass understands the importance of conversations that really connect people in deep and meaningful ways. The author presents the concept of the chocolate conversation. People may think they are discussing the same topic and ideas, but may mean and interpret very different meanings, just as there are many different types and tastes of chocolate.

With the importance of clarity in conversations, especially those communications regarding organizational change, there is is a high level of danger through misinterpretation of the message. As a result, care must be taken to establish clear interpersonal conversation between leaders and teams.Rose Fass shares the tools and practices necessary to ensure that communications are clear and understood correctly by eveyone involved in the discussion.

Rose fass (photo left) recognizes that recognizes the power of words, and their myriad of different meanings and interpretations. The author uses the word chocolate as an effective metaphor for words that mean different things to each person. On the surface, a misunderstanding over types and flavors of chocolate may seem inconsequential, but as Rose fass points out, the lack of clarity over misunderstood messages can spell disaster to an organization.

Rose Fsss demonstrates how companies in the process of a merger or acquisition, or one seeking to make internal change, can be derailed by failed communications. The author offers a comprehensive blueprint for finding clear and concise conversations that not only are interpreted correctly, but engage everyone involved in the process as well. The author provides the following overview of importance of understanding the implications and consequences of misunderstood chocolate conversations, and how to transform them into clear messages:

* Death by chocolate: Unwrapping chocolate conversations
* Mergers and acquisitions: A petri dish for chocolate conversations
* Addicted to relevance
* It starts with you
* Why good people have bad conversations
* Go there
* Message discipline
* Extending your reach
* Change is bittersweet

For me, the power of the book is how Rose Fass combines a complete analysis of the problems resulting from misunderstood communications, with a practical guide to establishing clear and effective conversations at all levels of the firm. The author presents an excellent overview of the challenges faced by leaders and teams when bad communications results in damaging misinterpretations. Rose Fass makes clear that great leaders are also great communicators, and shares proven ideas for enhancing communication skills. With a challenge for leaders to improve their own conversational abilities first, the author demonstrates how leadership takes place within the conversation itself.

Through two way conversation, that includes at least equal proportions of listening to the other person, a leader increases their message clarity and effectiveness of the team. Rose Fass practices clarity within the book itself, through the use of graphics and drawings to illustrate the concepts. At the same time, the author also invites the leader to ask themselves some probing and challenging questions to strengthen their own communication skills.

I highly recommend the clarity building and relationship strengthening book The Chocolate Conversation: Lead Bittersweet Change, Transform Your Business by Rose Fass, to any leaders seeking a concise and hands on guide to improving communication competencies within themselves, and for all employees of the organizations. This book will create more meaningful and effective conversations within the company, deepen trust levels, and strengthen the overall organization.


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