Summary of Standing in the Fire

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Standing in the Fire book summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Your mother may have told you not to play with matches, but you can’t always avoid fiery exchanges when you facilitate a meeting or lead a group. Organizational development consultant Larry Dressler explains why you should encourage rather than stifle heated discussions. He shares ways to control those personal “hot buttons” – sensitivities you’ve developed from past experiences – that can make you lose your cool in the heat of the moment. He reveals six steps for dealing with hot topics to help you successfully run a meaningful session when tempers flare. The book is a bit repetitious, and its advice may be familiar to readers of self-help books; however, it does contain practical suggestions and useful anecdotes that do a good job of illustrating its points. getAbstract recommends its expert guidance and practice exercises to anyone who leads or works with teams, whether in the workplace, on the playing field or at home.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to stay in control when conflicts or “fires” erupt during meetings,
  • How to turn heated discussions into positive exchanges and
  • How to facilitate group interactions.

About the Author

Larry Dressler, an organizational development consultant, also wrote Consensus Through Conversation.



“The Power of Fire”
If you work with groups – particularly if you lead meetings – you often will find yourself “standing in the fire” of a heated discussion. A fire is more likely to ignite when a meeting’s outcome is unpredictable, a lot rides on its decisions, or its topic is difficult...

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Julie Smith 5 years ago
    sensible acknowledgement of the 'heat' that can be generated during conflict situations and how to get the most from the energy and passion seen.

More on this topic

By the same author

Contained in Knowledge Pack:

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category