Our Own Conversation with Luis Gonzales

February 22, 2019
By Staff Writer, PHCC-National Association

 “If we can improve our conversations with others…we can build trust and strengthen relations, which equals improved results.”

Learn from Luis Gonzales
Kicking off the QSC Power Meeting 2019 – March 20-22 in Kansas City, Missouri – with a keynote address and subsequent breakout sessions, FierceTM Master Facilitator Luis Gonzales will deliver never-before-thought-of conversation concepts and a framework for transforming future conversations into those that will promote productivity and accountability, build trust, develop leadership skills, and ultimately lead to better business outcomes.

From the time he was a kid, Luis Gonzales was always trying to get people to play together nicely.

He could see – even from an early age – that many problems stemmed from people’s misunderstandings with each other. “So I guess you could say that I’ve always been a consensus builder … a conflict resolver.”

Fast forward. Gonzales spent 17 years after high school working for The Ritz-Carlton, where he was exposed to a mix of other cultures, learning how to communicate not only with hotel guests but with an international workforce. “I developed a keen interest in trying to understand how other cultures communicate,” he says.

With that spark, Gonzales went on to get a master’s degree in international relations with a focus on culture. “I thought I was going to save the world.”

And then he saw the business applications.

Soon after graduation, Gonzales was hired by Microsoft … in India. As a culture and communications specialist for the company, Gonzales’ role was to help the software engineers at the Help Desk in India communicate more effectively with their American customers.

Some of Gonzales’ challenges? Coaching the engineers on how to communicate in more subtle ways … teaching them that “some cultures are averse to simply saying ‘no’.” Helping them understand idioms, like “let’s put that on the back burner” or “I don’t want to open up a can of worms.” And helping them build trust. “They often wanted to know why Americans always ask about the weather … I had to teach them how to make small talk, because that’s how Americans build trust,” he says.

Why FierceTM?

When Gonzales returned to the United States, he was turned onto the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott, which reinforced his experiences in teaching people how to be real, be honest, be authentic. “This is the stuff that I always knew, but I lacked a framework to hold it together,” he thought after reading it. He found that framework in FierceTM.

Gonzales was hired by FierceTM nearly three years ago, and he says “I love what I do. I really, really believe in the FierceTM models … which teach people how to have effective and honest conversations … ones in which we come out from behind ourselves, into the conversation, showing curiosity about other perspectives and disclosing what we really think and feel. I know they work. I’ve seen the results. And I walk the talk as much as I can.”

Of the FierceTM program, Gonzales adds: “It works professionally. It works personally. I’m honored to help people improve their conversations one step at a time.”

Power Meeting: What to Expect. How to Prepare.

“From my perspective,” says Gonzales, “understanding of various subcultures in the workplace does not only mean international … it can be economical; it can be generational; it can be where a person comes from.” With that, a keyword that Gonzales plans to introduce in his keynote address at Power Meeting is contexthow others see a situation. “How someone else sees the same situation is formed by our culture, our background, where we were raised, the company we just came from … all sorts of things,” he says. “Understanding that will help our relationships and our trust … which, at the end of the day, you can put a dollar sign on!

Gonzales encourages Power Meeting attendees to come to the event prepared to start thinking about these cultural influences in their own workplaces. “Also, I want them to bring to the discussion:

  • Difficult conversations … conversations about feedback and accountability … conversations they’ve had, perhaps recently, that have made a difference in their lives.
  • Decisions, initiatives and processes that they need to make that perhaps would best be implemented by other perspectives … perhaps even competing

At the end of the two-day event, Gonzales is confident that Power Meeting attendees will leave with:

  • Tools on how to build trust and emotional capital in the workplace.
  • An effective framework to start and have difficult conversations. “You’ll be ready to have an effective team meeting … to hear different, maybe competing, perspectives.”
  • Lessons on how conversations can lead to better outcomes. “You will leave ready to give constructive feedback and to ask for constructive feedback … and even to receive You will learn how to give praise and how to receive praise. We will have practiced it!

Gonzales adds: “If we can improve communication – our conversations with others, and, through those, frank discussions with good intentions – we can build trust and strengthen relations, which equals improved results.”


QSC Power Meeting 2019
March 20-22
Kansas City, Missouri

Walk away with a blueprint for success with this all-new format! Based on transformational ideas that come from FierceTM conversations – those conversations at work that you should be having – Power Meeting will focus on the value of leadership, communication and the importance of collaboration. You’ll get:
Practical solutions (the “real play” format of these sessions offers real-life information from your peers).
Tools to put to use immediately (including a participant workbook to help you develop your plan for success).
The best bang for your buck (education of this caliber would cost much more if booked separately!).

For more information and to register, visit phccweb.org/PowerMeeting.

Staff Writer
, PHCC-National Association
The PHCC-National Association, formed in 1883, provides legislative advocacy, education and training to approximately 3,300 plumbing and HVACR businesses and 65,000 technicians.

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