Serve Daily - - LIBERTY SHALL BE MAINTAINED - By Deb­bie Bal­zotti

“Over­com­ing Fake Talk: How to Hold Real Con­ver­sa­tions That Cre­ate Re­spect, Build Re­la­tion­ships and Get Re­sults,” by John R. Stoker, McGraw Hill Ed­u­ca­tion, $20, 276 pages.

With the hun­dreds of com­mu­ni­ca­tion books pub­lished ev­ery year, you’d think we’d be bet­ter at it. Un­less you’re stranded alone on a desert is­land, you are par­tic­i­pat­ing in con­ver­sa­tions daily - but are you get­ting any bet­ter at them?

Springville au­thor and founder/pres­i­dent of Dia­logueWorks John Stoker, has writ­ten an en­light­en­ing book with the provoca­tive ti­tle, “Over­com­ing Fake Talk”. The book is de­signed to help busi­ness lead­ers, em­ploy­ees, neigh­bors and fam­i­lies im­prove the qual­ity of their con­ver­sa­tions.

He uses his 20 years ex­pe­ri­ence as an at­tor­ney, river raft­ing guide, and busi­ness coach to of­fer eight prin­ci­ples with ti­tles like, “Do You Ruin Ev­ery­thing by Be­ing You?”. This chap­ter en­cour­ages the reader to try the Re­flec­tion Prin­ci­ple to check their part in a pre­sen­ta­tions and con­ver­sa­tions.

An­other chap­ter tack­les the ever-pop­u­lar is­sue of ego. It’s ti­tled, “Why Ego Off?” and talks about the Con­nec­tion Prin­ci­ple – Lis­ten and At­tend to Con­nect. We lis­ten with our ears but we at­tend with the rest of us –“our eyes, our heart, our body, and our think­ing”.

The au­thor asks, “Why don’t we lis­ten?” then an­swers, “Ego! In our con­ver­sa­tions we are of­ten more pre­oc­cu­pied with what is im­por­tant to us rather than the per­son sit­ting in front of us.”

The book is more than an eight step pro­gram to cure our fake talk, or coun­ter­feit con­ver­sa­tions. Each prin­ci­ple is il­lus­trated with per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences and sto­ries to help the reader re­late to the in­for­ma­tion. Re­search, charts and di­a­grams pro­vide additional “hmmm” and “ah hah” mo­ments.

I liked the “gen­tle re­minders” at the end of each chap­ter. These nag­ging lit­tle bul­let points should be printed and taped to the mir­ror. Here’s a good one: “Don’t be­lieve ev­ery­thing you think. Just be­cause you think some­thing doesn’t make it so.” Or how about putting this on a Post-it note: “You can defuse emo­tion - your own and oth­ers’- by ask­ing ques­tions.”

I think most read­ers can agree with Stoker’s premise that much of our con­ver­sa­tion doesn’t bring about the re­sults we hope for as we try to com­mu­ni­cate. We all have dif­fi­culty man­ag­ing our think­ing, feel­ings, words and ac­tions and could use some help­ful in­for­ma­tion to im­prove those con­ver­sa­tions.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the book and where it is avail­able for pur­chase, visit www.over­com­ing­

Maple Moun­tain Girls Soft­ball Team 2014-2015: Top: Pey­ton Hunter, Car­ley Guy­mon, Shaniya Ja­cob­son, McKen­zie Mecham, and Me­gan Wi­ley Mid­dle: Bre­anna Gam­mon, Avery Reynolds, Shandi Ja­cob­son, Sydnie Wil­son, and Alayna El­lis Bot­tom: Jezni Wid­di­son, Bai­ley Wit­ney, El­lie Ash­man, Chris­tine Aguero, and Aubrey Guy­mon

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