“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.overcomingfaketalk.com.
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
Maple Mountain Baseball Team 2014-2015: Top row (left to right): Coach Studdert, Tyler Young, Nick Shaw, Drew Wixom, Kade Poulsen, Mitch Holms, Bryson Van Tassell, Jaren Hall, Nik Mafi, Coach Miner. Bottom Row: Jason Blanthorn, Sawyer Baum, Bronson Ashman, Conner Ellis, Logan Nelson, Brandon Beebe, Jake Mafi, Colton Hamilton, Canon Miner.