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Overcoming Fake Talk: How to Hold REAL Conversations that Create Respect, Build Relationships, and Get Results [Kindle Edition]

John Stoker
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description


In Overcoming Fake Talk, business communication guru John R. Stoker offers proven advice for turning challenging confrontations into rewarding exchanges that foster collaboration, improve performance, and achieve results.

"Overcoming Fake Talk is a thorough compendium of ideas, frameworks, examples, and actions to improve conversations. Stoker's four 'REAL' conversation skills and eight principles give the novice and master insights and guidelines for improving conversation." -- Dave Ulrich, Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; Partner, The RBL Group; and author of The Why of Work

"Great questions, great suggestions. . . . Bravo! I will put Stoker's ideas to use in my own practice." -- Beverly Kaye, founder and co-CEO, Career Systems International, and coauthor of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go

"Adhering to and implementing these principles will dramatically increase your ability to communicate and improve your relationships in your professional and personal life." -- Hyrum W. Smith, cofounder, FranklinCovey

"An insightful blend of rock-solid theory accompanied by compelling examples of the huge distinction between real and fake communication." -- John H. Zenger, CEO, Zenger Folkman, and coauthor of How to Be Exceptional

"Stoker teaches true principles for getting Results, Respect, and great Relationships using REAL conversation." -- Brent D. Peterson, PhD, coauthor of Fake Work

Editorial Reviews


"Overcoming Fake Talk should be the mantra of anyone who's determined to get great results, consistently. It is a breakthrough book because it so clearly identifies communication problems that relatively few people understand how to solve. It offers the principles, practices, and skills so necessary for honest, trust-building conversation. If you're truly interested in respect, relationships, and results, this book is for you."
-Stephen M.R. Covey,
Bestselling author of The Speed of Trust and Smart Trust

"Not only does the author deal effectively with the psychology for holding any difficult conversation, but he also offers practical tools and techniques that can be applied in the toughest business and personal situations. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to hold REAL conversations and build better relationships in their personal and professional lives."
--Ricardo Lillo, president and CEO, DOOR Training International 

"Nothing about authentic leadership is fake--and that includes all forms of talk and walk. So, if you are now a leader--or if you aspire to be a leader--you need to learn how to have REAL conversations. John Stoker's enlightening and entertain- ing book, Overcoming Fake Talk, will help you to gain and maintain influence with key stakeholders by holding REAL conversations that get results."
--Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author of MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There 

"John Stoker's book Overcoming Fake Talk is a thorough compendium of ideas, frameworks, examples, and actions to improve conversations. His four REAL conversation skills and eight principles give the novice and master insights and guidelines for improving conversation. His book will help get people talking in ways that create respect, build relationships, and get results."
--Dave Ulrich, professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; partner, The RBL Group; and author of The Why of Work; 

About the Author

John R. Stoker is the founder and president of DialogueWORKS, LC. In these roles John has worked extensively with numerous organizations, helping them increase their capacity to enhance effectiveness and improve results.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6325 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 14, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BPO7D3W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,208 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I met John Stoker nearly 20 years ago when I needed help solving a difficult issue where unproductive communication (aka Fake Talk) was impacting business performance. John introduced me to some of the concepts and ideas that are presented in Overcoming Fake Talk and we applied them to significantly improve individual and team effectiveness. Through the years, I have worked with John to apply these ideas to my own leadership effectiveness, and for the benefit of the organizations and leaders I have had the pleasure to work with. I have come to understand just how difficult, and important, our conversations are to achieving the results we want. I also have learned (mostly the hard way) how quickly, and almost automatically, our emotions and assumptions derail our efforts to build trust and solve problems with the people that matter most in our lives. Once, when faced with a challenging relationship issue, John asked me how long I was willing to wait before the other person changed and made the relationship better. I learned that "forever" was not the right answer, and that the keys to improving the relationship were in my hands. That is what you will learn when you read Overcoming Fake Talk. In this book, you will see yourself, your boss, employees, coworkers, friends and family members in John's real and entertaining stories and examples. You will discover the things that you are either doing or not doing to achieve productive conversations. And you will learn practical skills to enhance your personal leadership effectiveness by creating and maintaining REAL conversations that enable you to truly connect with others to build relationships avoid or resolve conflict and deliver lasting results.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be a "Former Fake Talker," too! May 14, 2013
By Mauni
Highlight, make notes, refer back to this book often! You will use this book more than you expect! It's easy to read and it even made me laugh out loud.

After reading this book, I have finally learned to recognize FAKE talk in myself and in others. Now I know how to get the results I want by getting right to the heart of the issue -- no more avoiding, candy-coating, or beating around the bush. REAL talk for the win!

Read this book and soon you'll be a former fake talker, too!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for Business Leaders May 15, 2013
As a mom trying to maneuver the busyness of family life, children, spouse, and all that pertains to those roles, I have found that I need to "create respect, build relationships, and get results" in that capacity as well. This book is a clear "how to" for that and all kinds of roles and situations. Everything in it applies to every conversation you'll ever have. I appreciated the personal stories, the diagrams, the clear steps to improve conversations.

Since reading the book, I have become more dedicated to understanding how I can improve my relationships by just applying even a few of the guides in the book. It outlines why we fail at good communication, how to improve, and gives lots of examples that make it all clear. I also checked out their site listed on the back of the book, and it has a bundle of further resources. Just a bit overwhelmed by how much there is to learn...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and Entertaining--All Rolled Into One! May 14, 2013
By jpb52
Fake Talk is such a great way to describe what so many of us spend so much time doing. Words come out, but intention and meaning elude us. And then--on both sides--we're dumbfounded that the outcomes we anticipated are nowhere to be found.

John Stoker digs deep into the things that get in the way of meaningful and productive conversations, rather than passing off a generic framework as the solution of the day. And he does so with ease, with humor, with examples, and with the right dose of theory and practical suggestions.

If you want your conversations to work, read this book! Then read it again and refer to it often!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Content May 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Whether you run a business or a household, you need to read this book. Communicating in a straight forward way is essential in today's techno crazed world. Stoker brings back the value of holding REAL Conversations that build others up instead of tearing them down. Read it and put the principles into practice and be amazed at the results you get.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provides the missing links in conversations May 21, 2013
By Pamela
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Overcoming Fake Talk is a fabulous addition to my arsenal of books about communication. We engage in fake talk all the time; the most damaging at times is the talk we engage in with ourselves! I can understand why some of the most well known pundits in the field have given this book rave reviews. It is a must have for anyone who want to give and gain respect and build solid relationships. My only regret is that I should have purchased the paper version rather than the Kindle vrsion because it's easier to dog-ear, highlight, scribble notes, and otherwise annotate a book that will be one of my "go to" books from now on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I love the way this book provides models that are effective and easy to remember, such as the REAL model, the 4 Interaction Styles (which has fascinating parallels with DISC), and the SOS skill. Then it goes even further by providing stories from the business world and from the author's personal life that take abstract concepts and make them very concrete. If more leaders read this book, there would be more companies making a huge, profitable difference in the world -- and more people who love their jobs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Jonh, s book
y name is Rosa, Diana is my daughter. I love Jonh,s book. It is very useful to my work as a mediator. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Diana
5.0 out of 5 stars I’m sticking to my favorite chapters for this review
Overcoming Fake Talk by John R. Stoker
If you had to define fake talk, how would you define it? Read more
Published 2 months ago by JaneAnderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great content, great ideas...with a few rough edges.
I think John Stoker's book is well worth reading and has some really important points to make, although a few rough edges that mean that while I'm a fan, I'm not gushing... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tony Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars The Consummate Conversation Book!
I have read read all the conversations books: Difficult Conversations, Fierce Conversations and even spent many years helping organizations be more successful at Crucial... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stephan Brandt
5.0 out of 5 stars This "Fake" book is the real deal ...
John R. Stoker has the background, experience, and knowledge to be a very credible source of our continuing leadership education. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John E. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn to have results oriented and intentional conversations...
I've used the content of this book with...
1. My 5 yr and 7 yr old children.
2. My wife
3. My coworkers (both supervisors and fellow sales pros)
4. Read more
Published 2 months ago by A. Brett Cohrs
5.0 out of 5 stars REAL useful
The best thing about John's book is that it is real. It is not just a bunch of re-purposed principles but actually provides steps and plans that will make a difference in the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Marcia Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book for your Communication Toolkit. Offers lots of examples...
Everyone needs to communicate but so many people do not know how to do it effectively. Overcoming Fake Talk by John Stoker will is full of examples on how to communicate better,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chantal Bechervaise
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will be a useful addition to your toolbox!
John Stoker’s Overcoming Fake Talk does an impressive job of bridging the theortical ideas that many books offer on having meaningful dialogue with actionable real-world... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sean Glaze
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference!
“Overcoming Fake Talk” by John R. Stoker should be absolutely required reading for anyone who communicates. And guess what? We ALL communicate! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rebecca Henderson
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More About the Author

Dr. John R. Stoker is a polished speaker and facilitator and expert in the areas of communications, critical thinking, performance management, change management, leadership, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence. He has presented to and trained in multiple Fortune 500 companies, including well-known organizations such Turner Broadcasting, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, and Cox Communications. Other past clients include Comcast Cable, Banner Health, Kodak, Maxum Petroleum, AT&T, OG&E,, Manheim, Payflex, Cigna Healthplan, Nebraska Furniture Mart, HCA Healthcare, Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group, and Presbyterian Health Services.

He has worked with individuals, teams, and audiences large and small for over 20 years. John's presentations are the perfect mix of theory, practical application, and humor. Those who listen to his presentations or participate in his training courses increase their personal awareness and learn time-tested skills and approaches that improve their personal and professional capability. And they have an enjoyable time while doing so!

John is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations increase their effectiveness and improve their results. John believes that the challenges we face--whether on the personal, organizational, or even national level--could be more easily resolved if people only knew how to think and talk together effectively. Accordingly, his writing, presentations, and trainings focus on helping professionals and leaders from all walks of life increase their personal effectiveness, engagement, and accountability so they can achieve the results they really want.

John holds a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in Organizational Behavior. After catching his breath, he went on to earn a J.D. degree and became a practicing criminal defense attorney. He spent his summers as a whitewater guide in the Grand Canyon and taught at a leading university for 13 years. Even in view of all his many successes, John considers his greatest accomplishment to be marriage to his wife Stephanie and the ongoing adventure of working together to raise their five engaging children.


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