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Authentic Conversations

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Authentic Conversations

Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment

Berrett-Koehler,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

When it comes to corporate achievement, what you say to co-workers, and how you say it, matters.

Editorial Rating

7

Qualities

  • Applicable

Recommendation

A simple, honest conversation has the power to change the way your staff members think and even to shape your corporate culture. Effective work environments encourage employees to act according to their individual sense of responsibility and to pull together to make the business as good as it can be. This beats ordering people to do their best, then watching them like a hawk to make sure they don’t make mistakes. To promote a spirit of accountability among your staff members, communication and corporate-culture experts Jamie and Maren Showkeir recommend engaging them in “authentic conversations” and avoiding the parent-child discourses common in many firms. In this thoughtful, inspiring book, they explain how to foster positive conversations. getAbstract recommends it to all leaders, from top executives to human resources professionals, supervisors and coaches.

Summary

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

A large U.S. East Coast newspaper was experiencing the problems that confront many major newspapers: increasing costs, decreasing circulation and shrinking ad revenues. Workers feared layoffs. Morale was at an all-time low. The publisher scheduled a series of small-group meetings with employees. His message: “We will get re-established. We will develop new strategies to build circulation and advertising.” Translation: “Don’t worry, I’m going to make you safe.”

Unfortunately, despite his good motives, the publisher was delivering the wrong message to his troubled workers. He was not being straight with them. Instead, he was trying to assume responsibility for them, or caretaking, an all-too-common management tactic. Plus, by taking it upon himself to promise to save the sinking ship, the publisher was relieving the employees of any responsibility to help make things better. In effect, he was treating them like children.

The business consultants who explained this to the publisher told him that his communication style was actually making things worse. They advised him to quit sugarcoating reality, since he probably could...

About the Authors

Jamie Showkeir and Maren Showkeir are principals of a consulting firm that helps businesses create collaborative cultures that emphasize personal commitment. Their clients include major American and U.K. corporations.


Comment on this summary

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    B. N. 2 years ago
    I love the authors submission. Very instructive
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    O. O. 2 years ago
    What a great read this is.
  • Avatar
    P. S. 6 years ago
    Interesting reading.

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