Authentic Conversations – Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment

Authentic Conversations
240 Pages
ISBN 1576755959

A bold new look at something people typically think of as merely functional or transactional—ordinary conversations—and make visible the power they have to create, sustain, and change workplace culture. Conversations can lead to an engaged and energized workforce, or to one that is alienated and uninspired. If you want to change the culture you must change the conversations.

All too often workplace conversations—between managers and direct reports, peer-to-peer, or with external stakeholders— create parent-child relationships. People hide facts, sugarcoat reality and claim helplessness to try to control others and get what they want. The Showkeirs expose the destructiveness of these manipulative conversations, and demonstrate a way to move to honest and authentic interactions that create adult relationships. By intentionally and thoughtfully changing conversations, organizations will engender increased commitment, true accountability, and improved workplace performance.

Drawing on more than 25 years of experience as organizational consultants, their book offers examples of parent-child and adult-adult workplace conversations in a variety of settings, circumstances and industries. They also provide a hands-on guide, including sample scripts, for dealing with a host of potentially difficult conversations. Authentic Conversations goes to the heart of why so many people today are disengaged, uninspired, and uncommitted to their organization’s success. It challenges the conventional wisdom about managing people and sets out specific, concrete ways to consciously make conversations the primary driver for change.

Maren Showkeir

About Maren Showkeir (Phoenix, Arizona Author)

Maren Showkeir

Born in a southwestern town, had an obscenely normal childhood, went to a state university, worked as a newspaper journalist for more than 25 years, and managed to get out before all hell broke loose.

My exit strategy was a fellowship through the International Center for Journalists (thank you, Knight Foundation!) I spent 18 months teaching journalism in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Lima, Peru and traveling throughout Latin America. I returned to the Southwest in the summer of 2005 homeless, jobless but not quite broke. I began looking for a new career.

It came about through an unlikely encounter in a coffee shop -- a bald guy with a silver goatee who managed to defrost my cynical heart with one great conversation. At our first meeting, he told me he'd been struggling to write a book and had a box full of materials to prove it. Would I look at them? See if there was a book there? I did, and there was. We joined forces as business partners shortly thereafter, fell in love and got married. Soon after, I earned a master's degree in Human and Organizational Development.

Together Jamie Showkeir and I advise organizations of all types and sizes in increasing business results by creating cultures of accountability through employee engagement. We are also working to help people and organizations incorporate the wisdom of yoga into daily work to enhance meaning and satisfaction.

And yes, we write books together and have lived to talk about it. Our publisher is Berrett-Koehler, Inc. Our second book, Yoga Wisdom at Work: Finding Sanity Off the Mat and On the Job, filters the broad philosophy of the 8 Limbs of Yoga (the poses are one limb) through the lens of work. By integrating the yoga precepts into work life, yoga practitioners can experience more success, satisfaction and sanity.

Jamie and I live in Phoenix, have four amazing kids, and we are raising Bodhi the cat. And our conversations continue.

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