Get R.E.A.L

You may do many things well, but if you talk like a fool, people determine you’re a fool.

Effective leadership hinges on powerful conversations.

Recurring frustration points to the one person who is always present in all the conversations you have, you. That singular concept is enough to make me pay attention to John R. Stoker and his new book “Overcoming Fake Talk.”

effectiveness model

*Image from "Overcoming Fake Talk."

All effective conversations produce:

  1. Useful results.
  2. Deepened respect.
  3. Stronger relationships.

4 elements of powerful conversations:

Get R.E.A.L.

  1. Recognize and suspend your thinking or judging. Stoker challenged me on my listening skills. I wrote about it in yesterday’s post. (Check out the book giveaway.)
  2. Express your thoughts, feelings, experiences, or opinions without creating resistance in others. “‘Put downs’ lead to ‘shut downs’.” John R. Stoker
  3. Ask questions to increase your understanding.
  4. Listening and attending to the messages that others are expressing verbally and nonverbally.

4 layers:

Effective questions address…

  1. Results.
  2. Behaviors.
  3. Beliefs.
  4. Values.


  • What happened?
  • What were the results?


  • What did you do?
  • How did you create these results?


  • What did you want?
  • What assumptions did you make?


  • Why was that so important?
  • What was most important to consider?

Great questions improve results, deepen respect, and strengthen relationships.

Begin your questioning journey with results but always drive toward values.

Negative versus positive questions:

  1. Did you finish that yet? … What’s working or not working?
  2. Why did you do that? … What did you do?
  3. Did you know that…?” … Why is that so important?
  4. Don’t you think you should…? … What did you do?

Which part of REAL resonates with you? Why?

What suggestions can you give that will enhance REAL conversations?


*This post is based on “Overcoming Fake Talk” by John R. Stoker.

Leave a comment on YESTERDAY’S POST to become eligible for one of twenty free copies of “Overcoming Fake Talk: How to Hold REAL Conversations that Create Respect, Build Relationships, and Get Results” by John R. Stoker.

Meet John R. Stoker.

Buy “Overcoming Fake Talk.” I heartily recommend it.

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