“I believe that there is no greater skill needed in organizations today than the mastery of dialogue. Dialogue supports new thinking and new possibilities between people, which, in turn, generates vital organizations and exciting possibilities for innovation.
Dialogue also teaches you how to listen in a way that suspends judgment, opening the door to new perspectives and creating readiness for change. Teams and organizations gain a spirit of inquiry allowing for courageous conversations and the kind of openness and patience with groups which helps to create unity and shared purpose.
There is no better facilitator of dialogue skills than John Stoker. Mr. Stoker is extremely self-aware and lives the principles he teaches. He listens to what people are saying and not saying and understands what needs to be said in holding courageous conversations. I would encourage you to bring DialogueWORKS into your organization.
Former Senior Manager, Education - Pay Pal, Inc., an eBay company
"Our organization has gone through tremendous change over the past couple of years. Those changes included breaking down conventional thinking and required a new level of trust and respect in how our teams work together in executing our go-to-market plans. When our leadership team met with John Stoker and went through the Overcoming Fake Talk workshop, we found an approach that developed our skills to effectively communicate with each other and get the desired results. While we have benefited as an organization from the skills and strategies learned from John, there have been countless testimonials from team members on how they have applied the learnings in their personal lives, improving relationships through real conversations. John’s straightforward approach is unique and highly effective in creating a respectful dialogue in all situations."
V.P. Sales Operations & Customer Service - Swisher Sweets
"This morning I was summoned to one of my work centers because one of my section supervisors had a difficult encounter with one of his employees. The junior employee became verbally combative towards the section supervisor and refused to heed my repeated requests to calm down and to stop pounding his fists on the table. In order to stop the downward spiraling of the conversation, I asked the section supervisor to exit the room.
Once alone with the employee, I then initiated the conversation. I gained his permission to proceed with an "Attention Check" and then began the conversation. I asked a couple of "self reflective" learning type questions. In relatively short order, I was able to get the employee to share with me his real issue (medical related). We exchanged each of our "wants" and ended the conversation with a plan and apologies.
And yes, I did address the employee's unprofessional conduct.
In hindsight, I only wish I could have had a few minutes to review the DialogueWORKS process from our workbook and confirm the steps before being "ambushed" with this conversation.
Regardless, the skills I learned really WORKED!!!"
Supervisor - United States Air Force
"John facilitated a DialogueWORKS class to our High Potential employee group last year. The class was titled Collaborating for Results. It was such a success—we rolled it out to all managers and to our Executive Team.
"The program has been very successful and has quickly seeped into the culture of our organization. The tools provided in the seminar allowed our Management Team to have a format to follow when having critical conversations AND the understanding behind why the conversations often derail or perhaps never get started in the first place. It was the key we needed to unlock and unleash the change and progress we all desired.
"John is energetic and fun and keeps his training relevant to the participants. He is professional and comes prepared and was truly worth the resources we committed. I can’t say enough about John, and I am certain he would bring the same level of expertise and real world practicality to any event you may sponsor."
Director, Human Resources - Nebraska Furniture Mart
"DialogueWorks had an immediate impact on our organization both personally and professionally. After each session employees would call or email on how they were able to implement the DialogueWORKS conversational model into any difficult conversation (both personal and professional) and how they were able to make an impact by turning the conversation into a positive exchange.
"The DialogueWORKS sessions have enabled our teams to speak the same language, become better listeners, understand self-defeating barriers and have far more productive and constructive conversations throughout all levels of the organization. This in turn has had a tremendous impact on our customer service, employee engagement, and ability to accomplish great work in a rapidly changing environment."
Vice President, Human Resources - PayFlex
“DialogueWORKS was a fun and interactive way in which to learn the best practices to collaborate with my coworkers for the best possible results. The class also helped me understand my weaknesses and ways to improve my communication skills to get better results in the company and in life.”
Participant - Autotrader.com
“DialogueWORKS offered me tools that I could use immediately. If everyone had this training, the workplace would run much more smoothly!”
Participant - Autotrader.com
“The DialogueWORKS course content is easily applied to work situation as well as real like. The training was engaging and a good mix of individual and group work. After the first day, I started using the skills I learned in class.”
Participant - Autotrader.com
“DialogueWORKS is practical and powerful and provides an endless amount of tools to use. This course should be required for all employees!”
Participant - Autotrader.com
“DialogueWORKS has provided us with the leadership training we needed to be successful in this ever changing marketplace. They have enabled our employees to be their very best at meeting customer needs.”
Director, Organizational Development - Comcast Cable, Inc
“We’ve seen leaders transitioning from needing to control everything to a leadership style of mutual understanding and agreement. The results are clearly evident with employees—higher levels of commitment and performance. DialogueWORKS helps to achieve that!”
Manager of Learning Development - Comcast Cable, Inc.
“John Stoker’s course Managing Performance for Results was particularly helpful to my management team. We had become too informal and too complacent about our performance expectations for our many long-term employees. The course was especially tailored to our needs to help reinforce basic communication skills and to move us out of our comfort zone. We needed a refresher on how to interact and to push each other in an acceptable way to get better results. I believe this will also help us in setting clear expectations for new team members. It will also give us new tools to quickly integrate new members. John is a skilled facilitator and has good quality materials (both audio/visual and written) which help keep the training on track. He has a special skill to both entertain and to teach at the same time and relates well to members from diverse backgrounds. Our team members appreciated the training!”
Regional President - Maxum Petroleum East
“Managing Performance for Results was offered to those holding key management positions within the company. Although we have experienced similar training in the past, this training offered a unique approach in applying theory and practicing the conversations that our leaders need to hold. The training was delivered with passion and enthusiasm that fully engaged each audience, eliciting voluntary participation from all. The content and delivery was well recognized and received by everyone. “
Human Resources Manager - Maxum Petroleum East
"Maxum Petroleum retained the services of DialogueWORKS to provide training to our regional management team. The program, “Managing Performance for Results,” focused on the effectiveness model for conversations and the “framework recipe” for holding “difficult” conversations. Not only did John Stoker retain the interest and engagement of our managers (a mixed group with varying tenures representing operations, sales, and finance) through his humorous approach, he also impressed the participants with his expertise and examples based on deep experience working with teams. As the HR leader, I appreciated how John took the time to give specific constructive feedback to managers during the role playing sessions so they could more effectively use the frameworks in “real life” situations back in the workplace. Also, I valued John’s flexibility and willingness to tailor his facilitation to better fit the needs of the audience. I continue to use John’s recipes for conversations and encourage our managers to leverage the resources on the Light Storm web site and conveyed through his emails. I recommend DialogueWORKS and look forward to working with John again."
Director of Human Resources - Maxum Petroleum
“DialogueWORKS is the most impactful communications training program we have ever offered to our employees. The skills and principles are assisting our leaders to achieve their goals.”
Manager, Organizational Learning - Manheim Auto Sales
“DialogueWORKS was instrumental in helping to diagnose our learning needs and creating and adapting training materials to meet our needs.”
Director of Human Resources - Manheim Auto Sales
“It has been four years since I went through the DialogueWORKS training. I still remember how we interpret events and how our brain function doesn’t do us any favors—and leads to defensiveness or emotional reaction. I remember what I learned and can stop myself before I lose my temper.”
Participant - Manheim Auto Sales
“I use some of the dialogue skills with my son to talk about our relationship. I was cognizant about understanding and learning rather than forcing my views. I haven’t had that effective of a conversation in a long, long time.”
Participant - Manheim Auto Sales
“Few learning opportunities have the power to reach people at a personal and professional level. DialogueWORKS is one such experience. Often impact, such as this, is remembered as being a highpoint in one’s learning, but is not acted upon. The awareness and skill practices in this course do not allow for such nonchalance. The intention to experience personal enrichment was a strong attraction for me to enroll, and a reason for my recommendation to others.
One of the strongest themes in DialogueWORKS was that of personal choice in the realm of conversation. In the past, I was cognizant of perceptual filters and other forms of noise that impede my own dialogue. With DialogueWORKS, I was awakened to the difficulties caused when I allow mental models to rule my communication. This course not only helps the learner identify such impediments, but also allows for rigorous practice at changing these habits.
The content of this course is well researched, practical, and captivation in its approach. Provided one enters the experience with a desire to learn and humility about one’s own dialogue proficiency, the results will be remarkable. The course content and an artful facilitator, guide one towards personal commitments to collaborate for results.
Not only is this a workshop for individual growth, but also for team strengthening. In my experience, there have been few interactions that actually bring perceptions and conclusions out so vividly as those within the DialogueWORKS course. The respectful tone and premises of the workshop bring about an atmosphere of trust. This goes a long way towards opening doors that have otherwise been shut, perhaps unknowingly, by team members. I strongly endorse DialogueWORKS as a powerful tool for conflict resolution within teams."
Former Director, National Talent Development Team
“DialogueWORKS helped to open the doors of respect and trust on our team. This product is a powerful tool for conflict resolution within any team.”
Team Leader - Cox Communications, Inc.
“I sat down and went over some of the things we had talked about in class with my teenage daughter. We set some discussion ground rules, particularly not interrupting and asking questions rather than getting into a downward spiral. We had one of the most productive talks we have ever had, and we set a goal to have this kind of conversation at least once a week.”
Course Participant - Cox Communications, Inc.
“Recently, I was about to lose my temper with one of my employees for his obstinance in front of our customer. Instead of flying off the handle, I took the time to understand his perspective. My training helped me to diffuse this situation and turn it into a productive encounter.”
System General Manager - Cox Communications, Inc.
“Since our program was spaced out over a four day period, I decided to practice with the stuff we learned in the first two half-days, over the weekend. I set an expectation to really listen and resist the urge to go to fight mode. I used the SOS model, and it really worked! The person I was working with changed their tone, and we got to a solution together that would typically not have happened.”
Risk Management Team Member - Cox Communications, Inc.
“DialogueWORKS is absolutely the best course I’ve experienced in my 20 years with the company.”
Participant - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
“In the past fifteen years I have been exposed to the best training talent and course materials. Having attended countless instructions and training courses, I have become somewhat hard to impress. DialogueWORKS created and customized a train-the-trainer dialogue program which not only impressed me, it energized me.
Our goal was to ignite leadership and prepare a pool of people to become exceptional trainers to lead a culture change initiative. DialogueWORKS’ excellent facilitators coupled with their diverse business experience made that happen!
The DialogueWORKS train-the-trainer course enjoyed the highest ratings, for both content and instruction at all levels of the organization.”
Project Manager of Leadership Development
“The DialogueWORKS people designed two customized courses to help us hold difficult conversations and manage change more effectively. They also created a coaching program that helped our leaders to develop their people while empowering them to make their own decision and solve their own problems. These courses were highly interactive and provided core leadership principles that every manager needs. The content and facilitation were excellent and met our every expectation.”
Director, IST - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
“I used the dialogue skills to give the feedback to a vendor that wasn’t giving us what we needed. He actually thanked me. I credit the DialogueWORKS training for my success.”
Participant - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
“The DialogueWORKS training is the communications program of choice for developing our people and our leaders. The skills in this program help achieve success in any communication interaction.”
Manager, Leadership Development
“If we are to be truly successful working together in a constantly changing world, we must relearn how to communicate with one another. Through DialogueWORKS, I have learned the value and the power of suspending my own assumptions long enough to see reality through a new lens. As a result, I have learned a great deal about how I make decision and act on them.
DialogueWORKS is a unique learning experience that allows an individual to suspend what they think they know long enough to perceive new possibilities. Through the dialogue learning process, you disconnect your personal autopilot just long enough to illuminate the mental mindsets that you use to navigate life. From this new awareness you gain insight into how you perceive the world, make decisions, interact with others, solve problems, and develop others.”
Manager of Human Resources - PerkinElmer, Inc.
“DialogueWORKS not only helped me remember how to more effectively communicate with my team, my boss, and my peers, but it helped me see how I could be more effective communicating with my family. For the first time, I actually can ‘hear’ my daughter. Two days of DialogueWORKS have literally changed my life.”
Participant - PerkinElmer, Inc.
“During my thirty years of leading and managing, there have been only a few unforgettable programs that have fundamentally changed my overall effectiveness in thinking and communicating. DialogueWORKS is one of them.
DialogueWORKS opened my mind and taught me specific skills that allow me to better understand other people’s experiences, perspectives, and idea. By doing this more consistently, quality relationships are established., better thinking occurs, and more information flows. This leads to better solutions and strong commitment to shared goals.”
Vice-President of Strategic Planning and
“DialogueWORKS designed and facilitated a program that produced immediate results for my team. The Collaborating for Results and Expanding Leadership Capacity programs were significant factors in achieving our organizational goals, while creating a very positive work environment. The training provided helped us analyze our business situations, assess our individual and team contributions, and make the changes necessary for superior performance.”
Vice-President of Sales - UST, Inc.
“If you want to be noticed as a leader who taps employees’ innovation, effectively builds teams, and gets results through others, DialogueWORKS delivers. The learning is life changing.”
Vice-President of Manufacturing - UST, Inc.
“DialogueWORKS is the first course I’ve taken that has given me the tools I need as a leader to really handle the difficult situations.”
Course Participant - Banner Health
“Over the years, I’ve certified to facilitate a number of different communications courses. DialogueWORKS is logical, easily applied, and drives deeper in helping participants to understand and immediately use simple tools. DialogueWORKS is one of the best courses I’ve ever taken and instructed.”
Trainer/Facilitator - Banner Health
“DialogueWORKS was exactly what our leadership in Brazil needed. The sessions illuminated the assumtions and behaviors that were interfereing with individuals’ ability to work together and achieve results.
DialogueWORKS demonstrated a willingness to adjust and flex the content of their workshops to our exact needs--scoring direct hits on our company’s challenges.
In twenty years in organizational development, I’ve never experienced a course that has the personal impact and the power to change behavior that DialogueWORKS does.
Director, Human Resources - Eastman Kodak
"I have worked with John Stoker for over 20 years and used the DialogueWORKS program with amazing results. At Unified Grocers we have used DialogueWORKS for both training workshops as well as functional and cross-functional workgroups. The results have always been improved employee relations, improved employee performance, and increased department morale and respect."
Director OD & Training - Unified Grocers
"DialogueWORKS: Collaborating for Results has been one of the highest-rated courses that we offer our employees. It teaches fundamentals for effective conversation, translating the social and cultural theory of Peter Senge, Ed Schein, and Chris Argyris into practical application. This course truly resonates with our employees, who believe their learning has contributed to their increased capability and value-added performance."
Manager OD & Training - Unified Grocers
I heard John Stoker speak at a conference in the fall of 2014. I liked John’s presentation so well that I invited John to speak to the Utah County Better Your Business Workshop for employers. John did not disappoint.
John focused on his book ‘Overcoming Fake Talk’. As John presents, he speaks truths we can all relate to. John has the group’s attention from the moment the first words come from his mouth. Attendees connected with John and his real life stories. John engages the group and has them in awe wanting more. It’s almost magical how John can zero in with accuracy, personalities in the group, and then demonstrate how and why these individual communicate the way they do.
I personally took to heart keeping conversations above the line. What a great yet simple principle!
If you are looking for an energetic, entertaining speaker, John is your person. The information you glean from John will change the way you lead, manage, and interact with people.
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources - Xactware