Authentic Conversations: Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment

ABOUT Jamie Showkeir

Jamie Showkeir
I am co-author with Maren Showkeir of Authentic Conversations: Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment (Berrett-Koehler, 2008).  A critically acclaimed business book, Authentic Conversations challenges conventional wisdom on key business and workplace practices and presents concr More...


Talk Does Matter!

In this groundbreaking book, Jamie and Maren Showkeir take something people typically think of as merely functional -- ordinary conversations -- and show how they can lead to a workforce that is engaged and energized or to one that is alientaed and uninspired. All too often workplace conversations create what the authors call parent-child relationships. People hide facts, sugarcoat reality and claim helplessness to try to control the interaction and get what they want. The Showkeirs demonstrate how we can move to honest and authentic interactions: adult conversations that create increased commitment, true accountability, and improved business performance. They offer examples of parent-child and adult-adult workplace conversations in a variety of settings and provide a hands-on guide, including sample scripts, for dealing with a host of potentially difficult conversations.

"Into this current insanity comes this very sane book. This is a thoughtful and patient book, filled with examples drawn from years of experience. Its clear and simple processes truly show how we could stop this deterioration in the workplace and become fully human at work again. The authors remind us of basic truths about how human beings work well together -- that we're adults, that we work best with intrinsic motivators of contribution and meaning, that we have a need for community, that work needs to be engaging, that people behave responsibly when they care, that conversation is the we think well together."
Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science

Over the last 25 years we have learned one thing - if you want to change the culture you must change the conversations. This book is an accounting of this learning. It was begun by Joel Henning and Jamie Showkeir and finished by Maren Showkeir and Jamie Showkeir. If you want to move away from parent-child cultures and toward adult cultures of commitment and accountability - whether you are a leader or not - we wrote this for you. If you want to improve a group, team, family, community or organization the principles and practical applications in this book will allow you to move quickly on the path of improvement.