Talk To Me: Workplace Conversations That Work
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Talk To Me: Workplace Conversations That Work

About the Book

A mission-critical project is spinning out of control. Failure will mean lost customers, lost revenues, lost prestige for a venerable financial institution and – no doubt – lost jobs. Can anyone or anything save it?

When Paul Hunchak is invited to take on the task of bringing Project Delta back on track, the first thing he does is update his résumé. Saying no to the quirky CEO would be a career limiting move. Saying yes looked just as bad. A not-so-chance encounter with a neighbourhood barista induces him to take a chance, take the assignment and take on the real problems with the project and the organization.

Talk To Me: Workplace Conversations That Work follows the adventures of a reluctant hero as he strives to make sense of the nonsense. Join Paul as he discovers how the way we talk affects the way we work. You’ll learn breakthrough techniques to end the habits that lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Part novel, part how-to manual, Talk To Me weaves practical lessons around a story of one man’s experiment in helping his team to use the most powerful business tool we will ever have – conversation. The book examines ideas emerging from such studies as positive psychology, social and emotional intelligence, neuroscience, and coaching.

What others are saying:

“Sue Johnston has turned the explication of effective workplace communication strategies into a page-turning narrative that I couldn’t put down. Both practical and passionate, this is a story that will make you think about the power of self-awareness, listening, learning and being positive – the cornerstones of communications that deliver business – and personal – results. A must-read whether you work in a corporate environment or the local café.” - Debbie Weil, CEO of Voxie Media and author of The Corporate Blogging Book.

“Sue Johnston has done a masterful job with her book, Talk to Me: Workplace Conversations that Work. Using an engaging story that runs throughout the book, Sue shows us how conversations are business tools, and essential ingredients to success within an organization. Of particular usefulness are the notes at the end of each chapter, with questions and activities for reinforcing what we’ve learned as we progress through the book. All of us can do a better job of communicating at home, at work, with friends and family and in our volunteer roles. Talk to Me can help!” – Donna Papacosta, Trafalgar Communications.

“In her new book, Sue Johnston captures a key area that is critical to business and often missed by leaders. At a time when we are experiencing a massive leadership crisis in organizations and everyone is feeling overwhelmed by social tools, this book is a gift to help us get back to basics. Two way-conversations are key to implementing strategy and reaching goals. It’s not about the “meeting in a box” or “frequently asked questions.” Sue helps us understand that what we need most is to make sure that employees have the information they need to be effective in their jobs. A definite must read for every manager with helpful tips that you can use right away.” – Ayelet Baron, VP, Strategy and Transformation, Cisco Canada

About the Author

Sue Johnston
Sue Johnston

Sue helps you talk so people listen, listen so people talk and change the world, one conversation at a time. She sees real conversation as the most powerful business tool we will ever use. Her company, It’s Understood Communication, is dedicated to helping teams and individuals improve working relationships through more productive - and enjoyable - interactions.

Sue brings coaching and facilitation skills and a lifelong study of interpersonal communication to her experience in senior management and communication consulting. Top areas of focus in her career have been helping people make sense of a changing world and developing strong teams.

Sue began her communication career as a news reporter, then spent 10 years as an internal communications specialist in Canada’s financial services industry. There, she was part of large cross-functional teams introducing widespread organizational and technological change - and was a telecommuting pioneer. She then worked with small communication agencies and nonprofits in Bermuda. Now based in Waterloo, Ontario, she can be reached through her web site,

Sue writes and speaks about effective interpersonal communication. She is the author of 'Talk To Me: Workplace Conversations That Work and will publish her second book, Lean Conversations, in 2016.

Table of Contents

  1. .
  2. .
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. Introduction
  5. Chapter 1 - An Invitation to Talk
  6. Chapter 2 - A Powerful Business Tool
  7. Chapter 3 - An Audience Of One
  8. Chapter 4 - Things You Can Control
  9. Chapter 5 - Communication Styles
  10. Chapter 6 - What’s Going Right?
  11. Chapter 7 - I Want That, Too!
  12. Chapter 8 - Not Another Re-plan
  13. Chapter 9 - Catching the Virus
  14. Chapter 10 - Reporting In
  15. Chapter 11 - In Retrospect
  16. Appendix I - Paul’s Report (Executive Summary)
  17. Appendix II - Talk To Me Minifesto
  18. Appendix III - Katy’s Booklet - Communication Styles
  19. Appendix IV - Learn More
  20. Appendix V - Katy’s Best Biscotti Recipe
  21. Appendix VI - About the Author
  22. What others are saying . . .

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