A Topic Section of The New Conversations Initiative
Communication Skills Empowerment Bookstore

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, by Gary Chapman, PhD,  and Paul White, PhD,, applies the love language concept to the workplace. This book helps supervisors and managers effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships between managers and employees, and decreased cases of burnout.

Ideal for both the profit and non-profit sectors, the principles presented in this book have a proven history of success in businesses, schools, medical offices, churches, and industry. Each book (that has not been previously used) contains an access code for the reader to take a comprehensive online MBA Inventory (Motivating By Appreciation)—a $15 value.

The inventory is designed to provide a clearer picture of an individual’s primary language of appreciation and motivation as experienced in a work-related setting. This assists managers and supervisors in communicating effectively to their team members, and thus building a more positive and productive work environment.

Praise from experts in the field:

“In far too many workplaces results matter more than the people who work there. Gary Chapman and Paul White beg to differ. In this absolute must read book, they shift the pendulum to the art of appreciation. In creative, yet very practical ways they show how to appreciate every single person at work, which will automatically boost the employee’s confidence and productivity. This book holds the key to transforming all working environments into safe and effective spaces where people can feel valued once again.”

— Stephan Joubert
International leadership consultant and
author of more than forty books

Click here to download a 15-page excerpt from this book.

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Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (2011 ed.)
by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton.
New York: Penguin Books.  2011.

The authors, members of the Harvard Negotiation Project, have popularized the idea of “win-win” solutions around the world. They propose that by understanding your own long-term interests better and by understanding your bargaining opponent’s long-term interests, you can work toward agreements in which everyone gets more of what they want and need.  These kinds of agreements take more work to create but they are more likely to last than simple “split the difference” compromises.  A great introduction to negotiation with examples from business and politics.  According to John Kenneth Galbraith, “This is by far the best thing I’ve ever read about negotiation. It is equally relevant for the individual who would like to keep his friends, property, and income and the statesman who would like to keep the peace.”

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Getting Past No : Negotiating in Difficult Situations by William Ury.

Excerpt from Amazon.com review: This a must read for anyone that interacts with people. William Ury has written a very practical, easily read, guide and process that anyone can use right from the start. Not just a ‘business guide’, his five step process is easily applied to everyday situations and with practice is a foundation for much larger negotiations. The principles are well defined via a five step process that is demonstrated through examples that are fresh, relevant, understood by common association. Much effort has been made to make this text even more memorable than ‘Getting to Yes.’ Gearing concepts through example gives the reader a sense of self mastery without having to memorize lists. The framework builds upon itself with frequent review of previously introduced terms. From business to interpersonal communication, this book has something for everyone.

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Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen & Roger Fisher.

Excerpt from Amazon.com review: We’ve all been there: We know we must confront a coworker, store clerk, or friend about some especially sticky situation–and we know the encounter will be uncomfortable. So we repeatedly mull it over until we can no longer put it off, and then finally stumble through the confrontation. Difficult Conversations offers advice for handling these unpleasant exchanges in a manner that accomplishes their objective and diminishes the possibility that anyone will be needlessly hurt. The authors, associated with Harvard Law School and the Harvard Project on Negotiation, show how such dialogues actually comprise three separate components: the “what happened” conversation (verbalizing what we believe really was said and done), the “feelings” conversation (communicating and acknowledging each party’s emotional impact), and the “identity” conversation (expressing the situation’s underlying personal meaning).

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Bringing Out the Best in People:
How to Apply the Astonishing Power of Positive Reinforcement

by Aubrey C. Daniels.

Expressing more appreciation is one of the Seven Challenges emphasized on this web site.  Daniels’ book is controversial because he discusses motivating people with rewards, recognition and organizational programs that try to express systematic appreciation for jobs well done.  Some people have objected that this is treating employees like trainable animals:  throwing a fish to the performing dolphin.  The problem is that organizations are always conditioning their employees in one way or another; any structured environment does that. So this book recommends that companies take responsibility for steering the conditioning processes that are at work every day.  The most important issue here is that people who cause problems often get most of the attention in organizations, and people who try hard and perform well often get ignored and taken for granted.  The high performing folks then get frustrated and leave, because their basic need for recognition is not being met.  And when they do leave, the organization suffers.  The idea of managing by correcting mistakes and “keeping people in line” has such a strong grip on so many managers that it will probably take radical programs like Daniels’ to get people on the road toward managing by rewarding excellence.   (Review by Dennis Rivers)

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Free document:   Sam Keen’s wonderful article on the great questions of life.  Two pages that can change your life.  As Keen says, “Your question is the quest you’re on.”

Free document:   Chapter Five of The Seven Challenges Workbook , on creative questioning, includes the Keen article above, and references to creative questioning in many areas of dialogue and endeavor. (10 pages)

book cover: the 7 powers of questionsThe 7 Powers of Questions: Secrets to Successful Communication in Life and at Work
by Dorothy Leeds


? demand

? stimulate thinking

? give us valuable information

? put us in control

? get people to open up

? lead to quality listening

? get people to sell themselves

They’re an essential tool of the seeker and the problem-solver, and in our personal and professional lives, they can make the difference between getting what we want and going without. Questions have power-and by harnessing that power, we can change our world. This unique book reveals the seven powers of questions-and shows how to use them most effectively. Learn how questions can improve relationships, help determine what people really want, uncover opportunities, persuade others, and get more out of every business or personal encounter.


1. Why a Book About Questions?
2. Power Number One: Questions Demand Answers
3. Power Two: Questions Stimulate Thinking
4. Power Three: Questions Give Us Valuable Information
5. Power Four: Questions Put You in Control
6. Power Five: Questions Get People to Open Up
7. Power Six: Questions Lead to Quality Listening
8. Power Seven: Questions Get People to Persuade Themselves
9. Sell, Lead, Think: Use Questions To Transform Your Organization
10. Closer Knit Than Ever: How Questions Can Draw Families Together
11. Rediscover Questions: Recapture and Redefine the Essential You
12. The Fifty Smartest Questions

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Questions That Work: How to Ask Questions That Will Help You Succeed in Any Business Situation

by Andrew Finlayson

Written by a seasoned business reporter and TV news manager, this provocative “questioning manifesto” and practical “how-to” book gives people the insights and tools to ask effective questions that get results in every realm of their professional lives. It is also a powerful tool that will help business leaders create a progressive environment where questions flow freely and creatively-boosting knowledge and performance increase at all levels of the organization.

“Do you know how to raise your IQQ? (Intelligent Questioning Quotient!) It’s not enough just to ask questions. It’s knowing which questions to ask and how to ask them that gets you results–in the form of better information, enhanced career prospects, and more competitive organizations. Written by a seasoned business reporter and manager, this provocative “questioning manifesto“ and practical “how-to“ book gives people the insights and tools to ask effective questions that get results in every realm of their professional lives. It is also a powerful tool that will help business leaders create a progressive environment where questions flow freely and creatively–boosting knowledge and performance at all levels of the organization. Best yet, the book supplies hundreds of carefully crafted questions that readers can use to find the right job, negotiate salary and benefits, inspire creativity within a group, make a better presentation, get a promotion, and much more. When people master the art of asking smart, meaningful questions, they not only make an excellent impression, they also improve their performance. In the words of the author: “Your success depends on what questions you ask. Workers of the world, question!“ “

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Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 12 Powerful Tools for Leadership, Coaching and Life 
by Marilee G. Adams, Ph.D.

In this new expanded edition of her classic international bestseller, Marilee Adams shows how the kinds of questions we ask shape our thinking and can be the root cause of many personal and organizational problems. She uses a highly instructive and entertaining story to show how to quickly recognize any undermining questions that pop into your mind—or out of your mouth—and reframe them to achieve amazingly positive and practical results. The third edition includes a new introduction and epilogue and two powerful new tools that show how Question Thinking can dramatically improve coaching and leadership. Based on Adams’s decades of research and experience, this book can make a life-transforming difference—as it already has for many thousands of people around the world.

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