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Meet John R. Stoker

Authority on Dialogue, Conflict Resolution, Critical Thinking, Change, and Organizational Effectiveness

If you are interested in. . .

  • Improving the quality of the conversations you hold
  • Resolving conflict and creating more viable solutions
  • Increasing your ability to think outside the box
  • Rejuvenating respect and relationships
  • Creating a distinct competitive advantage

. . . then you will definitely be interested in hearing from John R. Stoker, the Founder, President, and CEO of DialogueWORKS LLC. His presentations are customized to particular client needs and issues. Individuals will learn to look at themselves in a new way and increase their capacity to improve their results.

John has been involved in organizational development for well over 25 years. He has a broad spectrum of experience in a variety of industries: utilities, aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, banking, telecommunications, entertainment, and government, among others.

John is a polished presenter and speaker and has designed and delivered programs in dialogue, leadership, mental model shifting, performance management, change management, and emotional intelligence. He holds a J.D. Degree and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Behavior and has a unique ability to apply practical application of theory to real business challenges in a way that is thought-provoking, challenging, and entertaining.

Get a taste for John's presentation style in this five-minute video clip.

Although we don’t intend to offend others, the simple fact is that we often do. My com­mu­nication style is different from yours, and those unique differences may hinder our ability to understand, engage, and connect. Learning to recognize another person’s style and reflect their reflections will increase your ability to work and play well with others.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Recognize the communication styles of others and how those styles become a barrier to really being heard
  • Identify the verbal cues that signal what’s really important to an individual
  • Adapt to a variety of styles in order to create understanding and connections with others
  • Recognize the non-verbal cues that put people at ease in any situation
  • Increase clarity of expectations and improve accountability
  • Improve respect between individuals of differing styles
It was our pleasure to have John Stoker present at our annual Leadership Summit. His training was engaging, highly entertaining, and immediately applicable for our managers to take back to their clinics and create positive change. John brings the rare skill of mixing humor with practical expertise, in a teaching style that has the audience laughing and learning at the same time.”

Human Resource Manager,
Intermountain Medical Group

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Focusing Minds for Results

In these times of hypercompetition, economic uncertainty, and the emphasis on increased efficiency, one thing is constant—change. However, organizations don’t change, people change... and transform themselves and their organizations in the process.

If change is a positive thing, then why do people put more energy into resisting change than into understanding and embracing it? Understanding how the dynamics of change negatively impact people's thinking and performance and how to manage those dynamics is the key to achieving results in today's fast-paced business environment.

In this session, participants will learn how to:

  • Recognize the change process and how individuals respond to change
  • Assess the impact of change to improve organizational decision-making and achievement of strategic goals and objectives
  • Focus the thinking of individuals as they move through transition
  • Identify the loss that individuals experience that increases change resistance rather than change acceptance
  • Prepare for and hold a change conversation that assists the individual to refocus their thinking on gain rather than on loss as they strive to improve their performance

I highly enjoyed Mr. Stoker’s change presentation. He talked about a number of change dynamics that must be addressed when successfully implementing any change. His presentation was filled with wonderful examples to make his points. He obviously has had a lot of experience with change management.”

Attendee, HR Southwest Conference, 2015

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Four Strategies for Defusing "Hot" Emotions

When confronted with negative or “hot” emotion, most of us struggle to know what to do to return to rationality and get the conversation back on track. If we understand how violated values create emotional reaction, we hold the key to defusing defensiveness in ourselves and others. Dr. Stoker teaches four effective strategies that anyone can use to shift resistant emotion into tempered engagement.

You will learn how to:

  • Understand the process of your thinking that creates emotional reaction
  • Increase personal engagement and your understanding of others
  • Learn a process for managing and defusing emotion in conversation 
  • Listen and clarify individual issues of deep import that are hidden in volatile  situations
  • Defuse defensiveness and increase understanding that will increase your interpersonal effectiveness and achieve results

This highly engaging presentation gave new meaning to the term “emotional intelligence.” Mr. Stoker’s presentation was highly entertaining and provided useful insights and skills for helping me manage my emotions in highly volatile situations. I would highly recommend him.”

Attendee, HR Florida Conference & Expo, 2015 

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Eight Principles for Overcoming Fake Talk

When it comes to holding difficult conversations, we usually handle them poorly or we avoid them altogether. Either way, results are bound to suffer. If you understand these eight principles that are at work in every conversation and how to manage them, you will be better able to results and be able to hold REAL conversations—talking about what matters most.

John was a white-water guide for over a twelve-year period guiding trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Running the rapids is analogous to managing challenging conversations. Using the river-running experience as a metaphor, this presentation is full of hands-on application for creating, managing, and holding challenging conversations. Mr. Stoker outlines and illustrates keys to effectively providing feedback, confronting tough issues, and discussing un-met expectations.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Recognize the dynamics in conversation that signal you’re headed for disaster and what to do about it
  • Prepare to hold and navigate any difficult conversation
  • Clearly identify your purpose for holding the conversation to increase accountability and results
  • Listen to what is and is not being said
  • Recognize defensive behavior and how to deal with it

Mr. Stoker was the featured speaker at our Physician Leadership retreat. He was highly engaging, genuine, and entertaining. Although our expectations were high, Mr. Stoker exceeded those expectations. At the end of the program, many expressed that they wished he had spoken longer. He addressed the issues that are relevant to any leader, and taught us skills that were immediately applied to a variety of situations. Those who have the chance to hear John speak will not be disappointed.”

President and CEO,
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Although we don’t intend to offend others, the simple fact is that we often do. My communication style is different from yours, and those unique differences may hinder our ability to understand, engage, and connect. Learning to recognize another person’s style and reflect their reflections will increase your ability to work and play well with others.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Recognize the communication styles of others and how those styles become a barrier to really being heard
  • Identify the verbal cues that signal what’s really important to an individual
  • Adapt to a variety of styles in order to create understanding and connections with others
  • Recognize the non-verbal cues that put people at ease in any situation
  • Increase clarity of expectations and improve accountability
  • Improve respect between individuals of differing styles

John’s presentation made the conflict resolution skills he taught easy to use and apply. He captivated the entire audience from beginning to end. He is energetic and engaging in how he approaches participants to solve problems and in the stories he tells."

President, SW Florida HRMA
Annual Conference, 2013 

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The Perception Principle: Recognize and Suspend to Uncover

Most of us believe everything we think, even though our perception of reality is in fact usually either inaccurate or at least incomplete. This presentation explains how we as humans usually form our perceptions, opinions, and judgments; becoming aware of why you think what you think can help you challenge and assess the accuracy of your thinking. Learning to challenge your reality and see outside yourself will help you broaden your perspective and understanding of others.

Have you ever wondered why someone (perhaps you!) has become defensive or emotional for no apparent reason? Unfortunately, a person’s ego has a huge impact on how that person deals with reactive interpersonal situations. During this session you will gain some insight into understanding the nature of your thinking and reasons why people become emotional. You will learn how to defuse defensiveness in yourself and others, and how to identify values and ego needs that might curtail your success.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Understand the process of your thinking and assess the accuracy of your perceptions
  • Defuse and understand “hot” or negative emotional messages
  • Focus your thinking in a mode that is deliberate, purposeful, analytical, and rational.
  • Listen and clarify violated values in difficult situations
  • Defuse defensiveness and increase understanding to increase productivity, build respect, and improve relationships

Mr. John Stoker was the keynote speaker at a conference for our clinical coaches. He helped us understand how our thinking drives our results. John met and exceeded our expectations. He is a very effective lecturer with great communication skills. He was interesting, and he linked his presentation to our industry and effectively engaged our audience in the presentation. I hope to have John present to us again in the future.”

Division Director for
Workforce Development—
HCA

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Meet Dr. John R. Stoker

 
 

“Mr. John R. Stoker was the featured speaker at our Physician Leadership retreat. He created a customized program to assist our physicians to learn how to hold the difficult conversations that many avoid or hold poorly, which consequently impacts the effectiveness of our medical practice.

Mr. Stoker was a great speaker who was highly engaging. He delivered his message in a way that was genuine and entertaining and that caused one to evaluate oneself toward the end of improving results and one’s leadership. He also provided terrific content that really hit the mark in helping us to learn how to hold the conversations that are relevant in a physician’s world.

Although our expectations were high, Mr. Stoker exceeded those expectations. At the end of the program, many expressed that they wished he had spoken longer. Not only did Mr. Stoker address the issues that are relevant to any leader, but he also taught us skills that were immediately applied to a variety of situations. Those who have the chance to hear John speak will not be disappointed.”

President and CEO—Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

 

“John presented an engaging two-day physician leadership retreat that was tailored to meet the needs of our medical group. He worked with the program planning team to assure the content was focused and included our system’s values and strategic goals. John has an energetic presentation style that stimulates participant interaction. His program received high accolades.

Participant evaluation and comments reflect his impact: ‘John was an engaging speaker who forced me to be introspective. He provided instructional, useable tools that we can use in our daily lives.’”

System Manager, Organizational Change and Leadership Performance—
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

 

“I first experienced one of John Stoker’s presentations when he provided a program for the Human Resource Management Association of Southwest Florida (HRMA SWFL) in late 2009. His topic was The Ego Has Landed, and it was so well-received by the group of 80+ participants that the feedback the chapter received indicated that participants would have liked for John to speak longer. It is not often that there is a request for a speaker to present longer, but in John’s case, it is perfectly understandable. John has tremendous enthusiasm for his topic and in interacting with the group.

We knew he would be talking about ego and gaining understanding, so most of us were prepared for an hour of psychology terms and basic recommendations about how to communicate. Much to my delight and that of others, the content of his presentation offered definitions with clear examples of how they impacted us; focused activities that solidified his points; clear, realistic suggestions for applying what we learned to our every day interactions with others, and a healthy dose of humor.

The program was so well-received at our chapter that we recommended him for the ‘Tri-County Conference’ in May 2010. The conference partners three local chapters and attracts 150+ HR professionals for a day-long program. John presented "How Do You Ruin Everything By Being You?” Again, he showed up with great energy and enthusiasm. I have worked with DiSC, Myers-Briggs, and other personality/behavioral assessments and none have so succinctly described various behavioral styles. The examples John provided were spot on, easy to remember, and humorous. He also very clearly pinpointed and modeled effective behaviors for communicating with different styles. John was the closing session for the conference and we could not have chosen a better way to end the day. Conference evaluation respondents rated his session from good to excellent.

Both of his presentations offered just the right amount of audience participation and humor with clear applicability to professional and personal relationships. I recommend John Stoker without reservation.”

President—HRMA SWFL

 

“In April of this year, I held a regional meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, and invited John Stoker to be our keynote speaker. Those attending were Clinical Coaches for the North Texas Division of Hospital Corporation of America. In addition to our coaches, members from our executive management teams were also in attendance. The focus of the meeting was to present our annual Clinical Coach of the Year awards, and to provide lessons that could be used to help us understand our thinking to improve our coaching. We asked Mr. Stoker to speak on The Ego Has Landed and to provide specifics and illustrations relevant to the healthcare industry.

Mr. Stoker took participants through the process of perception and helped us understand how our thinking drives our results. Because John Stoker came highly recommended from a peer from another healthcare agency, we had no doubt that he would exceed our expectations. He is a very effective lecturer with great communication skills. He was interesting and he linked his presentation to our industry and effectively engaged our audience in the presentation. I hope to have John present to us again in the future.”

Division Director for Workforce DevelopmentHCA

 

“During the past two years, I have had the opportunity to enjoy John Stoker’s presentations The Ego Has Landed  and How Do You Ruin Everything By Being You? at the Marriott School of Management Leadership Conference.

I found Mr. Stoker’s topics and presentations to be very informative, interesting, and entertaining. As a business professional, it is always good to understand what makes people react the way they do to different situations or circumstances. Mr. Stoker’s insight into the personalities and the varying dynamics and differences of people has been very educational to me. It has made me think about how to cope with people’s traits or business perspectives that may differ from my own. I would highly endorse Mr. John Stoker to others."

DirectorKraft Foods