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Show #298: Communication 101 – Conversations Worth Having

13 May 2019 |5:30 pm - 6:00 pm BST

Special Guest: Cheri Torres, Lead Catalyst (CEO) of Collaborative Design and Jackie Stavros, Professor at Lawrence Technological University

Communication has remained in the list of top five issues for relationships and organisations for years. Cheri and Jackie suggest it’s because we’re not having conversations worth having.

Success and failure are fueled by conversations: the ones we have with ourselves and the ones we have with others. Yet we seldom stop to think about the power and impact our words have on us, much less think carefully about using words that support well-being and success.

This interview is with two internationally recognised authorities on engaging in conversations that fuel productivity and meaningful engagement—yours and others—in order to intentionally foster flourishing.

Their best-selling book, Conversations Worth Having, is an easy read and provides many examples of how to use two simple practices to change your life and support success. These practices derive from Appreciative Inquiry, one of the most effective approaches for fostering positive organisational change.

Join us to gain an understanding of how words and conversations impact your well-being and ability to be successful. Learn how you can easily shift the tone and direction of your conversations, even in the most difficult of situations.

You will hear stories of how others have used their two practices to build strong relationships, increase connection across silos, stimulate innovation, and solve complex problems. You will learn how to ask generative questions to shift the tone and direction of negative interactions and how to reframe problem-oriented conversations to talk about what you want instead of what you don’t want. Lastly, you’ll hear about how to shift your own negative state of mind to make it easier to have a conversation worth having when you are faced with communication challenges.

Cheri Torres

Cheri Torres is the Lead Catalyst (CEO) at Collaborative by Design and a guest lecturer at Lenoir Rhyne University. The foundation of Cheri’s work is Appreciative Inquiry, one of the most widely used approaches for systems change. Her work is grounded in neuroscience and positive psychology, and she is adept at helping others understand how every day work and life conversations influence well-being and success.

She has worked with thousands of leaders and teams around the world to support high performance, engagement, and organisational success. Her clients have included AbbVie Pharmaceuticals, Baystate Medical Center, Booz Allen, EPA-ORD, NASA, Satyam Computer Services, Silverado Memory Care, and numerous non-profits and schools. She’s written numerous books and articles; her most recent book is a Berrett Koehler bestseller, Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement. Her work has been featured in leading media sources including Careers in Government, Fast Company, Forbes,HR Magazine, SmartBrief,Training Industry, and Training Magazine.

A consummate learner, she has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, specializing in Collaborative Learning, an MBA., with emphasis on management, a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology, Appreciative Inquiry certification from Case Western Reserve University, Level 2 certification in Cultural Transformation Tools/Barrett Values Centre, and Level II certification in Spiral Dynamics Integral. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband, Michael, their two dogs, Logan and Annabelle, and Ziggy, the cat, enjoying hiking, music, and eating great food. Email:

Jacqueline (Jackie) Stavros

Jackie Stavros’ passion is working with others to create meaningful results for positive change. She is recognised for her creation of SOAR, a positive approach to strategic thinking, planning, and leading ( She is a professor at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) and Appreciative Inquiry Advisor for the Flourishing Leadership Institute and the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry. She co-authored a bestselling Berrett Koehler book, Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productivity and Meaningful Engagement: www.ConversationsWorthHaving.Today

She believes conversation is the life line for how we get things done in most settings.  She has worked across all sectors, including for-profit, nonprofit, government, and a wide spectrum of industries. She has worked in over 25 countries using Appreciative Inquiry to affect the lives of thousands of people and hundreds of organisations, helping them improve their capacity to thrive and increase performance. Appreciative Inquiry is one of the most effective and widely used approaches for fostering positive change to improve the outcomes of your interactions with others.  She lives in Brighton, Michigan, with her husband, Paul; their kids, Ally and Adam; and Rex, a lovable dog. Email:

Host: Jo Dodds

Listen Here (Archive available)


13 May 2019
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm BST
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