Quotes from Reviews and Commentary

“The riveting stories in this volume will make you weep--and learn and grow. What more could you ask for as a parent or a leader.”
Jerome T. Murphy, Harold Howe II Professor of Education and dean emeritus, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2006


Talk Sense is simply unmatched in the crowded field of books on communication skills; it is invaluable for leaders. Barry Jentz brings the perfect balance of theory and practical examples to this compact work. His thirty-five years of experience in this field allow him to go to the heart of success with difficult conversations -- what it takes to set them up and the skills to bring them to amazingly positive outcomes. Stories, skill-scripts, and explanations make it accessible to veteran and novice alike. There’s nothing like it.”
Jon Saphier, Founder and President of Research for Better Teaching, Inc. and Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Teachers 21, 2006


"Establishing a new $500 million division within a company is not an easy task, especially when the new division’s charter is to take over troubled parts of the company and turn them around, then sell them or return them to their original divisions in the company. The new Metal Refining Division’s charter in the Amax Corporation was exactly that. To make the task more challenging, the troubled parts of the company (metal processing facilities) were located in various parts of the country, targeted at different markets, and employed separate manufacturing processes and technologies.

“When I became head of the Metal Refining Division, I read stories from Talk Sense: Communicating to Lead and Learn (CLL) and attended the CLL Seminar. I was so impressed that I brought it in-house for our senior executives. At first, it wasn't an easy sell, because some of these executives had considerable experience (30 years) and had already achieved success in other divisions of the corporation. By the end of the program, enthusiasm for CLL was so high that we extended it to others in all disciplines.

“I have used the CLL program successfully as the head of other businesses. Throughout my career, I have never seen a program have such an immediate and lasting impact as CLL. It provides the participants with a conceptual framework to better understand themselves and others, as well as useful skills for significantly improving overall communication both within the organization and with customers. It is a sound investment."
Tony La Russo, President of Metal Refining Operations, AMAX Inc., 2004


“When your high-priced management consultant tells you ‘well, everyone is just going to have to act like an adult,’ watch out! Your critical project is probably about to derail because of people problems that seem so intractable that even the best business thinkers find themselves hoping they can be wished (or ordered) away. For leaders who have found that just telling people to be different than they are rarely helps, Barry Jentz’s Talk Sense: Communicating to Lead and Learn offers new hope in the shape of a practical guidebook to transformational learning. Change is never easy, but it is possible for those who have been made willing, by courage or desperation, to examine the reflexive assumptions we would most like to keep hidden. With this book, Jentz shows leaders how to begin the journey."
Mark Ledden, Founding Director, Kenning Associates, 2006


“Ordering my finance team to work together (my strong suit) wasn’t working, so I read stories that appear in Talk Sense: Communicating to Lead and Learn (CLL) and turned to the CLL program. Of course, people bitched, but remarkably, everyone came away with a positive attitude. They began making an effort to listen to what others were saying, genuinely taking the time to understand the wants and needs of others. The knowledge that people hear and react differently to the same situation created an awakening that individuals could learn by listening/seeing how people around them see the world. In fact, my staff got reacquainted with the people around them, after working together for over 25 years.”
Eric Resker, Vice President/North American Controller, Elkem Metals Company, 2004


“It works! What more do you need to know? Looks like voodoo if you haven’t done it. Yet it’s useful and tough in forcing the light to go on. Wakes you up. Makes you discover your own WAY, as distinct from other people’s legitimate WAYS. Talk Sense: Communicating to Lead and Learn is nasty, hard, indispensable stuff for successful leadership – learning to see how you’re seen and see the same issue from another’s very different view. The more you work at it, the more it works for you. It’s worked for me at The Durst Organization and Morgan Stanley!”
Jeff Meaney, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley, 2005

“Senior managers and leaders are often trapped in their own paradigm of communicating ‘by reflex,’ unable effectively to hear colleagues and subordinates or give them useful feedback, feedback that can be used immediately to change behavior and project outcomes. While developing a large commercial office building, we utilized the stories in Talk Sense: Communicating to Lead and Learn (CLL) along with the related CLL seminar to create an effective team culture across a disparate group of senior managers and leaders from the real estate, design and construction industry. This was an extremely aggressive project that was completed on time and within budget, in part because the CLL program provoked us to discover our current, by-reflex paradigm for communication, and challenge it successfully by using ‘reflective’ listening and feedback skills to change our face-to-face interactions. Additionally, every member of the team prized their how-to-work-as-a-team learning and carried the skills forward to other transactions and projects.”
John H. Pierce, Vice President & General Manager, Turner Interiors National Group, 2005


“During an eighteen-year career as Director of Employee Development at the Boston Globe, I had the opportunity and means to contract with the “best and brightest” companies in the field of Human Resource Development. Initially, I contracted with a few of these companies and was invariably disappointed when results fell short of expectations. Then, after reading stories that appear in Talk Sense: Communicating to Lead and Learn (CLL) and attending the CLL program with my boss, I used it with as many Globe managers and employees as possible every year for eighteen years, to provide them with the mind-and-skill set they needed to work together more productively as well as to improve the company’s bottom line.
Robert D. Henderson, Director of Employee Development, The Boston Globe, 2000

© 2007 Leadership and Learning, Inc.