VitalSmarts Press Releases

Read the latest VitalSmarts corporate, product, and service announcements, as well as research findings. You're also welcome to browse by year.

VitalSmarts Announces Partnership with The David Allen Company

Corporate training leader to add Getting Things Done Training to its line of award-winning training solutions
January 10th, 2017

PROVO, UT – January 10, 2017 – VitalSmarts, a TwentyEighty Inc. Company, and leader in corporate training and leadership development, announced today a partnership with The David Allen Company. VitalSmarts will be the North American distributor for The David Allen Company’s premier training product, Getting Things Done (GTD). “We are thrilled to add Getting Things […]

Costly Conversations: Why The Way Employees Communicate Will Make or Break Your Bottom Line

New research shows every conversation failure costs an organization an average of $7,500 and more than seven work days.
December 6th, 2016

Provo, UT – December 6, 2016 – Steve worked with a colleague whose disrespectful behavior and verbal abuse went unchecked. Steve never said anything. His colleagues never said anything. And even management avoided the conversation with the office bully. Instead, they complained and gossiped about the problem. Team morale deteriorated until eventually four employees quit, […]

Unwrapping the Secret to Talking About Holiday Finances

Survey reveals 8 out of 10 blow their budget on Black Friday and yet 56 percent struggle to discuss spending with their spouse or partner 
November 22nd, 2016

Provo, Utah, November 22, 2016 – Each holiday season, it’s the same old story: you endure a year-long battle of meticulously balancing and budgeting your funds, only to blow your budget come Black Friday. If this form of holiday gluttony sounds familiar, you’re not alone. New research by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, cofounders of VitalSmarts and the […]

VitalSmarts Training Recognized by Chief Learning Officer and Training Magazine for Ability to Drive Business Impact and Quality of Training Content

October 10th, 2016

Provo, Utah – October 10, 2016 –VitalSmarts training programs have earned recognition by two prominent training and leadership development publications for their ability to help clients drive business impact and for the quality of their content. Chief Learning Officer awarded Gold Fields, a client of VitalSmarts, the top award in the Business Impact Division in […]

How to disagree with your friends about politics and keep them too: New research shows your delivery matters more than your position

Those who use four simple skills to disagree agreeably are 140 percent more persuasive and 180 percent more likely to maintain relationships than those who don’t
September 14th, 2016

Provo, UT—September 14, 2016—In past elections, our front yards, t-shirts, car bumpers and water cooler conversations proudly campaigned for the presidential candidate of our choice. In 2016, most are afraid to utter the name of the person they plan to vote for on November 8. Research by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, cofounders of VitalSmarts […]

VitalSmarts Honors HCA for Its Contribution to Changing Human Behavior

August 15th, 2016

Provo, Utah – August 15, 2016 – VitalSmarts, one of the world’s top leadership development companies, today announced that it awarded Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) the prestigious Albert Bandura Influencer Award at the annual REACH event which took place August 9 – 11 in Salt Lake City, UT. The Albert Bandura Influencer Award is […]

Corporate Culture Chasm: Employees View Their Culture Much More Negatively Than Management

New study shows bosses are out of touch with the day-to-day experience of their employees
July 19th, 2016

July 19, 2016 – PROVO, UT – A new study, released today, found a concerning gap between what managers say they want their company culture to be and what employees say is really valued by these same bosses. The study, conducted by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, cofounders and leading researchers at VitalSmarts, a TwentyEighty […]

Managing Tech Teams: New Study Identifies Four Culture Challenges Unique to Tech that Strongly Affect Performance

June 14th, 2016

Provo, Utah (June 14) – A new study released today identifies four culture challenges in tech companies that substantially affect a tech organization’s ability to execute and innovate. And yet, tech leaders receive little-to-no training or coaching on how to successfully manage these challenges. According to the study conducted by Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield and […]

New Study Shows It’s Never Been Riskier to Talk About Politics

Nine out of 10 feel this election is more polarizing than ever before and not because of the issues
May 3rd, 2016

Provo, UT—May 3, 2016—As the primary elections for the 2016 U.S. presidential race come to a close, the media is buzzing about unprecedented contested elections and unexpected slug fests over the Democratic and Republican party nominations. And the drama doesn’t end with the news. A new study by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, cofounders of […]

Pink Slips of the Tongue: VitalSmarts Study Reveals the Top Five One-Sentence Career Killers

83 percent have witnessed “catastrophic comments” that damage careers, reputations and results
March 8th, 2016

March 8, 2016 – Provo, UT – Marianne C. thought she was in a “safe” meeting where open discussion was encouraged and yet, following the meeting, she found herself in and out of the discipline process and shortly thereafter demoted—all because of one comment. Pam S. witnessed a coworker sabotage his career when he slandered […]

VitalSmarts Named a Top 20 Leadership Training Company and Takes Home Multiple LEAD Awards

TrainingIndustry.com, HR.com recognize the impact of VitalSmarts’ training programs
February 18th, 2016

Provo, Utah – Feb. 18, 2016 – Two of the most prominent training and workforce development professional organizations in the world have recognized VitalSmarts for its contributions in the industry. TrainingIndustry.com, named VitalSmarts, a TwentyEighty company, to the Top 20 Leadership Training Companies List for the second consecutive year. Selection to the annual list is […]

VitalSmarts Earns Silver Status in the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards in Technology

Company also Named One of the Best Places to Work by Two Utah-Based Organizations
January 20th, 2016

Provo, Utah – Jan. 20, 2016 – VitalSmarts, a TwentyEighty company, won a Brandon Hall Group Silver award for excellence in learning management technology for external training, the company announced Wednesday. VitalSmarts was recognized for achieving inspiring results with the VitalSmarts Instructional Platform. The VitalSmarts Instructional Platform (VIP) is intuitively designed to ensure delivery of […]

Study: Employees Are Letting Customer Service Slip—And It Costs Businesses Big

New Study: Employees Witness 19 Incidents of Customer Abuse per Year; Few Say Anything About Them; Result Is $54,000 Average Loss to the Company per Silent Employee
November 10th, 2015

Provo, Utah – Nov. 10, 2015 – Gary was flying home from his father’s funeral. His plane touched down, was delayed on the tarmac for 45 minutes and, due to a last-minute change of gates, Gary missed his connecting flight. Frustrated, tired and still grieving, Gary approached the gate attendant—who promptly yelled at him about […]

VitalSmarts Wins Gold in Chief Learning Officer 2015 Learning In Practice Awards

October 12th, 2015

Chicago & Austin, Oct. 12, 2015 — Chief Learning Officer magazine, published by Human Capital Media (HCM), the largest integrated media company in the human resources industry, announced the winners of its 15th annual Learning In Practice awards at a recognition ceremony last night preceding the Fall 2015 Chief Learning Officer Symposium in Austin, Texas. Winning GOLD […]

Silence at School: Parents Fail to Communicate Life Altering Events That Affect Student Performance

When one of the five biggest barriers to learning happens in a child’s life, fewer than 1 in 4 parents bother telling teachers – with disastrous consequences
August 26th, 2015

Provo, Utah – Aug. 26, 2015 – A fifth grader’s family was awakened by a SWAT team that held them at gunpoint and arrested the father on drug-related charges. The mother then sent her child to school without a chance to tell the teacher, who heard it later on the news. “I would have liked […]

New Study: Women Judged More Harshly When Speaking Up Assertively

Women’s perceived deserved compensation drops twice as much as men—by up to $15,088—when they are equally aggressive in workplace communication; Study by VitalSmarts, a TwentyEighty company, points to a skill that reduces bias by 27%—but should women use it?
August 5th, 2015

Provo, Utah – August 5, 2015 – What if your colleagues discriminated against you just for being assertive? Unfortunately for many women, gender bias is a reality in today’s workplace. A new study about emotional inequality at work conducted by VitalSmarts, a TwentyEighty, Inc. company, reveals women’s perceived competency drops by 35 percent and their […]

VitalSmarts Releases Influencer Training® in the Virtual Classroom

June 24th, 2015

Provo, UT — June 24, 2015 — VitalSmarts, a TwentyEighty, Inc. company and an innovator in corporate training and leadership development, today announced its award-winning Influencer Training® classroom course is now available through the VitalSmarts Virtual Classroom™—its live, synchronous online learning platform powered by Adobe Connect™ and MeetingOne. Courses in the VitalSmarts Virtual Classroom provide the same award-winning […]

Study: 56% of Employees Have at Least One Grievance They’ve Kept Locked Up for 1 Year

Workplace grievances kept in “vault” range from disgust for boss or those in power (50%), criticizing a peer’s performance (31%) and hygiene horrors (2%)
June 17th, 2015

Provo, Utah – June 17, 2015 – A new study shows employees can be just as dysfunctional as Elaine Benes and the characters on Seinfeld. In the hit 90’s sitcom, Elaine, along with Jerry, George and Kramer lock away their darkest secrets in the vault (“I’m putting it in the vault! I’m locking the vault!”), […]

From Bestselling Author Kerry Patterson Comes The Gray Fedora: Lessons on Life, Business, and Everything In Between

June 15th, 2015

Provo, Utah – June 15, 2015 – After nearly two decades of both educating and entertaining a worldwide audience with his New York Times bestselling books and monthly column, Kerrying On, author Kerry Patterson today released a new book, The Gray Fedora: Lessons on Life, Business, and Everything In Between (VitalSmarts Press; Hardcover; June 15, […]

Society’s New Addiction: Getting a “Like” over Having a Life

March 12th, 2015

New research shows obsession with posting photos, checking phones corresponds with lower enjoyment Provo, Utah, March 12, 2015 – A mother of a 3-year-old writes: “I disciplined my son and he threw a tantrum that I thought was so funny that I disciplined him again just so I could video it. After uploading it on […]

VitalSmarts Named to Top 20 Leadership Training Companies List

January 29th, 2015

Provo, Utah – January 29, 2015 – VitalSmarts today announced it has been named to the Top 20 Leadership Training Companies List, by Training Industry, Inc. The listing is part of the Training Industry’s mission to continually monitor the marketplace for the best providers of training services and technologies. View the 2015 Top 20 Leadership […]

Does Santa Make Us Selfish?

Study shows just 27% of parents talk to their children more about giving than getting, though 86% want Christmas traditions to support generosity and gratefulness
December 3rd, 2014

Video experiment shows one easy thing parents can do to help their kids be more generous during the holidays Provo, Utah – December 3, 2014 – In a newly released video, Santa’s Elf holds out two tantalizing foil-wrapped chocolate Christmas bears to Emma and Alex. One chocolate bear is 8 inches tall. The other is […]

Most Parents Fail at School-Related Crucial Conversations

Study reveals wide gap between parents' confidence level and actual ability to help kids deal with issues like bullying and academics
October 14th, 2014

Provo, Utah – October 15, 2014 – A national study reveals that 3 in 4 parents overestimate their effectiveness in helping their children navigate school-related issues, and many rely too heavily on teachers or school administrators to fix the problems. While most parents think they are skilled at helping their children cope with these problems, […]

Joseph Grenny Presents Community Date Night to Help Utah Couples Improve Relationships

How to Hold Those You Love Accountable: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior
September 2nd, 2014

Provo, UT—Sept. 2, 2014—Those tired of having the same argument with their spouse – or wishing their kids would follow through on chores – or looking to teach their kids some responsibility – should benefit from the seventh annual Community Date Night, supported by the United Way of Utah County and VitalSmarts. Bestselling author and […]

VitalSmarts Kicks Off 7th Annual REACH 2014 Event

Bestselling authors Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Chester Elton and Liz Wiseman to speak on influence skills and leadership development
July 29th, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY – July 29, 2014 – Today, VitalSmarts opens its seventh annual REACH learning experience – at Salt Lake City’s Grand America Hotel – with bestselling author Joseph Grenny as the keynote speaker. REACH is a three-day event designed for those who work with, live by, or train other human beings. And since […]

VitalSmarts Releases Influencer 2.0 Training

Corporate training industry leader couples high-leverage skills with new features, videos
July 17th, 2014

July 17, 2014 – Provo, UT – VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and leadership development, today released a new edition of its award-winning leadership course, Influencer Training®. The revised edition includes updated videos, a new training platform, and greater flexibility in its participant response system. The updated Influencer Training 2.0 uses a combination of […]

VitalSmarts Acquired by Providence Equity Partners

VitalSmarts to Accelerate Growth Initiatives and Expand Reach of Corporate Training
July 2nd, 2014

Provo, Utah – July 2, 2014 – VitalSmarts today announced it has agreed to be acquired by Providence Equity Partners, marking the beginning of a new phase of growth in the company’s history. The investment from Providence will accelerate VitalSmarts’ corporate growth initiatives and further the company’s mission to change lives in a more rapid, […]

Does Bullying Provide Job Security? You’ll Be Infuriated by the Answer

96% of survey respondents have experienced bullying at work, and 54% of workplace bullies have been at it for 5-plus years
June 25th, 2014

Provo, Utah – June 25, 2014 – Brian regularly emailed his direct reports at all hours of the night. When one didn’t immediately answer, he would hurl a volley of emailed threats and personal insults. Team members felt afraid, vulnerable, and helpless. Many quit. The turnover cost millions of dollars – not to mention the […]

VitalSmarts Releases Virtual Training for Crucial Conversations

Corporate training leader’s award-winning classroom course now available online
April 17th, 2014

April 17, 2014—Provo, UT—VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and leadership development, today announced its award-winning Crucial Conversations™ classroom course is now available online via live, synchronous learning. The company launched this first course using its new VitalSmarts Virtual Classroom™ technology, a highly collaborative learning platform using Adobe® Connect™ and MeetingOne conferencing solutions. Plans to […]

VitalSmarts Wins ISA ‘Business of the Year’ Award for Second Time

First time ISA-The Association of Learning Providers repeats a winner – for the company most committed to workplace learning and performance
March 26th, 2014

PROVO, UT – March 26, 2014 – VitalSmarts, a leader in corporate training and leadership development, was named the 2014 Business of the Year by ISA – The Association of Learning Providers – for the second time, during its annual business retreat this week in Scottsdale, Arizona. The award marks the first time the association […]

VitalSmarts Acquires Vital Skills of Michigan

March 20th, 2014

PROVO – March 20, 2014 – VitalSmarts, a leader in corporate training and leadership development, announced today it has acquired Vital Skills International of Michigan. As part of the acquisition, VitalSmarts will maintain the presence of a Michigan-based office to provide its U.S. customers in the East and Midwest with streamlined and enhanced customer support. […]

Digital Divisiveness: Electronic Displays of Insensitivity (EDIs) Take Toll on Relationships

89 percent report damaged relationships as a result of the insensitive or inappropriate use of technology, but most suffer silently
March 19th, 2014

Provo, Utah, March 19, 2014 – Sandie sent her husband an email during dinner asking if they could talk. Even though he was sitting across the table, it was the only way she could get his attention as he buried his nose in his smartphone. Kelly can relate. While discussing a very personal matter with […]

The Great Generational Divide: New study shows unaddressed resentment between Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials saps productivity by as much as 12%

February 5th, 2014

PROVO – February 5, 2014 – Tami has a coworker who behaves poorly as a result of what she and her colleagues perceive as “senioritis.” After 35 years with the organization, the coworker comes in late, leaves early, takes lengthy personal calls, is resistant to change, and whines when put under pressure from her boss. […]

VitalSmarts Announces Three Premier Associates for 2014

Training leader recognizes its premier partners
January 17th, 2014

PROVO – January 17, 2014 – VitalSmarts, a leader in corporate training and leadership development, announced today its list of Premier Associates who are recognized for achieving top revenue and sales targets in their respective regional markets in 2013. That list includes three of the Company’s 18 licensed resellers located across the United States and […]

The Hidden Cost of Your New Year’s Resolution

New study finds failure to reach New Year’s resolutions carries a $1,000 price tag
December 12th, 2013

December 11, 2013—Provo, UT—Edith L. has always struggled with weight gain, but the one thing that has historically kept her weight in check is exercise. In an attempt to gain motivation to work on her exercise goal, she joined a state-of-the-art gym. Two years later, she laments that she spent $3,600 in membership fees without […]

VitalSmarts Has Trained One Million People Worldwide

Corporate training leader has helped one million people in 36 countries achieve new levels of performance
December 9th, 2013

December 9, 2013—Provo, UT—VitalSmarts, a leader in corporate training and leadership development, today announced it has trained one million people in 36 countries in its four award-winning training products. Based on three decades of original research and 50 years of the best social science thinking, VitalSmarts’ training programs help leaders and organizations achieve new levels […]

Paladin Associates and VitalSmarts partner to help procurement drive lasting change

November 5th, 2013

Paladin Associates, a procurement services provider, and VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and leadership development, are pleased to announce their partnership aimed at addressing procurement’s numerous and complex change challenges.

How to Blow the Whistle without Blowing Your Career

New study finds employees only report half the unethical behavior they witness at work
October 15th, 2013

An online survey of 926 people administered by the New York Times best-selling authors of Crucial Accountability found that while 63 percent of respondents regularly witness both minor and major ethical infractions, employees confront only half of the unethical behavior they witness at work.

VitalSmarts Releases Crucial Accountability™

Training industry leader updates its popular Crucial Confrontations Training program
June 25th, 2013

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and leadership development, today released Crucial Accountability™—the update to the Company’s popular Crucial Confrontations Training. The two-day classroom course teaches a step-by-step process for holding others accountable to violated expectations in order to improve performance.

The authors of Crucial Conversations release the second edition of their New York Times bestseller Crucial Accountability

June 25th, 2013

Based on more than 30 years of research, CRUCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY (McGraw-Hill Professional; June 2013; Original paperback and eBook formats: $19) provides readers with the essential tools they need to resolve controversial and complex issues dealing with repeated disappointments and performance gaps. This is the revised second edition of the national bestseller Crucial Confrontations, first published in 2004.

Are your co-workers lazy? Incompetent? Or both?

New study shows 94 percent of employees fail to hold their co-workers accountable because they prematurely draw false conclusions
June 25th, 2013

New research from the authors of the New York Times best-seller Crucial Accountability shows that three in four employees quickly attribute co-workers’ bad behavior to lack of motivation while only one in 10 consider ability deficits. As a result, they avoid holding problem colleagues accountable, engage in costly workarounds and perpetuate the very problems they detest.

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change

National Best-Seller Now in Paperback – Revised & Updated with New Research
May 14th, 2013

In every business interaction—from weekly conference calls to high-stakes corporate negotiations—one major element separates successful change efforts from the ones that fail: Influence. In INFLUENCER: The New Science of Leading Change (McGraw-Hill; Paperback and eBook formats: $19; May 14, 2013), Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, the authors of the bestselling books Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations, show readers how to create rapid, dramatic and long-lasting change by implementing proven influence strategies.

Lack influence at work? Why most leaders struggle to lead positive change

New study finds only six percent of leaders are successful in influencing employee behavior
May 14th, 2013

Most leaders put a great deal of time into crafting strategy, selecting winning products and engaging with analysts and shareholders, but according to a new study, only six percent are successful in influencing the behavior of the people who will have to execute on the big ideas—their employees.

Antisocial Networks? Hostility on social media rising for 78 percent of users

New study finds tensions, arguments and hostility on social networks spill over into real life
April 10th, 2013

Social networks are becoming increasingly hostile, with 78 percent of users reporting rising incivility online and 2 in 5 blocking, unsubscribing or “unfriending” someone over an argument on social media, according to new research from the authors of the New York Times best-seller Crucial Conversations.

VitalSmarts Releases the Impact Cloud Measurement Tool

Training industry leader provides free, customizable, online tool to measure the impact of training initiatives
March 19th, 2013

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, today released the Impact Cloud—a free, customizable, online tool that measures the impact of an organization’s training investment on key behavioral and business outcomes.

Stuck with a slacking co-worker? Why you’re to blame

New study finds the top five reasons employees keep their slacking co-workers
March 5th, 2013

Slacking co-workers cause a quarter of their hard-working colleagues to put in four to six more hours of work each week, according to new research from the New York Times best-selling authors of Crucial Confrontations.

VitalSmarts Announces Seven Premier Associates for 2012

Training leader recognizes its most valuable partners
January 25th, 2013

VitalSmarts, a leader in corporate training and organizational performance, announced today its list of Premier Associates who are recognized for achieving top revenue and sales targets in their respective markets in 2012. That list includes seven of the Company’s 18 licensed resellers located across the United States and Canada.

VitalSmarts Releases the Crucial Accountability™ Companion Course

Training industry leader provides one-day companion course to award-winning Crucial Conversations® Training
January 15th, 2013

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, today released the Crucial Accountability™ Companion Course. The one-day training builds on the skills learned in Crucial Conversations® Training and introduces a powerful new set of skills for resolving violated expectations, broken commitments and bad behavior.

Déjà vu performance review? Why employees will fail to change in 2013

New study finds only one in three actually makes changes based on performance feedback
January 8th, 2013

According to new research from the co-authors of the New York Times best-seller Change Anything, 43 percent of employees experienced a déjà vu performance review in 2012—negative performance feedback that surfaces year after year.

VitalSmarts welcomes new leaders, Stephen Wunderli and Andrew Maxfield

December 17th, 2012

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, recently welcomed two leaders to its team, Stephen Wunderli and Andrew Maxfield.

How to talk politics with friends—and still have some left

Three out of five Americans say their friendships won’t survive election season
September 26th, 2012

Romney and Obama aren’t the only ones taking sides in intense debates this election season. According to a new poll from VitalSmarts and the authors of the New York Times best-seller Crucial Conversations, 62 percent of Americans have found themselves in heated debates and the victims of verbal attacks and manipulative behavior when discussing politics—with their friends.

VitalSmarts Study Finds Able Arguers are 10 Times Happier than Silent Spouses

Stepping up to crucial conversations significantly increases the success of a relationship
June 20th, 2012

Kim was distressed after she and her fiancée received a “conflicted couple” flag following a premarital questionnaire. She knew from previous failed relationships that she struggled to bring up sensitive issues, but would her tendency to avoid a nasty debate really threaten the success of her marriage? Shouldn’t doing whatever it takes to “keep the peace” help her and her husband live happily ever after?

VitalSmarts Releases Crucial Conversations(R) Training 4th Edition

May 15th, 2012

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, today released the fourth edition of Crucial Conversations® Training, one of the training industry’s leading courses in teaching high-leverage skills to improve dialogue, relationships and bottom-line organizational results.

Spiraling into financial failure? Your wealth-limiting habits are to blame

April 10th, 2012

A new study from New York Times best-selling authors Joseph Grenny and Loral Langemeier shows that over the past five years, three out of five people have failed to meet their financial goals; despite this, 76 percent are doing little to change their spending and saving behavior.

VitalSmarts Releases Change Anything Training

January 17th, 2012

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, today released Change Anything Training™, its newest training course designed for organizations that are tired of yielding little-to-no change in employee behavior despite substantial investments in performance management.

VitalSmarts restructures departments and promotes Emily Hoffman to lead new division

November 7th, 2011

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, promoted Emily Hoffman to vice president of development and delivery. In her new role, Emily will lead a brand new division of VitalSmarts—the Development and Delivery department—an integration of the former Production Services and Training/Consulting departments.

Failed Crucial Conversations Cause 1 in 5 Women to Leave Their Job

October 11th, 2011

New research reveals the most difficult issue for women in the workplace to discuss and successfully resolve is negotiating limits on their workload—it’s also one of the main issues that cause 1 in 5 women to leave their job.

New Study Reveals Life-Altering Impact of Crucial Conversations on Professional and Personal Results

September 19th, 2011

According to a study from the four-time New York Times best-selling authors of Crucial Conversations, the person people most struggle to hold difficult and life-changing conversations with is their boss. Spouses and co-workers are the second and third most difficult audiences when discussing high-stakes issues.

The Authors of the 2-Million-Copy Bestseller Crucial Conversations Release the Second Edition

September 16th, 2011

When a high-stakes issue calls for a tough conversation, most people fumble, change the subject or avoid it altogether—with devastating consequences. Workplaces become dysfunctional, marriages fall apart and careers stall. Whether we need to solve a spousal argument, request a raise or get the department down the hall to cut their budget, how can we step up to these divisive conversations and expertly deal with them head-on? What’s the most effective way to talk when we already know we disagree?

Stuck in a dead-end career? Your Career-Limiting Habit is to blame

May 26th, 2011

According to new research from the New York Times best-selling authors of Change Anything, 97 percent of employees report they have some Career-Limiting Habit (CLH) that keeps them from achieving their potential at work. These habits cost employees raises and promotions they might have otherwise received.

CHANGE ANYTHING by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler, The New York Times bestselling authors of Crucial Conversations and Influencer

April 11th, 2011

Is willpower overrated? Most people blame lack of willpower for their inability to change a bad habit. But it turns out willpower has surprisingly little to do with whether or not people succeed at changing their bad habits finds CHANGE ANYTHING: THE NEW SCIENCE OF PERSONAL SUCCESS (Business Plus; April 11, 2011), a book based on the latest psychological and medical research and a study of more than 5,000 everyday people at the award-winning Change Anything Lab in Utah.

New research shows communication breakdowns in hospitals undercut the effectiveness of safety tools and negatively impact patient outcomes

Results of “The Silent Treatment,” a national study of 6,500 nurses and nurse managers, serve as five-year follow-up to “Silence Kills” research
March 22nd, 2011

Health care professionals make calculated decisions daily to not alert their colleagues when a safety tool signals potential harm to a patient, according to a new study of 6,500 nurses and nurse managers released today during a national briefing in Philadelphia.

VitalSmarts promotes leaders for strong contributions

January 13th, 2011

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, promoted three leaders, Mary McChesney, John Minert, and Emily Hoffman to senior management positions.

Award-Winning Video Production Team Puts a Holiday Spin on Old Spice

November 17th, 2010

The authors of the New York Times bestselling book, Crucial Conversations, and their award-winning video team, have put a holiday spin on the Old Spice phenomenon.

Why You’ll Never Have Enough Willpower to Lose Weight

November 9th, 2010

Every Monday for five years, Natalie Luke looked in the mirror and said, “I’ve got a fresh start, this week will be different; I will lose those pesky pounds.”

Are you paying a “Jerk Tax” for your bad manners at work?

October 21st, 2010

A new study from the authors of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations shows employees with poor people skills pay a “jerk tax” when being considered for promotion.


Joseph Grenny to Speak About Influence at HSM World Business Forum 2010


Bestselling author to speak alongside Al Gore, Jim Collins and Jack Welch at No. 1 global forum

September 20th, 2010

Joseph Grenny, business strategy expert and three-time New York Times bestselling author, will speak about influence at the HSM World Business Forum on October 5-6 at Radio City Music Hall® in New York City.

VitalSmarts Awards Albert Bandura for His Lifetime Contribution to Human Behavior Change

August 5th, 2010

Today, VitalSmarts, a Utah-based training company, awarded world-renowned psychologist, Albert Bandura, Ph.D., for his extraordinary contribution to the field of self-directed human change.

VitalSmarts Marketing Department Wins American Business Award



Stevie Award recognizes VitalSmarts with having the best marketing team in America

June 29th, 2010

VitalSmarts, a Provo-based corporate training company, won a Stevie Award in The 2010 American Business Awards in the category of Marketing Department of the Year.

VitalSmarts wins six Telly Awards for exceptional videos


Utah training company honored for videos of hilarious conversations at work and home

May 12th, 2010

VitalSmarts, a Provo-based training company, was awarded six Telly Awards for its series of creative videos featuring hilarious and often awkward conversations that occur at work and at home.

Cost of Conflict: Why silence is killing your bottom line

April 6th, 2010

New research reveals employees waste an average of $1,500 and an 8-hour workday for every crucial conversation they avoid. These costs skyrocket when multiplied by the prevalence of conflict avoidance.

Silent Danger: 93 percent of organizations are at risk of avoidable workplace accidents

February 23rd, 2010

A new study released today by VitalSmarts found that five threats to workers' safety are commonly left undiscussed and lead to avoidable injury or fatalities.

Best friends might be worst enemies when it comes to keeping New Year’s resolutions

November 24th, 2009

Latisha grew up on the east side of Detroit surrounded by drug dealers and violence. Her sister was pregnant at 15. She had horrible grades and no social life. She had never even heard of college or a career. Determined not to become a product of her environment, Latisha joined the Air Force and they helped her enroll in a summer trial program at Eastern Michigan University. Against all odds, she excelled.

Influencer Training by VitalSmarts Is Named Top Training Product of the Year

Influencer Training™ is awarded for delivering on its promise to solve persistent and resistant problems
October 1st, 2009

Influencer Training™ by VitalSmarts, a provider of corporate training and organizational performance products and services, has been named one of the 2009 Top Training Products of the Year by Human Resource Executive® magazine.

Crucial Conversations Training Released in Four New Languages

Award-winning training program now available in French, German, Spanish and Chinese
September 30th, 2009

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, released its award-winning Crucial Conversations Training 3.0 program in four languages: French, German, Latin-American Spanish and Simplified Chinese.

Office Haunting: What employees fear most are scary conversations with their boss

Research shows one in ten people aren’t confident in their ability to hold crucial conversations at work
September 29th, 2009

Across the U.S., employees are haunted by something scary and destructive—and it’s not ghosts and goblins. New research shows, more than 70 percent of people run in fear from a scary conversation with their boss, coworker or direct report.

Influencing the flu: How to prevent H1N1 by changing kids’ hand-washing behavior

September 10th, 2009

According to research by the New York Times bestselling authors of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything (McGraw-Hill), a book on behavior change, only 14 percent of adults and 2 percent of kids wash their hands after coughing or sneezing—or shaking hands with someone who just did.

Organizational Change Management Approach of the Year Awarded to VitalSmarts

July 29th, 2009

New research by the authors of the New York Times bestselling book and corporate training program of the same title, Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, has received the Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize from MIT Sloan Management Review for the most outstanding article on planned change and organizational development of the year.

Family Reunion: Gearing Up For Fight or Flight?

July 8th, 2009

Len Wittrock avoids family reunions and gatherings when he knows his younger brother will be in attendance. In the past, Wittrock's brother used each reunion as an opportunity to confront him and tell him why he vehemently opposed everything he and his wife believed in. Despite Wittrock's efforts to look past their differences, his brother continued to bait him with rude and insulting comments.

Unfortunately, new research reveals Wittrock is not alone in dreading family reunions.

Long-distance loathing: Telecommuting damages morale and productivity

June 18th, 2009

New research shows that 13 out of 14 common workplace relationship problems occur far more frequently within “virtual teams” (teams with members scattered across various geographies) than within teams located in the same building.

Leaders’ behavior in four crucial moments determines survival in the recession

April 15th, 2009

Research shows leaders who hold crucial conversations respond five times faster and ten times better to financial threats

New research from VitalSmarts reveals the way leaders and employees behave in four crucial moments is a predictor of an organization's ability to respond effectively and quickly to financial threats.

VitalSmarts Names Andrew C. Shimberg as Chief Executive Officer

March 11th, 2009

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, announced today the appointment of Andrew Shimberg as the company's chief executive officer. In his new role, Shimberg will be responsible for the overall direction, financial performance, and operational functions of the company.

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything named Best Business Book of 2008

February 4th, 2009

The New York Times bestseller, Influencer: The Power to Change Anything (McGraw-Hill, 2008), has received the prestigious Harold Longman Award for the Best Business Book of 2008 from Soundview Executive Book Summaries, the global leader in business content summarization.

When Bad Relatives Happen to Good People

Four out of five people say holiday gatherings have been ruined by unruly family members
November 3rd, 2008

Images of Thanksgiving dinner and a house full of relatives should conjure up feelings of happiness and good memories. But for people like Leslie Criner, these two ingredients are a recipe for another disastrous family gathering.

Weapons of Mass Discussion

September 10th, 2008

A new study shows that for the majority of Americans, talking politics with friends and family can be nasty, difficult and downright unpleasant. So they don't.

VitalSmarts Releases Influencer Training™

September 2nd, 2008

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, today released Influencer Training, its latest training product for individuals, teams, and organizations. Influencer Training is a classroom training course that teaches proven strategies to uproot entrenched habits and drive rapid and sustainable behavior change.

VitalSmarts receives an Excellence in Practice Award and delivers a Cracker Barrel session featuring results of their practice with MaineGeneral Health at ASTD 2008 in San Diego, CA.

May 30th, 2008

VitalSmarts and MaineGeneral Health received a coveted Excellence in Practice Award for their practice: Improving Employee Satisfaction and Patient Safety One Crucial Conversations at a Time. Mike Wilson, vice president of Business Development at VitalSmarts, and Patrice Putman, director of employee development at MaineGeneral, will present the results of their practice during their Cracker Barrel […]

VitalSmarts Wins Business of the Year Award

The Association of Learning Providers recognizes VitalSmarts for its commitment to workplace learning and performance
May 15th, 2008

PROVO, UT – May 15, 2008 – VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, was recently named the 2008 Business of the Year by The Association of Learning Providers (ISA) during the Annual Business Retreat in Litchfield Park, Arizona, and joins a prestigious group of organizations dedicated to improving the learning and performance […]

VitalSmarts’ Training Programs Receive the Industry’s Highest Approval Status

Internationally-recognized association approves VitalSmarts as an Authorized Provider of training products
May 1st, 2008

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, is now a certified education provider as recognized by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). According to IACET, VitalSmarts’ three training programs, Crucial Conversations®, Crucial Confrontations™ and Influencer Training™, meet the training industry’s highest standards for continuing education.

Nearly Half of Americans Say Presidential Candidates Lack Influence

April 1st, 2008

A study conducted by the authors of a new bestseller on influence found that despite candidates’ battle cries for change, nearly half of Americans don’t believe the current presidential hopefuls have the power to change the issues that matter most to them.

Why You Can’t Kill a Bad Habit with a Magic Bullet

New study shows using 4 influence strategies to change bad habits is 4 times more successful
January 23rd, 2008

A study by the authors of a new bestseller on influencing change found that 98 percent of Americans fail when making resolutions to change their bad behaviors. Most importantly, the study reveals why the other two percent succeed.

New Study Reveals Most Leaders Lack Influence

95% of leaders fail when trying to influence bad employee behaviors
November 14th, 2007

Influence challenges exist at every level of an organization. According to a new study by the authors of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything (McGraw- Hill, 2007), one of the main culprits of these challenges is that leaders have little if any influence over the way employees behave. In fact, the data reveals that only one in twenty leaders is a true “influencer” – someone capable of influencing bad behaviors in a way that lasts.

From the bestselling authors of Crucial Conversations & Crucial Confrontations comes Influencer: The Power to Change Anything

October 8th, 2007

New York Times bestselling authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, along with David Maxfield, release their latest book.

VitalSmarts Sales Team Wins American Business Award

June 15th, 2007

VitalSmarts, a Provo-based corporate training company, won a Stevie Award in The 2007 American Business Awards in the category of Best Sales Team on Monday, June 11.

VitalSmarts Co-Founders Named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 Award Winners in Utah Region

June 11th, 2007

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, today announced that the company’s co-founders, Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan and Mike Carter, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 Award in the Utah region.

Public Displays of Insensitivity (PDIs): Why America Lacks Digital Manners

New study reveals 91 percent regularly encounter PDIs, but most suffer silently
April 24th, 2007

This month, Apple celebrated the sale of its one hundred millionth iPod. This may seem like a lot until you remember the 200 million cell phones, 103 million digital cameras, and 19 million PDAs sold in the last few years.

Pssst! Your Corporate Initiative Is Dead and You’re the Only One Who Doesn’t Know?

New research says 90% of employees know far in advance when projects are doomed but feel incapable of speaking up
February 9th, 2007

From the Airbus A380 to the Denver Airport baggage handling system, the failure of major projects seems to be a common theme in today’s business landscape.

Lacking New Year’s Resolve at Work?

New poll says 69 percent avoid accountability discussions with coworkers; expert provides tips for how to hold anyone accountable
December 19th, 2006

What is it about the office that causes people to clam up at the first sign of authority or bite their tongues when a coworker misses a deadline?

Crucial Conversations About Drugs With Teens

December 6th, 2006

NEW POLL SHOWS PARENTS AFRAID OF TALKING TO THEIR TEENS; AVOID TOUGH TOPICS, ESPECIALLY DRUG USE White House Urges Parents to Sharpen Conversation Skills, Monitor Teens’ Activities (Washington, D.C.) – The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is urging parents to sharpen their conversation skills and monitor their teen’s activities, after a […]

Unwrapping the Secret to Talking About Holiday Finances

Survey reveals 60 percent live with a squandering spouse, yet 78 percent stay mum
November 15th, 2006

Each holiday season, it’s the same old story: you endure a year-long battle of meticulously balancing and budgeting your funds, only to have your budget blown at the first sign of a holiday sale on the day after Thanksgiving.

85 Percent of High-Stakes Business Initiatives Fail When Executives Avoid Discussing Five Crucial Issues

New Research Reveals Often-Ignored Human Elements Crucial to Execution
October 10th, 2006

A new study released today found that the quality of conversations around five common business problems is responsible for an astonishing 85 percent failure rate among a variety of high-stakes business initiatives, from major product releases and organizational restructurings to ongoing IT projects.

VitalSmarts Shifts Executive Team Focus with Three Managing Directors

September 28th, 2006

VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, announced today the appointment of Mike Carter, Brett Walker and Jeff Gibbs to the positions of managing directors.

Corporate Untouchables

September 28th, 2006

Ashley Howard works with an “untouchable.” He is abrasive, unreliable and dishonest. And yet no one she works with, including her boss, ever deals with his misbehavior.

VitalSmarts Ranked #491 on the 2006 Inc. 500

August 23rd, 2006

Inc. magazine announced its 25th annual Inc. 500 ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. VitalSmarts ranks No. 491 on the list with three-year sales growth of 307.8 percent. This is the second consecutive year VitalSmarts has made the Inc. 500 list.

VitalSmarts Announces Crucial Conversations Training 3rd Edition

Hundreds of enhancements make award-winning training even easier to implement and measure
August 15th, 2006

VitalSmarts, a corporate training company specializing in organizational performance, today announced the release of Crucial Conversations Training 3rd Edition.


Weighty Conversations

Two-thirds of parents don’t feel comfortable talking to their kids about weight issues
May 23rd, 2006

Previous research shows that having support from others makes losing weight easier, and being able to talk openly about the problem is a crucial skill for parents with obese children.

April 15 Brings Taxing Conversations

58% of Americans find themselves in compromising conversations this tax season
April 4th, 2006

With tax season well under way, a recent VitalSmarts survey revealed that 58 percent of Americans have found themselves in a compromising conversation in which family, friends, or coworkers described using or planning to use illegal or unethical tax strategies.


Silence Kills, Dialogue Heals


New data points to seven specific crucial conversations that healthcare organizations must adopt to save lives, improve workplace.

February 8th, 2006

VitalSmarts, a corporate training company specializing in organizational performance, will today release via Webcast new data from leading healthcare organizations across the US which demonstrates that being skilled in holding seven specific conversations is key to solving some of healthcare’s most crucial patient safety problems.

Do You Work with a Scrooge?

New study shows speaking up is key to reducing holiday stress at work
December 13th, 2005

A new VitalSmarts study says more than three-fourths of the U.S. workforce will be stressed out this holiday by coworkers who dump on, abandon them or fail them. Speaking up is key to reducing holiday stress at work.

VitalSmarts Partners with American Association of Critical-Care Nurses to Improve Patient Safety

December 12th, 2005

VitalSmarts and AACN have signed an agreement to offer two-day training sessions for healthcare institutions and critical-care nurses that combine education on healthy workplace standards with award-winning Crucial Conversations® training.

VitalSmarts Ranks #293 on the 2005 Inc. 500 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 432%

October 19th, 2005

Inc. magazine today released its 24th annual Inc. 500 ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. VitalSmarts, innovators in corporate training and organizational performance, ranks #293 on the list, with a three-year sales growth of 432%.

Work for a Jerk? Tips for Confronting Your Boss That Could Save Your Career

October 6th, 2005

When you think of the reasons that would cause someone to quit his or her job, you probably expect bad work assignments, unacceptable hours, or low pay to rank high on the list. According to a VitalSmarts survey, these are actually the least common concerns. More than half of employees surveyed said a disagreeable boss was their number-one reason for leaving. But the problem is not primarily the disagreeable boss, rather people’s unwillingness to candidly share concerns about their boss-employee relationship.

Talking Hi-Tech at Work

Why face-to-face communication is essential for effective crucial confrontations
July 26th, 2005

In today’s well-connected world, technology can help us communicate more easily. But when it comes to resolving broken promises, violated expectations, or bad behavior at work, resorting to hi-tech methods like e-mail, voice mail, or even text messages can amplify our problems. According to a recent VitalSmarts survey, about nine in ten U.S. employees feel that using hi-tech means to resolve a workplace confrontation is not effective.

Healthy Communication With Mom/Dad Could Keep You From Becoming Sick

April 4th, 2005

In a new VitalSmarts Web survey, more than 30% of adults say their relationship with their mother or father is less than satisfactory. Furthermore, previous studies have linked patterns of bad relationships to illness. However, just because you experience conflict with your parents doesn’t mean you can’t have happy, fulfilling relationships.

New Survey Reveals Most Patients Uncomfortable Confronting Medical Personnel

March 7th, 2005

In support of National Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 6–12, 2005), VitalSmarts released results from a new survey that suggest patients often play an unwitting role in bringing about medical mistakes by not confronting their healthcare practitioners.

VitalSmarts Adapts Crucial Confrontations for Corporate Training Proven Process for Improving Individual, Team, and Company Performance

March 1st, 2005

VitalSmarts today announced the release of Crucial Confrontations™ training, a proven step-by-step process for enhancing accountability, improving performance, and ensuring execution. Crucial Confrontations joins its award-winning counterpart, Crucial Conversations® training, to provide focused training solutions for confronting the chronic problems that keep organizations stuck.

New Study Finds U.S. Hospitals Must Improve Workplace Communication to Reduce Medical Errors, Enhance Quality of Care

Expert Panel Issues Call-to-Action with New National Standards and Training Recommendations
January 26th, 2005

According to findings from a study released today in a national briefing of healthcare stakeholders, the prevalent culture of poor communication and collaboration among health professionals contributes significantly to medical errors and staff turnover.

Setting New Year’s Resolutions at Work? Better Get Your Mouth in Shape First

95 percent say they don't know how to speak up to get what they want
December 22nd, 2004

According to a recent VitalSmarts survey, 69% of people are setting New Year’s resolutions relating to things they want to change at work, yet 95% don’t know how to speak up and get what they want. Author Joseph Grenny offers tips that produce real results.

When Bad Relatives Happen to Good People

More than 83% say holiday gatherings have been disrupted or ruined by unruly family members
November 23rd, 2004

According to a recent VitalSmarts Web survey, four out of five people dread mixing with certain relatives who have disrupted past family gatherings. Author Joseph Grenny offers a few tips for getting along this holiday season.

How to Talk Politics with Friends – And Still Have Some Left

67% Say Political Discussions Lead to Attacks or Controlling Behavior
October 21st, 2004

According to a recent VitalSmarts Web survey, 67% of those surveyed say political discussions lead to attacks or controlling behavior. With 40% of people talking politics more than in the past, how can you safely talk politics – and still have a few friends afterwards? Author Joseph Grenny offers a few tips.

“Crucial Conversations” Receives Training Product of the Year Award

October 7th, 2004

Crucial Conversations training received Top Training Product of the Year honors this month from Human Resource Executive magazine. Five top products were selected as the best of the year based on a series of criteria, including how well the product meets its self-stated objectives, the value it brings to the HR community and its level of innovation.

McGraw-Hill to Publish New Book from VitalSmarts on Resolving Disappointment

July 15th, 2004

McGraw-Hill Trade will publish Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior, written by the authors at VitalSmarts, L.C., a leading organizational performance and training company. The new book will be a follow up to the national best seller, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High. The $16.95 original paperback will be published on September 8, 2004, and will carry a foreword by business and consulting guru Tom Peters.

“Crucial Conversations” Training Translated into Six Non-English Languages

Nine International Licensees Sign On to Distribute Training Solution to Clients Worldwide
May 10th, 2004

VitalSmarts today announced the availability of its Crucial Conversations facilitated training solution in six non-English languages-including French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, and two versions of Spanish-giving clients worldwide access to this popular communications and problem-solving approach. In addition, nine international licensees have agreed to represent VitalSmarts in various parts of the world.



Welcome to VitalSmarts.com

VitalSmarts and Poertner Consulting Group are pleased to announce a new era in their joint service.

VitalSmarts has acquired the business and will maintain the presence in your area to provide you with streamlined and enhanced customer support.

We look forward to working with you!

If you have any questions, please email VitalSmarts at support at vitalsmarts dot com.

Welcome to VitalSmarts.com

VitalSmarts and LeadershipSmarts are pleased to announce a new era in their joint service.

VitalSmarts has acquired the business and will maintain the presence in your area to provide you with streamlined and enhanced customer support.

We look forward to working with you!

If you have any questions, please email VitalSmarts at support at vitalsmarts dot com.