The “About” Page

Coffee and Conversation

WELCOME — Thanks for dropping by!

This is our coffee shop.  It’s a place where you and I can meet casually and connect over life issues – and invite others join the discussion.  You might have come here from reading one of my blog posts, or one of my books, or heard me speak or connected through the recommendation of a friend.  However you came, I’m grateful.  I don’t take it lightly that you’re here.

We’ll chat about different things from time to time.  Our common ground centers around how to communicate in a way that builds strong, real relationships.  But we’ll also talk about productivity, writing, or just observations about life.  My goal is to sit with you and look at life through fresh lenses.

Most of that comes from my background.  I was raised in Southern California and Phoenix, and started writing in college.  I took a journalism course from Professor Troup, and he said he’d give an “A” to anyone who got published during the semester.  I think he was joking, but I took it as a personal challenge.

I found a writer’s conference hosted by a church curriculum publisher named Success With Youth.  I attended, and talked to the editor after the sessions.  I explained the class challenge.

“How about if you give me a simple assignment.  I’ll write it and turn it in.  If you like it, you can pay me.  If not, we’ll leave it at that.”

She said “yes.”  I wrote the curriculum.  She published it and gave me a check for $50.

And I got an “A” in the class.

From there, I wrote for that publisher and others for a few years. I ended up teaching at that college, and eventually transitioned into corporate training.  That’s where I’ve been for the past quarter century, working for FranklinCovey to present seminars and speaking around my own books as well.  Between Franklin Covey and other situations, I’ve passed the 3000 mark in speaking engagements over the years.

During that time, I kept writing.  From curriculum, I transitioned to magazine articles and book chapters and books.

  • I’ve written 5 books since 2006.
  • I’ve been a senior consultant for FranklinCovey for 28 years (but recently got off the road and am doing executive coaching from home).
  • I’ve written articles for publications like Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Market, Entrepreneur, and others.
  • I was a professor at Biola University, where I received my Masters degree.  That was followed by a doctorate from Arizona State.

In my blog, you’ll read about my best friend (my wife Diane), my kids and my grandkids.  And other people who have wandered into my life and made it rich and colorful.  You’ll have a chance to share your story as well.  I’m just the host, but we’ll meet here with new friends.

I’ll also include links over time to other resources – my favorite books, websites and people who are “doing it right.”  I’ll add clips of some of the media interviews I’ve done as well (such as Focus on the Family and New Life Live).

I’ll be expanding this website and content over the next few months, so keep visiting to see what’s new.  In the meantime, sign up for the blog on the home page.  I’ll publish it at least once a week going forward – probably every Tuesday morning.  That’s where we’ll meet for coffee and conversation.

Just know that you’re welcome here – and I’m grateful that we can hang out together.

I’m also available for speaking engagements.  There will be a separate page with details soon – but for now, just shoot me a note at and I’ll get back with you.

Thanks for showing up!


Here are the Amazon links to my books (click the pictures – or see the “Books” page for details and links):

This is the same book as “You Can’t Text a Tough Conversation” (below) with a new cover and title, re-released in 2017.





A guided tour for women through a man’s brain (from a man who’s lived there) (2016)




What to do when important conversations become challenging (2015) – Will be released with a new cover and title in May 2017 (see “Elephant” above)




How to keep from being a victim of other people’s issues and expectations (2012)




Updated version (2014) of the original Confident Conversation – How to Communicate Successfully in Any Situation (2008) – Basic conversational skills, especially for introverts



An introvert’s guide to sharing your faith (2006)


  • Kathleen Garrett

    Hello Mike,

    My husband and I are bi-cultural (born in Mexico and Uruguay with British parents) and we pastor a small house church in San José, Costa Rica (Central America). This house church reaches out into the local community with a Library of books in English and a Biblical counselling service.

    After reading your book on People Can´t Drive You Crazy, we knew we wanted to share it with those we counsel. Because many of them do not speak English, my husband has translated your book into Spanish.

    Knowing that many people would benefit from this translation of your excellent book, we would like to offer what he has done for you to edit, use and distribute however you choose. Please let us know if you are interested.

    • Hi, Kathleen –

      How encouraging to know the impact you’ve found with this book, and to consider the amount of work involved in translating it for your people. So appreciated!

      Thanks for your kind offer to use the translation. I’ll forward this to my publisher (Revell), because they control all of the rights related to translation. Sounds like a great opportunity to me . . . we’ll see if they pick up on it!


  • Seth Stiles


    I am a pastor and am reading your evangelism book for the 3rd time. I plan on giving a copy out at a seminar on spiritual gifts and personality I am doing for the ladies of our church.

    10 years after it was written and after 15 years of the ministry God has given me with adults, I would add this comment: With evangelism in the evangelical church in the US being quite low (realistically) these days due to post-modernism, secularization and even globalization, not to mention busyness, I would strongly suggest that this book is just as good for extroverts as introverts. I would say everyone is struggling with evangelism these days, no matter what your personality type is!!!

    Again, thanks for the great and needed book!

  • Sid Balestrier

    I cannot tell you how excited I was to have come across your book, People can’t drive you crazy. I started reading it, and after a few chapters I realized that I needed to get this book in audio form so I could have the time to listen to it over and over again.

    I am a 60 year old male , and have always been of the mindset that if people would just think like me and do it my way, they would be happy and I would be happy. Obviously I haven’t been all that happy. It was so exciting to read this book and see that there was an alternate life I could be living. I never knew the formula existed. I have always embraced positive change when I was aware that it existed. I have been listening to this audio book for about a week now on and off. In my interactions with other people, I find myself saying things that catch me off guard. I find myself much more at peace of mind and am thrilled at the prospect that if I continue to put these lessons to use, that they will become a permanent pot of who I am.

    This should be a textbook and required curriculum in every High School. Can you imagine the impact that would have on society!
    Thank you.

    • My apologies for the delay in responding, Sid (I’ll explain that in my post on Wednesday). But how encouraging to hear from you, and to know that the book is helping you see things differently around you! It’s freeing to live apart from the pressure of making everybody else happy (or getting them to change). Thanks for sharing!

      (And I love the High School idea . . .)

  • Jason Bottcher

    Hello Mike! I just finished reading your book “Evangelism for the Rest of Us” and am almost done with “You Can’t Text a Tough Conversation” as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and lessons learned with people. They have impacted me and will be impacting the people around me as I apply them and teach others.

  • Kate

    I am reading the book people can’t drive you crazy if you don’t give them the key. What if the crazy person is my very own husband!????

  • Hi Dr. Mike,
    Your book was recommended to me by one of my clients. It’s inspired reading for anyone in a challenging relationship. With God’s help, these principles have changed my life. I have a daughter who has been a drug addict for more than 35 years. She also has a borderline personality disorder. Her teenage son has been living with me since last year. In December, she stole all of his Christmas presents and cash and used them to get drugs. While on her drug binge, she stole a purse from someone’s car and was arrested. My granson was crushed This is the fourth time she stole all of his personal belongings.

    I had spent the last four years trying to “help” her, and I discovered that another person will not change as long as someone else is doing all the work. When she had her last relapse, I decided to detach from her completely, because when I speak with her she uses every opportunity to manipulate me. I pray that with God’s help she will make better choices for herself. But taking control of my life has been powerful! I feel better physically and emotionally, and it has helped me to be a better example for my grandson, as he navigates his path to adulthood. He’s 18 and will graduate in a couple of weeks, and so far he’s doing okay.

    I decided that this book would be a good study for my Ladies’ small group. Everyone has a “crazy” in their life. As a Scriptural companion to the study, we will be reading Proverbs. Other than those mentioned in the book, are there any other Scripture references that would be helpful?

    Thank you so much!
    Victoria in Lantana, FL

    • Hi, Victoria – Thanks so much for the encouraging note. You’ve been on a tough journey, and it’s reassuring to see you taking steps toward a healthy approach to those relationships! You’ve discovered some critical insights – and that’s awesome.

      Thanks for using the book with your small group. Proverbs is exactly what I would have suggested as a companion study. And I might assign some “homework” for your participants to do their own study on helpful passages, and bring them back to a meeting to share together (kind of a scriptural potluck . . . )

      Thanks for connecting! (And my apologies for the lengthy delay in responding. I’ve been “offline” for a few months, which I’ll explain in my next blog post in a day or so).

  • javed mohammed

    Hi Mike,
    I started reading your book last night, and just finished it this morning, and all I can say is “wow.” Thank you for putting into words so many thoughts I have had, worried, or pondered about. As with anything it will take time to put it into play. Loved the analogies of relationships being like rivers, charting there own course.
    javed, SF bay area, CA

    • Javed – Thanks so much for the encouragement! Most people read books that impact them, but they never tell the author. It’s encouraging to hear from you – and refreshing that you took the time to connect. Thanks!

  • julie

    I passed your book in a window of a Texas hotel book store window…I stopped…walked back…and read the title again. Went inside and purchased. You are a new author for me…and I’ve read a lot of books!
    Bravo Dr. Bechtle. Bravo. Your deserve a lifetime achievement award for writing a book with this content–wisdom–and practical advise to make changes in ones life.
    Well done. Thank you.
    Julie in Cincinnati

    • Well, Julie – You can’t imagine how encouraging your note was! Actually, you probably can, which is why you wrote it. You’ve recognized that words of affirmation don’t do anything if they’re kept inside our heads, and don’t leak out to the person who needs them. You took the time to reach out, and it was refreshing. Thanks so much!

  • Herschel Grimes

    Hello Mike, blessings upon you! I just finished reading, “…People…Crazy…Keys…” book and I must say it was very informative, inspiring and practical, I’ll be reading it again for deeper perspective. You’ve got me thinking about a lot of things in my interpersonal relationships and how I can improve them.

    I’m interested to know what’s your “Vision” for expanding the subject matter of your book because I can sense…you only touched the surface (the tip of the iceberg) concerning this subject matter…I equate your book and it’s implementation as receiving a “White-Belt” (Martial Arts reference) in a “Bible based”…psychological self defense class.

    Personally, as a student of “Marketing” and “Small Business”, Your book is “prime” and “perfect” for expansion in many different directions, platforms and “content expansions”…I’m just saying…

    Thank you very much for sharing your “Gift” from the Lord and allowing your ministry to help “perfect” the people of God and everyone else who has an ear to hear…

    • Thanks, Herschel – I appreciate hearing your thoughts about the book, and how it fits in your own situation!

      Yep, I’ve become aware of potential for the book. If it really is valuable for people, there’s good reason for expanding its reach. I’ve taken the initial steps in that direction, getting some help from people who understand such things. I’m in the middle of writing two follow-up books, so that’s my #1 priority at the moment (the first is due at the publisher September 1).

      But establishing a direction is a priority right behind that . . . concurrent, actually.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Hope at the Center

    When I started my blog and set up my page, I said to myself “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done.” Thanks for using that sentiment. I’m learning to at least do something is rewarding in and of itself. When you get to a certain age it just matters greatly that you are still in the game… That was a big lesson for me! #30Days

    • Well-stated – thanks! Looking forward to the 30-day journey!

  • Lynne

    Thank you, thank you for “Evangelism for the rest of us”! I learned so much about my own personality and that it’s okay to be me – I was created this way for a purpose – God’s purpose – I’m not defective or lacking. How freeing! I thank God for you, the author to whom God gave the gift of writing and articulating these lessons for the rest of us. Blessings to you.

    • You’re so welcome – thanks for letting me know. It’s encouraging!

  • Sharon

    I just finished your book Mike about People can’t drive you crazy if you don’t give them the keys. It was terrific. The book has given me new methods of copying with some very difficult people in my life. I plan on keeping your book close by when I need a friendly reminder on how to deal with a my interesting people in my life. Thanks for taking the time to write the book. Great job

    • Thanks, Sharon – That’s so encouraging! I appreciate you letting me know the value it has for you – refreshing!

  • DB

    I just brought the book “People can’t drive you crazy if you don’t give them the keys” It is so true what you write. I have gone back and brought more for my family and friends. Thank you for wrting the book!

    • That’s awesome — thanks a bunch for sharing!

  • Cm

    Reading your great book now. Love the great reminder of how I ultimately can only control me, and not the crazy person. I was hoping you could break down this sent I have attach even more with exactly what you did regarding the coworker your had a tough time with. Many prayers have been lifted up regarding this situation and yet I know I have to take some action as well. I have attached the page from your book I thought you could break down even more with specifics of healthy ways to handle. Specific boundaries and reactions would be helpful. Thank you so much. What a great book to give me actions and take back the control/power that I’ve been giving to someone else.

    • Sorry for the delay – been traveling. Will respond to your email soon . . . thanks!

  • Kathryn

    Just finished your book …. Excellent! Have a crazy in my life…a physically abusive brother in law…. My boundaries with him, unfortunately, have distanced me with a niece and nephew, their choice… Not sure how to proceed to reconnect with them without having to let down my boundaries concerning their father. My sister is safe and is working on re claiming herself. In the meantime we, my parents and cousins, are not able or don’t know where to start in reconnecting with our niece and nephew. They both are in their 20’s and are experiencing their own crazy now.

    Any advice?

    • Thanks for the note. Boy, that’s a tough one. Unfortunately, every action, good or bad has consequences. Your bro-in-law’s actions have impacted the people in his life — and unfortunately, one of the casualties has been the family relationships with his kids. You’re right – at that age, they are experiencing life in some new ways. Your estrangement from them comes as a natural consequence of his actions.

      2 things:

      1. I’d find creative ways to simply stay in their lives, no matter how they respond. Little notes, invitations to coffee, just simple connections that say you care. Assume they won’t respond (they probably won’t, but you won’t get unrealistic expectations up). But they might, and they at least know you care about them. That’ll stick in the back of their minds, and might bloom someday.

      2. Have you ever heard the New Life Live radio program? It’s a daily program that is entirely built around people calling in with their questions. Honestly, I don’t know any better place to get great help with your type of issues. I’d look them up at, find out when the show is being taped, and call in with that question. Listen to a few past broadcasts to get a sense for their style, so you can decide who you want to talk to (they usually have 2-3 of their team on the air every day — Steve Arterburn, Henry Cloud, John Townsend, Milan Yerkovich, Sheri Denham, David Stoop and Jill Hubbard. I’d find a day when Sheri Denham is on and call in. Tell them the background, tell them you read the book and see what help they can give you. I think they’ll be able to give you some really creative solutions (especially Sheri).

      There are never guarantees, but there is always hope – let me know sometime in the future how things are going!

  • Lois Friedman

    I’m in the midst of reading and absorbing your “Crazy People” and I can’t begin to tell you how it’s changing me and my life. I’m a young 73 yr old woman who is realizing from reading your book, that I am the Crazy person in my life, not others. I’m not Christian and I’m not young (only in mind) but I can’t praise you and your writing enough. Keep ’em coming.

    • That’s so encouraging! Thanks for your kind words – and for the reminder that age doesn’t determine our choices!

  • Barbara

    I just finished reading your “Crazy people” book. I did write a post here, but lost it I think when I realized after that I needed to sign in to post. Anyway, I plan to read your book again. I took my time reading it but need to read again to let it sink in. What would your advice be for having a spouse that does not want to connect with others? How do I not let his behavior hold me back from connecting with others? Sometimes I feel guilty leaving him and making a life for myself. We live far from family so I need healthy connections. He has no interest in church, connecting with other couples etc. He is content with sitting in front of the TV 24/7 when he is home.

    • Sorry for the delay, Barbara – Between some travel and some computer issues, I’ve gotten a little behind on these comments!

      Thanks for taking the time to connect. Yes, your issue with your husband can be a tough one. I don’t think there’s an easy answer, but here are a couple of thoughts:

      – He could have some social issues, but could just be an introvert. That doesn’t mean shy, but it describes where he gets his energy. Like a rechargeable battery, introverts recharge when they’re alone, and expend energy when they’re in a group. They might be uncomfortable in a lot of conversations, because they do a lot of listening, and then think it through later. So they don’t always know how to respond until the conversation is over.

      — You have to make choices about yourself and your own life. You can’t force him to change – that’s his job. You can influence him, but you need to learn to function both with him and on your own.

      Talk to him (without accusing) about why he’s uncomfortable around others. Don’t defend yourself or try to suggest that he do anything differently at that point – just listen for the sole purpose of understanding. Tell him you really want to look through his eyes and understand him. The more you listen, the more he’ll feel understood instead of critiqued.

      I don’t know anything about your situation, so these ideas might be totally inappropriate. They’re just thoughts. I’m thinking it would be valuable for you to spend some time with a professional counselor to get some tools for understanding what’s happening – first by yourself, and then with him if he’s willing.

      Practice listening – deeply. Listen to his heart more than his words.

      If you think he’s an introvert (which isn’t a character flaw), get a copy of the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” It’ll help you get a clearer picture of how he’s wired.

      It’s a journey worth taking . . . !

  • Robin Lindzer

    Hi Mike,

    Great article you wrote for “Writer’s Digest” on writer’s block. You have a lot of terrific ideas that I will be implementing, along with software suggestions that I will be installing.

    Thanks much,

    Robin Lindzer

    • Thanks, Robin — I didn’t realize it had actually come out yet – I appreciate the heads-up!

  • Cindy L

    Hi, Mike,
    Great start! I’m back in Sweden, helping start out a new ministry, called Mary & Martha’s (place… ministry.) We’re combining the doing & being parts of hospitality, member care & staff training in a little bit different way, hopefully! Nothing new under the sun, but will be a department, instead of doing things as individuals. Mom didn’t come back with me this time – she’s 85, & hung up her boots in Mass. Looking forward to seeing more of what you are doing here! Blessings!