Founder of the Art of Change

Dr. Rick Kirschner

As a motivational speaker and communication skills trainer, Dr. Kirschner delivered artful programs on Business, Relationships and Life that are ideal for your event.  In venues ranging from conference halls to boardrooms to grand theaters, with groups as large as 6000 attendees or as small as 4 executives in an off the beaten track locale, he helps his audience find the personal motivation and learn the needed skills to do the important work today for creating a better tomorrow.

Clients included the world’s best known organizations, such as American Greetings, Heineken, Kraft, McDonalds, NASA, Progressive Insurance, Providence Healthcare, National Association for Neonatal Nurses, Starbucks and Texas Instruments. He’s been interviewed on hundreds of radio and television programs, including CNBC, FOX and CBC. His ideas are found in newspapers and magazines including USA Today, London Times, The Wall Street Journal and Executive Excellence.

You can enjoy Rick’s take on workplace behavior and communication through his blog archive. Click Here to explore his blog.

An Extended History….

Born in 1949, Rick Kirschner grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Northern Kentucky University, earned his bachelor’s degree in Human Biology, then graduated in 1981 from a four year naturopathic medical school in Portland, Oregon, National College of Naturopathic Medicine, as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.).

While in med school, he was mentored by an area physician in therapeutic communication. In 1980, he and a friend designed and offered a training program to fellow students called the “Magical Nature of Communication.” Over the next few years, the training became quite popular up and down the west coast, and the experience served as the foundation of what was to become his speaking and training career.

He graduated from National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland Oregon in 1981. That same year, he was a founding partner in R&R Productions, which offered and sponsored training programs in communication and healthy living. In his private practice, he specialized in the treatment of stress related illness and the mind/body connection.

In 1986, he was invited to conduct training with CareerTrack Inc., then the largest training company in the world. In 1987, he gave up his private practice and went full time into the speaking and training field, consistently earning top scores from his audiences. That year, he coauthored the CareerTrack bestselling audio program, How To Deal With Difficult People, which went on to make the Columbia House Top Ten Audio Training list.

That same year, he was chosen by the Tom Peters Group to present the revolutionary In Search of Excellence training program to businesses all over the world. In 1988, he coauthored CareerTrack’s bestselling video version of How To Deal With Difficult People. In 1988 and 89′, he authored an audio and then a video program titled How To Find And Keep A Mate based on his live relationship seminar by that same name. In 1990, he authored a life-balance video program for CareerTrack called The Happiness of Pursuit. He left CareerTrack in 1992, and started his own speaking, training and consulting business, which he incorporated in 2004.

In 1994,McGraw Hill published the first edition of his coauthored book, Dealing With People You Can’t Stand: How To Bring Out The Best In People At Their Worst. That book went on to to a second edition in 2002, and is now an international bestseller, in two editions and 20 translations. It is used by a wide range of businesses and in colleges and universities to teach the basics of conflict resolution.

In 1997, CareerTrack published his coauthored audio and video program, Telecare: How To Provide Exceptional Service Over The Phone. That same year, Athena Interactive published his coauthored CD ROM, The New Leader: Dealing With Difficult People. (This was reviewed by Wired Magazine, which called the authors Gods of Amiability, and the CD won several awards, including Human Resource Magazine Top Ten Training Product, New Media Invision Award, and was an IABC Golden Flame Awards winner.)

In 1999, McGraw Hill published another coauthored work, Life By Design: Making Wise Choices In A Mixed Up World.

In 2003, the coauthored sequel to Dealing With People was published by McGraw Hill, Dealing With Relatives. In 2006, McGraw Hill published another coauthored work, Love Thy Customer, as well as Dealing With Difficult People, as part of the Mighty Manager series.

In 2004, he incorporated The Art of Change LLC, redesigned and began offering his collected knowledge and experience as The Art of Change Skills For Life™ speeches, training and coaching programs to businesses and other organizations. Programs offered include skills for positive change, influence and persuasion, teamwork and leadership, and healthy living.

In 2007, he authored two books and an 8 CD audio as part of a comprehensive program, Insider’s Guide To The Art of Persuasion, through Talk Natural Press. That same year, he was hired by the Ashland City Council to conduct a five month series of training and coaching sessions designed to increase their leadership effectiveness. Word of this project made the national news, including a mention on Keith Olberman’s countdown that named him the Second Best Person In The World.

2007 also marked his first publishing contract with Hyperion Books. This book is in bookstores now, titled ‘How To Click With People: The Secret To Better Relationships In Business And In Life.’

In January of 2011, Macmillan Audio released the audiobook version of Rick’s coauthored international bestseller, ‘Dealing With People You Can’t Stand: How To Bring Out The Best In People At Their Worst.’

2012 saw the release of the third revised edition of ‘Dealing With People You Can’t Stand.’

In 2016, Rick retired, with the Art of Change passing into the capable hands and leadership of daughter Aden Nepom.

In 2019, Rick briefly came out of retirement to step into the role of Interim President for the Naturopathic Medicine Institute, becoming host of The Vital Conversation, guiding the organization through a very tumultuous 2020 and finally returning to retirement in January of 2021, leaving NMI restored to stability and in very good leadership hands.

Rick is happily married to Lindea Bowe Kirschner (m. 1990), and now enjoying a wonderful retirement in beautiful northern Idaho.