To schedule Colleen, please call:
(971) 212-0479
in Portland, Oregon

Communication Leadership Skills

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”   ~Tony Robbins

During my seminars on Communication Leadership Skills, I am often told that communicating effectively with certain employees can be challenging. The manager’s message — even when given in a clear, concise and straightforward manner — can sometimes be misconstrued. Great managers and leaders need their message to be understood the first time. Achieving this type of clarity takes specific communication leadership skills that need to be developed and refined. While one style of communication will not fit everyone, these basic principles will provide a solid foundation for communication leadership skills that are needed to achieve ultimate success!

Listen Before You Communicate

Listening and communicating can perfectly complement each other if both skills are respected. Your message will be lost if all you do is talk at someone versus listening first to how they process information. If someone needs details in order to understand your message then share more information with them. If they are more of a bottom line type of person then edit yourself. If you are speaking to a large group then implement a medium tactic. Your employees will tend to listen more to you if you first listen to how they receive your information. By tailoring your approach you have a better chance of the information being retained versus misunderstood.

Show Empathy to Endear Your Listeners

Communication leadership skills cannot be effective without empathy. If you communicate your message that demonstrates you want to achieve understanding for a better workplace, your employees will appreciate your efforts. For example, if your employees are having a difficult time implementing a new process offer them your guidance and experience instead of mandates. While deadlines are important, you’ll have a better chance of meeting your goals if you empower your employees to find viable solutions. Communication leadership skills means taking the time to discuss the issues, finding the best solutions and working together toward successful results.

Take Out the Guesswork When You Communicate

Both managers and employees feel better when they know exactly what is being communicated. Having good communication leadership skills means you are saying precisely what you mean and it cannot be interpreted differently than the way you initially intended. This is achieved by giving clear work instructions when you delegate projects and not expecting your employees to read your mind. Realize that when you don’t include crucial information your vision can be compromised. Write out key points and give everyone the same information. That way you’ll have a quick reference in case a team member gets off track in the middle of your project.

Show Appreciation When Your Message is Heard

When employees really listen to the nuances of  your message that’s when you’ll know that your communication leadership skills have worked. Big ideas and key messages are easier to grasp, but the details can sometimes be lost, and the employees that pay attention to the entire message should be appreciated for their efforts. For example, if you tell your employees that you want to research a particular client and would like to know more about their recent mergers, some staff might see that as an opportunity to go beyond what is expected and give you a detailed report. When these occasions occur, make sure to point out this extra effort to the rest of the team by publicly thanking them. Not only will this encourage those employees to repeat their success, but also encourage others to strive for the same type of success as well.

Listening before you communicate, showing empathy, taking out communication guesswork and appreciating your employees who fully implement your message will always make your communication leadership skills shine!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen Kettenhofen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs available at www.BounceBackHigher.com

A Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and six countries. She has served as a keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971)212-0479.

What Do Bosses Want? Begin Work on Time

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Yesterday, I conducted a leadership seminar in Salem, Oregon, and the subject of “what do bosses want” came up. Not surprisingly, showing up on time was at the top of the list. Certainly, this depends on what type of job you perform. For example, salespeople and managers are frequently out in the field. Yet, for the person expected to report for work at a specific time, it can affect the morale of everyone if they’re late.

Let’s say that you have an upcoming meeting. Showing up on time needs to be your number one priority if you want to be considered a good employee–even if you’re in sales, work from home, and go out on sales calls. Based on my in-depth conversations with managers, supervisors, human resources personnel, and others in leadership positions over the years, attendance ranks number one when bosses consider whether an employee is a good worker. Many young workers right out of school think they should be judged by the work they do, not by what time they show up for work and leave at the end of the day. However, most managers consider attendance and punctuality to be major success factors.

Attendance also tops the list of criteria when bosses have to fire one employee or another. Included in this first ranking is a factor you might not realize. Do you actually start working on time? Believe me, your boss as well as co-workers notice if you walk in, go to the bathroom or break room, make coffee, chat up a storm, and then finally start working much later. Even if you’re productive, a lot of supervisors worry about starting your work late because of how it affects the morale of others. Some bosses believe if they make allowances for you in this area, they’ll have to make allowances for others. And they don’t want to do that.

What do bosses want? Make sure you show up on time. Like it or not, others are watching you!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and leadership expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and motivational speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs in 48 states and six countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and the book SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

A Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971)212-0479, or visiting www.BounceBackHigher.com

In preparing for a job interview, there are numerous factors to consider. In addition to some of the more obvious things like showing up early, pay attention to your appearance. It’ll help you get prepared for those all-important job interviews.

Some of you may be thinking, “Appearance? Really? In preparing for a job interview, does it matter that much?” Well, yes, it does. In conducting in-depth conversations with hundreds of managers, supervisors, and executives, I was even startled at what they shared with me.

  • Appearance, image, and grooming before the job interview. Like it or not, done poorly, this is a deal breaker. Do you exhibit positive personal hygiene? Do you dress and look the part? Numerous supervisors said to me, “This will sound ridiculous, but honestly, I have to question, did the applicants wash and comb their hair? Did they brush their teeth?” Some of them actually bring an air freshener into the room to tolerate those applicants who don’t seem to bathe. (I’m just the messenger here, folks.) One manager told me he has the front desk assistant alert him when an applicant drops by to pick up an application or drop off a resume. Why? Managers want to meet you and interview you for a couple of minutes precisely because they know you aren’t expecting it! They want to see how you behave “off the cuff.”

In preparing for a job interview, like it or not, appearance does matter. Even if you are interviewing to be a waiter or bartender, it is wise to wear a nice suit. Yes, you want to look the part, but managers overwhelmingly told me they also expect the applicant to look professional. They said it shows that you take the job seriously.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs available at www.BounceBackHigher.com

As a motivational speaker and leadership expert, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and six countries. She has served as a keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Based in Portland, Oregon, Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971)212-0479.

 

What Employers Look for on Interviews

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Later today, I’m going to be a guest on a radio show being interviewed by Doug McDuff on AM 1380 in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. The topic? What employers look for on interviews.

In these tough economic times, it’s especially important to learn what  interviewers look for that will make them hire you. For example, they want to see if you’ve conducted any research. Have you checked out their companies’ websites even if they’re well known? When I was conducting research for my book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, a number of managers reported how impressed they were that some applicants brought printouts from the company website and asked questions based on what they’d read. This is notable because employers want a sense that you specifically want to work for their organization–not just any job will do.

After Doug’s radio show, I’ll post more information about what employers look for on interviews. Stay tuned!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs available at www.BounceBackHigher.com

As a motivational speaker and leadership expert, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and six countries. She has served as a keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Based in Portland, Oregon, Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971)212-0479.

 

 

What do bosses want from employees? Team players! In conducting in-depth conversations with hundreds of managers, supervisors and CEOs, this is part 2 in a series.

Part 1 talked about how managers repeatedly asked for “someone who is a proactive problem solver, not reactive–an employee who thinks ahead.” In part 2, we’ll explore the importance of getting along with others in the workplace. Let’s get started!

Be a team player willing to help your co-workers and customers. Admittedly, while conducting these in-depth conversations,  it was a surprise to me that “team player” was specifically mentioned over and over and ranked as the second top trait or behavior bosses want. Obviously, productivity is an important reason for this, but the effect that being a team player has on the morale of others scored even higher than productivity.

Bosses overwhelmingly mentioned “willing to help others, anyone” in terms of sharing job knowledge, skills, and ideas as well as “willingness to help customers.”

Simply put–and this is repeated throughout many of my articles, books, and blog posts–managers don’t want to be bothered with emotional conflicts among their employees. They frequently report, “I feel like a referee and a babysitter and I don’t want that role. I want my employees getting along and resolving conflict themselves.”

Bosses consider good employees to be those who attempt to resolve issues on their own first without always running to the person in charge. When I’m speaking, I often ask managers and CEOs in my audience, “Do any of you feel like you’re running an adult day care?” They laugh and say, “Yes! You must know some of my employees!”

Many managers and supervisors get promoted to management or leadership positions based on their hard skills or technical skills. They (and maybe you) received a promotion because they did a great job. But in these areas, the skills that got them promoted aren’t always the ones they need to manage people. That’s why they don’t want to deal with issues such as conflicts between employees. Not only that, these managers and CEOs are overloaded with work themselves and don’t have time to deal with emotional problems between co-workers.

So, what do bosses want from employees? Team players, proactive problem solvers and more. Stay tuned!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen Kettenhofen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs.

As a Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and five countries. She has served as keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars. For more information, please visit http://www.BounceBackHigher.com

 

What Bosses Want from Employees

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

In the coming days and weeks, I’m going to be sharing the top traits, qualities and characteristics that bosses want from employees and vice versa. This is based on hundreds of interviews that I conducted with managers, supervisors and CEOs for my book Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You.

Some of the things bosses want from employees will seem like common sense. Then again, as you know, common sense isn’t always commonly applied!

What Bosses Want from Employees

What’s big on their list? Be proactive and solutions-oriented; go above and beyond. When managers, supervisors and CEOs were asked to describe the traits and behaviors necessary for a subordinate to be considered a good employee, overwhelmingly I heard, “Someone who goes above and beyond.” That’s worth repeating: In today’s economy, for you to be considered a “good” employee, bosses expect you to go “above and beyond.” So, if necessary, work longer hours and put in extra effort. If you don’t, someone else will.

Also managers repeatedly asked for “someone proactive, not reactive–an employee who thinks ahead. If that employee experiences problems, he or she looks for solutions.” So to be an exemplary employee, condition yourself to be solution-focused rather than problem-focused.

What bosses want from employees may seem like a lot. In my leadership seminars and keynotes, I always tell managers and supervisors it starts at the top. Be an effective role model. Be the change you want to see.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen Kettenhofen is the author of the book, Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs.

As a Portland, Oregon-based motivational speaker, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and five countries. She has served as keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars. For more information, please visit www.BounceBackHigher.com

 

Many organizations provide leadership development programs for those with a managerial title. Yet salespeople, IT personnel, engineers and others yield great influence and can offer tremendous support to a company or association, especially during times of change. It’s important to recognize that the talents of these individuals can meet the criteria for effective leadership. Even if they don’t choose to aspire to a managerial path, they can benefit tremendously from leadership development programs and training. Anyone can improve their performance, productivity, and morale when they walk away with new tools for establishing greater trust, communication and credibility. Leadership development programs will help your people become better team players, more effective communicators, and proactive problem solvers. More than that, as they develop their interpersonal skills, they will be better equipped to reach their full potential and help the organization to do that as well!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

An internationally recognized award-winning speaker, Colleen is the author of the book Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You, as well as 10 unique audio programs available at www.BounceBackHigher.com

As a motivational speaker, Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining leadership development programs before thousands in 48 states and five countries. She has served as a keynote speaker for conferences, corporate meetings, associations, Native-American tribes, and non-profits. Colleen is available for speaking, coaching, and consulting by calling (623)340-7690 in Portland, Oregon.

“No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance our minds, we will find it in our lives.”  ~Louise Hay

One thing people tell me in my keynotes and seminars on leadership is that they are extremely overloaded with work and are desperately searching for effective ways to balance their lives. They realize it takes a great deal of energy and expertise to multitask their employees’ schedules, family plans, and still find time to take a breath for themselves. In order to achieve this ideal harmony, managers need to intentionally change their behavior, starting with incorporating these tips for a well-balanced and happier life.

Walk the Walk of a Balanced Life

In giving work-life balance tips for managers, I often tell leaders they need to be role models. If you say you want a good work-life balance but don’t put those words into action you will always disappoint your employees, your family and yourself. You will also lose all credibility. Employees will listen to what you say but are usually more impacted by what you actually do. If you are constantly at the office, never taking a vacation (or checking email when you do), then your message is clear, work is your only concern and they should follow suit. Instead, do your best to leave your work at the office and your personal life at home. Then you’ll be able to take time for your work, relationships, and own self-preservation and be perceived as a more rounded and well-adjusted leader.

Invest Time in Taking Care of Yourself

The best way to achieve a work-life balance is to invest in consistent self-care. This means making it a priority to eat healthier, exercise regularly and get enough sleep each night. While you may feel that you can get more done if you don’t take the time to invest in self-care, that choice will eventually catch up with you down the road. You can’t expect yourself or anyone else to perform at their peak if they don’t have the chance to energize each day. Start slow by eating a healthier lunch, schedule time to do a physical activity for 30 minutes a day and finish your day with a regular sleep schedule. Make a solid commitment and accept the fact that you won’t be nearly as productive if you always put yourself last.

Encourage a Flexible Workplace

It seems employee morale goes way up when flexible work schedules and telecommuting is a viable option. Whether it’s every Friday or a few days a week this flexibility will make both your lives easier! Of course you will know right away who is able to exercise this option responsibly and who is not. Most of your employees who are given this opportunity will be autonomous, self-motivated and productive.  This will create a happier workforce who will demonstrate their commitment to getting their work completed. Also, if you allow for paid time off in lieu of traditional sick days, vacation time, and personal days that will boost morale as well by giving your employees the chance to decide where and when they want to use it. Paid time off is a huge motivator and aids in the work-life balance for both managers and employees.

Unplug and Have Some Fun

No one gets to the end of their life wishing they had searched the Internet more. In fact, a few decades ago the Internet didn’t exist and people had to interact without the benefit of using a machine. Consider unplugging for a few hours, a day or even a weekend and enjoy the bliss of not being tied to a device such as a cell phone, tablet or email inbox. While this might be hard to do at first, you will find other activities that are just as satisfying. Consider seeing a comedy with an old friend, spending time eating dinner with loved ones and actually talking to each other. If you can arrange a day at the park to play some Frisbee or Softball and top it off with a picnic lunch you’ll create happy and lasting memories.

When you walk the walk of a balanced life, invest time in taking care of yourself, encourage a flexible workplace, and unplug to have fun, you will create a life that has greater harmony and purpose. Encompassing these work-life balance tips for managers and employees will result in a more satisfying career and family life that you both can enjoy and embrace!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is a workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and motivational speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690 in Portland, Oregon. Find more information at http://BounceBackHigher.com

3 Work-Life Balance Tips for Managers

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

After recently conducting a seminar on leadership, a number of people asked me for work-life balance tips for managers. In the coming days, I’ll be providing more ideas and maybe even an article on the subject. In the meantime, here are some easy work-life balance tips for managers and supervisors that you can apply today.

1. Make a conscious effort not to work beyond a certain time. For example, schedule in that you’ll complete all your tasks and head home by 6:00 pm. At some point, you have to turn off the technology and tune in to family and friends. More than that, make meeting with them your reward.

2. Keep your phone charger at work! This way, once the battery is gone, you’ll have no choice but to finish your calls for the day. A participant in one of my leadership seminars employs this technique and his family loves him for it.

3. Exercise. The best way to decompress is to get outdoors, take in the fresh air, and gain a new perspective. Research shows that just walking 10 to 15 minutes in the morning awakens your senses, wards off stress, and helps counteract “SAD,” or Seasonal Affective Disorder. You do not need sunlight, just daylight.

Getting outdoors for a brisk walk, even at lunchtime, is one of the best things you can do for yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and when I walk my dogs outdoors, I can attest to the boost in mood and energy!

One of the biggest work-life balance tips for managers? Learn to delegate. In your mind you may be thinking “Well, if I want it done right I might as well do it myself.” The truth is you have to learn to let go and–do I dare say it–relinquish some of the control.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

CREDENTIALS:Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and motivational speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 fun and entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 audio programs and the book SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690 in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

10 Tips on Becoming a Good Manager

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. ~John C. Maxwell

Good managers are not made overnight. It takes time and energy to develop all the skills that are needed to be successful. While some talents will come naturally, others need to be enhanced in order to become the leader that inspires success. Below are ten tips on becoming a good manager that will make this process an easier undertaking.

Managers are Driven by Integrity

Integrity is the key trait that reassures your employees of your character. An employee that regularly witnesses your trustworthy business practices will know they can trust you as well. Managers who are honest and authentic will be the most respected.

Inspiration and Communication is Their Recipe for Success

Leaders inspire their employees by communicating messages that encourage greatness. The tone and enthusiasm that you exude will become their inspiration for following the mission of the organization. Also, the more employees believe in your message the more they will share that vision with others.

Skillful Managers are Steadily Dependable

A great manager shows up on time. When needed, you are there, ready to roll up your sleeves to pitch in and help. No task is beneath your pay grade and employees will appreciate the fact that you will work with them instead of  just managing over them.

Consistency is Their Calling Card in Business

Are your employees on eggshells? Great managers are defined by a consistently strong work ethic and a stable atmosphere. You have a reputation for constantly improving your productivity by being consistent with policies, procedures, and moods. In my seminars on leadership, participants are always telling me they like a boss who is consistent with rules and emotions. Employees know you are committed to delivering the best results and you model how to achieve success every time.

Being Fair is One of Their Top Qualities

Favoritism is not acted upon by a smart manager. In fact, employees should not have the impression that you lean toward any one person more than someone else. Leaders understand that even a hint of bias will quickly breed resentment for those who are not the chosen ones.

Leaders Can See the Big Picture as They Look Forward

Knowing how both the small and large decisions of today influence the future is big picture thinking. Using your experience as a leader to see the potential pitfalls before they happen will also show your employees how you plan effective strategies successfully.

Great Managers Care About Everyone on Their Team

Leaders are not hesitant to show their employees that they care. When milestone events such as a birthday or work anniversary occur, they congratulate their employees enthusiastically. If the employee’s child breaks their arm you’d equally show concern. This will make the employee feel they are not just an anonymous worker and the big events in their life do matter.

Effective Leaders Have Your Back

When I ask managers and supervisors their biggest tips on becoming a good manager, they frequently say, “I like knowing my boss has my back.” Leaders are there to support their employees even when projects don’t always succeed. They don’t leave the employee hanging out on a limb to endure the entire brunt of disappointing results. As a great manager, you realize that being responsible for an employee means that their performance is also a reflection of your leadership.

Managers are Knowledgeable About Their Industry and Organization

Knowledge is the way a great manager succeeds both in their industry and at their organization. Knowing the latest trends and innovations that saves your organization time and money makes you a valuable asset. Being proactive will also make strategic planning easier and prevent fewer surprises down the road.

Leaders are Good Listeners Who Actively Hear You

Actively listening to employees is a key skill that managers need in order to be effective leaders. Restating the employee’s words will take time, patience and energy. However, when employees feel that you are truly listening to their concerns and viewpoints, they will be more willing to reciprocate when you are speaking to them. This will ultimately strengthen your business relationship.

Being a successful leader takes integrity, inspiring communication, dependability, consistency, fairness, forward thinking, caring, support, knowledge and active listening skills. Once you master these ten tips for becoming a good manager, you will find both happier employees and potential promotional opportunities in your future!

 

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker

CREDENTIALS:Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and motivational keynote speaker. A media veteran. she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690 in Portland, Oregon.