To schedule Colleen, please call:
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Archive for Business – Page 2

Moving from Buddy to Boss

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

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

Friendships with your employees – when, if ever, is it appropriate? This is one of the most difficult questions for managers to answer. From an academic HR standpoint, the answer is often cut and dry – It’s never appropriate. However, in the real world, it’s often not that simple.

Relationships between between simply can’t be governed by corporate policy. Managers are not unfeeling robots. It’s only natural, after spending time, day in and day out, with people that there are going to be some people you like. In fact, to move from manager to a true leader, you need to be supportive and caring with your employees. However, does this mean it’s OK to be both buddy and boss?

In a word – no.

Although you do want to develop a trusting relationship based on mutual respect, between yourself and your employees, there still needs to be well-defined boundaries. You may be “friendly.” but you are, in the end, their boss, first and foremost. Here are four reasons why you have to move away from “buddy” if you’re the boss.

  1. Even if your actions and treatment of a person are completely unbiased, if they are your friend, others will perceive anything favorable as favoritism.

  2. Even when you’re trying to be unbiased in the treatment of your employees, you may subconsciously treat those who are your friends more favorably. It’s a natural tendency to treat people we have a personal relationship better than those we don’t.

  3. It is difficult to fully fulfill the duties of manager, when the employee in question is a friend. This includes – honest reviews, disciplinary actions, even firing the friend.

  4. You open up your company to potential lawsuits. Each time your friend receives favorable treatment (raise, promotion, etc.), even if it’s well-deserved, you risk a discrimination lawsuit from the other employees. Even if your company wins the suit, the process is often costly.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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.

Improving Staff Retention

Thursday, June 27th, 2013


There are two things people want more than sex and money… recognition and praise.
~
Mary Kay Ash

Hiring great people is a critical part of ensuring your organization’s success. However, if you’re unable to retain those amazing employees, they’ll do your company little good. In fact, losing good staff not only costs your organization time and money, when trying to fill those open positions, but high employee turnover will also damage your team’s morale! Following are five tips to help you improve your staff retention.

  1. Be Competitive – This should go without saying, paying your employees competitively is critical to improving staff retention. Sometimes long-time employees’ compensation falls out of line with the going market rate, especially if your company has withheld raises in recent years, due to the challenging economy. When this happens, don’t be surprised if your best people are recruited out from under your nose.

  2. Little Things Mean A Lot – In addition to competitive compensation, don’t forget about the importance of other small perks. Providing doughnuts on Mondays, free gym memberships or the ability to partially telecommute cost very little, in the grand scheme of things, but can mean a lot when you’re talking about improving staff retention.

  3. Promote from Within – Many of your best employees have career goals they want to achieve. Help them achieve these goals and keep them loyal to your company, When your employees feel they’re in a dead-end position, that’s when they’ll start looking for employment elsewhere.

  4. Have Fun – All work and no play makes work really, really boring! Take time to occasionally have fun, team-building activities to not only provide a chance to build team rapport, but also to give employees something fun to look forward to, helping you not only improve your team’s ability to work together but also improving staff retention.

  5. Don’t be Stingy on the Praise – Giving out “Atta boys!” cost you absolutely nothing, but can mean a lot to your employees. Be sure to tell your employees when they’re doing a good job or have gone above and beyond, to let them know you appreciate them. Feeling appreciated builds organizational loyalty, which improves staff retention. Also, publicly recognize great employees to not only motivate them to continue to perform, but also encourage others to do the same.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

 CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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.

The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.
~ Lilly Walters

You have amazing information to present and are eager to share it with others. Great information equals a great presentation, right? Sadly, no! The reality is it won’t matter how great your information is, if you don’t present it effectively. Following are seven tips to improve your presentation skills, to ensure your next presentation is a success.

  1. Say it Three Times – If you want to make sure your main points get across during your presentation, be sure to say them three times. This can be summed up as – Tell your audience what you’re going to tell them, in an introduction. Tell them the information in the body of the presentation. Lastly, sum up what you’ve told them, by telling your audience again your main points, in the conclusion.

  2. Memorize Your Main Points, Not Your Presentation – This is not a Shakespearan monologue. To improve your presentation skills, there is no reason to memorize every single word you’re going to say in your presentation. Instead, memorize the main points of the information you want to get across. You should have a mental outline in your head, then talk to your audience, not at them.

  3. Go Visual – People retain information best in a variety of ways. Some are auditory learners, where they pick up new information easily by listening. Some, however, are visual learners. If you want to improve your presentation skills, use this knowledge to your advantage! Include a PowerPoint presentation, charts or other visual aids to really drive home your key points.

  4. This is Not Karaoke – Although a PowerPoint presentation is a great visual aid, do not put every single word you’re going to say up on the screen. Your audience should be listening to you, not reading along with you. Your slides should be used to emphasize the main points of your presentation, as well as show images of examples of your topic and/or figures and charts – items that may be harder for the audience to immediately visualize.

  5. Watch Your Time – When talking about something you’re knowledgeable or passionate about, it’s easy to lose track of time. However, your audience may become bored and start to tune you out. To improve your presentation skills, keep your presentation moving and keep it to a reasonable length of time.

  6. Watch Your Pace – It’s natural to be nervous before a presentation. However, one common thing that happens to many nervous speakers is they talk too fast. Take a deep breath, before beginning. Relax and speak a little slower than you would normally. This will not only give your audience time to process what you’re saying, as you say it, but it will also help ensure you enunciate your words clearly, instead of mumbling due to speaking too quickly.

  7. Practice Makes Perfect – Although you don’t want to memorize your entire presentation, if you want to improve your presentation skills, you do want to practice it a few times. As Mark Twain once said, “It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” Practice in front of someone, and ask for their feedback. What points could you clarify more? What could you have done better? What did you do well?

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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.

6 Tips To Build a Better Team

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
~ Henry Ford

As Halford Luccock once said, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” This analogy describes perfectly why teamwork is so critical. As individuals, we can accomplish tasks, but it takes a team to accomplish a vision. As critical as teams are to organizational success, it’s surprising to learn how many people do not understand how to put together an effective team. Following are six tips to building a better team.

  1. Screen Potential Teammates – Although you may have an idea of who should be on the team, don’t jump to conclusions. Instead, spend time screening potential teammates. Think beyond simple skill sets they’ll bring to the team and be sure to consider personality. Too many controlling personalities can bog down a team as surely as a team filled with only followers.

  2. Look for a Good Mix of Teammates – As mentioned above, you don’t want a team filled with one personality type. Also mix it up with experience levels and tenure at the organization. Placing new members of the organization on the team can help create solutions that go beyond the organization’s status quo.

  3. Don’t Stop Team Building – Even if you have a superstar team put together, don’t stop team building. Keep your eyes pealed for potential valuable additions to the team. There’s always room for improvement, and a new team member can not only bring fresh ideas but also encourage complacent team members to not rest on their laurels.

  4. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Cuts – Sometimes your initial ideas about what will make a good team just don’t work out. That’s OK! Don’t be afraid to pull some team members off the team and switch them with new members. Sometimes making a better team is a process of trial and error.

  5. Set Clearly Defined Goals – If you want to build a better team, you have to make sure they understand why they’re on the team. You can have the best team possible, but if they don’t know what exactly they’re supposed to be doing and by when, it’ll be impossible for them to work effectively and efficiently.

  6. Empower the Team – Give your team the power to make the decisions needed to complete their goals. If they have the responsibility to accomplish goals, they should be given the responsibility to handle the interim decisions to get to those goals. It’s the key to helping you build a better team.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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.

Stop Procrastination – Now!

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.
~ Mason Cooley

Procrastination is that sinister and seductive stealer of time. We have projects we know need to get done; however, we just can’t bring ourselves to get motivated to actually do them. We put these tasks off, telling ourselves will do them later and all will be OK.

The problem?

Later we have even more responsibilities that need to be taken care of, and our already full plate becomes even fuller. Soon, the work load seems insurmountable. Procrastination takes this opportunity to snowball our lack of motivation, and it becomes an increasingly vicious cycle. Following are six tips on how to stop procrastination – now!

  1. Give Yourself Permission to Work in an Imperfect World – If you’re waiting for just the right time, place, equipment, etc. to begin a project, guess what? That’s procrastination! Don’t wait around for the world to align and give you everything you need to get started on a project. Instead, dive in and get started. Gather the materials you need, as you need them.

  2. Make a Prioritized To Do List – There’s a reason why Daytimer and other planner companies are still successful – they work! Prioritizing a To Do list helps procrastination in a couple of different ways. First, it helps you take stock of what you need to get done, and gives you motivation as you check completed items off your list. Second, by prioritizing the tasks, putting the most important ones first, you can help ensure procrastination doesn’t lead you to the easy or fun (but unimportant) tasks first.

  3. Don’t Kid Yourself – That whole, “I just work better under pressure” statement is often procrastination tricking you into putting off things you really need to get done now! Working under pressure usually means more errors and lower productivity.

  4. Use a Timer – If you’re working on something you truly dread, set a timer and agree to work solely on that project for a certain amount of time. Once that allotted time is over, give yourself a little reward, like a walk outside or ten minutes on Facebook. Breaking up a large, unpleasant project into smaller pieces makes it feel a lot less daunting.

  5. Make a Decision and Move Forward – Sometimes decision-making takes time. However, if you have all of the information to make an education decision, don’t procrastinate by second guessing yourself.

  6. Put Away the Distractions – Distractions are procrastination’s evil cousins. This can be technological distractions, such as e-mail, text messages, or social media sites. In these instances, turn off the offending devices or shut down the related programs. Distractions can also be people. If you have a chatty co-worker, don’t be afraid to let them know you have work you need to get done, but would be happy to talk to them as soon as you’re finished.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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 (971) 212-0479.

Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do. The visible signs of artful leadership are expressed, ultimately, in its practice.
~ Max Depree

“Leadership presence” – it’s one of those recent buzzphrases you hear tossed around lately. It sounds fairly straightforward, but what does it mean exactly? It’s one of those nebulous concepts people use and sometimes you wonder if they know really what is involved. In addition to learning what leadership presence is, more importantly, we talk about how to get this elusive quality.

Leadership Presence: What is It?

Although on the surface leadership presence is exactly what the name implies – the unique presence effective leaders have – it goes so much further than just that. Although it can be referred to as that certain je ne sais quoi a charismatic leader has, there are specific qualities that all leaders with true leadership presence personify. These qualities include:

  • Self confidence,

  • Genuineness and the ability to be candid,

  • The ability to convey a vision and garner support for this vision,

  • Active listener,

  • Effective speaking skills,

  • Openness to new ideas,

  • Motivational and inspirational,

  • Empowers others to succeed,

  • Risk taker, and

  • Actively works at branding themselves as an organizational leader.

Leadership Presence: How Do You Get It?

When you have all of the qualities listed above and, perhaps most importantly, actively use these to brand yourself as an organizational leader, you are on your way to developing leadership presence. Some of these qualities are items you can train to master. Others will require you to discover and uncover your innate abilities.

Becoming an active listener is a skill you can learn, as an example. There are lots of resources (including articles on this site!) to help you hone your listening skills. If you’re not an effective speaker, there are resources, seminars and organizations who can help you in this area too. Visit the “topics” section of my website, www.bouncebackhigher.com/topics, where I offer presentation skills training, as well as one-on-one speech coaching. In contrast to these learned skills, some will need you to simply consciously make an effort to express these qualities.

Being open to new ideas, for instance, may be difficult for you, if you’re used to being in charge and making most of the decisions for your organization. Risk taking may also be a challenge, if you’re naturally more conservative. However, in these instances, sometimes you may have to “fake it until you make it.” When others start to buy into your leadership presence, you’ll find qualities like “self confidence” that you have been pretending to have eventually come naturally.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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.

 

 

 

“People don’t mind being challenged to do better if they know the request is coming from a caring heart.”
~ Ken Blanchard

Indira Gandhi once said, “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” This has never been more true. Successful business leaders know although you can manage people by simply giving orders, only through caring about your employees will you take that next step in management evolution, from managing people to leading people.

As James Kouzes and Barry Posner wrote in their book, Encouraging the Heart, “All things being equal, we will work harder and more effectively for people we like. And we like them in direct proportion to how they make us feel.” Following are four ways you can help develop yourself as a caring leader, creating trust and loyalty in the process.

Evolving from Managing People to Leading People

  1. Start off on the Right Foot. At the beginning of each workday, make it a point to speak with your employees. This sounds like common sense but common sense isn’t always commonly applied! For example, compliment them on their successes early in the day, and you’ll see a more positive attitude and greater productivity throughout the workday.
  2. Recognize and Personalize Their Successes. It’s not a new concept to praise and reward your employees for a job well done; however, make sure this recognition is both public and personal. This doesn’t have to be a formal celebration, but it should give your employees a time to focus on the success of their team member. A pizza party or a cake, for reaching a small goal can really keep a team motivated and show you appreciate their hard work.
  3. Take Advantage of the Afternoon Lull. There’s a reason energy drinks use the 3 o’clock hour as an example of when people need a pick-me-up, it’s the time when many employees feel their energy and motivation drop. Take advantage of the afternoon lull, and walk around your employees, asking them how things are going. It’ll not only motivate them to keep productivity going, but will also show them you care about them.
  4. Be Friendly. Although it’s difficult sometimes to draw the line between friendship and boss-employee relationship, this doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly with your employees. Be easy to laugh with your employees. Take note of things in their personal life, such as a new addition to their family or a sick family member, and inquire when appropriate.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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.

6 Leadership Styles and When They Should be Used

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.
~ General Montgomery

Effective leaders know there is not a “one-size-fits-all” leadership style to use for every situation. Leaders, like organizations, must be flexible and nimble. They must adjust to fit the needs of the people they are leading and the challenges and opportunities affecting the organization, at any given time. Following are six leadership styles and when they should be used. Mastering these leadership styles, and using and combining them to their maximum potential, will help propel you from a great leader to a truly exceptional leader!

  • The Affiliative Style – The affiliative style of leadership uses the collaborative power of teamwork and works to form bonds among team members and build trust within the group. This style is best when group harmony is needed and teams are the most effective means of accomplishing organizational goals.

  • The Coaching Style – The coaching style of leadership is a one-on-one leadership style. This leadership style is effective for times when you want to develop the skills or knowledge of a specific employee. The challenge with this style of leadership, however, is to prevent it from being seen as micromanagement. Instead, approach this style as more of a mentorship relationship with the employee.

  • The Democratic Style – The democratic leadership style taps into the power of your employees, using their collective wisdom and experience to help make decisions and decide on direction. One of the benefits of the democratic style is it naturally creates group buy-in on the decisions that are made. However, when a quick decision is made, waiting for a consensus from the group, with the democratic style, may not be the most efficient form of leadership.

  • The Visionary Style – As the name implies, the visionary style of leadership centers on developing and promoting the vision for the organization. This is the style you should use when you need to move your organization in a new direction. This style of leadership doesn’t worry about the details about how the organization will get to their new destination, but instead focuses on where they are going and exciting others about this new destination.

  • The Pacesetting Style – “Do as I say AND as I do!” is the motto of the pacesetting leader. This leadership style is effective when you can be a role model for employees on how to exceed expectations and really go above and beyond in your duties. The primary challenge with this style is it can lower the morale of your employees, if you’re constantly outshining them.

  • The Commanding or Coercive Style – Again, the name says it all in this style of leadership. Using the commanding leadership style is a simple “do as your told” style. Militaristic in approach, this style is typically the least effective. This may be an appropriate style when there’s an organizational crisis or when no other methods have worked with a difficult employee.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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.


The basic building block of good communications is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value.

~ Unknown

It’s our ability to communicate, relay and store information and collaborate with others, that has allowed our society to progress. The same is true in the microcosm of the organization. Organizations that have effective communicators parlay this into a competitive advantage. Individuals who are effective communicators, use this to propel their careers forward. In this last part of my series on becoming a better communicator, I give five final tips on effective communication.

  1. Build a bridge. Too often in our communications, we are on one side of the topic, and the other person is on the other side. The gap between the two sides, at first, may seem insurmountable. However, if you build a bridge on the commonalities between the two positions, you’ll soon find the two of you can meet in the middle. To become a better communicator, start with points the two of you agree upon, or things you have in common, and build from there.

  2. Know where you want to finish, at the start. Before going into any important communication, know what results you want to happen as an outcome. Without a clear objective in your mind, for what you’d like to achieve, you may communicate with others and get nothing substantial accomplished. This end goal should help direct the flow of the conversation and help ensure you don’t get off track. This isn’t just effective communication, it’s efficient communication!

  3. Be mindful of YOUR body language. In Part 2 of this series, we talked about the importance of watching the other person’s body language, to help gauge how they’re feeling during the conversation. If you’d like to become a better communicator, watch your own body language as well. Although the other person may not consciously be watching your body language, they may subconsciously get messages you don’t intend by your folded arms or distracted wandering gaze. This can inadvertently put them in a defensive mood.

  4. Sometimes you win by losing. Remind yourself that you do not have to “win” every point in the discussion. Sometimes the other person really does have a valid point you did not consider or did not consider fully. Effective communicators don’t get tied up in always trying to be “right.” Instead, remember that it’s OK to say, “I hadn’t thought of that. I think your correct.” and then move forward in the communication. Ceding points of an argument will help the communication move forward, and likely we make the other person more receptive to your other thoughts and ideas, since you were willing to accept one of their own.

  5. Check your emotions at the door. Leaving emotions out of your communications is probably one of the most difficult things effective communicators do. It’s natural to “feel” things when discussing important, heated or controversial topics. However, the moment you get emotional during the communication, it is more likely that the emotions on the other side of the conversation will escalate. If you feel yourself feeling frustrated, angry or vulnerable during a conversation, take a break. Suggest that you both take five minutes and come back with a fresh perspective on the communication. You’ll get far more accomplished than turning a conversation into a heated exchange that may do more harm than good!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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.


Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter.

~ Gilbert Amelio
President and CEO of National Semiconductor Corp.

If you’ve ever felt like people simply aren’t listening or understanding what you’re saying, read on! Communicating effectively is critical in both our personal and professional lives. In this second part of our series on becoming a better communicator, we’ll explore five more tips on effective communication.

  1. Be mindful of your tone. Effective communication is not only about what you say, but how you say it. This is especially true during communications that are more stressful or are centered on controversy. Be assertive, but not aggressive in your tone, if your message comes from an authoritative position. Always remain calm and collected, even when things get heated, and ensure your tone is respectful and cooperative. Remember the old saying is true – “You get more flies with honey than vinegar.”
  2. Be an active listener. If you’d like to become a better communicator, be an active listener. Effective communication isn’t just about speaking, it’s also about listening. Although you don’t want to interrupt the other person while they’re speaking, nod in agreement or make small sounds of agreement as they talk, to let them know you are on the same page and are fully engaged with what they are saying. If they feel like you’ve given them your full attention, they are more likely to repay you in kind.
  3. Listen to body language. If the other person is sitting there with their arms and legs tightly crossed, this is a defensive and closed position. Chances are, whatever you say while they’re in this mind set will not be met receptively. Instead, talk about less important topics, until they open up and are warmer to the ideas you wish to share. If they yawning or distracted, chances are they are bored and not paying attention. Get them actively involved in the conversation to reel them back in.
  4. Mirror, mirror. Mirroring involves mimicking another person’s body gestures, when you socially interact with them. When they cross their legs, you cross your legs. If they lean forward, you lean forward. If they nod their head, you nod your head. Although mirroring the other person will not directly help you be a better communicator, it can help the other person feel more comfortable with you and open up. We like people who are like us!
  5. Don’t forget the humor. Humor… appropriate humor… can really help you get your message across, while also helping lower some of the walls the listener may have up. Everyone likes to laugh. Even a small chuckle can help release tension between communicating parties. Effective communicators know that a little bit of humor can also keep things into perspective, especially during stressful communications.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference 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 published 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.