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

Archive for leadership

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

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.

Find Change Agents That Get the Job Done

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. ~ Gail Sheehy

Managing change in organizations is not easy unless you have the right leadership in place. This is why finding the best change agents is essential for ensuring smooth transitions. You want to find people who have the right qualifications to move the company forward successfully. Identifying this type of leadership will make the process less stressful and give you the reassurance that goals will be met. However, finding those who are good at managing change in the workplace will also take some strategic planning. You can start by focusing on the top five qualities listed below to find strong leaders who will guide your company in the right direction.

Change Agents are Willing to Embrace New Ideas

Change is usually met with resistance because people are uncomfortable with the unknown. In my keynotes and seminars on managing change, I hear about it all the time! While this is to be expected, your change agents must not have this attitude. You want to find people who are excited about new ideas and willing to implement them with enthusiasm. Otherwise, you will have leaders who sabotage the process along the way. You also want change agents to be fully committed without any apprehension on their part. This will set the tone for others who are following these leaders and encourage them to work together toward the new goals.

Leaders Believe in the Big Picture of Growth

Managing change in the workplace effectively means that leaders must always have the big picture in their mind. The best companies are the ones that can grow to reflect the needs of their customers. Your employees might be in love with the same software they have used for the last five years; but if it doesn’t serve your increasing global customers, the business will be impacted. Leaders know how implementing changes will make their company grow and thrive. They also have the ability to communicate the big picture to their employees who can be confused and disappointed by new policies. By sharing this overall vision, the change agents will be more respected for making sure everyone understands the importance of the latest modifications.

Striving for Results Fuels Their Motivation

When it comes to managing change in organizations, staying on task is what great change agents do best. They are the first ones to realize that results will fuel their motivation and also increase their employees’ productivity. Especially when the changes that take longer to implement can be frustrating to employees who are relying on workarounds to get things done. Understanding this can happen; effective change agents will highlight benchmarks as progress is being made. They might also propose incentives that encourage their employees to meet milestones sooner which will make the goals more manageable.

Courage Comes Easily to Change Agents

Change agents who show courage will have the easiest time achieving their goals. They know it is not a matter of if a conflict will stand in their path but when it will appear. They are never afraid by this prospect and instead seize the opportunity to obtain a quick resolution. They are also attentive when managing change in the workplace because they know their demeanor is being evaluated by their employees! If they act uncertain or get easily distressed by obstacles, then others will be hesitant in following them. Good change agents know that staying calm and focused on the end result will make each conflict a temporary diversion that can be successfully rectified.

They Gain Trust and Develop Buy-In Successfully

Since change is usually a scary undertaking, employees want to follow people they can trust. When change agents are trusted by their employees, goals align and buy-in is achieved. Even though those relationships take time to establish, leaders can build a solid foundation by regularly communicating to their employees. Change agents will take extra time to share the overall vision and identify each employee’s specific role in achieving successful results. They will also select leaders within each group to assist them in establishing buy-in. This will reinforce the idea that employees are part of the change instead of something randomly happening to them.

Managing change in organizations takes the right leaders, process and perseverance to succeed. When all of these components are applied correctly you will develop an organization that not only survives transitions but also prospers. Hang in there!

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 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 in Portland, Oregon.

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Confidence

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
~ Helen Keller

Although there are those who cross the line from confident into overconfident, many of us still have some challenges with self-confidence, at least at some point in time in our careers. Even if we’re secure in our positions, things can happen that make us doubt ourselves and our abilities. Following our five ways to strengthen your confidence.

  1. Take Stock in Yourself – When self-doubt begins to creep in, honestly take stock in yourself, your experience and your abilities. You’re in the position you’re in because of your hard work and your talents. It’s not a fluke. When new challenges arise that you worry you can’t handle, think back to the other challenges in your past that you’ve overcome. Remind yourself of the times in the past that seemed insurmountable, but you persevered!

  2. Believe in Yourself, Even When You Don’t – There is an old saying – “Fake it until you make it.” When you find your confidence slipping, fake it. Act with confidence, even when you’re not feeling overly confident. Before you know it, the “confidence act” will be reality.

  3. Mitigate Your Weaknesses – No matter how amazing you are, everyone has weaknesses. Its these weaknesses that usually are the biggest source of our insecurities. Acknowledge what areas you’re not as strong in and find ways to address them. This can include delegating tasks to employees who excel in the areas you’re not as strong in, or getting training or education in areas you’d like to be stronger. Both of these can turn your weaknesses into strengths.

  4. Bounce Back When Mistakes Happen – No one is perfect. No one. At some point, we all make mistakes. Don’t let this eat away your self-confidence when mistakes happen. Instead, find out where you went wrong then take steps to not make the same mistake ever again.

  5. Remember to Be Thankful – When insecurity makes you worry if you’re good enough, take a moment to be thankful. Acknowledge and appreciate all of skills and talents you do have. Focusing on the positive and not the negative can help you feel more secure.

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.

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.

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.