Jackie Kellso

Archive for the ‘Connecting’ Category

Shed the “Corporate” Persona and Just Be You!

In authentic power, character vs. personality, Connecting, connecting with people, Corporate Persona, diplomacy and tact, humanity, impress, kids, leadership, letting go, person to person dynamics, Reputation, self-image, self-improvement, sharing information, transparency, trust, working relationships on January 10, 2018 at 7:17 pm

It’s now 2:04pm on a Monday.  If I was addressing a classroom of three year-olds and said, “It’s time to act like little, furry, meowing kittens, everyone,” not one kid would say, “Hey, that would make me look silly.”  The kids would just go for it; taking the opportunity to show off their interpretations of kittens, with glee.  There wouldn’t be one child in that room that would be afraid of how he or she was perceived; there wouldn’t be a thought to block their natural sparkle.

On the other hand, it’s now 2:04pm on a Monday and we’re at a company meeting when the boss requires us to communicate what we truly feel on a subject.  We find ourselves falling over our words.  How do I say this without giving myself away?  How do I make the point without being vulnerable to criticism?  How do I share this honestly when it also involves my co-workers?  How do I present my ideas openly without getting slammed for them?

What happened to the three year-old who would act like a kitten if only asked?

We worry that we are at risk of creating the wrong perception because corporate life isn’t kindergarten and it doesn’t encourage the humanity, character, and honesty that are natural to us.  It uses us as job functions and demands a protocol and persona that makes us blend in.  So over time, we become encased in a shell of protection against the forces; we become so withdrawn from our true selves that we don’t take risks to reveal what makes us unique, to speak our minds, or even to be playful!

I say to you that it actually takes more energy to hide than to reveal who we are and that a veneer robs us of our freedom.  It ends up adding to our misery and our stress. The good news is that we can step out of that suit of armor at any time and simply be ourselves.

1. Tell the truth.  Always with kindness and compassion.

2. Dare to say what must be said (diplomatically and tactfully) without condemning others. Back up your point with evidence.

3. Let down your guard.  If you feel that demonstrating an idea in a goofy or frenzied way, do it to dramatize your point.  People will get a kick out of it and your message will be the one that people remember.

5. Look beyond the surface when interacting with others.  See the humanity and realness of your co-workers.  What unique qualities about them were behind a job well done? Recognize their attributes and tell them what you admire about them.

6. Protect yourself.  Don’t go out of your way to feel vulnerable by sharing too much. Rather, give people a a sense of how you feel and what you think by daring not to hide.  It builds trust.

7. Think of yourself as a leader who is transparent.  It’s the key to shedding ‘the persona’ on behalf of the person you are. It creates safety and support for others to follow; it breaks apart the veneer.

By taking this concept under consideration, you will feel a new sense of power and freedom in being authentic.  It can activate your creativity, you can have more fun at work, and might even find yourself purring once in awhile…

Personally yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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How to Change the Subject without Being Insulting

In assertiveness, breakdown in communication, building rapport, Change the Subject, communication, communication skills, communications between generations, Connecting, connecting with people, connection, diplomacy and tact, empathic listening, Insults, non-verbal signals, professional boundaries, sharing information, speaking on December 13, 2015 at 11:24 pm

You’re listening to a boss or a colleague, client or friend, and losing patience. Perhaps, the subject is one that doesn’t interest you, or there is nothing more you can contribute. Maybe the topic is unimportant or irrelevant, or boring, or even worse – it’s gossip.

Most of us just don’t know how to end a conversation without being awkward.  We look at our watch.  We check our Smartphones for emails or texts.  We insist there’s an emergency for which we must run. We drop eye contact and start fidgeting. (Since 90% of the most important parts of communication are non-verbal, there’s a good chance we’re passive-aggressively sending a signal of disinterest.)  We might even hear: “Hey, you’re not interested in this?” or “What, you don’t have anything to add here?”  The possible outcome:  insulting or angering the other person.

Whatever the scenario, here is the way to change the subject.  It’s called, “The Re-Direct.”  Here are the steps:

1. Clarify the key point(s) about the current subject you want to change.

Subject A. “Okay, from this conversation, you want to re-train us all on how to communicate with our direct reports.”

Subject B. “You’re telling me a personal story about Gus.”

2. Agree on how to move forward.

Subject A. “You’re asking me to review the schedule to see when my team is free to take the training.  I will get back to you by COB Thursday.”

Subject B. “This is awkward for me. I ask that you please don’t include me in Gus’ personal business.”

3. Assert that there’s something you want to say, kindly, and insert a benefit to the other person for hearing you.

“While I have your attention, I’d like to discuss how we can improve our work with IT for the new client assignment. I think this will help us prepare for the 2016 renewal of the account if we can address this now.”

4. Speak Up

“My team does not have enough access to IT support to meet the client’s demands.  I was wondering if we can add more IT people to help cover the scope of this project?  I can site a few examples of our current issues.”

5. Show Appreciation

“Thank you for taking the time now to discuss this matter with me.”

So regardless of the topic you’d like to change, re-direct. Acknowledge what you’ve heard, then gently ease from the current subject (agreeing or stating how to move forward) and right to the benefit of the other person for listening to what you have to say.  Lastly, show gratitude for having the space to speak up.

Diplomatically yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Linked IN Activities Reveal Our People Skills

In Asking for a reference, building rapport, business opportunities, business relationships, communicating, communication skills, Connecting, effective communicating, entrepreneurs, human relations, interpersonal skills, job seeking, leadership, Linked In, networking, promotion, prospecting, replying, Reputation, responsiveness, sales, social media on May 13, 2015 at 6:31 pm

Let’s face it; we’re not all on Linked IN for the same reasons. Some of us are pretty secure in our jobs – the reason to have a profile is to market current status, relevance and expertise (and you still never know what better opportunity might come along!). Some of us are job hunting. Some are entrepreneurs looking to make connections for business. Some are sellers who are looking for their next customer. Some are marketing books, networking events, business opportunities.

And when we launch Linked IN every morning from our computers or iPads, it’s pretty obvious who‘s working it — the way social media promises it will work: with enough frequency and reach, articles, statistics, news, etc, will help get a return on investment.

A major benefit of Linked IN, of course, (and the best way to get ROI) is to forge solid connections with others. Here’s where I’ve personally noticed the strengths and limits of our ‘social media’ interpersonal skills. Some of us are very responsive to others and some are not.  I have had great success on Linked IN in building rapport, relationships and business, and in some cases I have made contact (with primary connections) and have had no response.

Here’s a sampling of typical requests that many of us make, with the sincere hope of getting a response:

  1. May I ask for a reference?
  2. May I offer you a free workshop at your next event?
  3. I would love to learn about your business challenges/goals to see you how my services might improve the situation/grow your business/support your efforts.
  4. Hello! We haven’t connected in awhile and I’m just checking in to see how you’re doing.
  5. Hey, someone else in our network contacted me, before I say yes, what is your experience with him?
  6. Thank you for connecting with me! Can we meet for coffee to learn more about our businesses, and see how we can support one another?

People are busy and over-committed. And it’s a job in and of itself to manage a social media network! I get it. So when I don’t hear back (occasional, but not the norm, thankfully) I don’t take it personally and I surmise that:

1. They may not want to hear from me (despite the fact that they have said yes to being connected).

2. They may be happy to hear from me but don’t know how to say, “NO.”

3. They may consider my note not worth their time and effort.

4. They may not be looking for someone with my services.

Whatever the reason for a non-response, I feel that the nature of social media makes it easy to de-sensitize us to others. Maybe it’s the lack of eye contact or human voice? A flat profile cannot possibly feel as real as direct interaction with a person, after all. Maybe we are all just so inundated with requests from our networks that it just takes too much time and effort to respond?

Whatever the reason, I believe that we should communication online in a way that mirrors the way we communicate in person. That is, to be personable, approachable and aware of the perception we create, by the way we respond to others.

Linked IN is a community of people who are trying to survive and thrive. Everyone. That means that everyone is a potential reference.  The person who has considered you to be important, has reached out with hope of opening a door. And even if you have to say, “No,” it is still acknowledging your receipt of the message, at the very least.

Friends, colleagues: please consider that if you’re going to grow a large network, expect people to make contact and expect to be sought after. So, take a few minutes to write back. You never know when you might need something from someone in your network and only hope you’ll get a reply.

I don’t mean to sound preachy, not trying to teach anyone a lesson; just reacting to an overall experience that has made me consider that social media has the potential to diminish our ability to relate to others and eat-away at our people skills.

In the bigger picture, we all need each other to be successful. In my humble opinion, kindness and generosity have a Pay-it-Forward energy that could yield surprising support for us all!

So the next time someone writes to you, think that the other person could be you reaching out for support, advice, a reference, a moment of their time.  Then hit reply.

Happy connecting!

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Entrepreneur’s Fight to Survive As an Army of One

In Army of One, building business, CEO, Connecting, entrepreneur's fight, entrepreuners, experience, Facebook, generate revenue, knowledge, Linked In, networking, social media, Twitter on March 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Hello You Army of One.

This morning I found this post on a Business Women’s Facebook page: “Feeling a bit overwhelmed, like I’m an island out in the middle of the ocean all by my self. Trying hard to get some momentum but feel like I’m on a hamster wheel…” –K.

I am relating. I am a savvy, hard-working, devoted entrepreneur using Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, etc…to market myself using social media; promote my unique value proposition, evaluate the results of my marketing, analyze what’s working, what’s not, and reaching out to existing contacts, asking clients for referrals — consistently looking to build a smart, large network of potential connections that will lead to new business.

We ‘Armies of One’ are the CEOs, the executive assistants, the PR people, marketing directors, blog writers, visionaries and designers of products/services; delivering goods to customers in-between all of the other duties that should be delegated to an entire team. And then there’s the networking, networking, networking.

It’s exhausting. Then we see these articles from the rich ‘success’ stories plastered all over the walls of Linked IN with advice on how we too can get rich.  How they did it through passion, belief in themselves, being an expert, having a superior product/service, working and obsessing 30 hours a day 8 days a week.  If only they could tell us what makes us any different. Well, they can’t.

Then we have the specialists for hire who have built their own businesses targeting YOU.  They promise to help you build an audience, generate leads, connect you…people who know how to do all of this better, quicker.  Well, it takes money to hire help. And with so many, whom do you trust with your precious few dollars?

The principles of advertising are to spend in order to generate revenue.  Yeah, take out a second mortgage?  Not eat?  It’s not enough that you are a skilled veteran of knowledge and experience with a phenomenal C.V. and so much value that you can be the go-to-expert of many, if they’d just find you and hire you!

I want proof that I’m on a trajectory that will reach my long-term financial goals and help me see that I am not on a hamster wheel, even if it’s a slow progression.  If only the ebbs were few and the flows were the norm!

An option is to view the bigger picture as a spiritual journey.  We are discovering patience, the limits of our comfort zones and frankly, how much we can tolerate being in a sea of thousands of other entrepreneurs who do what we do, and for those of us who are not Millenials, to progess with technology.   We must still have the courage to believe that abundance is available to all – no one can eclipse us, we will get ours anyway! This isn’t as comforting as we’d like it to feel. We are still overwhelmed, experiencing the agony of possible defeat, isolated and unsure of when the wheel of fortune will bless us because we’ve worked hard enough.

Today I couldn’t think of anything else to write.  I just wanted to talk to you, dear army of one, to say I’m in it too and if in the bigger picture of my life that this moment teaches me that I can get through the day, focus on something productive, breathe, go to the gym, count my blessings, and remain staunchly hopeful, then I am doing what I’ve hired myself to do.

Marching onward,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.