Jackie Kellso

Archive for the ‘Reputation’ Category

Your Reputation. Is it Built on Character or Personality?

In business relationships, career, career coaching, character, character vs. personality, communicating, communication, communication skills, Dale Carnegie, effective communicating, executive coaching, How to Win Friends and Influence People, human relations, human relations principles, leadership, Michael Fertik, people skills, personal development, personal growth, personality, professional behavior, professional development, Professional Reputation, Reputation, self-help, Susan Cain, Uncategorized, Warren Susman on August 10, 2018 at 9:46 pm

If you think about the concept of professional reputation, when was the last time you wondered:  do my colleagues see how honorable, compassionate and humble I am? We generally don’t lose any sleep over this. There’s no cultural need to compete when it comes to character.  Now, that’s not true when it comes to personality. Have you ever felt competitive or even inadequate around others whom you see as being more charismatic, dynamic and magnetic than you?

Traits associated with character: integrity, compassion, generosity, humility, fairness, etc.  Traits associated with personality: charisma, dynamism, poise, magnetism, attractive, etc.  The questions are: which one creates the right reputation, and which one will help us move ahead in our chosen professions?

I came upon an interesting article written by Reputation.com’s CEO, Michael Fertik, entitled, “We Just Hired a Chief People Officer (Why you should too).” In it he describes the importance of the move to drive the values of the company through its people. I love this idea because it’s a charge he’s putting upon his employees to sustain a ‘culture of character’.

Susan Cain, in her book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” spends a full chapter on “The Rise of the Mighty Likable Fellow,” which delves into the shift in the late 1800s from a “Culture of Character” (a term coined by cultural historian, Warren Susman) to an early 20th century, “Culture of Personality.”

Ms. Cain’s book discusses how the industrial revolution caused the shift in ideology as a result of people moving from quiet country-life into growing cities at the turn of the 20th century.  To find work, they had to compete.  They had to stand out.  And so, who among the great heroes should emerge out of this shift? Mr. Dale Carnegie. He became the expert in how to be liked, how to persuade, how to gain the attention of others; to thrive in urban life. Timing being perfect for such skills, Mr. Carnegie launched his first public speaking course in 1912 at the YMCA in Harlem, New York!

Susan Cain writes that Mr. Carnegie was a self-help “Culture of Personality” guru, and I can understand why that is true.  As an emerging leader of methods that helped people compete, get jobs, keep up with the Joneses, they needed winning personalities.  I am also compelled to add that he was a very powerful proponent of the importance of  character.  His book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” was a user’s manual and the title fulfills its promise. However, if you carefully read his 30 Human Relations Principles, (the foundation for the book’s material) they speak to character. Here’s a sampling:

Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

Give honest, sincere appreciation.

Show genuine interest in others.

Respect the other person’s opinion.

Let the other person save face.

These principles are about humility, compassion and gratitude.  Mr. Carnegie never lost sight of his own small-town upbringing and the importance of building a reputation based on being humanitarian.  103 years later, his work is still teaching us about the importance of character and how to build the characteristics associated with likable personalities.

So, what does reputation hinge upon?  I’d say that we should follow Mr. Carnegie’s thinking:  we need to have likable personalities that grow through skill-development (such as communicating well, presenting ourselves with confidence, etc.) in order to compete in this “Culture of Personality.” We should also remember that the constancy and source of our humanity – the foundation our personalities are built upon, flows out of true character.

Gratefully yours,


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.


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,


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.

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!


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 Good News about Being a Square Peg in a Round Hole

In anger management, arguments, assertiveness, being different at work, breakdown in communication, bullies in the workplace, business relationships, career challenges, career-related problems, Catalyst, communication skills, communications between generations, coping with pressure at work, corporate life, David Rock, diplomacy and tact, empowerment, entrepreneurs, get out of your own way, gossiping, Gurus, human relations, interpersonal skills, lack of relatedness, leadership, life skills, manage stress at work, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, negativity at work, NeuroLeadership Group, office politics, ostracized, outcast, person to person dynamics, personal development, personal growth, personal power, personality, professional behavior, professional boundaries, professional development, Professional Reputation, Reputation, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, spiritual awakening, spiritual growth, Square Peg Round Hole, team-player, transformation, women in the workplace, work-related problems, working with a younger boss on March 6, 2015 at 4:55 pm

You’re 25, 35, 45, 55, 65.  Your work is excellent regardless of your position. You are skilled, qualified, effective.  You’re making positive impact towards the bottom line for your employer.  You’re not perfect, but you’re fundamentally a nice, kind, quality human being.  Yet, somehow people judge you, misunderstand your intentions, or simply don’t like or trust you:  there’s a look in their eyes as if you have two heads and your skin is blue.  They blame you for the way you say or do things.  They are intolerant of your being different from them.

You feel like the oddball and cannot blend in with the group.  This is a known stress-inducing thing, in fact, David Rock of the NeuroLeadership Institute calls this a ‘lack of relatedness’ that professionals feel.  It causes a threat reaction in the brain, which can fuel the problem and lead to behaviors that further separate us from the group mentality (i.e., withdrawing, arguing, appeasing others, etc…).

I am a square peg.  My entire career, no matter what employer, I am plagued with being so different as to stir the pot, having experienced a host of things from being bullied, to being ostracized, being fired, being gossiped about, you name it.  However, I am so efficient and good at my job that this is never the issue that surfaces.  No one ever blamed me for being incompetent.  I’m just not like the others.

I’ve come to take responsibility for this and see myself as a catalyst.  I am a lightening rod.  I ignite a riot.  I have a strong, assertive energy that makes some people very uncomfortable.  I am honest and direct.  I am confident.  I have a way of working that gets results but is not the norm.  It rattles people who follow the rules and blend in. Now, none of this disqualifies me from having to practice all of my beloved techniques in human relations, communication, leadership and holding myself accountable when I do wrong, but it is a quality that I cannot change because it’s so fundamental to my presence and my spirit.  And I endure because there are people who see my value and embrace my differences.

Does this sound like you, dear friend?  If so, start thinking of yourself as a catalyst that wakes people up.  From a much higher perspective, you and your big energy are mirrors for others to have their own limits kicked-up, and when they are mature enough to take accountability for that, they get to change for the better. (And sometimes they pursue professional development coaches when they do! :)) And if they don’t they don’t – it’s a conscious choice to wake-up or not.  Just know they will always play the role as your Guru, reminding you to be okay with being different. Until then, sadly, you get to be blamed for their discomfort.  Know that some of the time you possess qualities that make them want to push you away, only because they cannot be like you.  How about them apples!

In fact, entrepreneurs are frequently people who are so tired of not being a fit, they leap off to be their own bosses, create their own gigs and work in more autonomous scenarios.  I am one of these, yet always mindful that clients can draw the square peg out of me and I have to be mindful that I am hired to be of service and to get along.

Do not fret, square one.  Round holes are good for your soul.  They help to refine and develop you in a way that allows you to get on with your life; get along in the world even when it’s awkward.  It becomes a life-long workout of blending in to make your life work.  It gives you the objectivity to choose how to behave so that you are being your best.  Good news is that round holes can never demand you to fundamentally change.  You are like the horse that is given water but cannot be made to drink it. Enjoy your power.

Squarely yours,


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.