professional

Making Great First Impressions is our people skills chat topic this Sunday.

WHEN/WHERE: Join us Sunday July 13, 2014 on Twitter at 10AM EDT. Hashtag: #peopleskills


Time converter:
Please click the time converter link above to convert 10am EDT to your local time.



Making Great First Impressions: What Does It Truly Take?

The old saying: “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” has stood the test of time. Although it’s origin remains in question being attributed to such diverse people as Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and Will rogers, the message lives on. Let’s probe what making great first impressions really takes?

Joining me as co-host for this discussion in our global #Peopleskills Twitter chat will be Dave Moore, founder of the The Moore Consortium. Dave hails from UK and reaches around the globe with his human potential transformation workshops (#HPTTransformation) for business and sales success.


Making Great First Impressions: Image is People skills logo

Making Great First Impressions. Image by KimbManson for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.


Image designed by: Kimb Manson Graphics Design for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.

Making Great First Impressions At Work and In Life!

Dave Moore suggested this people skills chat topic of making great first impressions because image can build or break down barriers. Yet, this topic is often overlooked as people prepare for their careers or start their businesses.

As Dave puts it, “Being seen as someone who is confident, calm, friendly, and approachable is the key to building, rather than burning, bridges. It is about energy, how you say what you need to say, how you treat people, how you speak to people and how you behave.”

This is a great people skills chat topic with so much to probe and ponder. Some questions to get us thinking in advance of Sunday’s #Peopleskills Twitter chat:

  • How do you see yourself? What first impression do you make? Do others agree?
  • What memories do you create when meeting others for the first time?
  • How can we project confidence without arrogance?
  • Making great first impressions: Is it a partnership or individual responsibility?
  • How can we overcome assumptions and stereotypes in making great first impressions?
  • When/how do goals and beliefs impact making great first impressions?
  • How do we ensure that the lasting impression is worth lasting?
  • How do we show we are worthy of other people’s trust and build trust that will last?
  • How do we get a connection that will remain for a long time?



These are just some questions to get us thinking. Actual questions will post live during the chat.



So bring your personal perspective, your experience, a beverage, and join the community on Sunday July 13, 2014, 10am EDT in People Skills Chat on Twitter (hashtag: #peopleskills). Share your creative views and experience in our people skills chat about making great first impressions.


I also invite you to continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community, The Facebook Group People Skills That Really Matter and the LinkedIn Group People Skills Succeed to be a part of all the people skills discussions everyday 24×7. Get your people skills community member badge here.



Shout Out of Gratitude

My gratitude to all who participate and grow the people skills global community on Twitter (#peopleskills), Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook. We welcome your suggestions for topics, offers to co-host, and most especially your diverse insights.

Special thanks to this week’s co-host Dave Moore and the people skills community. Continued thanks to generous chat moderators Chantal Bechervaise, Dave Moore, Hoda Maalouf, Tracy Shroyer and Tom Rhodes for their time and contributions.






Hope you will all join our People Skills Chat on Twitter (#peopleskills) this Sunday July 13, 2014, 10am EDT/7am PDT to share your insights, perspective, and experience on making great first impressions.

Everyone is welcome! We have only one rule in People Skills Global Chat: Respect for all even when we disagree.






TIP: If you have never been in a Twitter chat, you may find it helpful to log on to Tweetchat.com, or Twubs.com and enter hashtag #peopleskills. Sign in to your Twitter account. The venue will insert the hashtag on each of your tweets and you will see all the tweets on one screen. Other tools available are Tchat.io, Hootsuite and TweetDeck.

I am the founder and host of the chat and will be happy to answer any questions you have in advance: Email me.


Connect with you this Sun. July 13, 2014, 10am EDT in our People Skills Global Twitter Chat about making great first impressions.

Until then, as always, I wish you bonds of happiness and success!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

People Skills at Work: Change Ability Gets You Hired & Promoted

People Skills: Image is black slinky.

People Skills: Show Your Change Ability and Reliability Image by: afagen

A VP of Human Resources told me that the ONE trait companies seek in people they hire is flexibility, also known as change ability.

A company’s success depends on its ability to change. Employees must show change ability to be hired, retained, and promoted. Those that resist change and cannot adapt are a drain on and a risk to the company’s success.



How do you show your change ability?

Use a growth and innovation mindset and the following professional people skills.


  1. During job interviews, ask what balance of innovation (change) and maintaining the status quo does the company need and the job require? Demonstrate in your questions that you realize both are needed. Recount how you have done both — in your life and previous jobs.

  2. When changes are announced in your company, replace your fear and comments of resistance with questions about how best to contribute to make the change happen. Engage in the change especially when obstacles seem huge. You increase momentum and leaders notice it!

  3. In your daily work, offer creative ideas to solve existing problems. Help implement whatever idea is selected even if it isn’t yours. In this way, you exhibit both flexibility and reliability.

  4. Invest some of your own time in learning and contribute that knowledge in the workplace. If you continue to grow on your own time, you remain a vital resource. Innovation and growth are driven by a thirst for exploring and learning. Show them that this is a natural part of you.

  5. Be deserving. Don’t act entitled. Changes aren’t always fair to everyone. Yet if you have continued to grow on your own and engaged instead of resisted, leaders will see you as valuable for the new design.

  6. Flex your personality style. Most humans under stress intensify their primary personality trait. Drivers show impatience and want answers now. Analytics ask for more and more data before changing. Amiables resist changes that affect relationships. Expressives increase their communication to the point it blocks others’. Be aware of your type. Practice moderating your behavior every day so you can adapt more easily during stressful times. This shows your change ability and helps ease the stress for all.

  7. Develop and exhibit excellent conflict resolution skills. Don’t be a temperamental employee who comes across as inflexible in the face of resistance and conflict. If you can both innovate and work through resistance and conflict with professional people skills, you are valuable to the business.



A thought to increase your change ability: If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less. ~General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, US Army


Change ability does not mean you are a fake. Authenticity and change ability are not contradictory behaviors. Change ability does not mean you are indecisive, unreliable, or fickle.


Change ability is a skill of balance during the momentum of change. Your people skills are its advertisement and messenger.


What people skills behavior have helped you grow and show your change ability?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Grateful for image by afagen via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Related Posts:
Is Habit Stopping Your Change Ability?
12 Most Beneficial People Skills to Hit the Bulls Eye When You Have Little Power
12 Essential Thoughts to Proficient People Skills

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!

People skills Twitter Chat TOPIC: The Dynamics of Giving & Receiving Hashtag: #peopleskills

WHEN: Sunday June 2, 2013 10AM EDT.

Here’s a time converter to assist all of you around the globe in converting 10am EDT to your local time.

Background on This Chat Topic
Gary Loper, relationship coach, suggested this topic of giving & receiving for people skills chat. It’s a substantial topic that impacts professional and personal relationships far more than is generally acknowledged. We will explore the dynamics of giving and receiving in our one hour people skills chat this Sunday June 2, 2013 10am EDT.



People Skills Twitter Chat Logo

People Skills Twitter Chat: Dynamics of Giving & Receiving.

Image designed by: Kimb Manson Graphics Design for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.


Shout Out of Gratitude

To all the co-hosts who have and continue to suggest diverse chat topics. Special thanks this week to Gary Loper and to all of you as you participate and share your unique perspectives. You all make this chat what it is!


Join People Skills Twitter Chat Sun. June 2, 2013 10am EDT.

Please join us and lend your perspective and insight on the people skills dynamics of “Giving & Receiving”. Do you prefer to give or receive? Are your feelings different at work than they are in your personal life? What about as a leader or a team member? Is receiving always a positive feeling? There is much to explore.


I also invite you continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community to be a part of all the people skills discussions not just on Sundays but everyday 24×7.






Hope you will all join in the #PeopleSkills Twitter chat to explore the dynamics of Giving & Receiving, this Sunday June 2, 2013 10am EDT/7am PDT.

Everyone is welcome! We have only one rule in People Skills Twitter Chat: Respect for all even when we disagree.







TIP: If you have never been in a Twitter chat, you may find it helpful to log on to Twubs.com, enter hashtag #peopleskills, and sign in to your Twitter account. Twubs will insert the hashtag automatically for you and you will see all the tweets on one screen. Other tools available are OneQube, Hootsuite and TweetDeck.

I am the founder and host of the chat and will be happy to answer any questions you have in advance: Email me.


Chat with you this Sunday June 2, 2013 10am EDT in #PeopleSkills Twitter Chat: The Dynamics of Giving & Receiving.


Until then, as always, I wish you bonds of happiness and success!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

People Skills: A Single Word Can Make the Difference!

 

As The People Skills Coach™, I often coach and teach about words that make or break communication in professional and personal relationships.

 

Unfortunate is one such word.

 

The dictionary listing of unfortunate wouldn’t make you think it could cause people skills trouble.

Unfortunate …

1. suffering from bad luck
2. unfavorable or inauspicious

 

But when our words offend people or actions harm others, labeling it unfortunate can be a deadly people skills mistake.

 

People Skills: Image is the word "OOPS"

People Skills: ONE Unfortunate Word to Change

Using the word unfortunate in this case is insulting to those we’ve hurt because it underplays the impact of what we did to them.

 

It sounds like a mere oops.

 

By trivializing the impact, we put the relationship at risk.



Replace that one word — unfortunate – with any one of these words:

Deplorable or
Terrible or
Wholly unacceptable or
Very bad

… to take ownership of the impact and remove confusion.

Although the dictionary has those meanings listed third:

3. regrettable or deplorable

 … few people think of or hear this meaning when someone says:  “That was unfortunate.”

 

People Skills Lesson – Be Clear & Caring

  1. Be clear about your remorse. Care about their feelings. Be accountable for the impact you had on others. It shows that despite your hurtful actions you want to re-secure the relationship.
  2. Conversely, trivializing the impact puts the relationship and trust completely at risk.


Before speaking, ask yourself which you would want to hear if someone hurt you? “Sorry, that was unfortunate” or “What I did was terrible – I’m very sorry.”


 

Professional and personal relationships are slowly built and quickly broken.

Even ONE word can make a big difference!

 

Question: What other words/phrases have you found break trust quickly?

 

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Image licensed from Istock.com.

Related posts:
People Skills: Integrity & Authenticity
Words can woo or wound; create bonds not scars.

©2011-2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, workshops, keynotes, and DVDs that turn interaction obstacles into interpersonal success for customer service, teamwork, and leading change. Kate fills the gaps of diversity with business wins. See this site for workshops outlines and customer results.

Various comments on my last post — Don’t Fire the Customer, Fire Yourselves!showed that many use the phrase “fire the customer” as a display of power.


Leadership for Super Customer Experience: Turn Off the Power! Image via Istock.

In the aftermath of abusive customers or the challenge of clients who constantly change their minds, some leaders and business owners use that damaging phrase to validate the organization’s position and use it to re-motivate frustrated and demoralized teams.

Yet, the power playing approach leaves a trail of trouble for the teams, the customer service culture, and the company’s reputation and brand.

Turn Off the Power for Superior Customer Experience!

Power struggles establish the dynamic as right vs. wrong.

Customer experience is about perspective and connection.



Power words, like “firing”, conquer & crush.

Customer experience is about awareness, empathy, uplift, and success.



Power-based motivation like “employees first, customers second” sets up a win/lose mentality.

Superior customer experience is about win/win!



“When you lead and serve for power, get ready for a power failure!” There is no greatness in either/or.

Turn off the power struggles, power words, and power-based motivation. If you want to use power, give it to your customers to give you free feedback — communicated with basic respect.

Turn on the listening and learning. Turn on creative exploration for effective problem solving. Turn on innovative thinking for customer satisfaction. Turn on the honest diplomacy to set limits in abusive situations. Turn on the joy of delivering superior customer service.


Lead a culture of excellence for improved performance based in continuous learning — not in power.

How will you ignite the customer service greatness in your organization?

I welcome your perspective in the comments section below. And I am ready to help you the way I have helped countless others in the last 23 years.


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Leadership success: Think Balance Beam Not Mountain Top
Super Customer Experience: Customers & Us in Harmony

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

There is a phrase becoming popular in the customer service world that threatens both the customers and all of us in the profession. It’s a phrase we need to decry and banish from our vocabulary especially in the powerful world of social media.

The phrase we need to remove is: “Fire the customer!”



Superior Customer Service: Remove Threat of One Phrase Image by:Quinn Dombrowski

This threatening phrase:

  • Diminishes our integrity instead of building trust
  • Undermines our caring purpose rather than succeeding through care
  • Broadcasts selfishness and greed vs. radiating greatness
  • Declares customer service to be a power struggle instead of a partnership
  • Makes all customers who read it more defensive instead of cooperative
  • Teaches a new generation of customer service professionals a skewed view
  • Projects a tug-of-war mindset rather than a winning collaboration




Are there times when we can’t meet a customer’s need or expectation? Sure.
Yet how we part company — and speak about — echoes our brand throughout the global reach of social media.

For those business owners proudly using the phrase “fire the customer” all over Twitter, Facebook, and beyond, it’s worth a moment to consider an alternative.

The times I have not been able to continue with a customer, I have said:

“Although I cannot meet your needs and must pass on this opportunity, I wish you success …”



I am not “firing the customer”, as the current threatening phrase likes to power tout. I am firing myself! How we say things in difficult moments affects the future of our brand.


Current customers and social media tell future customers what we believe; they wonder how we will treat them. Every tweet, every post, every statement tells the world what we think of customers as a whole.

Customers talk about us too; what they say is actually up to us!



I vote to give superior customer service — not to be superior over customers. What do you want customers to say about you and your brand?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Free Your Mind to Give Superior Customer Service in Difficult Situations
What Do We Want Customers to Feel, Experience, and Remember?

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Want to deal with a subtle boss who is a master at innuendo? Want to keep your kool in professional settings with not-so-helpful colleagues? Want to avoid the trap set by passive aggressive co-workers?  Want to get employees to communicate with you before there is major trouble?

In your personal and professional life, do you want to handle the uncertainty of new relationships more effectively?


Speak sooner to prevent needless conflict.

People-Skills: Speak Sooner to Clear the Fog & Prevent Needless Conflict Image by: Daniel Peckham

Image by: Daniel Peckham via Creative Commons License


Some people stay silent in the hopes of preventing conflict. Yet conflict brews in quiet fog. It gains hidden strength in the haze of unstated expectations, assumptions, and deductions.


The sooner we clear the fog, the sooner we prevent needless and exaggerated conflict. People become more aware of the impact of their words, body language, tone, and actions through dialogue — and results improve.

Admittedly, “speak sooner” does not suggest that we immediately blurt out whatever we are feeling. Thinking and reflection are necessary and valuable.  They allow reason to temper emotion so we can clear the fog without creating conflict and raining on everyone’s morale.


After initial reflection however, thinking “what did that mean” and churning over possibilities, delays success and leaves all in a stupor. Speak sooner to find out it what it actually meant instead of projecting the worst.  Ask great questions, listen to the information, and celebrate the clearer horizon.

Universally Tough Moments

  • Two of my coaching clients work for leaders who insinuate disapproval rather than give clear feedback. If your boss is a master at innuendo, speak up to understand more clearly.  Organizational success depends on clear vision and goals.  Great questions illuminate without offending.

  • Meetings often give voice to those who want to take credit for others’ ideas. When a co-worker restates what you said in a way that makes it sound like their idea, speak up with a genuine “you agree with me!” and watch the dynamics change.  If your boss or another leader is doing this, meet with them privately to discuss the issue. Planning this out prevents career suicide.

  • Meetings also give rise to power struggles. In a meeting with one of my clients, another consultant made a presentation. My client asked me to be there to offer perspective on the customer service aspects of the project. When I started to speak, the other consultant stood up and said “Now calm down. Relax.”  He was projecting his insecurity and patronized me to gain a sense of control.  I asked him “Are you uncomfortable with my energy? You seem to be interpreting it in a negative way.”  Then I waited for an answer. This reset the meeting as an open dialogue rather than a power struggle.

  • You don’t like the way someone is treating you yet the workplace culture doesn’t allow you to lash out. Speak sooner and calmly state how you want to be treated. To do this more easily, I recommend the book The Power of a Positive No: Save the Deal & Relationship and Still Say No by William Ury.

  • If you think someone’s intentions are hurtful or confusing, ask them what their intentions are. Even if they aren’t truthful in responding, they will know you will always bring issues to the table for positive results. If you find that you usually think people’s intentions are bad, let a great coach help you clarify your own issues. Although a healthy skepticism helps keep your balance, endless pessimism suffocates success.


When we speak sooner, we turn uncertainty into certainty. We turn hold mode into go mode. We clear the fog and reveal a promising horizon. We transform mediocrity into excellence.


What tough moment would you add to this list? I welcome your thoughts and your questions. Let’s clear the fog and usher in a new year of limitless success!


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Workplace Personality Conflicts: Seek Results Not Revenge With People-Skills
People-Skills: The Critical Moment to Handle With Ease & Less Conflict
Careers: Optimism & Realism to Be The One

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Every so often I write about specific words or phrases that can ruin an interaction or destroy your professional people-skills image in one quick moment. Most of them are subtly insulting, evasive, and/or manipulative.



Today’s deadly phrase is:

Don’t You Think?



It is a statement masquerading as a question.

It sneakily demands agreement while posing as an option.

It is high pressure with low integrity.

It blocks listening by starting with a negative.

It pretends to engage yet disengages.






Professional People Skills: Replace The Deadly Don't You Think Image by:Funny T-Shirts




“Don’t You Think”

  • Makes you look like the great pretender.
  • Suggests others’ views are unimportant or stupid.
  • Makes you seem narrow minded or bull headed.
  • Subordinates others to you.



A close cousin of “don’t you think” — “I’m sure you agree”– has the same passive aggressive vibe and negative effect on your professional people-skills image and on other people.




Better People-Skills Alternatives

  • I think … If you are going to express your opinion, state it clearly as your opinion. Transferring your opinion to others as “don’t you think”, is presumptuous, patronizing, and rude.
  • What do you think of … This simple question opens true respectful dialogue that can lead to new options, positive relationships, and true agreement. Feedback turns a monologue into dialogue and true communication.
  • What if we … In casual conversations where you might use “don’t you think”, this alternative has a positive tone and invites feedback instead of demanding agreement.



Whether you are a new graduate beginning your career, a seasoned team member establishing new relationships, or a leader building employee engagement, a “don’t you think” will keep you from the prize of positive interaction.

Instead, establish an authentic, respectful, open-minded reputation through every word you say.

Your professional people-skills prowess will open doors to opportunities you never dreamed possible.


Question: Is there another word or phrase that you would add to the deadly list?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Professional People-Skills: Change One Unfortunate Word
The Perfect Apology and the ONE Word That Destroys It

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Non-intuitives and many technical professionals tell me that mastering the not so obvious aspects of people-skills (soft skills or interpersonal skills) is a real head scratcher. Where are the people-skills rules?

Scratch your head no more. If you have the desire to connect well with others, you can master and use these 15 not so obvious people-skills so that everything stacks up.

If you’re not sure why it matters, consider that people-skills impact comprehension, influence, and trust. All of that impact what you can achieve with others — the results.



15 People-Skills Must Knows (USA)

15 Not So Obvious People Skills Must Knows


  1. People cannot observe your intentions so they infer them from your words and tone of voice. State your intention to minimize confusion.

  2. Everything you say impacts others emotionally. Even if you stick to the facts, your message leaves a human mark. Consider a doctor telling a patient “You have cancer” and then leaving the room. The lack of empathy inflicts extra pain.

  3. Basic etiquette is a starting point for connection with others. Rules of etiquette are more relaxed today than years ago yet they are still a powerful base to rely on when meeting new people.

  4. Ask people how they feel and/or what they think; don’t tell them “I’m sure you feel”. It shuts out dialogue and seems presumptuous.

  5. Addressing someone by name (or at least surname or title), eases tension and helps communication. In the South, start with sir/ma’am.

  6. A handshake is your silent resume. Make it great. If someone extends their hand to you, give them more than your finger tips. A “finger tip” shake tells the other person no, I don’t like you, I don’t trust you. Shake the hand all the way to the thumb joint, up and down, with eye contact.

  7. Words can woo or wound. To succeed, create bonds with your words and tone of voice — not scars. Speak the truth with tact and caring. Blunt burns forever.

  8. Sarcasm is often misunderstood especially in tough times. With those you don’t know well, skip the sarcasm. Leave it to the late night comics. With those you know well, don’t direct it at them. It is often seen as an attack.

  9. Good questions unearth possibilities for connection, results, and success. Ask open-ended questions to learn; closed-ended to confirm. People who do well with others, ask more open-ended questions than closed and are thus seen as more open than closed.

  10. Use focused words instead of minimizing words. For example, primarily is a focused word whereas just and only are minimizing words. “Are you just concerned about the deadline?” can minimize someone’s perspective and sound dismissive. “Are you primarily concerned about the deadline?” can fuel a valuable discussion. “What are your primary concerns?” is even better because it is open-ended and allows for true perspective.

  11. Great listening is about balance. Too much silence or too much talking can be annoying. The former is also seen as manipulative, the latter as self-absorbed.

  12. Ask permission to give help before offering advice. Else you may come across as intrusive and patronizing.

  13. If someone thinks you have flattered them with your words or actions, don’t tell them you didn’t mean to! This is not the time to give literal details. It’s the time to simply say, you’re welcome.

  14. One “I told you so” sticks forever. Even if you don’t use those words, the message becomes your blatant blemish. People will avoid interacting with you to spare themselves the emotional scourge. Celebrate your foresight silently.

  15. Authenticity and adaptation are not contradictory behaviors. Today’s trend is to be your authentic self. Sure — as long as you adapt to others when interacting. Being yourself without adapting paints you as a boorish nit and earns you the label of selfish and/or self-absorbed.

What will keep you using these 15 people-skills? Desire and results, pure and simple. Lack of desire will inhibit your progress.

As I was teaching one day, a technical professional in the room showed high resistance. At break, I asked him privately if he wanted me to explain anything again or differently. He said no — that he understood. He doesn’t use the people-skills because “it’s just too much trouble! If people want his help, they will adapt to him.” Quite a decision. It will hold him back.

If you are not in a position of leadership yet strive to be, improving your people-skills will be essential. Here’s a related post — Leaders, Develop Your Intuition — to take you beyond the 15 people-skills must knows to even grander connections.


From my experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, is a former techie (BS Mathematics) turned people-skills guru with a natural intuition about people. Her consultations, workshops, and coaching transform your primarily occupational focus into business success with leading change and great teamwork. From inspiration to action, Kate will help you fill the gaps of diversity with business wins. See this site for workshop info, customer results, and book Kate now.

When you get busy with success your focus changes and trouble lurks if it blinds you completely. When your career or business finally takes off, do you?


Do you forget people who have formally or informally mentored you?
Do you abandon friendships?

Do you recoil when others who helped you now ask for your help? Do you leave people while telling yourself you are still there?

You may have busy blindness!

When Your Career Takes Off - Do You?

Career or Business Takes Off and Causes Busy Blindness!




Signs of Busy Blindness

  1. When asked for a time to network, you reply “I am working mega hours per week and the rest of my time is spent with family.”
  2. You wait to reply to emails until you want to connect?
  3. You send out the December holiday letter summarizing your year to people you overlooked all year
  4. or

  5. Post updates about your life online all year at Facebook or Google + and consider that networking.



Do not despair. Busy blindness is curable.


People-Skills Tips to Cure Busy Blindness

  • Recognize it. Are there people who made time for you when they were busy? When they try to connect with you now, what is your response?

  • Kick your fear that people may want too much time from you. Staying connected doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your success. You still have control over your life.

  • Find 5 minutes each day to connect with one person directly via phone, email, or text. Or at least reply to their outreach in a timely manner.

  • Subscribe to their blogs. Leave an occasional comment so they know you are thinking of them.

  • Oddly enough, ask them for more help. If you are extremely busy, you may find that your network that has helped you before will be glad to help you still. Helpers like to stay connected.

  • Turn off the television. You will be amazed at how much time you discover. [Thanks to Jeffrey Gitomer for that one.]

  • If you aren’t even watching television, you can afford to hire a part time personal assistant to keep track of your networking. This assistant will schedule a calendar of connections for you, help you to follow up, and keep your network on your radar screen.



Perhaps Katie Couric says it best in her new book: The Best Advice I Ever Got: “Today you may be drinking the wine, tomorrow you could be picking the grapes.”

Either way stay close and connected to the vine!
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach


©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Related post: Is Anyone There? by Henry Alford. Source: NY Times.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, delivers workshops, keynotes, and consultations that turn interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. Leaders have been booking Kate for 21 years to fill the gaps of diversity with business wins. See this site for customer results and book Kate now.

Interacting with others can be carefree or treacherous depending on the situation. Using your best people-skills steers you through the tough moments. But what if you make a mistake?

It may comfort you to know that your people-skills mistakes won’t define you if

People Skills Mistakes Won't Define You If ... Image by:Koisney

You avoid:

  1. Denying in the face of blatant evidence.  “I didn’t make a mistake.  It’s normal for people to get angry or walk away after I speak to them.” – What a fool!
  2. Explaining why you acted that way.  “Here’s why I treated you badly.” - Nincompoop!
  3. Repeating the same mistake.  Moments define you if you don’t learn and change. – Dummy!
  4. Treating people the way you don’t want to be treated. “That’s the way people treat me and misery loves company.” – Sadist!
  5. Giving lame apologies that minimize your mistakes.  Children hide. Adults own the impact of their behavior. -”Childish or Mature”: Which label do you want?
    Related post:The Words That Destroy Apologies

Great people skills are not magic or voodoo. They are outward examples of consideration for others. You use them in person, on the phone, and online.

They are the opposite of EGO = Excluding Greatness Of Heart ~Melody Lea Lamb. They build trust, collaboration, and limitless potential.

Don’t let your people-skills mistakes limit you.

From my experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach


I am planning a free people-skills webinar. Would you like to attend, submit a story, participate or help promote? Email: info@katenasser.com

©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach,, delivers workshops, keynotes, and consultations that turn interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. Leaders have been booking Kate for 21 years to turn people-skills extremes into business success. See this site for customer results and book Kate now.

Success takes commitment and persistence. Most want success sooner than later. If you are one of them, accept reality sooner and you speed success. The old adage that ignorance is bliss — or as some live it, denial is bliss — comes at a cost. It delays success.

Accept reality sooner & speed success.



Speed Professional Success

  1. What are you strengths and what, truly, are your weaknesses? The sooner you accept the reality, the sooner you will start using your strengths in more ways and working on your weaknesses.

  2. Leaders, which of your team members are propelling the mission forward to success and which, if any, are useless drag. Accept the reality sooner and you will more likely give recognition that will inspire the team to even greater heights. You will also have necessary conversations with those who are not committed. Success requires both.

  3. What is the ONE thing in your work or life that eats away at you. Be honest with yourself. What is it? Why does it eat away at you? Admit the reality and you are more likely to work to change it or accept it as an absurdity of life. Success comes sooner with either approach.

  4. If your business is having trouble, push aside fatalistic worries that drive you to denial. Accept the reality and bring a mastermind group or expert consultants together to build a recovery plan with you. Admit the truth sooner; success is close at hand.


Truly stuck with unchangeable conditions? Delayed by family issues or health problems?

Accept the the reality of the moment instead of struggling against the impossible. If you’re not where you’re at, you’re nowhere. In this case, changing your professional goals for the time being may be the fastest route to success.

What personal or professional story will you share with us to speed success?


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, inspires leaders and teams to identify and overcome obstacles to success. Her energy is legendary, her insight objective, and her results tangible.

Professional workplace success requires redirecting your own emotion into productive discussion and action. Whether you are interacting with customers, co-workers, leaders, employees, vendors, or the media, clear headed thinking serves you and the business well.

Corporations frequently ask me to teach how best to redirect personal emotion into workplace success for customer service, leadership, and teamwork. Here’s one of my classic stories and the lesson/technique to learn.


A Story of Redirected Emotion

Redirect Emotion Image by:kimnchris

The critical aunt arrived for a visit on a warm day. Ready for her endless complaining, the two nieces had the ceiling fans on and cool drinks ready. Not long after her arrival, the aunt shot one of her never satisfied zingers as she fanned herself with a magazine: “All your fans are going the wrong way!”

One niece seethed with emotion and explained that the manual specified which direction for summer and which for winter. The aunt huffily replied: “I guess I don’t agree with the manual.

The other niece, remaining calm, simply replied: “You would like these fans to go the other way?” She flipped the switch, redirected the fan, and her own emotion as well.


The Lesson

When extreme words like all, always, never, hit your ear, they generally trigger your emotion and a defensive response. To avoid the trap of your emotion, ask the person speaking what it is they want, need, or prefer.

You may not always be able to deliver exactly that. However, once you get the other person to state what they want, need, or prefer, you can have a clear headed two-way discussion that leads to action.

You never know when someone might press your emotion button at work or at home. Professional people-skills (also known as soft skills) help you avoid the trap of your own emotion.


The Technique

When someone presses your emotion button, ask for more information before you take them into your otherwise clear headed mind.

Your emotional intelligence (EQ) drives your people-skills and that delivers success.

Warning: If you are interacting with an irate customer, first let them vent and offer empathy before you ask them what they prefer. More on this situation at Best Mindset to Use With an Irate Customer.

Yours in service,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

Related post: 3 Missteps & The Better Steps in Workplace Communication


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, turns your interpersonal obstacles into interaction success in customer service, leadership, teamwork, and communication in diversity. See this site for workshop outlines and testimonials of success.

Professionals with great people skills (soft skills) win big in sales, customer service, teamwork, and leadership. They tend to lead better because they understand people, collaborate more easily, sell more by hearing what customers aren’t saying, and shine by anticipating customers’ needs for service.

How well you can read people and interact with them determines your professional success. I was reminded on New Years Eve of how great people skills can help you win big in other ways.

The Funny Story!

Win Big with Great People Skills

As we waited for the clock to strike twelve, someone suggested we play the board game Apples to Apples – this new game of funny comparisons. I had never played. My sister Mary Ellen had and explained the rules.

In each turn there is a question and a selector who decides which card/answer of all those played is the winning answer. The person who played the selected card/answer wins the point.

Ooh — my how to read people skills went into overdrive. For each question, I thought about the selector, what s/he cares about and how s/he makes decisions.

Point after point went to me. They started saying, Hey how are you doing this? I replied “Beginner’s luck?”. I won the game. It wasn’t luck and I am not psychic. I simply thought first about the decision maker and what matters to her/him. That drove my actions.

“Seek first to understand then to be understood.” ~Saint Francis of Assisi

Win Big With Great People Skills

  1. To lead and inspire innovation, get comfortable with diverse personality and natural conative styles. Tap innovation where it lives — in your team members’ minds!
  2. To collaborate better on teams, see how others see things and how they see you. Present your unique ideas in ways they can understand.
  3. To change careers, explore how that new discipline sees things differently then add your experience. You will win big.
  4. To increase sales bridge the gap between your outlook and your customers’ and then make them successful.
  5. To deliver truly memorable customer service, step outside of your own perspective and into theirs.

Develop your people skills to win big in life.


What win have you had in your personal or professional life from great people skills? Please share your story in the comments section below to help and inspire others.



Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, inspires people to growth and professional success in leadership, customer service, sales, and teamwork through her keynotes, workshops, DVDs, and consultations. See this site for the stellar success she has fueled.

The focus on professional workplace people skills, also known as soft skills or interpersonal skills has never been higher. They are instrumental in business success.

Do your professional workplace people skills and emotional intelligence equip you to disagree without showing disdain? Without inflicting the sting of the sneer face to face, on the phone, and online?

Emotional Sting of the Sneer Image by:BikeHikeDive

Wherever or whenever you slip and show disdain, the results of your sneer are disastrous and long lasting. Although the sneer shows your communication weakness, the pain it inflicts weakens others’ abilities to work with you.

Some executives claim that they forgo all civility to ensure honesty, truth, and end results.
My reply: You can be honest, truthful, and achieve great results without disdaining others and inflicting the sting of the sneer.

How can you best avoid slipping and sneering?

  1. Identify your sneer triggers.
  2. Know and remember your true goals.
  3. Employ professional people skills to interact and even disagree.

To identify your sneer trigger(s):
Write down one or two of your pet peeves — situations, behaviors, or attitudes that regularly frustrate or anger you.


Example: A director of membership at a spa got frustrated when an irate customer vented for awhile on the phone. She slipped and said, “Do I get a chance to speak?” Ouch! She stung her customer with a verbal sneer. Her words showed disdain for the customer’s behavior.
The director’s sneer triggers: Feeling she is not in control and not being listened to.
True customer service goal: To empathize, rebuild trust, and resolve the customer’s issue.
Professional people skill to achieve it: Classic irate customer handling technique not a disdainful remark.


Showing disdain does not produce honesty. How open will employees be with you, the leader, if they risk being stung with a sneer? If they exhibit certain behaviors you believe will hurt the organization and block results, simply outline why and how you want their behaviors to change.

Arrogance and disdain will not create the change. Emotional intelligence and clear communication are the instruments for success in leadership, management, customer service, sales, and teamwork.

Being emotionally intelligent about your own sneer triggers and using professional people skills instead of disdain will enable you to meet your goals and produce great business results.

“Sarcasm is not a form of humor; it is a form of anger. Choose wisely.”

What sneer triggers lead you into emotional un-intelligence?


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach delivers workshops, coaching, and consultations to replace interaction obstacles with interpersonal success for results in business. She now celebrates her 22nd year in business working with corporations, federal government, and mid-size businesses.

Older Posts »