Monday, December 3, 2012

Which piece of the pie are you willing to give up?

With the holidays upon usand the new year just around the cornerseemed like a good time to focus on our priorities.  AND, think about what to say "No" to.  A classic approach is the make a list of what's important to youright now.  Your list may include someor allof the following.  Or you can create your own list.  
Ÿ Career

Ÿ Health

Ÿ Wealth...material

Ÿ Family

Ÿ Social...personal relationships

Ÿ Education...personal growth

Ÿ Spiritual

Ÿ Recreational...leisure
Ÿ Personal...self

Then, draw a circle. Think of it as your pie and "cut" it into "pieces" to reflect the percentage of your waking life you will invest in each area. The next time you are about to say "Yes" to a new project, role, experience, committeecome to your pie and put your finger on the piece you're willing to give up. And, if you're tempted to make a New Year's resolution in 2013, read my post about setting goals first.  Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Employ Selective Agreement to be a better listener

As Stephen Covey said, "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."

To truly listen we need, indeed, to focus on understanding the other person.  And suspending judgment.  In other words, be open to new possibilities or alternatives.  An excellent technique to employ is another form of what I call verbal aikido. I introduced you to Limited Response in previous post.
Let's explore a second form of verbal aikidoSelective Agreement.  This technique asks you to lookor listenfor something you can agree with in what the person is saying.
Instead of: "Are you kidding?!"
How about: "Interesting idea. How would you see it being put into action?"
Instead of: "Never heard of anything like that."
How about: "I hadn't thought of that. Would you give me an example so I can understand more clearly?"
Instead of: "Well, of course."
How about: "I agree.  And, I've also noticed that..."
Your fall-back phrase is, “You may be right, _______.”

Problem is, that phrase is often followed by a big 'But!' which erases everything that was said before the 'but.' Change that three-letter word to another three-letter word, 'And!'  You'll notice I've only used the 'and' in the last example.  It's implied or understood in the first two.  Some participants in my trainings have said, "It wouldn't be grammatically correct to use 'and' in the first two examples."  I agree, and ask that you simply think 'and.' Doing this will help you avoid saying, "Bu-u-u-u-ut!" You'll be a better listener and the other person will be more likely to hear you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Creating Systems to Put You Center Stage

Ruby Newell LegnerRuby Newell-Legner, CSP, wowed them on the Main Stage at the National Speakers Association Convention in 2010 as she challenged attendees to raise the bar in our professional interaction with our clients.

And now she is coming to share her secrets with us!
  • Learn how Ruby has become a celebrity in her niche market and how you can too
  • Find out how to get referrals and testimonials with one simple technique
  • Learn how to avoid cold calling and still get booked
  • Review strategies for planning your presentations to plant subliminal seeds that make audience members want to hire you
  • Develop systems to improve your efficiency
  • Learn strategies for becoming a hero to every meeting planner

Join us at the National Speakers Association Northwest Chapter on November 9th to hear Ruby. The meeting will be held from 1:00 until 4:00 pm at the Pacific Market Center,6100 4th Avenue South,
Seattle, WA 98101.  To register and for more details:

See you there!

Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Engage Your Audiences and Produce Results!


Don't miss this rare opportunity!  My popular one-day presentation skills workshops are usually sponsored by an organization and only open to its members. On October 17, 2012, I'm offering How to Engage Your Audiences and Produce Results! and invite you to attend.  Check out the details below, then contact Jan to register at 206.818.6689 or

Who should attend?
• Presenters who want to engage audiences and produce results 
• Trainers who create curriculum and facilitate training sessions
• Youif you want ideas you can use in your next presentation! 
Lots of feedback
You will have a number of opportunities to make short presentations and receive feedback from both the trainer and other participants.

Terrific take aways
Besides all kinds of keepers, you'll receive a complete 29-page workbook which includes worksheets for you to use when developing your presentations. 

After this workshop, you'll be able to:
• Design a program that meets the needs of your audience
• Apply the principles of adult learning so your key points stick
• Structure a presentation that is compelling and easy to follow
• Reinforce your points with appropriate visuals, props and activities
• Project a confident, professional delivery to engage your audiences
• Handle questions comfortably and deal with confrontation

Here’s what past participants have said:
“Thanks, Jan! I really enjoyed your workshop and learned a lot. It was nice to be with such a supportive audience while performing something where I felt so nervous, anxious and uncomfortable. Every mini-presentation seemed a little easier as the day went on with all the helpful information and feedback I received. Great class!”

“Jan is one of the best presenters we have ever brought in for this sort of training. She is clearly an expert in her field and is also very passionate about what she does. She found a way to deliver feedback (even when not necessarily positive) in a non-threatening but constructive way. I know I will utilize many of the lessons she taught me today.”

Don't miss this workshop on October 17, 2012. It will be held in the Kent area from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm for a cost of only $299 per person.  You'll receive information about preparing for the workshop and directions to the location after you call Jan at 206.818.6689 or email to register

Be sure to be there!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A beautiful, talented woman died yesterday

Kathi Goertzen, Anchor for KOMO News─Seattle's ABC affiliate─for decades, died yesterday after her battle with brain tumors. I had the joy of working with Kathi for years as her wardrobe consultant. Our "closet clean outs" and shopping trips were full of laughter─for Kathi had a wonderful sense of humor. I loved selecting clothes in red and purple to complement her beautiful green eyes. Of course, red and purple played in her life, too, as an avid Coug from WSU. We shared our alma mater and always wanted to see the crimson and grey win out over the Huskies in purple!

Working with her at the very beginning of her career I remember saying to her, "What do you DO in your shoes?" For they were always beat up. Well, she worked in them─and worked hard! And then there were the pens. She'd stuff one in her pocket, not noticing the cap was off. Yes, ink spread out for all to see. Of course, all of this was hidden to viewers when she became the anchor behind the desk. And by then her shoes weren't beat up and she no longer stuffed pens in her pockets. She still worked very hard and moved comfortably into the elegant, gracious, talented journalist that she was to the end.

Kathi came to a celebration of my ten years in business and spent much of the evening sitting and visiting with my Dad. I had told her that he had a "crush" on her. Of course, he wasn't alone. Kathi was beloved by her colleagues, viewers, friends and family. Please read more about this extraordinary woman at

Friday, June 22, 2012

How are people reading YOU?

The audience had a good laugh about how we can come across to people when I spoke at the Lake Washington Human Resource Association meeting last week. The topic was "Impression Management: Influencing Others" and I talked about the importance of getting feedback from mentors, managers, coworkers, family and good friends about our facial expressions and body language. I shared with them that I'm a frowning thinker and saw many nodding and laughing. We know who we are: people often ask us if we're OK! Told them I try to remember to lift my eyebrows while I'm listening. Of course, this may give me the look of a surprised listener, but that's better than a mad listener.

Then I shared with them an experience I had as a first year teacher. One of the boys was acting up a bit, so I was just looking at him. He raised his hands in front of his face and said, "Please, please stop looking at me like that; I'll do anything. A few weeks later I was visiting my parents and shared this story with my Mother. She said, "Oh honey. You were very intimidating as a baby." As a baby! That's enough to keep me asking for feedback─although perhaps not from Mom...

Just look at the woman in this photo. We rarely know the things we do that may cause people to interpret what they see completely differently than we intend. What about you?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting in Your Customers’ Way?

Take the time to evaluate the direction of your customer service and you may discover it's time to realign your compass. Policies, procedures or people may be getting in the way. We can't afford to lose customers because of these three crucial factors.

Just the word "policy" turns off customers. Consider how you do business─what policies you have in place and may need to revisit. Policies are often there for the company's convenience rather than the customers'. We need to focus on how to make it EASY for customers to do business with us.

Procedures have often been in place since the inception of a business─or since the first person to do the job at the company created them. Many procedures are still followed simply because they've "always done it that way." We need to revisit our procedures regularly and make sure we're not simply creating hoops for our customers to jump through.

People skills
Take a close look at the people skills of those who work with customers─and those who lead them. Do you have employees who are rude or inept? Do managers override policies for certain customers and make front line employees look foolish? According to John Goodman, Vice Chairman and co-founder of TARP Worldwide, "Employees come to work wanting to deliver great service, but the processes and policies they work under, coupled with insufficient managerial support, are the real causes of customer dissatisfaction and disloyalty. Employees receive the customers’ anger for events they have no control over…and this is what makes employees unhappy."

Just as I call audiences to take action in my keynote, take the time to look closely at your policies, procedures and people skills. Our goal? Set a compass bearing in line with our customers' rather than creating obstacles they must overcome to do business with us.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Brave New World

A recent move prompted me to venture into a brave new world. And for a member of a generation that is not designated by a single letter, this is rather monumental. I started by eliminating my land line and fax number. (Remember the world─not so very long ago─before we had faxes? And now they're nearly obsolete!) Then I eliminated my mailing address from my business card and added a QR code. Yes, that's the most fun part. Anyone with an app on their smartphone can scan the code and go directly to my website. (Try it─it works from a computer screen, too.) There you'll find links to my Blog, Twitter and LinkedIn sites. Of course, you'll find my snail mail address, too. It is, indeed, a brave new world─and I'm loving it!