Elizabethkuhnke's Blog

Archive for November 2010

Twenty Secrets of Interpersonal Effectiveness 

  1. Behave in a friendly way; smile.
  2. Make people feel important.  (To drive them away, make them feel worthless.)
  3. Share the credit; when people excel, acknowledge it.
  4. Be interested in people and disclose yourself to them.
  5. Remember people’s names.
  6. Remember the facts of people’s lives and ask about them occasionally.
  7. Do the right thing, even when it’s not convenient.
  8. Be honest and straightforward with everyone.  If you can’t commit, don’t.
  9. Give and receive feedback graciously.
  10.  Be a good listener.  Focus on the other’s concerns.
  11. Let people save face.
  12. If you’re wrong, admit it.
  13.  Be encouraging, involved and enthusiastic.
  14. Be there for people when they need you.

Behaviours to Avoid 

15. Negativity.  It’s disheartening to be constantly reminded of what’s wrong.
16. Gratuitous advice.  Resist telling people what they should and should not do.
17. Abrasiveness.
18. Foul language.
19. Overreactions to stress or bad news.  Panic is contagious and unproductive.
20. Making jokes at other people’s expense. 

Understanding Individual Differences

One crucial element of good interpersonal skills is being sensitive to, appreciating, and honouring differences among individuals.  Part of this skill lies in being aware of the various ways individuals can differ in how they perceive themselves and their roles and how they view the world, process information, and make decisions. 

The other part of the skill is being willing to accept those differences without evaluation and to adapt one’s own style and behaviour to accommodate the styles and behaviours of others.

Sensitivity to Differences

Being sensitive means being actively aware of different cultural traditions, expectations, assumptions, word meanings, gestures, formalities and customs.  These differences are sometimes apparent and sometimes not.  Even in nations with a common language, such as the U.S. and the U.K. words differ in meaning.

Honouring Differences

After becoming aware of the differences, it is important to honour them.  You honour them by assuming that their perspective is valid, by refusing to judge others by your cultural norms, by respecting their differences during interactions with them, by communicating your cultural expectations, and by developing a mutually respectful working relationship.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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With the Festive Season upon us, and plenty of opportunities to make profitable business contacts, here are Kuhnke Communication’s A* Tips for Networking

1. Accept invitations.  As many as you possibly can. You never know whom you might meet. Remember, during this special season of fellowship and good cheer people are open and receptive to new people and possibilities. Remember:  Relationships take time to cultivate.  If nothing tangible comes immediately from attending an event, you will have sowed some seeds for the future.  Before you go, determine the specific desired outcomes you want to achieve.

 2. Aim to engage. Make it your goal to establish substantial connections at every opportunity.  Look for points of commonality. In order to genuinely connect, treat others with respect If you swap cards or contact details follow up with a personal card or email letting the person know that you valued meeting them.   Authentically connecting with people establishes trust and builds relationships.  

3. Actively listen.  Ask questions and respond to what is said.  Keep a coat rack in your head to hang details on – remembering the specifics about other people enhances their positive view of you.  When you see people you know, show sincere interest in how they have been since you last met and refer to your previous conversations. When you meet someone for the first time, inquire about them and their interests, needs and concerns.  Demonstrate your curiosity. Show interest in the other person.

4. Act authentically.  People are drawn to genuine, honesty and sincere people.  Behave in a way that reflects you at your best.  It’s how you’ll be remembered.

5.  Avoid over-indulging.  Too much food, alcohol, and other substances can detrimentally affect your judgement.   Ah, you already knew that!

Enjoy your holiday networking opportunities.    And may this festive season be filled with health, happiness and prosperity.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…Follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

What is kinesics, how do you pronounce it, and why is it essential for effective communication? Simply translated, kinesics is body language and is pronounced ki’ni:siks. By employing appropriate body language you can connect with your listener, create a positive impression, and communicate at your best. So read on to garner tips and techniques for maximising your potential through your application of gestures, facial expressions and movement.


Words are important. The way you say them is important. How your body moves when you are speaking is VERY important. Matching the action to the word adds authenticity to your message and engages your audience on a physical level. The result? A rich sensory experience and an enhanced image that inspires trust and motivates action. Knowing about kinesics also enables you to recognise non-verbal signals in others: your understanding of those around you deepens and communication levels soar.

So how can you translate kinesics into action?

        Incorporate specific gestures to re-enforce your message. A BIIIIIIG idea can be demonstrated by spreading your hands wide apart. Putting your fingers closely together indicates precision. A chopping gesture delineates boundaries and conveys determination. By backing up your message physically you communicate confidence and authenticity.

        Reveal your attitude by including facial expressions when you communicate. If you want to demonstrate interest, for example, establish eye contact with your listener, relax your mouth and tilt your head slightly. If you want to show disapproval, lower your eye brows, tighten your lips, and drop your chin toward your chest. If you’re looking for signs of interest and understanding, watch for engaged eyes, a relaxed mouth, and heads nodding in approval.

        How you stand, sit and walk all play a part in determining how people perceive you. Moving with purpose, claiming your space and breathing from your core demonstrates strength and positivity. Hanging your head, slouching, and breathing from your upper chest indicates lack of confidence. Awareness of the impact of your movements enables you to create the image you want to project.

REMEMBER: You determine how you are perceived. Be clear about the image you want to portray and utilise appropriate gestures to reflect that impression.

TIP: Don’t overdo the gestures. Repetition weakens impact. Be precise and selective.

TECHNICAL: Research suggests that spoken language evolved from gesture. Body language is still the most reliable source for conveying attitude, feelings and emotions. Confirmed by the statistics ( 55% of a conveyed message is communicated through body language, 38% through the tone of your voice, and 7% via the words) knowledge of kinesics is an essential tool for effective communication and management.

CAUTION: An acceptable gesture in one culture may send you to the gallows in another. Before visiting foreign lands or greeting people from unfamiliar cultures, do your homework. Find out which gestures are suitable and which are not.

FINALLY: Properly utilised, kinesics can enhance your image, add impact to your message, and clarify your meaning.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

and..follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

Top Tips for Web Presentations: 

Being able to succeed at presentations online is increasing in importance as it saves travelling and speeds up a decision making process. The environment is completely different to that of a board room, with audiences in remote locations, but preparation remains the key to success.

  • Keep it brief – presenting through the web you do not have the captive audience you would when presenting in person. Webcast participants are either at home or in their offices, with numerous distractions, including ringing phones, knocks at the door or the temptation to do other work whilst listening to you. Presentation should 30 minutes max. plus time for questions and answers, with the introduction no longer than 2 minutes.
  • Use stronger voice inflections – your audience [sometimes] can’t see you, therefore hand gestures, facial expressions and body language are redundant. Use a stronger tone and more prominent inflections in order to get points across.
  • Speak slowly and energetically. – Presenters will often speak too quickly because they can’t see their audience. This mistake can confuse the audience and lose their attention.
  • Use visual stimulation – audiences need to see notes, PowerPoint slides, white board, or some kind of visual stimulation in sync with the presentation. When more than one sense is engaged, audiences may learn and retain more of the presentation.
  • Keep it interactive to maintain audience engagement. Take polls or surveys or ask questions
  • Send follow-ups to all registrants. Building the relationship with those viewing your content, perhaps supplementary information, questions and answers or just a note to thank them.
  • Provide a chance for all viewers to opt in to receive updates whether it is a newsletter or future webinars.
  • Magnify your vocal energy – 15 percent more than your ordinary phone voice. Use the same gestures and body language you would when presenting in person. If it feels natural, stand when you present.


  • Eliminate background noise 
  • Check your equipment ahead of time
  • Be on the lookout for glitches
  • Make sure you can see what the viewers see.
  • The presenter should be framed from the waist up with an extra 10% of the picture above his head
  • Avoid stripes, plaids, red, or the same colour as the background.
  • Limit hand gestures, coughing, finger drumming etc.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

Cleaning Up Your Personal Brand

Spring will be here before we know it, and with that comes the yearly spring clean.  While you’re at it, perhaps it would be a good time to stand back, take a long hard look at yourself and clean up your image, your “personal brand.” 

The visual image you present is one by which you will instantly be judged. People make up their minds about a person within the first 3 – 7 seconds of seeing them. How you dress, act and speak makes a statement about who you are, how you perceive yourself and, in turn, how others will perceive you.  In business, the image you project is a powerful marketing tool and is an important point of reference for a potential customer. 

Several sources combine to make a positive personal brand – good health, confidence, assertiveness, a pleasant voice and knowing which colours and clothing styles best suit you.  All too often we allow ourselves to think, “Oh, I know I’m good at my job.  How I look and speak shouldn’t matter.”  In theory, you may be right.  In practise, you couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Do your clothes fit?  Are they in good repair?  Do they represent you well?  Perhaps it is time for a change. What about your hair?  Is it well cut and clean?  And speaking of clean, check your fingernails. If you always look and act the same people will know what to expect and take you for granted.  Often, we take ourselves for granted.  We limit our horizons by setting arbitrary boundaries for our skills and abilities.  Venture outside of your comfort zone and try something new. 

For more information please visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

Have you ever sat through a presentation that was mumbled, rushed or garbled? No matter how credible the content, the delivery made the message difficult to grasp. To connect with your listener you have to engage at an emotional level. How can you do this? Begin with your voice. An authentic voice is powerful – it represents your values and your vision. Your voice is you.

! Values. What do you most value about yourself? We all have a core set of personal values – positivity and risk-taking are two of mine. For you it may be enthusiasm, finances, generosity, integrity, trustworthiness, family . . . the list is long. Identify which values are vital to your make up. Then consider how you project them in the way you speak. When you speak from your core values your voice resonates with authenticity.

! Vision. How do you currently visualize yourself? How does that vision match/differ from the image you want to project? Visualise your voice at its best. What does it sound like? How are you feeling as you’re speaking? How is your listener responding to you? By making your vocal vision clear and compelling, you can create the voice you want.

! Voice. How do you treat your voice? What thought do you give to vowels and consonants? How quickly/slowly do you speak? Where do you place your voice? What is your voice saying about you?

Remember: Visualising how you want to project your values informs how you speak.

Tip: Correct breathing is essential for a well modulated voice. Align yourself and breathe from your core.

Technical: Research shows that 38% of your message is conveyed through your voice.

Caution: If your throat hurts while practising vocal exercises STOP.

Finally: In order to create a clear, confident, and compelling voice, you must embrace your values. You must be clear about the vision you want to project. And you must treat your voice with respect. A genuine desire to communicate effectively is the foundation from which your authentic voice will develop.

! Identify your values

! Incorporate them in your vision

! Mobilize them in your voice


 Volume does not equal power!

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher


 Ready? Let’s talk about this idea of “Shorter is Better.”

Since all marketing is about communication, the faster you can get your message across, the better results you’ll typically get… but not always.

Shorter messages work better when:

– You want to communicate the essence of what you do

– You need to make the complicated simple

– Your prospect doesn’t know much about you or your service

– You want someone to just check something out

– You want to get your eZine read 🙂

Once a prospect is qualified, shows interest and wants to know more, you can tell them a whole lot. At that point, longer communication is better. (such as a detailed description of a service online).

But the challenge with a short message is getting your idea across with as few words as possible. Here are a few tips:

1. Make sure that the message is targeted to a very specific audience.

2. Include either a clear benefit to be gained or a clear problem to be avoided.

3. Gain credibility through an example or short story that creates a picture in the reader’s mind.

4. Tell the reader exactly what to do next.

Some places you can use the short message technique:

1. On the home page of your web site: People want to be able to glance at this one page, read a few words and know what you’re about. You need to go beyond a few bullet points, but you don’t need several long paragraphs outlining every single thing your business offers.

2. In an email that points to more detailed information on a web page: In tests I’ve done, a message that was only 84 words got 50% more click-throughs than a message that was 284 words.

3. In an Audio Logo: A concise statement in ten words or less saying who you work with and the problems you address will almost always generate more interest than a long-winded description of what you do, who you do it for and how you’re different.

4. In a phone message left on voice mail: Saying your name, company name and your phone number will generally get more return calls that a big recorded sales spiel that often convinces your prospect that they definitely don’t need your services.

5. In an answer to the question: “Tell me more about your services” it’s better to tell a little and then ask a question than it is to give an itemized list of every service you offer.

Your challenge in using short marketing messages effectively is spending the time to think through, write out and then fine tune your message until you get your point across in as few words as possible.

Yes, to make your message shorter it may take you longer!

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

and…follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

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