Entries by Jennifer Kammeyer

Communicating Well Starts with Yourself

Our ability to communicate well with others actually starts inside our own heads, with our ability to listen to ourselves. Thich Nhat Hanh, author of over 100 books including The Art of Communicating, points out that we can’t really engage adequately with others until we first communicate with ourselves well. In this book I found […]

Managing Emotions

We can better adapt our communication when we first manage our emotions. The common expression ‘I get so angry I can’t even see straight’ has literal validity; when we get emotional the prefrontal cortex of the brain ceases to guide us. There are three key steps to managing our emotions effectively: Bring awareness. Notice when […]

Mindfulness is Vital to Exceptional Leadership

Leaders excel by being aware of self and others, and the situation at hand. We lead in a time of perpetual chaotic change, we drink from a fire hose of information, and we interact with people from around the globe with different perspectives, cultural norms, and communication styles. To achieve high performance, we need to […]

The Training Imperative and Communication

The jobs of the future require a skill set not held by people today, but communication will always be critical professional skill.  As of late, we read and hear that through automation and artificial intelligence, the jobs we have today will be done by technology in the future.  The response is the call for training, […]

Body Language is Louder Than Words

If there is an inconsistency between body language and speech, research shows that the listener will believe the message conveyed through body language over that which is said. Body language is louder than words. We have all been in the situation where a friend tells us everything is fine, and we know darn well it […]

Excellent Leadership is Both Communal and Agentic

I saw brilliant women talk about leadership at Wisdom 2.0 beginning with the statement that both men and women need to incorporate both Agentic and Communal leadership to be effective.   Forget the terms feminine and masculine and all the leadership characteristics we may associate with these terms and replace them with Agentic and Communal, which […]

Avoid Saying ‘You’ ‘Always’ ‘Never’

When providing feedback, it’s all about the delivery. To achieve your end goal more often avoid the pronoun ‘you’ and avoiding generalizations when giving constructive criticism. Just think about how you felt the last time somebody said ‘You are always late for meetings’ or ‘You never do your share of the work’ – it triggers […]

On Teaching Mindfulness

“I really enjoyed every single exercise we did this course, it made me feel thankful, calm, and alert. A feeling I don’t normally feel prior to entering this class.” – Anonymous Leadership Communication Student “I struggled with it but it gave me good techniques to apply to my daily life and my stress management.” – […]

Get Out of Your Head

Most of us look at things from our own perspective. This makes total sense because we are with ourselves more than anyone else. But, it doesn’t make as much sense when we are striving for effective communication with others. When we communicate and interact with other people, our own thoughts are often very active and […]

Non-Ordinary States

Time feels irrelevant, brilliant ideas flow easily, and you have a deep sense of connection to others and the world at large – you are in a non-ordinary state of consciousness. In addition to the fabulous feeling, the benefits of these non-ordinary states are increased creativity and performance for a wide variety of pursuits – […]

“Works well with others” Required

Two budding leaders from Kulesa Faul Public Relations spoke to my Leadership Communication class at San Francisco State this week, offering advice to students interested in entering the profession. The interactive conversation was a good reminder of how effective communication plays into career advancement in addition to being essential for the art of public relations. […]

Wisdom at Work

Attending Wisdom 2.0 for my sixth time, I was, as usual, impressed by the caliber of speakers, but this year I was more impressed by the attendees and the way in which they are implementing mindfulness in their work. I met people from all industries from all over. Hearing their stories gave me insight on […]

Achieve Grandiose Goals

“If you take a step-by-step perspective, then you will not get discouraged in accomplishing something grandiose.” Matt Gamache-Asselin, Co-founder and CEO of ScriptDash, a modern pharmacy. Speaking to my Leadership Communication class at San Francisco State University, Matt shared advice about leading his start up ScriptDash. He said when they started the company they had […]

Consciously Resolve Conflict

While we know conflict is part of life, it still can catch us by surprise and throw us off our ‘conscious communicator’ game. To stay present and bring our best selves forward when conflict arises we need to be knowledgeable and practice being present with discomfort. In terms of being knowledgeable, there is both understanding […]

Three Foundations of Presenting with Technology

Whether it is a project update to a team, a sales pitch, or a conference engagement, as business professionals we are often asked to speak with a presentation. Coaching on how to do this effectively is at the heart of my passion and work, which I share with others through workshops and 1:1 training. My […]

Resolve to Be Mindful

Happy New Year! We are all starting off 2016 with different resolutions, be that improved productivity, reduced stress, healthier body, or more enjoyment. The research is now overwhelming that core to our wellbeing, and the basis for achieving our resolutions, is mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be present moment-to-moment and simply notice new things. […]

Listening with Gratitude

November is the month in which we celebrate thanks. Thanks for our family, friends, and colleagues. While we each count our blessings for different things, much of what we are grateful for is the people in our lives. How do we express that gratitude? The obvious answer is by telling people, the less obvious answer […]

Playing with Fear

The interesting thing about the Halloween is that it takes a light view of the human fear of death with people dressing up as ghosts and goblins. The origination of the Day of the Dead also takes a lighter view on the subject with the concept that death is actually a part of life and […]

Time Period Matters

It is human nature to assume that our current perceptions are real and right. But ‘real and right’ is a matter of being situated in a particular time period in a particular part of the world. Two recent occurrences brought the idea of ‘time period matters’ to the top of my mind. The first was […]

Storytelling Rationale

Once upon a time, a young teenager received an orange in her stocking at Christmas and was elated beyond belief.  That teenager who showed gratitude for a sweet ripe piece of fruit on a cherished day of the year was my grandmother, a first generation immigrant who had lost both her parents and was barely […]

2015 Bits of Wisdom

How do you take the intention to be mindful and integrate it into work in the technology industry?  What does it mean to be mindful in business?  Leaders of organizations in the S.F. Bay Area met at the 5th annual Wisdom 2.0 conference to share, well, their wisdom. I have intentionally practiced mindfulness since 1999 […]

Focus on Strengths through Positive Observation Forum

The theme for the Western States Communication Association (WSCA) Conference 2015 was Accentuate the Positive.  I shared my use of the Positive Observation Forum in the Communication Classroom in tandem with Dr. Jensen Chung on a panel with other communication scholars.  Although our use of the Positive Observation Forum (POF) is specifically designed for the […]

Give Constructive Feedback

Adam Bryant’s Corner Office interviews with leaders often reveal how communication is such a critical component of excellent leadership.  In Q&A with Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle, Adam asks: What were some early management lessons for you?  Alastair includes lessons around communication.  He mentions learning about “being too vague or not strong enough or clear […]

Connect with Your Audience

My Sunday morning ritual includes reading the New York Times and the article, Introvert on the Podium caught my attention. The wisdom in this article is that connecting with the audience leads to greater ease in speaking, even for an introvert.  Laura Vanderkam, author of “168 Hours” explains how she has gone from paranoid to […]

Connect with Your Audience

My Sunday morning ritual includes reading the New York Times and the article, Introvert on the Podium caught my attention. The wisdom in this article is that connecting with the audience leads to greater ease in speaking, even for an introvert. Laura Vanderkam, author of “168 Hours” explains how she has gone from paranoid to […]

Boost Team Meetings

We sit in meetings all the time and complain most of the time.  According to research, an average team meeting includes 69 counteractive statements and only 17 proactive statements. That is a 4:1 ratio of bad to good in meetings! We know we can make it better, but we are not exactly sure how.  Newly […]

The Power of The Pause

Coaching CEOs on giving compelling presentations, I am reminded of the Power of the Pause.  Using the pause when speaking is incredibly powerful.  Think of it as the same as white space in graphic design; what you leave blank is as important as what you fill in on a page.  In public speaking pauses are […]

Presentation Skill Reminders from Around the Web

Periodically seeking advice from other experts on the web constantly expands my perspective on creating excellent presentations.  Here is a sampling of worthwhile advice. Take Tips from Comedians John Greathouse, Rincon Ventures Got for the strong start Get physical Manage the hecklers Develop a repartee Rehearse spontaneity Stop for a breath Don’t fear humor Bring […]

Use Humor

Using Humor Watching video of the recent Obama White House Correspondents’ Dinner, I was reminded how humor can be used in communication.  The president uses self-deprecating humor to remind us that he is human and jokes to lighten the perspective of heavy political issues.  His joke, “I’m not the strapping young Muslim Socialist that I […]

Centered on Communication

Watching and reading about the current negotiations on the fiscal cliff is reinforcing my belief that everything in life, including politics, centers on communication. The Washington Post ran an article this week, “Moral values and the fiscal cliff” in which the authors delineated how “Sharing moral commitments helps teams to function cohesively, but it also […]

Interactive Presentations: creation to social networking

PowerPoint alone doesn’t cut it anymore.  We are too social and interconnected now.  Sure, we still see projected presentations at conferences and in lecture halls, but audiences are demanding more interactivity, and Twitter feeds aren’t cutting it. Webinar tools were a start to interactive presentations.  WebEx, GoToMeeting, and such, allow people to see presentations anywhere […]

Share Mindfully

Building rapport is important for communication.  Starting a conversation with small talk surfaces commonalities that exist.   Finding commonalities gives people a better ground upon which to communicate.  But, as of late the trend has gone to the extreme.  There is an epidemic of oversharing. Bloomberg BusinessWeek article “Enough with the Enemas: Why People Overshare at […]

Ask (Good) Questions

I hear from many leaders that a key to good leadership is asking questions.  I find this advice worthwhile in and of itself, since many want-to-be-leaders tend to talk more than listen.  I also desire more. I want advice that is more to be actionable.  So I have set about gathering advice on just what […]

Consumer Dialogue

This summer’s special supplement to the Atlantic reads, “The Dialogue Economy, Social Media and the Marketplace” and contains multiple stories on how the power has shifted to the consumer and how companies are learning to engage with customers in dialogue.   The magazine has many examples of how the Internet has changed the relationship between those […]

Fantasies of Always-On Connections

I confess to texting someone in the same room.  It can be more efficient and feel less intrusive than interrupting the activity in the room.  But, according to Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and professor at MIT and author, these bits of technology use to replace conversation are adding up to trouble.  In the New York […]

Taking Space

Seems to be a trend that companies are realizing people need space – both mental and physical – in order to put forth the creative work required for the 21st century American innovation economy.  The business section of the New York Times explored this concept in two articles on Sunday.  The first “When Technology Overwhelms, […]