Archive for Non-Verbal Communication

4 Communication Mistakes It’s pretty safe to say everyone agrees that effective communication skills are a vital “soft” skill for success yes?

But many people are totally unaware of every day communication mistakes that go unchecked.

These mistakes not only get in the way of your success – but they also piss people off – damaging important work relationships.

Following are 4 common communication mistakes that piss people off – and how to stop them.

4 Communication Mistakes that Piss People Off

1. Constantly interrupting when others are speaking.

We all know who these people are and they really piss us off.

Interruptions can take many forms. The most common is the question that just can’t wait until we are finished speaking our thought and/or presentation. The interrupter needs to have their question answered now!

People who constantly interrupt others exhibit poor listening skills and are usually not interested in what you are saying.

Interrupters have to say what they need to say the moment a thought or comment or question pops into their head.

No filter.

Quite frankly, they don’t really care to listen to what you have to say – after all, it’s really all about them.

If you want to damage your work relationship – make it a point to interrupt every chance you get. People will surely be pissed off at you.

Solution: Make a conscious effort to pause and breathe deeply before opening your mouth to speak. This takes practice but it is a skill that can be learned.

2. The Space Invader invades our personal space by standing way too close to us during a conversation.

This invasion of our personal space leaves us feeling uncomfortable and a little anxious at times.

Why? Space invaders upset our human desire to avoid “getting so close to other people.” For a more detailed discussion of personal space go to:

The appropriate speaking distance between two people, although it varies according to culture and level of intimacy, is between four (4) ft. and twelve (12) ft.

Solution: Simply know what 4-12 ft. looks like and put it into play.

3. Constantly breaking eye contact during a conversation. If you want to send someone the message they do not have your full attention –let your eyes frequently wander away from them while they are speaking.

Glancing at our phone, checking our watch –doing all sorts of other seemingly benign behavior– sends the message that you are distracted.

Or, perhaps even worse, that you have something better to do with your time than listen to them.

Conversely, unrelentingly staring at someone while they are speaking can be intimidating – and downright creepy.

You know the stare – we all do. It can leave us feeling intimidated. And no one likes it one bit.

Solution: Maintain appropriate genuine eye contact throughout the conversation. You do not want to be constantly looking away from the speaker – nor do you want to appear obsessively “locked in”. Either behavior will piss people off.

4. Poor Body Language

Over fifty (50%) of all communication takes place non-verbally. More specifically, our body language screams messages without uttering one word!

Poor posture, fidgeting, flailing arms and anything else that might distract the listener will inhibit your ability to get your message across.

Besides being distracting, it can be annoying and irritating – and yes, you guessed it, piss people off.

If you want to communicate your message with confidence, competence and poise – you must look confident, competent and poised.

Solution: Practice speaking in front of a mirror or video yourself speaking and then watch the video with the volume turned off. This will give you great insight into what message your body language is sending. Or perhaps ask someone you trust to evaluate your body language while speaking.

Practice, practice, and practice some more.

Some people are naturally effective communicators, most of us are not.

Remember – the goal of communication is to connect with others, ditch any behavior that advances this goal.

#communicationexpert #womenandmoney #womenatwork #womenandwork

~ as published in The Huffington Post

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann



Wouldn’t it be of tremendous value to know how to read someone’s body language?

Research shows approximately 55% of all communication comes from body language. Can you imagine what an advantage it would be to your career and your personal relationships if you were able to hear what is not being said!

(Guys, this might really come in handy for you one day – just sayn!)

High Emotional Intelligence & Body Language

Not coincidentally, people with high emotional intelligence are well aware of the importance of non-verbal communication. They pay close attention to body language and other non-verbal cues while communicating with others.

Here’s some really good news. Everyone can learn to read body language.

Following are ten secret tools of the trade for reading body language. With a little effort you can implement these tools and gain an incredible advantage (and boost) to your career and personal relationships.

10 Secrets Tools for Reading Body Language

Let’s start with the face.

1. When Someone is Smiling – Watch their Eyes. A true, authentic smile creates a crinkling of the skin around the outside corner of the eyes. This crinkling is commonly referred to as crow’s feet.

If someone’s smile doesn’t produce crow’s feet around their eyes, this suggests their smile may not be genuine. The person smiling may be hiding their true feelings or thoughts from you.

A happy smile is defined by crow’s feet – and you can’t fake it.

Read More

#womenandmoney #womenatwork #womenandwork

~ as published in the Huffington Post

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


As the year comes to a close, many people take stock of their lives and resolve to make positive changes in the New Year.

We all know the usual suspects: lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with the kids, read more, etc.

As a relationship expert I truly believe all success and happiness is built upon healthy relationships. And there is one New Year’s Resolution that will build these relationships!

Resolve to magnetize yourself in the New Year. No – not like a superhero, but the type of person who appears to naturally draw people to themselves.

Magnetic people are easy to be around and just as importantly, they make everyone around them feel at ease – and good about themselves.

Interestingly, magnetic people are not usually the smartest, richest or best-looking people in the room, (whew – qualifying most of us). However they possess qualities where people gravitate towards them anyway.

You want to work with – and for – magnetic people.

You want magnetic people at your parties.

You want magnetic people as your friend.

And so does everybody else!


Because magnetic people possess and radiate a positive energy that naturally draws people to them.


What’s the secret behind this magnetism?

A simple, yet rare quality: self-confidence (not to be confused with arrogance).

Since magnetic people possess self-confidence, they do not seek external validation. Their confidence comes from within. Therefore, they don’t waste their time and energy seeking the applause of the crowd since they already have a sense of their self-worth.

Following are 7 qualities magnetic people exhibit that draw people towards them. Make these qualities your own to increase your happiness and success in the New Year!

1. RESPECT everyone. Magnetic people treat the janitor and the CEO with the same sincere respect all people deserve. It’s a golden rule of life that many people have forgotten in their hurried lives and their search for more – of everything – power, money and what I like to call “stuff”.

2. Laser Focus on People Rather than “Stuff” – Following on the heels of #1, magnetic people demonstrate a genuine interest in others.

They share their most precious commodity with you – their time – and they never make you feel as if you are wasting it. They ask you how you are – and they actually stop to wait and listen to your response. They express genuine concern for you.

3. Build Trust. Because magnetic people treat you with respect and give you their time, they build trusting relationships.

They express genuine concern about your concerns and interests – which encourage you to share more of your true feelings with them. Over time, these interactions build genuine relationships based on trust.

4. Inquire about YOU! Magnetic people don’t babble on about themselves – they ask about you. They don’t dominate a conversation with how successful and how smart they are. They are not trying to impress you. Rather, they are trying to get to know you and they demonstrate this interest by focusing the conversation on you.

5. Learn What Motivates You! Magnetic people know that different things motivate people. For example, some people crave attention and flattery while others prefer not to be spotlighted.

Magnetic people have the ability to pick up on the subtle clues people give out that tell you how they want to be treated and approached – making everyone around them feel comfortable.

6. Possess Integrity and Character. Magnetic people do the right thing at the right time – even when it is hard and even if no one is watching. These are the cornerstone traits of people with integrity and character.

Magnetic people do what they tell you they are going to do – without you having to follow-up with them. They also say what they mean and mean what they say. In other words, they are not full of bull.

Their integrity and character is demonstrated in their absolute refusal to engage in gossip or bad mouth others.

7. Smile. Magnetic people smile. We unconsciously gravitate towards people who smile because they make us feel good about ourselves. To read more about the value of smiling, click here to read an interesting article published in Neuroscience News.

During conversation, people naturally mirror the body language of the person with whom they are speaking, so who wouldn’t prefer to speak with someone who is smiling?

If the only New Year’s Resolution you make for 2016 is to magnetize yourself – success and happiness will be yours.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


Everyone seems to be constantly talking about Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.). However, if I were to ask you exactly what the term “Emotional Intelligence” means, you would probably be hard pressed to define it. You might also have a difficult time explaining how it shows up in your business and your life. For the most accurate definition let’s turn to the guru himself, Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence” who states: “Emotional Intelligence is the master aptitude, a capacity that profoundly affects all other abilities, either facilitating or interfering with them.”

The above definition sounds great, however, it probably doesn’t amount to a hill of beans for most people. Therefore, in my work with clients and organizations, I’ve simplified the definition of emotional intelligence as being the ability to use your emotions intelligently, in real time, to build and sustain healthy relationships.

People with high Emotional Intelligence are in control of their emotions instead of having their emotions control them!

Think of all the brilliant people you know who would be more successful and happier if they had a clue as to how negatively others perceived them. These people possess a very low level of emotional intelligence, in spite of what may be a very high I.Q., so their success is compromised.

Without healthy relationships, your success is handicapped because as Stephen Covey, best selling author of: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” wrote: “all success begins with relationships.”

Here’s the really good news. Unlike your Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.), your Emotional Intelligence can be exponentially increased throughout your lifetime.

Following are 3 critical ways to increase your Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.)

1. Increase Self-Awareness – Know Thyself. Learn what makes you tick, and perhaps more importantly, learn what ticks you off. Things that tick you off are commonly referred to as trigger points or “hot buttons” because they “trigger” uncontrollable emotional reaction(s) in you – ones that you often regret. How many times have you wished you could take back hurtful words spoken in anger, but they were out of your mouth before you even realized it? Increasing your self-awareness provides you with a greater understanding of your own emotions and is a critical step towards controlling them.

2. Learn Effective Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication Skills. The great comedian George Bernard Shaw said: “the biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Can’t we all agree with that?

Communication consists of three main components: verbal, non-verbal and active listening.

Verbal Communication describes the words we choose to use. The more emotionally charged a situation is, the more imperative it is we choose our words carefully. There are many words we can use to communicate our message, so pick the ones that will not alienate others.

Non-verbal communication involves every other aspect of communication other than verbal communication: body language, posture, tone, attitude, etc. Many times it is not what we say but how we say it that creates difficulties in our relationships. Therefore, it is vitally important to be aware of our tone and attitude and how we are coming across if we want to effectively communicate our message.

Active Listening. Active listening is not just about standing by silently as someone speaks. Active listening involves being fully present and totally engaged in a manner whereby the person you are listening to feels both heard and understood, regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

3. Show authenticity and genuineness. People with high emotional intelligence demonstrate sincere interest in other people. They genuinely understand that “it is not all about them!” They make it a point to learn the names of the spouses and children of the people with whom they work, and show a genuine interest in their hobbies and activities outside the work relationship. This promotes positive feelings and good will – an invaluable intangible necessary for one’s success!

In the final analysis, the heart of all business is people. Increasing your emotional intelligence will help you connect with the heart of your business – and increase your success!

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


Confidence is at the center of a successful person. Regardless of how knowledgeable you are in your professional field, if you lack confidence you will not be able to effectively implement your knowledge and your success will be limited. Confidence is not something you are born with, it is learned over time.

Following are 3 key ways to increase your confidence so you can be successful at work and at life!

  1. Know Thyself. Take a long hard look in the mirror and make an honest and accurate assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Continue to build upon your strengths, as this will increase your confidence while simultaneously taking a pro-active approach toward improving your weaknesses. We all have areas in our professional and personal lives that need to be enhanced; ignoring them does not make them go away; it only inhibits your success and keeps your confidence low.

  2. Steady As You Go. You can increase your confidence by seeking out one new challenge at a time. Research shows confident people consistently seek out new challenges. When one challenge is successfully achieved, move on to the next challenge. Challenges that are successfully met increase our testosterone levels, which are directly correlated to increased confidence – which encourages and enables you to take on more challenges. Success builds upon itself, increasing your confidence along the way. In other words, success begets success – all fueled by increased confidence!

  3. Dress for Success. Whether you like it or not, people make judgments about you based upon how you dress (this includes your clothes, make-up, accessories etc.). And you only have one chance to make a good first impression. From a confidence perspective, how you dress directly reflects how you feel about yourself. Research demonstrates people feel differently about themselves if they are wearing a business suit or sweat pants and a T-shirt. We carry ourselves differently and speak differently – based upon how we are dressed. Therefore, a great way to increase your confidence is to be cognizant about your appearance. Dress in a manner that reflects who you are and how you want to be perceived. There is a reason the dress for success industry is a billionaire dollar market.

Confidence can be exponentially increased if you take these 3 steps described above – it is your choice to make!

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


What exactly is emotional intelligence? John D. Mayer, one of two psychologists who coined the term in 1990 defined it in the Harvard Business Review as: “… the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions. It doesn’t necessarily include the qualities (like optimism, initiative and self-confidence) that some popular definitions ascribe to it.” To put it even more succinctly, I’ve defined emotional intelligence as the ability to use your emotions intelligently, in real time, to build and sustain relationships.

Research consistently shows, utilizing modern technology such as FMRI – Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and other high tech equipment, the intrinsic link between intelligence and emotions (brain and heart) – and the fact that great leaders are highly cognizant of this connection.

The days of the autocratic ruthless business leader who leaves a trail of dead bodies in its wake are gone for good – and good riddance to them. Millennials for sure, will not tolerate being treated as garbage – nor should anyone else.

Unlike your I.Q., there are many ways to exponentially increase your E.I. (emotional intelligence) throughout your lifetime. However, the absolute essential way is to increase your self-awareness. Know what makes you tick, especially what turns you off and makes you angry. These are often referred to as trigger points because they often trigger an unbridled emotional reaction, which we often regret. (And of course it is important to know what makes you happy.)

The greater awareness and understanding you have of your own emotions, the better you will be able to modify their expression to fit the situation at hand. Since my earlier definition of emotional intelligence states: “the ability to use your emotions intelligently” you see the obvious connection between awareness of your emotion so you can control its expression – instead of the emotions controlling you.

There is no education, no position and no title that takes the place of self-awareness when one is in a leadership position. We cannot undo the damage of harsh words expressed to the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong way. When this happens, our ability to lead is extremely compromised.

Therefore, if you want to become a great leader, begin with a sincere commitment to self-awareness.


The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


The ability to develop and sustain healthy relationships is at the heart of success in business and life. Whether you are creating a consensus around your team(s) business goals and objectives or trying to close a deal with a client, the ability to read one’s body language is critical to your success. Following are 3 essential body language tips that will help you accurately read one’s non-verbal communication (body language) that may just help you seal the deal!

  1. Eye Contact: As the expression goes – eyes are the windows to the soul. Maintaining eye contact throughout your communication with someone is pivotal to not only holding their attention but allowing you to get a “read” on how they really feel about what you are saying (which might be very different from what they verbally express). If there is a discrepancy between what someone is verbally telling you and what their eyes are suggesting, try to discern what the discrepancy is about and then adjust your message accordingly.

  2. Mirror the other person’s behavior: Developing trust as soon as possible is the linchpin necessary for making a positive first impression on anyone – a new boss, colleague, client etc. Mirroring the other person’s body language as much as possible (in a genuine way) helps create this trust. In addition, when you first meet someone, turn your body fully toward him or her so you are directly facing each other. This sends the message that the other person has your undivided attention; this body posture also signals an unconscious message that the other person is both very important and special to you. Additionally, lean in while the other person is speaking to you, this demonstrates that you are listening and fully engaged in what they are saying.

  3. Smile: Research shows when people smile they make themselves and everyone around them feel really good. (This is due to a chemical/hormonal reaction(s) in the body.) A smile conveys positive feelings of happiness and hope; it suggests to others that they are welcome and accepted. And smiles are contagious! Therefore, smile and keep smiling. Who doesn’t want to do business (and work with someone) who makes them feel good!

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


Verbal communication, i.e., the words you choose to get your message across is extremely valuable to your success in business (and life). Just as importantly however, (if not more importantly) is non-verbal communication. It is essential to your business success – with body language being perhaps the most important type of non-verbal communication.

Being cognizant of the messages your body language sends out to others is often underestimated, and this underestimation can be an extremely costly business mistake. For example, have you ever left a business meeting certain that you closed the deal, only to find out later that, in fact, you did not get the deal, leaving you feeling confused and upset? You kept thinking to yourself: “what happened? What went wrong? I thought we said all the right things?” Research shows that many times business deals are lost not to what was said in a meeting but to what was not verbally said in a meeting – with the body language of the client often being ignored or overlooked.

To avoid this mistake, read below where I describe the do’s and don’ts of three (3) types of body language postures that will help you develop a more trusting relationship with others that will directly increase your bottom line.

  1. Standing Posture: The standing posture that sends the message that you are to be taken seriously as a confident, smart business leader is standing straight with your feet planted firmly under your hips and your back firm. Slouching, crossing your ankles or uneven weight on one leg evokes images of a young girl – unconsciously leaving others with the belief that this is a business woman who is not quite sure of herself; therefore, she doesn’t need to be listened to or taken seriously! Bottom line – do not undermine your presence and yourself with poor posture.
  2. Placement of Hands while Standing: The hand position while standing that evokes leadership, inspiration and influence is one that simply positions your arms alongside your body, with your fingers reaching towards the floor. Many women stand with their hands crossed over their groin; unconsciously sending the message that you’re afraid or of little consequence – diminishing your presence and therefore your message.
  3. Position of Head while Standing: Whether you are speaking or standing silently, people will be looking at your face – which is, obviously, attached to your head. To send the message that you’re confident and should be taken seriously, your head should be facing forward (not tilted to the side) with your chin slightly thrust forward – unconsciously suggesting to the viewer(s): look at me and hear what I have to say!

In today’s hyper-competitive business world it is important to take advantage of your physical presence via your body language. Utilizing the non-verbal body language tools described above will provide you with an added advantage while interacting with your clients, customers and your competition. Remember – often times what is not spoken is more important to creating the relationship you want than what is said.


The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


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Women know true success is found within our relationships – not money. The way we communicate with ourselves and with others ultimately determines the overall quality of our life – and the success or lack thereof – of everything we do!

Creating and nurturing a true partnership with your partner is predicated upon effective communication skills. Below are the 3 most effective communication skills necessary for creating a life you love, a business that makes money and a spouse who supports you.

  1. Verbal Communication. Many people fall into the trap of assuming their partner knows and understands the goals they have for their career and/or business. They fail to communicate to their spouse the positive way their business will impact the quality of their life together, from a financial, social and emotional perspective. Assuming and NOT communicating is practically guaranteed to backfire on you. We cannot ever assume our partner (or anyone for that matter) knows anything. Period. We must effectively communicate with our partner – with words – things we want them to know. However, it is not just an exchange of words that defines effective communication. Effective communication is a two-way street between partners; it requires an exchange of feelings, thoughts and beliefs between you and your partner.

    Another important aspect of verbal communication is the choice of words we use to get our message across. The more emotionally loaded a topic of conversation is – the more imperative it is to choose your words carefully and sensitively. Just because you are in an intimate relationship with someone doesn’t mean you can throw diplomacy out the window – or just blurt out your thoughts and feelings with total disregard for your partner’s feelings. Now is a good time to remember my strong belief that you can say just about anything to anybody – IF you know how to say it- by choosing to have your conversation at the appropriate time using carefully sensitive words.

  2. Non-Verbal Communication. Approximately 80% of all communication takes place non-verbally. The most important type of non-verbal communication is body language. For effective communication to take place, it is important your body language, and all other forms of non-verbal communication is consistent with your verbal communication. If there is a discrepancy between your verbal and non-verbal communication, your partner will be confused. Confusion leads to misunderstandings and misunderstandings lead to fights. Consistency in your non-verbal communication is assured if you say what you mean and mean what you say – because you have nothing to hide.
  3. Active Listening – notice I use the word “active” to describe the listening process. So what exactly is active listening? Active listening is the ability to listen without a hidden agenda. The way you do this is to listen with an open heart, an open mind and an open soul. Let’s be honest. Most people listen with their own hidden agenda and it usually occurs in one of two ways. The first way occurs when people listen with the intention of trying to “catch” the speaker providing false information so we can prove them wrong (and ourselves right). I often refer this type of listening as the: “Ah ha, I got you…” way of listening. The second way most people listen is by silently standing by and appear to be listening; but they are actually just waiting for the speaker to finish talking so they can say what they want to say. When we listen in this manner, we are not really listening to what is being said at all; rather we are listening with our own agenda.

The above 3 steps will provide you with the necessary tools you need for developing effective communication in your relationship so you can create a career and life you love!


The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


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Like it or not, it’s that time of year again – the office holiday party! As a relationship expert I’ve seen and heard of many careers crash and burn related to inappropriate behavior at this event. Here are five “do’s and don’ts” to avoid career suicide during the office holiday party. Following the appropriate etiquette listed below may help make or break your career.

  1. Do not even think about blowing off the office holiday party. This could be tantamount to career suicide as your absence from the festivities could be misinterpreted as you not being a “team” player. If you absolutely dread this event, view it as a mandatory business meeting and put your best foot forward. Once you are there, be sure you say hello, with a smile, to as many people as possible who are in attendance.

  2. Find out who is on the guest list and learn a few things about them. Be prepared to engage in small conversation with as many people as is humanly possible. Small talk at holiday office parties is a great way to network and make a positive connection with someone whom you might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so with – carpe diem. (If you have difficulty with small talk – just ask people about themselves by asking open-ended questions that begin with: “Tell me about …” and they will proceed to do all the talking.)

  3. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Although you do not have to wear your business attire to the party, this is not a social gathering among friends – it is a work event. Therefore, this is not the time or place to wear clothing that leaves nothing to the imagination. These people are your colleagues and, like it or not, you will be judged by the clothes, and make-up you wear. When in doubt, dress modestly. Remember, you may have to conduct business with these people in the future and some of them may have input into your career advancement and review. Dress for success.

  4. Moderation is the operative word for all that you do at these events. Do not over imbibe or over eat. You are not at this event for the food or the drink – you are there for relationship building. Therefore, do not tie one on – no matter who else appears to be over-drinking! Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, potentially contributing to an inappropriate joke or remark that will come back to haunt you. When choosing food, pick ones that you may eat without slobbering sauces and juices all over yourself, or the person standing next to you. Take small bites, chew your food with your mouth closed and do not talk with food in your mouth. This shows not only poor etiquette but poor judgment as well. Also, do not talk too much; nobody enjoys a bore who babbles on and on. Listen more than you speak at these events.

  5. Behave yourself appropriately at all times. You do not want to be “that guy” or “that girl” whom everyone is talking about the next day. Behaving classy and with genuine charm might actually accelerate your career up the corporate ladder!

If you genuinely enjoy these work-related parties, that is great! You now have some tips to use to make the most of this opportunity. If you find these office gatherings annoying – or you just plain dread them – view them as an opportunity which comes along only once a year for putting a face to a name and for discovering some commonalities with people you would normally only interact with on a professional basis! You have to spend your time at these events, so you might as well make the most of it!


The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


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