"The Career Engineer," Randy Siegel helps clients electrify their careers and transform their lives by becoming high voltage communicators™. Through training, coaching, speaking, and writing, he encourages people to fearlessly stand in their power by becoming the full expression of all they are.

Randy has conducted hundreds of presentations, workshops, and coaching sessions for corporations, professional associations, nonprofit organizations, and marketing firms coast to coast. His areas of expertise include presentation and communications skills training, executive positioning, personal mission statement development, career transition, and interviewing techniques.

He also provides consulting services in marketing, internal communications, team building, and management.

Randy and his Dalmatian, Lucy, live in Asheville, North Carolina.

For more information, contact: Randy@PowerHouse Communications.com

18 Beaverbrook Road
Asheville, NC 28804
Phone: (828) 236-0045
Toll Free Phone: (888) 836-0045
Fax: (828) 350-9162


Postcard from Asheville, N.C.

Several weeks ago, I attended a drawing class in the Soho section of Manhattan. The instructor promised to teach us a new way of seeing.

During the week, I became fascinated with the concept of "negative space." Negative space is that neutral area - such as sky that frames a skyscraper or light around a figure - that defines the object. Negative space can become as interesting as the subject once we learn to see it.

Do you remember the painting of the old crone who becomes a beautiful young woman when viewed differently? Or the facing profiles that transform into a vase? What we focus on definitely affects our perception.

I began to wonder what would happen if instead of focusing on the negative aspects of some people, I focused on something positive. My perception would shift, and I would most likely make a friend. People sense whether or not we approve of them.

Perhaps this is one of the secrets of communicating to connect. Focus on what I like, rather than dislike, about each person. Sure, it's going to be difficult with some people, but the effort is worth it. I feel good when I connect with others.

From time to time, I come across valuable information about communications, or experience an "ah-ha" as in the above story. These tidbits may not warrant an entire article, but I believe they can be useful nontheless. This month, I've strung together five of these little "pearls." I hope you enjoy them.

Communications Pearls

The Power of Storytelling

Recent research by Joanne Martin and her team at Stanford Business School showed that illustrative stories told within an organization encourage more commitment, generate more belief, and are more often remembered than statistical data that proves the same point in a factual way.

Mars and Venus Decision-Making Styles

In a recent personality-assessment survey of 420 male and female executives, Hagbert Consulting, an executive leadership consulting firm based in San Mateo, California, concluded that women weigh two factors in making a decision: how it affects the team and whether it will achieve short-term goals; men, they found, focus on the competitive environment and long-term results.

Sex Appeal

Anthropologist Margaret Mead, author of Male and Female, said that human sexual attraction is a cultural phenomenon. The kind of person we are attracted to is based in large part on societal norms. Although there is a basic reproductive impulse in all humans, our attraction to a specific body shape, facial feature, or personality trait is culturally defined, according to Mead. Nature gives us the motor; society gives us the map.

Top Training Needs

Leadership development is the number one area in which employees today need training, according to a survey of some two hundred organizations nationwide. The survey was conducted in 2001 by Manchester, Inc., a career management consulting firm. Other top areas in which employees need training are in the development of interpersonal skills, communications skills, managing change, and teamwork.

Leadership development is the top training need because organizations are seeking to improve recruitment and retention of top managers and executives in a tight labor market. Organizations have become more interested in developing employees they already have on board, and providing them with the training they need to take on additional responsibilities.

Mapping Empathy

UCLA researchers say they've uncovered the brain mechanism that governs empathy. Using an advanced imaging technique, they found that empathetic actions - like mirroring someone's facial expressions - trigger far greater activity in the emotional centers of the brain than merely observing the person's facial expressions. This activity takes place in an oval-shaped section of the brain called the insula. It is key to translating the imitation of others' feelings into meaningful emotion, researchers say.


Copyright Randy Siegel 2006. All rights reserved.