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February 2016 Newsletter

Who is Audrey?

Audrey's Blog

Audrey Nelson PhD. is an international trainer, key-note speaker, consultant and author who works with organizations to increase their productivity and profitability through winning communication. strategies.

You can reach Audrey at
or at 303.448.1800 O -  303-448-1801 F - 303.448.1802 C

Smart Talk

Pay Attention to What People Don't Say in Negotiations:
The Role of Nonverbal Cues

Unfortunately, too many people, often due to their discomfort with negotiation and conflict, address it through email. Most negotiation experts typically advise us to meet with our counterparts in face-to-face whenever possible rather than relying on the telephone or Internet. The ability to "read" the tone of the negotiation process, can seriously handicap us and not allow the ability to build rapport. What can negotiators learn from nonverbal cues? Are we good at reading other's facial expressions and gestures? What nonverbal messages are we sending to others?

1. To mimic or not to mimic?
Many people in my training sessions ask me if they should try to imitate the other person to build trust and rapport. A corporate headhunter welcomes you into a conference room, and the two of you settle across from each other at the bargaining table. Twenty minutes later, the interview seems to be going very well. You happen to notice that you and the recruiter are sitting in the same position, leaning back with your legs crossed. Feeling self conscious, you wonder if you should shift position.

After two or more negotiators have been in each other’s presence for just a few minutes, their behavior begins to subtly converge, writes Harvard Business School professor Michael Wheeler.

Their breathing patterns and heart rates sync up, and they also tend to mimic each other’s posture and hand gestures. Rather than feeling embarrassed or silly when you and a counterpart copy each other’s behavior, you should congratulate yourself. Mimicry is a sign that you’re both striving to build rapport, connect, and find common ground, even if you don’t know how or when the mimicry started. We tend to view those who mimic our movements when they talk to us as more persuasive and honest than those who do not mimic us.

*Note that negotiators who are already aware of the benefits of mimicry may attempt to use it strategically, copying your gestures deliberately to build rapport—something to look out for.

2. Should you trust or not?
In a real-life example of the power of image, Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a German, successfully passed himself off as a member of the Rockefeller family for many years while living in the United States. Armed with little more than an aloof personality and a preppy wardrobe, Gerhartsreiter conned his way into marriages and high-level jobs in investment firms.

Research shows that most of us tend to automatically trust those we meet—and adjust our perceptions only in the face of overwhelming evidence. The story of Gerhartsreiter Is just one vivid example of the power of visual cues in guiding our behavior. Malcolm Gladwell in his New York Times best seller, Blink, talks about the power of first impressions and how we make snap judgments that can result in long term consequences.

When you’re evaluating a negotiator’s trustworthiness, it pays to remember that some nonverbal signs are more important than others. Professor Maurice E. Schweitzer of the Wharton School at the University Of Pennsylvania notes that liars sometimes have trouble matching their facial expressions to the emotion they’re communicating.

A liar might have difficulty coordinating her behavior—saying no while nodding yes, for example. Liars also sometimes forget to add the gestures, pitch variations, raised eyebrows, and widened eyes that we make naturally when telling the truth.

3. Can they read your mind?
We all understand the value of being friendly and patient while focusing on our goals, but it’s sometimes difficult to keep our true feelings under wraps. How skilled are we at communicating emotions that don’t quite match our true feelings? Professor Paul Ekman of the University Of California Medical School, San Francisco, has identified “micro-expressions”—fleeting, involuntary signs of one’s genuine emotions, such as a blush or a grimace—that might tip others off to our thoughts.

Research has shown that people have more trouble falsifying negative emotions than positive ones; it seems happiness may be easier to fake than sadness or fear.

In negotiations, it may be what we don't say matters the most!

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Have you checked out Audrey’s blog?

Code Switching Solves Workplace Communication in 2020
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Audrey's Travels

Audrey will be conducting several programs in Missoula, Montana at the University of Montana for the Northern Region University, United States Forest Department.

A Woman's Guide to Leadership:
Power, Communication and Credibility

April 7, 2016 - 8am to Noon and 1pm to 5 pm

The Art of Conscious Communication:
A Talent for a Technical Age
April 8, 2016 - 8am to Noon

For registration contact:
Enrique Olivares
Northern Region University Manager
Forest Service
Northern Region (R1)
p: 406-329-3203
200 E. Broadway - Missoula, MT 59802

aAudrey presented A Women's Guide to Leadership to the Business Women's Leadership Group at the Boulder Chamber of Commerce

Sound Bites

sound bitesMen and Women in Conflict: The Roles She Plays

We know conflict is inevitable. It is a natural, normal part of life. Where there are relationships, there will be conflict. A critical component of successful male-female relationships is the ability of the couple or coworkers to handle conflict, whether it is in the boardroom or the bedroom. In fact, handling conflict or not handling conflict is often considered one of the explanations for the fifty-fifty survival rate of marriages. The workplace is equally riddled with poorly managed conflicts affecting the bottom line.

Audrey's Programs
leadershiAudrey has a new program, A Women's Guide to Leadership: Power, Communication and Credibility. A Woman's Guide to Leadership is a hands-on seminar with how-to-steps for every business women who wants to conquer the communication nuances that can enhance her credibility, and make a greater impact on the job. Credibility and power are attribution variables, they are aperception-in the eyes of the beholder. Women come to the workplace with a set of complex communication behaviors that create an undeniable challenge; women are often seen but not heard. The strategies presented go beyond common sense and will provide women with cutting-edge verbal and nonverbal techniques that can be applied directly with immediate success.
What People are saying about Audrey

Hi!  I don’t know if you remember me – but we met at the FDCC Litigation Management College in Atlanta last summer!  You did a wonderful presentation called “It’s Not About You!  Communicate To Win” which was fabulous.  We are having our marine summit which means that we invite mainly attorneys and share in the exchange of ideas and educational information.  It would be wonderful if you could quite possibly do a presentation.  I believe your presentation at the Litigation Management College was on the last day and you managed to wow us after a very busy week!

Thank you,
Carol M. Siefkes, AIC, SCLA, AIS
Senior Claims Examiner
Markel – Claims

Hi Audrey, 

I was one of the ladies in your seminar at the Boulder Chamber this morning and wanted to reach out to say thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and really took some great things away from it. 
Thank you again and I look forward to receiving your monthly newsletters!

Rental Locating Manager
Housing Helpers of Colorado, LLC 

Hi Audrey,
It was so great to meet you and work with you on the Women in Leadership seminar.  I hope you had an easy flight back west.  We had a fantastic time with you and overall the group really enjoyed your session. 
Below is the compiled feedback from the day.  Please let me know if you have questions. 

ANDREA ST. PIERRE                                               
100 GUEST STREET                     
BOSTON, MA 02135-2088

The Women's Guide to Leadership: Power, Communication and Credibility













Relevance and value of today's material to my current role












Instructor's knowledge of material












Instructor's ability to convey information and facilitate discussion












Effectiveness of the exercises and activities












Overall quality of the seminar












Recommendation to others












Audrey's Books

The Gender Communication Handbook –
Conquering Conversational Collisions Between Men and Women


The Gender Communication Handbook is for anyone who works with the opposite sex. If you are a part of a management team, in HR, or develop corporate training, this book is a comprehensive guide filled with smart advice, extensive research, self-assessments, and compelling true-to-life case studies. More

Code Switching –
How to Talk so Men will Listen

Code Switching

Code Switching  is a hands-on tool for everyday use at the office. It is a practical resource with how-to steps to help businesswomen conquer the communication nuances between men and women in the workplace. This book explores the gender impact on business talk. - More

You Don’t Say – Navigating Nonverbal Communication Between the Sexes


You Don't Say is the first book to explore the misunderstandings that often arise between the sexes due to nonverbal communication — and to show readers how to say what they mean and get what they want. More than words, it's nonverbal cues that have the power to improve — or impair — our interactions with the opposite sex at home and in the workplace.

"Audrey's Top 4 CD Communication Hits"


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