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Emotional Intelligence In Action: SMPS CT's First Program of the Season!

Emotional Intelligence in Action

Turn Challenging Situations into Great Opportunities!

September 17, 2018

Does the thought of working a room leave you feeling apprehensive? Do you find yourself scanning the crowd in search of a way out rather than a way to connect? If you answered yes to the above, then join SMPS-CT for an experiential learning session devoted to harnessing emotional intelligence on September 26, 2018 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM at The Town & Country Club on 22 Woodland Street in Hartford, Connecticut. Registration is open until Friday, September 21st.

Guest speakers, Ellen Feldman Ornato and Jenny Drescher, Founding Partners of The Bolder Company, will draw from their 30+ years of facilitation and coaching experience to guide participants through a series of practical exercises. Understand the dynamics of emotional intelligence in action, by learning how to read a room. Build self-awareness, utilizing aspects of your own emotional intelligence to develop business, inspire, and lead. Turn challenging business situations into great opportunities by employing the same results-oriented method for handling the emotional side of business relations as The Bolder Group’s clients—including EW/USESI, St. Francis Hospital, AARP, The Construction Institute, SMPS, and Middlesex Hospital—have.

The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) was created in 1973 by a small group of professional services firm leaders who recognized the need to sharpen skills, pool resources, and work together to create business opportunities. Today, SMPS, nationally, represents a dynamic network of 7,000+ marketing and business development professionals from architectural, engineering, planning, interior design, construction, and specialty consulting firms located throughout the United States and Canada. The Society and its 60 chapters benefit from the support of 3,250 design and building firms, encompassing 80% of the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms and Top 400 Contractors.

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For further information, please contact:

Marta Dabrowski, CPSM

SMPS Communications Chair

marta.dabrowski@wsp.com

(860) 815-9424

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New Member Spotlight - September 2018

Meet SMPS Connecticut's newest members!

 

Marie Protomastro Patel
Marketing Manager, Redniss & Mead

Marie Protomastro Patel is an AEC Marketing Specialist who helps the principals of Redniss & Mead grow and promote their business.  Her method includes developing strategic marketing plans, content creation, SEO, email marketing, graphic design and company meetings and culture development.  Though beginning her marketing career in the computer industry for IBM, when an opportunity to join the AEC industry presented itself, she jumped in. Seven year later, she has rebranded Redniss & Mead and their website, developed and executed strategic marketing initiatives and communication plans, developed the firm's project profile database, the RFP/Q proposal presentation materials, professional resumes, and LinkedIn profiles and planned and ran client events and the annual team meetings.  Her next quest is using all that experience to study for and pass the CPSM exam.

 

Rachel Santacroce
Marketing Coordinator, Kaestle 

Rachel Santacroce is a dynamic communications professional with a diverse background in public relations and marketing. She currently serves as the Marketing Coordinator at Kaestle Boos Associates, Inc. Kaestle Boos is an architectural design firm that has been headquartered in New Britain for more than 60 years, with additional offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. As the Marketing Coordinator for Kaestle Boos Associates, Inc., Rachel assists in the development of proposals while also increasing the company’s social media presence and using her strong background in public relations to elevate Kaestle Boos’ already strong public reputation through continued earned media exposure. Previously to joining Kaestle Boos, Rachel honed her communications skills through positions at public relations firms and non-profit organizations.

Rachel enjoys remaining an active member of her community through multiple activities. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of New Britain and has been an active member of HYPE for over 4 years, during which time she served as the Social Events Committee Chairman. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Eastern Connecticut State University and is currently earning a Master of Science in Communications from Central Connecticut State University. She grew up in Manchester and currently lives in Wethersfield with her fiancée Kevin. You can connect with Rachel on LinkedIn here!

 

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Body Language When Presenting - Gestures and Movement 

by Gilda Bonanno

 When communicating, your body language (facial expressions, gestures, movement, eye contact and voice) should match your message. If there is a disconnect between what you say and your non-verbal communications, your audience will believe your non-verbals.

Movement and gestures are key components of body language.  Mark Brown, past World Champion of Public Speaking, once coached me: "Gilda, stand and deliver." Rather than pacing aimlessly on stage, I should stand and deliver my message -- and move with purpose. 

Try this out yourself.  Before you start to speak in front of a group, no matter how small or big, walk to where you'll be standing with even, purposeful steps. Stand your ground and when you move – to the flipchart, to the other side of the room, into the audience – make it deliberate. 

Here are other tips to help you use gestures and movement effectively:

How to Stand

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees relaxed.  Your weight should be evenly distributed on both feet.  Avoid nervous pacing or shifting from one foot to the other.
  • Stand up straight - you do not need to stand like a soldier at attention, but your shoulders should be back and your head held high so you can make eye contact.  This posture conveys confidence and helps you breathe more fully.
  • Don't “hide” behind a desk, podium or flip chart.

 

What to Do With Your Hands

  • Begin with your hands in the "neutral position," hanging loosely at your sides, so they will be available for natural gestures
  • Avoid hands in pockets since it can lead to a sloppier posture and slouching.  You also may start jingling the change in your pocket without realizing it (yes, I've seen – and heard – it happen!).
  • Empty your hands.  If you must hold something (your notes or the PowerPoint remote), be aware of what you are doing.  I've seen speakers unconsciously fold their notes into little squares - how's that for distracting?  
  • Be aware of what your empty hands are doing – "washing" the other hand, grasping the other hand tightly, playing with your watch, etc.
  • Don't point at the audience.  Yes, your mother was right – it's not polite to point.  Try an open-handed gesture instead.

 

How to Use Gestures

  • Whether they come naturally to you or you have to work at them, gestures can help communicate your ideas and a little goes a long way.
  • Use a variety of smooth, deliberate and natural gestures that support and visually illustrate your message. 
  • Use the "fisherman gesture."  Remember the fisherman telling the story "I caught a fish THIS big" with his arms open wide? That gesture is a visual clue to what his words are telling you. 
  • Use the "on the one hand… , on the other hand" gesture to show both sides of the issue.

 

Gestures and movement provide the visuals that accompany your words.  Learning to use them effectively will help you convey your message with confidence and your audience will see your message instead of just hearing it.

© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

Sign up at www.gildabonanno to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills.  

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Management by Walking Around (MBWA), or Please Don't "Prowl, Growl and Scowl" 

by Gilda Bonanno

Management by walking around (MBWA) is a common management practice that can be very helpful in managing and engaging employees, setting a good example, and staying in touch with what's really happening with employees. 

It means that the manager leaves his or her office to go out "onto the floor" of the office, plant, lab, etc. and see what people are doing.  The purpose is two-fold: both to learn what is going on and get a sense of morale, and also to demonstrate that you're interested and present.

However, MBWA can be misused or done in a way that has the opposite effect of what's intended.  Done incorrectly, MBWA can turn into what I call "prowl, growl and scowl," a phrase inspired by a client who was describing the behavior of a senior executive at her previous company.  When the executive returned from a trip, he always made a point to use MBWA to catch up with what was happening in the office. 

In this case, MBWA consisted of him prowling around the office, sneaking up behind someone and growling, "what are you doing?"  There was no smile – just a serious look as he stared down at them.  It got so bad that employees would call each other to warn when he was out "on his rounds" so they could pretend to be on a phone call or hide in the conference room or bathrooms. 

Here are 8 tips that will help you and your employees benefit from MBWA without it turning into "prowl, growl and scowl."

1.    Make it part of a regular routine. 

If you only come out of your office when things are bad or you're on a witch hunt, looking for a scapegoat, then people will associate your MBWA with that.  Don't wait for a special occasion to walk the halls and check in with employees. 

2.    Don't use it to discipline or find fault. 

Unless you observe a serious safety or ethical violation that needs to be addressed immediately, don't use your MBWA to correct employees publicly.  This is not the time to remind employees of the "two plants per cubicle" rule (it's okay to make a mental note of what you observed and address it later).

3.    Mind your non-verbals.

Non-verbals, or body language, include facial expression, voice, gestures, posture, movement and eye contact, and they can undermine your words if you're not aware of them.  Smile, speak calmly and in a relaxed manner. Don't put your hands on your hips or lean against the desk to glare down at the employee.  And no finger pointing.

4.    Have a calm, confident (not cocky) demeanor. 

Not only will it convey that you are in control and there is nothing to worry about, but a calm and confident demeanor also can help employees feel confident enough to speak to you. 

5.    Prepare open-ended questions.

Open-ended questions such as "what are you working on?" or "how are things going?" require more than a yes/no answer and allow the employees to speak.  Listen and show interest in the answer.  Realize that some employees are uncomfortable or unused to having a conversation with a senior manager and are trying to relax and be polite, while others will take the opportunity to complain or "kiss up." Be prepared for all of these responses. 

At one company I worked with, a senior executive would on rare occasions eat lunch in the cafeteria at a table with his employees instead of in his office or in the executive dining room.  Everyone was tongue-tied and he was shy, which made for stiff and uncomfortable conversation. 

He would have been more effective had he eaten in the cafeteria on a regular basis or prepared some small-talk questions and comments to get the conversation going.  

6.    Listen.

Demonstrate your respect for your employees by actively listening to them rather than checking your Blackberry or interrupting.  Make eye contact and paraphrase what they've said to make sure you've understood. 

7.    Respect employees' privacy.

Be careful with the personal questions that you ask, avoiding questions that could be considered intrusive or inappropriate and keeping in mind that you still are the boss, rather than a buddy.   

8.    Be sincere. 

Be sincerely interested in your employees' well being, what they're working on and how they're doing.  You can't fake sincerity - they will recognize and resent any perceived insincerity or hypocrisy.

Sometimes the very fact that you're using MBWA will "encourage" people to stay on task - that's fine. However, you want to avoid using the "prowl, growl and scowl" version of MBWA where everyone gets the phone call and looks busy or hides while you're on the prowl and then goes back to surfing the web or gossiping once you go back to your office.

Used appropriately, MBWA can be an effective tool for you to demonstrate support and interest and learn how things are really going.

© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

Sign up at www.gildabonanno to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills.  

 

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Thank Goodness It's Summer - TGIS Membership Drive

In celebration of the warm weather, SMPS CT is offering a Thank Goodness It's Summer (TGIS) Membership Drive with discounts for new and returning members. Take advantage of all the benefits TGIS has to offer before August 31st!

Discounts include:

  • $100 discount available to any enrolling New Member (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • $100 discount available to any re-enrolling Encore Member whose membership expired prior to December 2015 (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • 3 webinar programs scheduled for July and August, at no charge to enrolling New Members or re-enrolling Encore Members
  • 3-month membership extension award available to any Current Member recommending a New Member who joins before August 31, 2018

 

For more information contact Ruth Millward, Cathy DeFrances, or Ron Paolillo.

 

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Lending Library Summertime Reading List

By: Jessica Osborne, CPSM - Marketing Manager, BL Companies

Summertime to me means longer days, sunny skies, and (hopefully!) time spent traveling or relaxing – which allows for some extra time to catch up on some reading, personal or professional. Whether you’re listening to an audiobook while on a road trip, or getting lost in a book while lounging on a beach, books are a great way to pass the time! No matter how you like to get your reading in, I’d love to suggest some materials from the SMPS CT Lending Library. Below are a few of my recommendations:

  • Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)
  • TED Talks Storytelling – 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks (Akash Karia)
  • Tips, Tricks, & Tidbits – for marketing executives forced, against their will, to be graphic designers (Clockwork Design Group)
  • Knowing Your Value – Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth (Mika Brzezinski)

 

Do you have any you’d like to add to this list? Better yet, feel free to contribute some of your favorites to the Lending Library and give our members the opportunity to get lost in a great book (to me, there really isn’t a better feeling!).

For more information on check out procedures and donations, visit our lending library page.

 

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Event Recap: SMPS CT Strategic Planning

 

As part of this year's strategic planning retreat, SMPS CT was joined by Inspire Corps. Acting as facilitators, they led SMPS CT members on a journey through time to discover the past and future of the chapter. From humble beginnings as a satellite office to the Boston chapter to various accolades and recent growth spurts, SMPS CT has a rich history that has that helped form the chapter as it is today. Our members came away with an understanding of how SMPS CT started and the various factors at play during it's growth stages.  

Inspire Corps illustrating the history of SMPS CT from our beginnings in the early 1980's to present day. 

With a clear view of the past, we were able to start planning for the future. As part of the discussion we took time to relflect on the SMPS Mission & Vision and benchmark our goals against both:

The SMPS Mission: To advocate for, educate, and connect leaders in the building industry. 
The SMPS Vision: Business transformed through marketing leadership. 

Attendees were able to use their creative thinking skills as we discussed critical path items and set goals to make our 2018-2019 program year the best it can be.

SMPS CT members discussing the vision and mission of SMPS.

 

 

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June Best 5

By: Mary McIlvain

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles June had to offer:

1. After the Storm: Economic Recovery after Katrina and Sandy

2. 5 Ways of Newsjacking To Promote Your Firm

3. Designing for Human Health is the Next Frontier in Sustainable Building

4. 4 Ways IoT Impacts Design and Construction

5. 17 Beautifully Designed Tea Shops from Around the World

 

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How to Introduce Yourself Quickly

By Gilda Bonanno

 

 

© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

Sign up at www.gildabonanno to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills  

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May Best 5

By: Mary MacIIvain, CPSM

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles May had to offer:

1. The Real Deal on BD Success: Only 3 Basics

2. ENR 2018 Top 400 Contractors: The Market Keeps on Rolling

3. State Planning for Long-term Stability and Resilience

4. Design Firms Keep Busy Despite Cost Concerns

5. 4 Proven Strategies for Keeping Your Project on Budget

 

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