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How to Communicate Effectively

Most people think they are communicating, when in actuality, they are not getting their message across. Yes, they are sending messages; however, much is lost within the communication process, which comprises more than 90% of the message being sent!

The receiver may be thinking what the right answer would be for your question; they may be thinking about something that just happened that they cannot get of their heads, or their feelings and emotions are being compromised from hearing the communication.

By the time your message is sent and the time your message is received, a lot happens with your message. The person hears the message and decodes it, giving their interpretation to it.

In business and in relationships, we want a message to be heard and effective if we are to proceed with a good communication between two parties. In this book, my hope is that you obtain the necessary knowledge to use language correctly and to know the many variances of the language process.

Everywhere we go, there seems to be signals of some kind. There are signs, logos, labels, photographs, newspapers mobile devices and computer screens. The signs are so common that we get used to them and instinctively know what they mean. These signals have become important to our way of life.

People interpret what they want to interpret. They hear what they choose.

In the book, Words That Work, Frank L. Luntz says,

“It’s not what you say, and it’s what people hear.” He goes on to say “You can have the best message in the world, but the person on the receiving end will always understand it through the prism of his or her own emotions preconceptions, prejudices and preexisting beliefs.”

Communicate Effectively Online

In today’s world of social networking, texting, tweets and Facebook posts, along with electronic forms of communication words can easily be misunderstood and misinterpreted.

People want immediate gratification when they send a message. When people used to write letters, (what a concept!) they had to wait for a response. Today, you reach contacts, worldwide, in seconds. We are in an era with “real time.”) Businesses now send messages via office email quickly and efficiently.

In the book, Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner, he said that

“We. now have the opportunity to go beyond stated expectations and explore specific interests. Since sending and receiving messages immediately is so beneficial, we seem to have lost the ability to use more archaic forms of communication. No longer do your children call every week; they text. Everything has moved in a direction of
“I need information right now. It concerns me we are losing the opportunity to communicate in-person or over a landline, in lieu of technological advances.”

The majority of the population is born with an ability to hear, but not necessarily, to listen. There are several reasons people do not or cannot listen or remember. These range from physical conditions to cultural beliefs.

During one of the classes, required to get my Ph.D., an instructor gave his view on the word ‘understand.’ In his words, “The word ‘understand’ is just a clever reversal of ‘stand under’ and has been suggested to mean just that: to stand under.” If you ‘stand under’
someone and look up to them you will better understand what they are going through and why your communication may not be getting across.

Edward R. Murrow said,

“Communication’ is the process of exchanging information and ideas. An active process, it involves encoding, transmitting, and decoding intended messages. There are many means of communicating and many different language systems. Speech and language is only a portion of communication.

Other aspects of communication may enhance or even eclipse the linguistic code. These aspects are para-linguistic, non-linguistic, and linguistic.

It is the transmission of information so that the recipient
Understands what the sender intends.”

Just because we send a message doesn’t mean the receiver hears what you intended them to hear because somewhere in-between the sender and the receiver are the thought processes, feelings and interpretations of the receiver. The receiver must be open to receiving the senders’ message.

For example, when you see a yellow sign with a curved arrow along the road, you know there is a curve ahead. When you see a plus sign, you know you are to add. When you see a red light, you know to stop.

The key to the use of signals in communication knows that both the sender and receiver of the message must understand the communication! Let’s say, you were given a math problem, but you

did not know the minus sign is the signal for subtraction, you
would not be able to complete the problem.

When people used to write letters, (what a concept!) they had to wait until the receiver gets the communication.

Thus, this book about the communication process and all that it entails.

Look out  for The Communication Handbook by Dr Joyce Knudsen on Amazon,  everyone needs this book in order to communicate effectively.

How to Write a Book and Get it Published

So, you want to write a book. You thought about writing a book. You may have even saved information for the book you’ll write “some day.” Why not write that book? But where do you begin. I’ve mapped out steps to take to write your first book. Why not get started? Take out your pen and paper and let’s begin!

  1. What are you passionate about? Think about what your interests are and write these down.
  2. Gather your thoughts and decide whether you would like to be a fiction or non-fiction writer.
  3. Begin with notepad on your computer or even the old-fashioned way of tablet and pen.
  4. Jot down some ideas you have, be it for a fiction or non-fiction book.
  5. Think about what you have written and go away from this for about a week or so.
  6. During this “break” you’ll find yourself going back to your writing and adding a few things. You’ll probably wake up in the middle of the night with your best thoughts!
  7. The week has passed and you go back to what you wrote earlier (with your late night additions, of course.)
  8. Read over what you have written and ask yourself these question: Does it make sense? Does it follow a pattern? Is the information flowing? Would someone else want to read it?
  9. Begin a Table of Contents so that you have a “map” of where you want to go with your book. You wouldn’t take a trip with directions, would you? Writers need a map of what they will be doing for each chapter.
  10. Now that you have your Table of Contents, begin with your introduction. Every book needs an introduction to what the book will be about. Be sure the first five or six pages of your introduction will entice a reader to want to read more.
  11. Begin talking with a graphic designer about what the book cover might look like. For example, if you are writing about history, you might think of a historical cover. In order to get ideas, go to the bookstore, if you can still find one (now, these are called “brick and mortar,” and see what other authors did in their first five or six pages. See whether or not there covers reflect what is inside the book.
  12. Go to Amazon and look at the type of book you plan to write. What do you find for a genre you like? Read many “inside the book” segments and see how they wrote an introduction.
  13. Never take anyone else’s material. It will not be written by you, if you do! I’ve heard that it’s a compliment for people to “copy” you, however, it’s not a nice compliment as they are “stealing your work.” Then, what happens is people, eventually, think you copied their work and publishers have trouble trying to decipher who was the original author. Even quotes are cited for many different authors and its the same quote!
  14. So, do it right. Write from the heart. If you are a speaker, you can write just like you speak. That’s what I do in my writing. It makes writing so much easier and fun when words come from within and readers like that.
  15. Have you made your decision yet? Will you write a book? There is so much talent out there, you may be the next best seller!
  16. If you made the decision to write, remember this story. I’m not, exactly, sure how it was said, so I paraphase and say that Steven King wrote a book, many years ago and after 100 publishers turned him down, the story goes, he threw his book into the wastebasket. His wife picked it up and sent it to a publisher and Steven King was a best-selling author and you know the rest. Will you be the next Stephen King?
  17. In these times, most will not find a large publisher to publish our work. This does not mean our work is sub-standard; it means there are too many entertainers, sports stars, celebrities and politicians that are best-sellers right away and they don’t have for you. However, there is good news. Many small publishers have “popped up” and they want your work! Now, remember, a publisher does not ask you for money to print your book. That is what self-publishing is for (people pay for their books.) A small publisher may charge to edit your book to their satisfaction and to make up a template, but that is about all a “real” small publisher/literary agent will do.
  18. Get on to the social sites and join groups. People know people and they will begin to recommend their publisher to you.
  19. Are you still writing? GOOD! Keep writing. Depending on whether you are writing a few hours a day or, like me, staying up all night (to keep the interuptions at bay,) you will, suddenly, see the makings of a book.
  20. Don’t even think about sending your book to a large publishing house. They are busy with all the movie stars and politicians. Seek out small publishing companies, start-ups (I love being at the beginning of something that will grow,) and get published. I did!


Written by Dr. Joyce Knudsen, Ph.D. AICI CIM

The Art of Communication

The average person does not communicate well. Most communication is ineffective. Communication skills cannot be a substitute for authenticity. Caring, and understanding. They can help us express these qualities more effectively.

Good people skills not only get you what you want, they will bring out the best in your relationships.
There are virtually no jobs where communication skills do not make a big difference to our success. The actual work is only part of the job: the rest is managing or dealing with people. If we communicate well, this can account for at least half of our achievements.

People yearn for a closer connection with one another. They may be lonely, not because they do not have others around them; but because they cannot communicate well. If we can put a man on the moon, and cure diseases, why aren’t we all great communicators?

It is partly because we learn a good deal of our communication skills from our family. Chances are our parents were not perfect communicators, and neither were their parents. Our communication is full of road blocks that prevent real communication. Two of the main ones are judging, and sending solutions. When talking to another, it is difficult to listen to what they are saying without putting in your opinion. This is the nicer side of judging. The other is criticism and labeling.

With people close to us, we feel we should be critical. Otherwise, we don’t see how they will ever change. With others, we feel the need to give them a label. Such as Intellectual, brat, jerk, or nag. But by doing so, we cease to see the person before us; only a type.

Our good advice is rarely constructive. Because it usually represents a front to the other persons intelligence. We get so used to having roadblocks that we wonder what will be left if we remove them from our style of conversation. What remains is the ability to understand and empathize with other people. And to make our concerns clearly known.

Are your conversations a competition in which the first person to draw breathe is declared the listener? Not many people are good listeners. Research has found the 70 percent of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood, or quickly forgotten. There is a huge difference between merely hearing and listening.

The word listening is derived from two Anglo Saxon words: listen hearing and lognean. The act of listening means something more than just something physical. It is actually a psychological engagement with another person. Listening is not a single skill but if genuinely practiced, involves a number of skill areas – they are:

THEREFORE, ATTENDING SKILLS WHICH IS THE EXTENT TO WHICH WE ARE THERE FOR SOME REASON ARE VITAL TO COMMUNICATION. You are not looking somewhere else in the room. Your posture, eye contact and movement you show the other person that they are your focus. You are listening with your body.

When Rockwell was creating a painting of President Eisenhower, even though the President was amid the worries of office and an election campaign, for the one and one half hour he sat with Rockwell, Eisenhower gave the painter his full attention.

Think of anyone you know who is a great communicator and they will be the same. They fully attend with you with their whole mind and body.

FOLLOW UP- HOW we follow up what someone says to us. Instead of advising or assuring, provide a door opening phrase. This may involve noting the others body language. :”Your face is beaming today. Inviting the other person to speak. : “Tell me More” Care to talk about this? Whets on your mind? /

Silence – Giving the other person space to say something if they want to. Notice our own body language- offering the language that we are ready to listen. Dong these things shows respect. The other person can talk or not talk as they wish. There is no pressure. A lot of people are initially uncomfortable with silence. But with practice it is not hard to extend our comfort zone.
We become adapt at seeing exactly how the other person sees their situation. Unlocking or bringing out whatever is waiting to be said. This is valuable to both parties.

PARAPHASING-Is a concise response to the speaker. Which states the essence of the others content in the listeners own words? When someone is telling us their problems, we report back to them in their own words and in one sentence what they are saying. This lets them know we are really listening. And indicates understanding and acceptance. It may feel strange doing this at first, and may make the other person wonder what we are doing. Most of the time, they will be glad that their feelings are being recognized.

Life is full of difficult conversations that we all avoid having. There are things to do to make them less difficult. What difficult situation do you face right now? Authors of DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS ON FINDING BEHAVIOR>
Results are powerful communication skills to bring opposite sides together.

What is a difficult conversation? – Anything you find it difficult to talk about. And try to avoid. For most people, there are no simple or easy ways to (1) fire someone (2) break up a relationship and (3) Confront your Mother-in-Law. (4) Raise the issue of prejudice, and (5) ask for a raise. Like throwing a hand grenade, coated with sugar, thrown hard or soft is still going to do damage. Throwing it tactfully is no answer. Being diplomatic will not work. We can’t hope that our niceness will go smoothly.

Instead of throwing a hand grenade or delivering messages to people, transform difficult conversation with replacing them with Learning Conversations. This way of communication involves work to master it, it can dramatically reduce the stress of our interactions with other people, and Learning conversations increase the confidence of all parties involved. Because the air of BLAME disappears to be replaced by listening. This raises trust and confidence all around. Conflict can be transmuted into understanding.

Difficult conversations are based on the idea that each difficult conversation is really three conversations. Above and beyond the words that are spoken, these other conversations are mostly internal and involve our perception of the conversation and what it means to us.

The What Happened Conversation: This is when we go through our perceptions’ of the outcome. Who said what? Who is to blame? Who was right? The problem is we never question our version of who is right or wrong. Nor, do we question that difficult conversations are about getting the facts right. As opposed to what they mean. They are”conflicts of perceptions, interpretations and values. When we shift our attitude from delivering message to how the other person sees things differently, immediately the conversation becomes less heavy and less emotional. Instead of offering our interpretation of the situation, we are offering this as only apperception.

How to I feel about what was said: Were the other person’s feelings valid? Are my feelings valid? What should I do if the other person is angry or hurt; many strong feelings enter into a difficult conversation. But, these are often not expressed. When two people are talking, there are several things going on in each of their minds concerning their feelings about the interaction.

Should we try to steer away from feelings altogether? Should we just try to stick to “the facts?” While this may be a nice idea, leaving feelings out of a difficult conversation is like having an opera without music. We may get the plot but we totally missed the point. Conversations, at their very core, are about feelings. We need better environments, not better people.

CHANGE BEHAVIORS BY REINFORCING ALTERNATIVE COURSES OF ACTION. You can’t give a person purpose or intention but you can make behaviors more attractive and others less so. We .can’t change a mind; we can change the environment that may prompt someone to act differently.

Do You Know Yourself?

Everyone says it- Know Thyself, but have you ever really tried to figure out who you are?

Sit quietly for one moment and think about this. . .

What are your roles?

What is your job title?

What do you call yourself?

How do you introduce yourself to someone else?


  • Daughter/Son
  • Church/Temple Member
  • Employee
  • Parent
  • Student
  • Employer
  • Aunt/Uncle
  • Grandparent
  • Coach
  • Entrepreneur

Job Titles:

Do you think of yourself as a writer, a consultant, a teacher, a mentor? Maybe, all three. Narrow down what you are and what you want your clients to see you as; your particular brand.

Do you have a set job title in your current work, or have you simply created a job title for yourself? If you are an entrepreneur, are you the President of your company, the CEO of the Senior Consultant? Do you see yourself in any of these positions. If not, you are not ready to embark on this job title. You must work toward achievement in any of these areas.

Perhaps you have not even thought of a job title for yourself…if not, why not?

What is stopping you? Write this down! Look at it daily.

What do you call yourself?

In your own mind, what do you call yourself? What is your role, job, title or rank? When did you start thinking of yourself that way? What events brought you to that concept?

How do you introduce yourself?

When you meet someone for the first time how do you introduce yourself? If asked what you do, how do you describe it? Write a one paragraph description of who you are. This is known as your “30 second commercial.” You must know and be clear about who you are and what you do. Communication of this is key to any business.

Once you have done this, look through your description and read it carefully. Think about someone you admire who fits the general description you have created for yourself. If you were to describe this person, what different words would you use and why? Write a few of these words down now.

Why do these words not describe you? In other words, what can you do differently to be like the person you admire?

Writen by Dr. Joyce Knudsen, CEO/President of The ImageMaker, Inc.®

Your Core Wardrobe: The Tweed Jacket

“Tweed” can define a broad range of options. Tweed is a type of woolen fabric, and it can be constructed with a plain texture or a visible weave like twill (narrow diagonals) or herringbone. Colors also vary widely, but the fabric’s durability and water resistance have made it part of a gentleman’s practical wardrobe for centuries. Your wardrobe needs at least one good sport coat in a well-made tweed.

The manufacture and tradition of tweed comes from the British Isles, and many of the best makers are still there. Scotland’s Harris Tweed is overseen by a private governing body (the Harris Tweed Authority) that holds manufacturers to extremely specific standards, as does County Donegal of Ireland. Both cultures have traditional color schemes associated with the local dyes, originally made from berries, lichens, and even animal products.

Antonio Centeno

Your tweed jacket is going to be a functional piece of clothing, so choose it with the durability of the material and the fit of the coat as your primary considerations. A good tweed should be on the heavier end of wool jackets, with a sturdy inner lining. Choose a fit that doesn’t hang off the shoulders (nothing looks worse than a shoulder seam down on the bicep) but leaves room for a turtleneck or a sweater beneath.

If you buy from a traditional manufacturer or tailor you’ll likely also have your choice of classic British decorations. Leather elbow patches are as iconic as it gets. Pockets will also usually have flaps, and may even be “accordion” style, where the sides and front of the pocket are entirely exterior and the jacket itself forms the back of the pocket. Big leather or horn buttons complete the British country style — you can, of course, choose to avoid all of these and wear a very simple, stripped-down tweed coat; the options are simply there if you like the rural affect.

Wearing the Tweed Jacket

You’ll want to keep the tweed jacket handy most of the year round, usually from fall through spring in temperate climates. It works as an outer layer in cool or wet weather, and beneath an overcoat in the winter.

Tweed pairs with very casual or somewhat dressy styles but is rarely seen in business attire. A pair of wool slacks will make you warm and waterproof from head to toe, perfect for a day outside in cooler weather. With khakis or blue jeans it becomes a less rugged style good for social occasions in the city. A dress shirt and necktie make an office-casual or professorial look (try a bow tie to really take the academic look all the way), while a knit sweater is pure English countryside.

Role in Your Wardrobe

A tweed jacket does two things well: it keeps you comfortable and warm in outdoor settings and it keeps the basic pleasing shape of a suit coat without looking formal or forced. Pull it out as a good alternative to sweaters when you want a warm outer layer but want to look a bit fancier — or pair it with a sweater for real warmth in the winter.

Your tweed jacket works in enough settings that it’s hard to overstate its function in your wardrobe. Put it on whenever you feel like a jacket and it’s not the heat of summer. As long as you’re not going to a very serious business function you’ll probably be comfortably within the dress code.

How To Get The Vision You Need To Succeed

All successful people have a vision. Without a future vision, it is very difficult to work in the present. You can easily recognize the people without vision – they’re mostly sad, they do not like their job or just are not happy. People who pursue their dreams are excited, and filled with enthusiasm.

Vision should be totally clear. By using your imagination, your vision should become a part of you,and integrate into your subconscious mind.

Good Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. What are your relationships in your family?
2. How much money would you like to earn? If you learn, you will earn.
3. In what way do you like to earn your money? You need to feel an inner desire to some thing you truly want to do
4. What is your vision for yourself?

You set the limits in your life. Have the courage to “listen, but not take the advice of nay sayers. 1This vision, sub-consciously enters your mind and integrates within you.

BIG goals can motivate you. The same refers to vision; vision with an action attached to it! Goals or visions will “stay in your mind” until you ‘let this out’ and perform an action.


Create a Vision Circle to include many areas.

Fill in your own! Some are Career, Money, Physical, Personal Growth, Health, Friends/Family, Romance, Fun and Recreational.

What is missing? 3 things we often do:

  1. Deny things we want
  2. Tolerate things that don’t work
  3. Not giving time for things in life that need attention.

We have learned that success is measured by money.

We succeed by growing.

Money comes after!

We must stop living in fear.

Decide what we want out of our life.

We must get rid of our “inner critic” (could have a whole committee) Also known as Monkey Mind. This is the way they think!

  • Only one or two choices or no choice at all.
  • Black and white or either/or thinking
  • Decision making based on fear
  • I should or I have to versus I want to
  • Acceptance that this is the way the world is
  • Breathing is constricted, chest tight.

Exercise: Stand up: “I should…..” Then I want.” You will be neutralizing your inner critic. Begin by noticing, observing – Choose a perspective, make a choice, notice our story, have fun, use intuition, honor your values. Get facts – consult a trusted friend

Give your inner critic a name – the sabotager.

  • Identify and eliminate energy drainers.
  • Give up always giving – if this is a should or an obligation.
  • Understand wants vs. should (Stop shoulding yourself and others).
  • Know at least 5 out of balance signals.

Exercise: Identify 5 things that drain you in order of importance. (See positioning for success to incorporate this.

For energy drain, either eliminate it if you can, handle it, accept it. Energy drains affect your health (business and personal).


View the perspective wheel and see the change in each perspective.

Ask for 2 volunteers who have some issue. Ask group to help with suggestions.

Put the person in one of four gradrants.

How do they feel? “I know I’m out of balance when….”

Another perspective – tools to use.  How do I feel?  Gain clarity.  Go to another and believe it and feel good about doing exercise.

Which is more important: Competition or Collaboration?

For years, I’ve been wondering why so many people feel that helping their competition Is a bad thing and holds negative for them. People seem to cringe at the idea that other people are out there trying to do the thing you’re trying to do? Some are even copying your work! BUT, I love competition, for competition makes me work harder to be better and stronger.

You may feel fear that other people are starting the same kind of business. Many are. Instead of dreading the competition, just accept the fear for what it is: an emotion.

There are six billion people in the world and room for competition. My findings are that it is about coming up with a unique idea and giving your idea your own personal expression, so that you connect with some of those other 5,999,999,999 people.

Ask yourself these questions?

-What is the passion for why you are doing this business?

-How do you plan to differentiate yourself from your “competition?”

-Who will be your target market?

-When will you take time to be creative and put YOU into YOUR business?

-Why do you want to work in the subject area you choose?

As an image professional, I am constantly refining and focusing what separates the way I work with clients from the way other people do. For me, it is about the final product as much as it is about the process of arriving at the final destination a lot of people like to work with me because of way I treat them!

-No one else is YOU. People do business with people they like. Make your clients like you!

Fear is good because it reminds you that you probably are not doing everything you can to be your best and creating something unique. Competition is a warning signal and a reminder that you might need to change something to differentiate yourself. Allow any fear to remind you that you need to stay focused on what makes the way you offer your product or service special.

Keep in mind that when one changes from the competitive mindset to the creative, the realization of abundance occurs — and one shifts from competing for what others have, to creating things for oneself (without fear)

Rather than concerning yourself with competition, how about collaboration?

The past way of thinking suggested that Small Business need to worry about competitors. Worrying takes the focus off of the business. By collaborating with competitors the focus remains on the clientand business goals. Does there become a point in which we may be in a better place by choosing to work with instead of against another company.

A quote by Arie De Geus says, and I quote,: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.”

Instead of putting your concentration on your competitors, put your concentration on YOU and YOUR business, so that you can be abreast of the latest information in your field of endeavor. Time after time, people call, email, or skype me about ‘what the competition is doing.” My answer is always, “For every minute you concern yourself with that others are doing, that is a minute lost in deciding what you will do to increase business!’

Here are some ways to collaborate with your competition in a win-win matter.

  1. Drop them a note telling them how much you enjoy their work.
  2. If you see an article they are quoted in, send it to them. This way, you will always keep the door open. Email works because it’s a baseline. Everyone has it.
  3. Find out if you can work with them on a project that will benefit both of your companies. Sometimes, two are better than one.
  4. Set up a VOIP Connection with Skype. Discussing topics in your industry could be just what both competitors need.

By choosing collaboration over competition, we all win by helping each other to become stronger and more independant.

Etiquette Suggestions for Maintaining a Professional Online Image

Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Some people think just because they are behind the computer, etiquette rules do not apply. But, online image and etiquette are just as important and may make a huge difference with how you build and nurture relationships.

The Internet can be one of the most ambiguous channels of communication. However, it is also one of the fastest and greatest ways to communicate. Nowadays, many of us find it hard to survive without email or social networking sites.

Networking online is an art; building mutually long term relationships requires the same quality of professional courtesy and dual respect as any other means of communication. Inner wellness can be expressed in many forms through social networking sites and email.

Netiquette is a code of ethics for the Internet. Unlike the code of professional conduct of accountants, lawyers or doctors, which is supported by legislation, the code of conduct for the Internet requires high levels of self discipline that is ultimately dependent upon our inner quality. When no one can see what we are doing, what else do we have, but our soul, to keep our decorous behavior?

The suggestions below are a basis of good universal code of conduct for email and online networking:


– Never contain too much personal opinion, emotional elements, cartoons, slogans or jokes when sending formal business email.

– Learn to use the emoticon chart (below) as they are all appropriate for informal business emails to keep us up to date:

:> or :-> = Devilish grin
:] or :-] = Friendly
or = Frowning
:/ or :-/ = Frustrated
or = Smiling
:O or :-O = Surprised
or = Winking
:} or :-} = Wry smile

– Do not show a humorous character that may be offensive to others as we have no way to support our humor with proper body language or to see if our message is being interpreted correctly. Even self depreciating humor could cause others to see you as a low esteemed person.
– When forwarding appropriate jokes to co-workers or friends, do not send them too often. Also, be careful of sending attachments with huge file sizes.

– Forwarding should not be sent to everyone in your address book. One good principle to remember is that no one has the ability to stop the mail delivery once you click “Send.” So, make sure you choose wisely before sending a forwarded email.

– It could be rude to use BCC on personal or family emails. “Season greetings” messages or e-cards for special events should be sent individually. For some people, the CC function is marginally acceptable.

– Do not forward any unverified warning or urgent assistance to others. Experts claim that currently there is no way for anyone to count the number of copies of an email in circulation on the Internet; nor can the number of times something has been forwarded be counted.

– Keep flaming at a minimum. Flaming stands for deluge of critical e-mail, the directing of a large volume of abusive and insulting email at somebody, often as part of a flame war.

However, flaming also describes a situation in which a person or group of people express their criticism or negativity about something. It could be news, current affairs or world events. When a flaming is directed toward a country, a race, group of people, a person and his/her beliefs, prejudice and offensive elements are hard to avoid.

This kind of flaming should be minimized as much as possible. Unnecessary confrontation is a target of avoidance on the Web. When you find that you are inevitably involved in flaming, notify your readers and maintain your objectivity. A professional individual maintains their professionalism, even when he has to fight or confront it.

Social Networking and Online Forums

You do not have to travel to meet interesting people from different places of the world because now, we have Facebook and other social networking sites. There is nothing more fascinating than talking with interesting friends from around the world or joining insightful forums without having to pay entrance fees.

However, it pays to remember some basic rules to remember when talking to your global friends:

– Netiquette itself has no legislative standards at the moment and is different in other countries. Do not expect everyone in your discussion group to follow the same rules. Stay positive and keep an open mind.

– While you are free to express your opinions, do not expect everyone to agree with you or to share your beliefs.

– Never jump to conclusions, especially when you join a forum that is in the middle of a discussion. In such situations, be patient to observe and catch up in the discussion– before posting any comments.

– When posting your point of view, be sure that it is a constructive and informed one. Sending premature messages gives people negative feelings and may even lead to flaming. It is very immature to be discussing something that you know nothing about.

– Utilizing FAQ is a good way to avoid asking stupid questions. In reality, more than 85% of your questions are answered by the preset FAQ.

– Finally, remember that you are actually talking to human beings. Your computer is no more than a tool to communicate; it is a tool of technology and limitation at the same time.

In conclusion, email and social sites are here to stay. Every day, there seems to be something new “popping up” for us to decide to join. So, we always have to remember to maintain a professional image and practice common etiquette rules anywhere we decide to network.

Do you have any other suggestions for online networking and communicating? How about any stories to share or comments to make about maintaining a professional image online?

Since 1985, Dr. Joyce Knudsen, AICI CIM (Certified Image Master) has been President of The ImageMaker, Inc.® and has been an International Trainer, Author, and Mentor.

Are you Successful in Life?

In order to be successful in life, we need to be emotionally well, physically fit, and spiritually sound. Whether you are a student, young adult, homemaker, secretary, teacher, sales executive, trainee, clerk, or factory worker, this self-help book can be your daily guide to looking and feeling good about yourself.

It is a misconception to think that only people in certain positions or social situations need to look good. Many people walk around feeling unsure of who they are and probably feel that they are alone in these feelings. This simply is not true. We are all unsure of ourselves. Childhood experiences, peers, school, environment and family influenced our thinking over the years.

If we get positive acceptance from the things we do, we develop self-confidence in these areas. If we get negative feedback from the things we do, we develop a lack of self-confidence in these areas. If you acquire self-acceptance within yourself, you will have the ability to accept others; if you feel self-rejection within yourself, you will not be able to accept others. Self-acceptance thus equals acceptance of others, whereas self-rejection equals rejection of others.

Looking good on the outside is what makes people want to look inside to see what you are all about. The outside ”shell” is the packaging for what lies within. The tongue can be untruthful, but the body acts with instinct. No matter how confident or sure of yourself you try to appear, you will always project how you feel about yourself on the inside. If you do not feel good about yourself physically or mentally, you will not make a good impression. Self- image is an attitude, believing in yourself and in what you can do. You earn self-confidence when you achieve. Here are some elements to consider for a strong development of strong self-image.

You can control what you say and what you feel. A positive attitude will give you the best opportunity for positive results. One positive thought a day is the beginning of an attitude that will continue to keep you moving in a strong upward direction.

We are unique and need to do what we feel is right, no matter how someone else feels about it. We have power over ourselves and do not need to let words or opinions of other people change the way we feel about ourselves. If you do what someone else wants you to do, you are not being yourself. Of course, in business, there are times when you may want to compromise. However, it is okay to be assertive, not aggressive, and say what you feel. Many times, if you do not say anything, the situation can get worse. In normal circumstances, the problem is not as difficult as you originally thought!

Reach for what you want and get what you want. It is within your power to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Many famous historians, authors, believed in who they are, set a goal, and had the fortitude to persist. Thomas Edison, a dunce until he was ten, tried endlessly to invent the light bulb and did not give up. Although Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record of lifetime home runs, he struck out 1383 times. You can do what you want to do as well.

Each of us has a mental picture of ourselves–a self-image–which controls much of how we act and think. To find life reasonably satisfying, you need a self-image that you can live with. You must be acceptable to yourself before you can be acceptable to others. Trust and believe in the self you are. You can begin to do this by following these steps:

  • Develop your strengths. Make a list of all the things you are good at and read these daily. You were born with unlimited potential. Happiness and success are a choice, an attitude, and always up to you.
  • Know what you are capable of doing. What have you not done that you could be doing? According to William James, the average person uses only ten percent of their potential. Expand your dreams. Dreams make plans come true.
  • Write down what you want to achieve. Unless you make the choice, decide you want it, and visually look at it on paper, chances are you will not achieve your goal. If you “look’ at your dream and work toward it, there is no doubt that you can do it. Of course, you must be realistic in what you set forth to do.
  • See yourself doing it! If someone tells you that you could not do something, it is difficult to erase past programming. However, if you take a picture, either in your mind or an actual photograph of what you want to achieve, you are on your way to getting there.
  • Create a new person beginning right now. If you put yourself in the frame of mind that you have already made achievements, you are almost there. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Self-confident people do positive things and earn self-confidence in the process. They have a clear sense of who they are and what they want. They are achievers and a successful in life.

Looking your best through hairstyles, skin care and fashion is essential to building a strong self-esteem and

Looking your best makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you can accomplish more. However, deeper than your outside appearance is your inner soul– the innermost part of you that must feel good. Your body will function at its best if you have your internal and external image in balance.

The goal of this book is to give you a sense of knowing who you are and how you present yourself to the world. We are judged so much on what we do not say—our non-verbal communication.

You will now have a guide to what others are deciding about you, based on the way you choose to look. While in the business world, external image is important, we felt it necessary to bring in the inner self.

A business professional will get so much further ahead if that professional understands image, because people will see that you care about yourself and about them. This book is a “must-read” for first impressions. Your internal image will always come through.

“It is no exaggeration to say that a strong positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life.” Dr. Joyce Brothers

“Within you right now lies the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs.” Maxwell Maltz

As a man thinketh, he becomes.- The Bible

“You cannot control circumstances, but you can control your own thoughts.” Charles Pepplestown

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

Reach for and get what you are after.

Feeling good from the inside will shine through on the outside. Your body will function at its best, and your skin will glow. Most of all, you will experience the wonderful feeling of being whole, from the inside out.

What is your Communicaton Quotient?

1. Do people often ask you to say something again?

never sometimes often

2. Have you made it a habit to ask someone to “paraphrase” back to you what you have said?

never sometimes often

3. If you do not understand something someone has said, do you ask for clarification or just pretend you hear them correctly?

never sometimes often

4. While in a conversation, do you find it difficult to keep your feelings to yourself?

never sometimes often

5. When somone else has a different view from you (Democrat/Republican) can you beobjective and see their viewpoint?

never sometimes often

6. Do you understand what most people are telling you?

never sometimes often

7. Do you interrupt when you feel you have something relevant to add to the conversation?

never sometimes often

8. Do you observe the nonverbal communication while talking to someone?

never sometimes often

9. Do you tend to “finish peoples sentences” or thoughts?

never sometimes often

10. Do you “hide” your inner feelings when talking to someone and tend not to disclose yourself?

never sometimes often

11. Can you admit it when you know you are wrong?

never sometimes often

12. Do you apologize if you can see that you hurt someones feelings?

never sometimes often

13. Do you tend to get defensive?

never sometimes often

14. Do you “jump to conclusions?”

never sometimes often

15. Do you put yourself in the “other persons shoes?”

never sometimes often

16. Do you raise your voice or has someone told you “ I can hear you?”

never sometimes often

17. Do you tend to “fill in” other peoples words?

never sometimes often

18. Do you tend to dominate the conversation?

never sometimes often

19. Do you feel that people may be intimidated by you

never sometimes often

20. Are you really interested in what other people say?

never sometimes often

21. Do you talk about someones actions or are you directly criticizing them?

never sometimes often

22. Can you confront someone who has hurt your feelings?

never sometimes often

Self Evaluation Try to compare you honest answers with the following answers:
1. Never
2. Never
3. Often
4. Never
5. Never
6. Often
7. Often
8. Often
9. Often
10. Never or Sometimes
11. Never or Sometimes
12. Often
13. Often
14. Never or Sometimes
15. Never
16. Often
17. Often
18. Never
19. Never
20. Never or Sometimes
21. Often
22. Never
23. Often

This Assessment for communications quotient is a trademark of The ImageMaker, Inc.® Without written permission, using this information in any way, shape, or form is a copyright violation and punishable by law.