Laura Katen was recently quoted in Kari Paul’s Marketwatch editorial on progressive gift-giving ideas.

Read the article here:

These holiday gifts will help your friends and family earn a promotion

LK-KEYNOTE-BROCHURE-STMA-28th-Annual-Conference-&-Exhibition-(dragged)-1Laura was recently selected to be the keynote speaker at the STMA 28th Conference & Exhibition in Lake Buena Vista Florida.
The STMA advances professionalism in sports field management and safety through education, awareness programs, and industry development.



As a woman, are you making yourself known in a professional, positive manner and leaving an imprint? Are you aware of the non-verbal, verbal, interactive, and communicative cues that you are giving that could be undermining you? Do you know how to navigate common and awkward workplace situations with credibility, clarity and confidence, so that you’re seen as a leader in the organization? These are the questions asked by Laura Katen, President of KATEN CONSULTING, a NY-based professional development training company.

KATEN CONSULTING conducts group programs and coaching sessions for various organizations on the topics of professional presence, individual and team presentations, communication, and business & social etiquette.

Her book “How to Communicate with Confidence, Clarity, and Credibility: For Organizational and Individual Success!“ is the perfect companion to what KATEN CONSULTING teaches.

Since Laura offers help to anyone who seeks to be more successful in business and in life, we asked her specifically about being a woman in the workplace. How actions, non-actions, misconceptions and perception impact success.

Q: What are the three biggest mistakes you find women make when trying to communicate effectively?

A: Number one: closed body language. Often times, women undermine themselves by making themselves look “little” through their posture and mannerisms as opposed to exuding confident postures and gestures. This directly impacts their level of credibility.

Number two: women, in general, often don’t smile enough or laugh and smile too much. Both affect the level of comfort and substantiveness with which women are viewed. By “smeyesing” (making sincere eye contact and smiling) women exude an approachability and connectivity.

The third biggest faux pas, when it comes to body language, is the handshake. Often times, for a myriad of reasons, women tend to give a weaker handshake than what is professionally expected and universally desired. Without opening their mouths, they have immediately undermined their capability, leadership quality, confidence, and credibility.

Q: What have you seen to be some of the benefits when women take on these tips?

A: Once women increase awareness to not making these faux pas, it has exponential impact. There is a certain substantiveness with how women start to carry themselves. This affects how they speak, how they interact with others, whether they initiate versus follow etc. When women exude a professional presence through their appearance and body, voice and words, and know some of the quick tips and strategies for exuding substantive credibility, doors open and influence-power is created.

Q: What would be something specifically in their careers?

A: Often, I find that some top workplace concerns for women include not knowing how to say ‘no,’ when to speak up and interject when attending a meeting, and how to stop somebody from interrupting them. Often women have been conditioned to be caregivers and nurturers and not go-getters. So when you can, create a foundation internally, whether it’s a change of mentality, a change of body posture, a change of vocal intonation, or simply the words you use. When you change those qualities, you’re strengthening those parts of you that lie within. Your mentality changes to become more confident and say, “Yes, I can ask for this. I can pursue this. I do know how to navigate that.”

Q: What would you say is a good way to say ‘no’?

A: Whenever you say ‘no,’ or anything that could be perceived as negative, you want to: first, acknowledge and validate. If your manager asks you to take on another project…thank him/her for thinking about you and feeling that your expertise or your ability falls inline with what they need. Second, when at all possible avoid the dead-end ‘no’ – instead offer options. You might respond with “the timeline that you’re looking towards achieving is not going to work with the other projects you have me working on. Can I delegate aspects of it?” Or you might ask “Is this project a priority for you because there are a few other agenda items you’ve given me and I want to make sure to give my focus to what’s most important to you. Is it a priority project, and if so, which tasks can I put aside for a later date?”

If it’s just something that you don’t want to do – like move from New York to the San Francisco office, then share how much you appreciate the offer. Explain that the it’s not the right timing for you personally. Saying ‘no’ always depends on the type of request and your comfort-level around it.

These 4 questions are just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to what Laura and her team teach and the impact her programs can have, and have had, on a multitude of organizations and individuals. If you would like to reach Laura, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page on the KATEN CONSULTING website

Kirsi Bhasin is the founder of My Orange Villa, a company whose mission is to provide a highly focused way to help busy professionals overcome exhaustion and fatigue and be happier and healthier. Kirsi has been featured in TIME’s MONEY Magazine and is a contributor to The Huffington Post. Kirsi is an expert member of Dr. Oz’s Sharecare community of top-ranking health experts and has worked with leading companies both in the U.S. and abroad.

Katen-Book-CoverJune 2015 – Clients are highly anticipating the availability of Laura’s Strategies Handbook Communicating with Confidence, Clarity and Credibility (56 pgs.) due out June 2015

The New Generation Gap


September 22nd, 2008

To begin a cross-generational awareness and managing a multigenerational work force training program, participants were asked to write down stereotypes of each generation.

The Business Council of Westchester members wrote descriptions of “young” for Gen. Y, “driven” for Gen. X, “ethics” for baby boomers and “old-fashioned” for traditionalists during the program, given by KATEN CONSULTING L.L.C., at SUNY-Purchase Sept. 17.

“Generational differences between employees is an issue we hear a lot about from our members, whether they have 10 employees or 300,” said Business Council President/CEO Marsha Gordon. “Fortunately, KATEN CONSULTING was able to serve as a great resource on this topic, providing a forum for business owners, managers and HR professionals to share challenges and solutions.”

Generations are categorized by year of birth: Gen. Y (after 1980) Gen. X (1965-1980) Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and traditionalists (before 1946).

Values of each generation differ: for the younger generations of X and Y, it’s innovation, technology, change and work/life balance; for the older generations, loyalty and hard work are most valued.

The program, sponsored by Berkley College, focused on managing differences and similarities across generations and equipping managers to foster high engagement across the generations.

“We’ve had so many requests for workplace training programs to talk about cross-generational training,” said Laura Katen, Gen. X and president of KATEN CONSULTING L.L.C.

Katen is a Business Council ambassador, and she was a “Rising Star 40 Under 40” honoree in 2006.

“Over the next five years, 10 million Generation Y’ers are going to be graduating college and entering the work force, so when you have those kinds of numbers you have to understand how to deal with different personalities and different people who are really going to be the vast majority of our work force.”

Katen said traditionalists and the baby boomers have a different mentality for the work place, come from different backgrounds and have different influences that have shaped their lives. Sometimes the older generations have stereotypes and preconceived notions of how younger generations are going to perform at work.

“There are tons of similarities (between generations) but I don’t think people always see that, and people view it as a problem when many times it’s not an age thing, it’s maybe a workplace communication or miscommunication thing,” Katen said.

Steve Gill, senior managing consultant, said management ideas today are “industrial age” and with the speed of change and need for flexibility as technology transforms organizations the management challenges are radically different.

“One of my passions is helping organizations and managers create environments where people can come to work be able to bring their strengths and their passion and their engagement to work, and be fulfilled, but at the same time help the organization reach very high levels of performance,” Gill, a baby boomer, said. “We have an epidemic of dysfunctionality in organizations. Most people are very unhappy in their jobs, and most organization’s performance levels aren’t very high. I think there’s a major disconnect between the challenges of running organizations today and the management skills and philosophies that are brought to bear.”

Gill said he thinks people’s vision and concept of what management is often is inadequate often because the manager hasn’t been trained.

Also, “people don’t have conversations,” Gill said. “I think it’s very important for managers to have a real conversations with the people that they work with. Just talking to people creates relationships and bonds and mutual understanding, which is vital in an organization and is the bedrock of how good teams work.”

-Mary Sue Iarocci,

Westchester County Business Journal, September 22nd, 2008

Competences Management


August 31st, 2007

Often badly prepared to approach the world of work, more and more of young people leaving the university want to be supported in their search of the first employment.

Coaches for young American graduates

To shake hands with assurance, to pose its voice, to wear adequate clothing in winter as in summer, to look right in the eyes without arrogance, here is the kind of teaching that the university does not deliver.

To answer the questions of the young distressed graduates, of the American companies shoulder them in their search of an employment and, especially, direct them towards the stations which will satisfy them.

A new outlet with the country of the “coaches”.

The coaches help the young graduates to be presented at the employers not like accomplished students but like qualified candidates. The tools used go from the books to the workshops of drafting a CV while passing the physical exercises of maintenance and the processions of business-mode. The meetings last several months, in group or individually, by telephone or in face-to-face discussion, within a private framework but also at the request of companies and even of universities. “Very concretely, one helps them to present oneself at the employers”, summarizes Emily McLellan, founder of Springboard Career Consultants, a New York company specialized in the “coaching” of young graduates “Many did not understand that to submit one’s CV on the Internet was not the best method”, it notes.

Laura Katen, president de KATEN CONSULTING, leader in the market of the accompaniment of young graduates, works with 15 coaches equipped each one with a specialty: CV, letters of motivation or clothing and voice, but, holds it to specify, “to give them the means of making good impression, it is also to help them to find their way”. Obstetricians of vocations “the idea is to help them at this point of transition between the world from the studies and the world of the work which is not always easy to live”, explains Emily McLelland.

The professionals note that these young people, to the stock of general knowledge often more consequent than the average, do not manage to identify their strong points and their weaknesses.

“In a certain manner, they learned so much that they have evil to choose a career”, analyzes Lindsey Pollak, coach and author of the book “Of the university to the trade: 90 councils before entering the true life “. “Instead of being qualified in a field, it continues, they are involved with many things. And that can be hard to have too much choice “In the maelstrom of knowledge and of possible trades, the coaches thus play the obstetricians of talents and vocations. A supposed role to place the young graduate in the good place and the good time. “It there has talents hidden among people, insists Carol Ross, coach at Carol Ross and Associates, and when they become aware of it, they use them and make a success of” Carol Ross, for which the coaching of young graduates remains a minority activity _ it works mainly with a riper public _, notes that it is at the same time easier bus “at their age, a small council can make a great difference in their orientation”, but also more difficult because “they are not informed this of themselves on which one could base oneself to find it for what they are made”.

A very brooded generation Christine Braathen, young person graduate in psychology, today assistant of the vice-president of a company of production, worked with Carol Ross from March to July 2006 at a rate of two hours per week. That enabled him “to go a little deeper in [ its ] personality and to become a more complete employee”. “Carol made me learn from the things on me which I would have probably discovered a day, it tells, but which were very useful to me to find a work which corresponds to me” A the unanimity, these professionals note that the young graduates feel the need to be supported.

“Many young adults for today had what I call of the” parent-helicopter “, analyzes Laura Katen. These parents brood their children, and the day when their offspring must make a choice, they are not able “” Coach of career, coach of sport, coach of mode, in the United States, one wants all the time to be happy, adds, amused, Lindsey Pollak, and as work it is your life… “To have a” career coach “, it is to want to control its career and to realize that to ask of the assistance and the counseling is acceptable.

For William White, professor of management at Northwestern univ, there during more than thirty years, “this phenomenon depends much on the economic situation. If the labour market is hard, it is more difficult to find a trade: the young graduates do not want to thus be mistaken “. This teacher, author of “As of the first day”, a work on what the young people must know as of their 1st employment, recognizes that it is important to have somebody in his entourage which is “a kind of free mentor but! “, a friend of the family, as it often advises it with his students. Overflowed services of orientation In the same way, Lindsey Pollak, which does not practise the coaching that within the framework of universities, always recommends to the students “to speak to somebody about older” and organizes workshops where it learns how to them to raise the good questions with their elder.

Many the specialized coaches note that their activity developed because the services of orientation of the universities are often overflowed. However, the coaching for young graduates remains a marginal solution “Our study (*) shows that the students who have a full-time employment had tendency to more using the service of orientation of their university and his resources that those which were addressed directly to an employer, comments on Marilyn Mackes, director of the NACE (national Association of the universities and the employers). That confirms the added value such centers, and for the students and the employers “the methods can even be complementary: certain universities appeal punctually, in the framework of seminars and other interventions, with the services of private coaches.

(*) According to this survey carried out by the NACE into Internet from March to May 2007, 52 % of the students who occupy a full-time stable employment declare being passed by the service of orientation of their university, while 41 % of them say to have sent to them CV starting from the Web site same service.

-Les Echos

Do Your Kids Have the Real-World Skills…


October 26th, 2006

I love banana bread — a few key ingredients, blended together, given time to rise (with a little help from your oven), and poof — a delicious masterpiece.

What does banana bread have to do with success? The same basic recipe holds true in life — and the outcome may even be sweeter.

Skills are the main ingredient of success. Real-world skills, such as exhibiting proper social and business etiquette, selecting attire that is appropriate for a specific environment, speaking well and communicating effectively, and being able to clearly transfer your thoughts to paper, are some of the most important skills that will foster the successful growth and achievement of your child.

These skills, blended together with academic instruction, will create a strong foundation to support your child’s development. Over time, this foundation will enable him to rise to amazing accomplishments. As this happens, he will become more aware of the connection between skill-building and success. This, in turn, will motivate him or her to continue acquiring and honing the essential skills needed to succeed.

Since most schools do not emphasize real-world skills as part of their curriculum, parental coaching is a key component in helping your child to make this important connection.

Four of the most important real-world skills you should emphasize to your child:

Etiquette:  Reinforce simple courtesies by kindly reminding her to:

•    Say “please” and “thank you”
•    Stand and greet others when walking into the room
•    Give a firm and brief handshake when meeting someone
•    Hold the door open for the next person walking behind
•    Cover mouth when coughing or yawning, and nose when sneezing
•    Put napkin in lap
•    Wait until everyone at the table is served before starting to eat
•    Chew with mouth closed

By teaching and reinforcing good manners and behavior, you are laying the foundation for your child to exhibit proper social and business etiquette as an adult.

Attire: Explain that different situations require specific and appropriate attire:

•    A birthday party
•    The playground
•    A recital
•    School
•    Awards ceremony or sports dinner
•    A college, scholarship or job interview
•    The workplace

By allowing your child to pick out what she wants to wear and explaining why the outfit may or may not be appropriate for the environment, you will foster a habit of dressing for the occasion. As an adult, she will then have the ability to seamlessly integrate into different environments and to appear knowledgeable when it comes to making a positive impression with attire.

Speech: Help your child to speak well and to communicate effectively:

•    Encourage him to communicate feelings or needs by using words instead of crying, whining, or throwing a tantrum
•    Guide your child to answer the phone in a clear and polite manner
•    Exhibit confident body language and positive mannerisms that your child can emulate (i.e., smile, eye contact)
•    Use positive reinforcement to acknowledge when your child is listening instead of interrupting
•    Kindly correct your child when he misuses a word or uses slang
•    Do not ignore or condone your child’s use of inappropriate or profane language

By helping your child to speak well and to communicate effectively, you are paving the way for them, as adults, to be looked upon as innovative thinkers, skilled communicators and leaders. He will have the ability to easily adapt to the standards and requirements of different professional environments.

Writing: Foster a feeling of pride and achievement in your child through her written words:

•    Compliment homework that is neat and well-written
•    Reinforce strengths in creative writing, grammar, or spelling and constructively comment on areas that still need practice
•    Inspire your child to hone writing skills by asking a funny question and suggesting that it be the basis of a creative story
•    Explain what a well-written resume is, and why it is a valuable tool that is useful throughout life
•    Have your child begin to develop a resume as early as middle school
•    Begin to structure a resume by having your child:

1.    Write down some of the tasks, duties or responsibilities she has held.
2.    Keep a chronological list of jobs, including the dates of employment, position title and the names of her employers.
3.    Explain how she benefited the employer or company.
4.    List compliments or awards received for a job well done.

Skills are the building blocks of success — no matter what a person’s age or interests may be. The earlier a child learns the importance of exhibiting real-world skills, the more he or she will begin to use them in everyday actions. This is essential for long-term achievement because an empowered child will become a productive and successful adult.

Successful Strategies to Remember:

•    Start early exposing your child to the important real-world skills that he or she will need throughout life. How you teach the skills, what you emphasize, and goals and objectives may change, but the critical role these skills play in the life of your child will remain the same.
•    Emphasize the connection between acquiring real-world skills and the achievement of your child’s personal goals.
•    Practice positive reinforcement as a way to encourage successes and acknowledge effort, and offer constructive comments to facilitate further learning.
•    Be a positive role model. If you do not do as you say, the worth of your words will be immediately diluted.

Real-world skills are the ingredients that, when mixed with a strong academic foundation, can help students rise to become accomplished adults, and productive citizens — a definite recipe for success!

-Laura J. Katen,
NY Metro Parents Magazine, October 26th, 2006

Youth Find Ally in Job-Skills Guru


June 26th, 2006

Like many Americans, Laura Katen laments the current state of customer service in this country.

Young people behind registers are often too focused on their personal lives rather than the customer before them. It’s all too common to see such workers carrying on conversations with fellow workers or friends while failing to even acknowledge the customer.

“Young people don’t understand that they’re doing themselves no favors in exhibiting such behavior,” Katen says. “They fail to recognize that their next opportunity may be right before them.”

That’s one reason Katen left her job at a real estate investment firm five years ago to start her own company, Harrison-based Katen LLC, which trains students and young workers in etiquette and job skills.

“I figured the only difference between successful young adults and unsuccessful ones is the knowledge base,” she says.

If youthful job seekers know what they need to do and have been trained to do it, they can capitalize on opportunities when they materialize, she says.

To that end, Katen offers workshops to disadvantaged youth and middle school, high school, college and vocational school students ages 11 to 26.

“The whole crux of our workshop program is how to be prepared to do business in America,” she says.

As the former director of the Girls Empowered through Meaningful Support, or GEMS, at the YWCA in White Plains, Courtney Bryant hired Katen to present her Enhance Your Chance workshops to at-risk girls in the middle- and high-school grades.

Katen’s classes appeal to such students, Bryant says, because they understand the importance of communicating effectively.

“When you’re job seeking or giving presentations in school, there’s a lot of concern as to whether it will go OK,” she says.

In acquiring the skills, young people build self esteem, she says. “They feel comfortable in saying what they have to say, and that doesn’t happen every day.”

Katen says she developed the courses to transcend race and class, taking two years before striking out on her own to interview teachers, administrators and parents, among others, to come up with 13 workshop programs.

The courses enhance personal growth and increase the chance of professional and academic achievement, she says.

While the program was started to help disadvantaged youth, the lessons have reached beyond that group to those already working in substantial positions at law firms and other businesses.

One example is Robin Pecchia, who hired Katen on a one-to-one basis to give the Manhattanville College graduate a leg up in her search for a job as a teacher’s assistant.

The most important thing Katen taught Pecchia, 25, was to be more confident during the job-seeking process, she says, especially during interviews.

It worked, says Pecchia, who lives in Mamaroneck.

After recently interviewing for her position, she felt much more secure in what she was saying and selling herself. Katen also showed Pecchia how to express an enthusiastic, positive attitude, she says. “I was not insecure about it at all.”

Though concepts of etiquette and dressing well may seem like perfect fodder for young adults to roll their eyes at, Katen says her students are receptive to her message.

Ninety-five percent of her students attend her classes, she says.

That’s because the skills taught are relevant to the students’ lives, Katen says.

“No matter how old you are, or what you do with your life, whether it’s hands-on vocational work or a mayor’s assistant or a CEO,” she says, “you need to have basic skills.”

-David Schepp
The (Westchester, NY) Journal News, June 26th, 2006