Client Retention Through Presence

Retaining clients comes down to one thing and this is whether or not your business is capable of adapting to the changing needs of your client. Identify and use communication skills to bring value to your business relationship. You enhance your own self-awareness, AND you remove the blocks distancing you from hearing what a client is saying over the phone, the internet, or as they stand right in front of you. Being able to stay in the present moment and meet the desires of your client as their needs and preferences change is how you maintain clients.

The way you keep clients is by getting out of the way of yourself and any of your own listening or emotional blocks. The actual skill you hone is called active listening. And, with active listening, when a client speaks, you not only listen, but you also use reflective listening when you repeat or paraphrase back their need to them. Assuming that everyone else communicates, listens, or learns exactly like you is unrealistic. The way you win every time is by:

(1) Knowing what your own communication style, listening blocks, and learning styles are and,

(2) What the other communication styles, listening blocks, and learning styles are so that you can objectively identify whether or not the client has similar or dissimilar styles.

By identifying your client’s preferences, you can then adapt how you interact with them. You can enhance the quality of your business relationship by also using empathy to see from their point of view. With increased self-awareness, we interact more compassionately and empathetically with others. This releases both parties’ emotional blocks, attracting clients to stay with you, rather than to go their separate ways.

Read below how to identify your own communication style, listening blocks, and learning styles. We’ll also cover how to use these skills to your client’s advantage.

  1. 1.       Identify Communication Styles

Do you know your communication style? Click here to take the Communication Style Quiz. Are you passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or assertive when you communicate? The good news is that everyone can become a more assertive communicator. Being able to articulate your thoughts and feelings ensures conflicts are kept to a minimum.

As you get to know your client better, you can often figure out what their communication style is by the way they interact and approach a sale or setback. You can further learn about gender differences in buying/selling to enhance your retention rates by taking the Gender IQ Quiz or the Gender Based Sales Training Program.

  1. 2.       Notice, then Eliminate Your Listening Blocks

There are about 12 listening blocks that everyone has when someone else is talking. Becoming aware of which listening blocks you use on a consistent basis will help you eliminate them, because you become more cognizant when they creep into a conversation.

The 12 listening blocks are:

a)      Comparing

b)      Mind reading

c)       Rehearsing

d)      Judging

e)      Dreaming

f)       Identifying

g)      Advising

h)      Sparring

i)        Being Right

j)        Derailing

k)      Placating

By identifying the listening blocks you use, you then consciously shift your attention back to your client (or anyone for that matter) before they even know you’ve drifted. This alleviates miscommunication, conflict, and stress. Why? You hear the person correctly the first time. Click here to find out if you are a good listener.

I often direct my client’s to the listening block article so they can figure out what types of listening blocks they use. This immediately adds value to what you’re offering if you’re selling services, because you are also teaching greater self-awareness. If you’re selling a product, you may not necessarily have your client identify their listening blocks. Your cognizance of these blocks enables you to pick up on when your client’s attention wanders so you can quickly re-focus them.

  1. 3.       Identify Learning Styles

There are 3 ways we learn information: audio, visual, and kinesthetic. Identify which is your primary and secondary learning style as well as your client. One easy way to do this is by noticing the type of language you and your client use while negotiating contracts.

  • Audio learners tend to resonate with: “I hear…,” “it sounds like…”
  • Visual learners tend to respond well to: “I see…” and “it looks like…”
  • Kinesthetic learners tend to say things like: “it makes sense to me,” “it feels good…”

Use all 3 ways until you figure out their preference. Or just ask outright what ways they prefer to learn information so that you can better explain your services and products to them.

Surpass Their Needs by Utilizing Feedback

If you meet their needs and exceed their expectations, then you will retain them as clients. As you meet and do business with them do check-ins often. Ask clients to rate how well you are doing, or how well they are satisfied with your service or product. When it comes time to renew a contract, you can refer back to these tests and measurements, as well as the different communication skills you’ve helped them enhance as value-added benefits for what it is you can do for them.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Time-Management and Scheduling

If you are stressed out, and trying to figure out how to be more productive and efficient with your time there are three things you must use to be successful. They are: (1) an individualized 90-Day Action Plan, (2) a Weekly Must-Do List, and (3) a Daily Plan of the Day.

  1. 1.       90-Day Action Plan

How will you know if you are more efficient with your time if you do not have a plan to follow the goals that are most important to you? A 90-Day Action Plan is a detailed plan that puts your dreams and visions for what you believe will make you successful in life into action. It is based upon your preferences, talents, and desires to fulfill your potential—whether it has to do with developing your personal interests, relationships, professional advancement, spiritual growth and/or achieving balance.

So the first step is identifying where you are going and how you will get there. It takes a minimum of 90 days to begin adapting new habits. As you identify long term goals, you then make it manageable by focusing on what you can change within the next three months. How will you know where you’re going or if what you’re doing will get you there if you haven’t taken the time to spell out what you want and what is important to you?

  1. 2.       Weekly Must-Do List

Within the 90-Day Action Plan are action steps. For my clients we often chunk into daily tasks, weekly actions, and monthly activities. The key here in your first 90-days is to figure out your pacing. How quickly do you want to move out of your comfort zone, experience new things, and change to align with your vision? Next, you have to figure out how adept you are at setting mini-goals for yourself. After you identify your action steps, and you’ve inputted the steps into your planner or monthly calendar, it is helpful to utilize a weekly list.

On this weekly list you write down the things you must complete by the end of the week. This helps create a theme and to focus your attention on the things which absolutely have to be done to keep you moving toward your goal. You fill these activities in for the upcoming week, and then schedule other activities around these MUST-DO activities. This quickly sets your priorities. From here you learn the art of saying no to people and resources that may be draining your time and energy away from what’s important to you.

  1. 3.       Daily Plan of the Day

The weekly list focuses your attention, where the daily plan keeps you accountable to actually completing the action steps. When you first start out you can easily become frustrated when you over- or under-estimate how long it takes you to complete the activities you identify as being essential. However, using all three lists lets you stay focused on your long-term goal, while also planning for life’s unexpected events. If you get sick, injured, or you’re waiting on someone else’s schedule, creating a daily plan for each day lets you adapt to the uncertainties while still staying focused on your end results.

Utilizing a coach to help you create and implement your 90-Day Action Plan keeps you honest. When we begin to get overwhelmed, we often let things slide. Not so with a coach. They will trouble-shoot with you if there are any setbacks. They also use testing and measuring to pick up on your patterns and trends that you may not be able to see objectively by yourself. The only way we get better is if we build new skill sets by learning new things, and then making them habits. As you learn how to set your priorities to manage your time more effectively, these three tools: the 90 Day Action Plan, a Weekly Must-Do List, and a Daily Plan of the Day ensure you stay focused on what really matters to you: fulfilling the vision of your best possible self.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Understanding Conflict

Have you read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Did you know since 1992, John Gray, Ph.D. has written more than 16 books about the relationship dynamics between men (Martians) and women (Venusians)? His first book has sold over 20 million copies, has been translated into over 54 languages, and in the 90s outsold all other books except the Bible? People often think of relationship dynamics being just for people in an intimate relationship. However, the information about the different communication styles men and women typically use is germane to professional relationships as well. If not more so, because often conflict arises between the genders when they do not understand the dynamics that naturally exist, and how to work with these dynamics. At work there can even be more conflict due to the fact men expect women to be, do and say exactly like they act, because it’s what’s worked in the past, and what should still work now. But is it? Is there a better way of interacting to utilize everyone’s best skill sets?

Learning the different but equal ways men and women communicate goes a long way in reducing gender conflict in the workplace. Reducing gender conflict has a variety of benefits. It leads to: happier team members, greater cooperation, decreased loss of personnel, which in turn leads to decreased cost & time spent on recruitment and training. Reducing gender conflict also leads to: a better ability to understand the needs and concerns of your customers (regardless of whether they are internal or external customers). Besides that, your company also gains a greater competitive advantage for the company as a whole when they utilize the masculine & feminine skills.

Most people, for example, are uneasy with promoting themselves, their status or their image at work.  Women may have a particularly hard time with this, because they are socialized to present their ideas as suggestions. This is actually a great skill for achieving cooperation and is excellent for situations where maintaining harmony and equality within a group is necessary. Men who are confused and frustrated working with female colleagues often say they see women at best, uncertain or, at worst, manipulative, based on their observations of women not speaking directly. This often makes women extremely uncomfortable to express their ideas while working in what they perceive as a hostile masculine environment.

On the other hand, many women see men as arrogant or self-important. This is based largely on their observations of men expressing their opinions forcefully or seeking attention for their achievements.

Once again, a more positive interpretation is to remember that men are socialized from an early age to suppress doubts and maintain, either a façade or, a reality of self-confidence.  Again this is a great skill and essential in a situation where it is necessary to maintain status within a group. If you’re working in a team, however, promoting yourself rather than the team effort may backfire. As mixed gender work teams become the norm, to succeed at work and in business we must all learn to speak a second language. That language is the language of the opposite sex. Learning a second language does not mean you become that language. It just enables you to communicate more effectively and efficiently with the opposite sex.

In the Mars Venus workshops we talk about ways to accomplish just how to promote your work or yourself…without fear of being overbearing.  We also explore building rapport and the value of rapport in leading to workplace success.

Another area of potential conflict is in the way we talk to our peers and customers. Learning how to avoid monopolizing the conversation as well as being direct and concise are skills not genetic characteristics. In a Mars Venus workshop we examine the art and science of respecting abilities and how to respond to comments from co-workers.  If you’re not sure how to acknowledge the work of others and charge them up this is the workshop for you.  Praise is discussed and how (and when) praise can be used to fuel the response you want.

Do not think we are implying that all men have to be a certain way or that all women should be the same, because…the reality is that we are all individuals.  Everyone can think of examples of reverse gender styles. The whole premise of the Mars Venus work is that we are different and equal  – not that one is better than the other –just different and equal.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Simple Tips for Women When Dealing with Men in Business

  1. Promote yourself 
  2.  Avoid tag endings
  3.  Be direct and concise
  4.  Don’t take male comments so personally 
  5.  Make acknowledgements direct and simple

Simple Tips for Men When Dealing with Women in Business

 1.      Build rapport

2.     Avoid monopolising conversations

3.     Respect her abilities

 4.     Don’t lecture

5.     Be specific with praise


To Manage Martians: DO
Do allow them to work on their own
Do motivate them by appealing to their ability to get the job done- the hero factor
Do praise and reinforce them by appreciating the TASKS
Do manage their stress by allowing ‘cave time’ and /or simple and quick criteria for what needs to be corrected.
Do act as if you trust he will succeed

To Manage Martians: DON”T

Don’t offer unsolicited or too much advice/help
Don’t focus too much on fleshing out all of the potential problems of a situation
Don’t manage stress by asking him to talk about it
Don’t act as if you do not trust he will succeed

To Manage Venusians: DO
Do allow for more collaborative work
Do motivate by appealing to ability to help the group
Do praise and reinforce by emphasizing importance to group/organization
Do manage stress by listening
Do pay attention and positively comment on the ‘little things’ she does.
Do build rapport by asking appropriate non-work related questions

To Manage Venusians: DON’T

Don’t solve problems too quickly (listen first)
Don’t focus exclusively on Tasks and ignore the relationship
Don’t wait for Venusians to bring up problems-ask about their concerns
Don’t withhold positive feedback


The ultimate guide to parenting is now available as a workshop!

Children Are from Heaven was written by the top expert on loving relationships, John Gray, the author of the phenomenal bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. He now turns his caring wisdom to one of the most powerful and profound relationships in people’s lives – the bond between parent and child. Dr. Gray had created a workshop to be taught by his personally trained instructors.

This workshop will teach you:

  • Why it’s Okay for Children to be Different
  • How to Help Your Children Express Their True Selves
  • The Five Messages and Five Skills of Positive Parenting
  • How to Motivate Children without Punishment
  • How to Help Children Feel Great about Themselves

Geared to parents of children from birth through the teens, this invaluable new workshop will show parents how to help their children become strong, confident, morally sound adults by focusing on self-esteem and responsibility.


ROI on the Benefits of Coaching

By Melissa Killeen

All through my 5 years at the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate program in Organizational Dynamics, and some 6 six years in executive coaching, I have flirted with this elusive acronym called a “ROI” (Return on Investment) like an old high school sweetheart. Using the terminology, but not really knowing what lies beneath the surface.

• According to Manchester Inc., a Florida-based coaching firm, investments in coaching were found to yield an average return on investment (ROI) of almost six times the cost of the coaching (Jan. 2001,
• A recent study cited in the prestigious Public Personnel Management Journal found a typical management training program increased the manager’s productivity by 22%, but when combined with 8-weeks of intensive Coaching, the manager’s productivity exploded to more than 85%
• A Metrix Global LLC study (for a Fortune 500 firm and Pyramid Resource Group) found that “Coaching produced a 529% return on investment and significant intangible benefits to business. Including the financial benefits from employee retention boosted the overall ROI to 788%.”
• An Olivero, Bane & Kopermann study (1997) of a public sector municipal agency found that coupling one-on-one coaching with leadership training resulted in a near quadrupling of productivity results (from 22.4% to 88% when combined).
• The objectivity that a coach brings to a developmental opportunity is helpful to mangers seeking to make difficult changes in attitudes, work habits, perspectives and interpersonal relationships (McCauley & Hugh-James; Young & Dixon, 1996.)
• According to Personal Decisions International, a Minneapolis-based human resources consulting firm, 70% of the top 1,000 firms worldwide use some form of executive coaching (Source:, author Ann Vincola, President of a quality of life issues consulting firm, 2000)
• According to a Florida-based study of organizations and coaching (Manchester, Inc. 2001), 6 in 10 organizations currently offer coaching or other developmental counseling to their managers and executives while another 20% plan to offer coaching in the next year.
In general, the results of coaching most often cited in research studies include:

  • Improved performance (both individual and team)
  • Enhanced bottom line, including profit, quality, productivity, innovation, and other measures
  • Improved customer service and enhanced public perception
  • Professional development, including
    • Enhanced goal setting and attainment
    • Increased confidence and empowerment
    • Skills development, especially when coaching and training are combined
    • Leadership development
    • Preparedness for advancement
    • Enhanced balance and morale
    • Enhanced relationships
    • Improved retention of quality employees

      “The goal of coaching is the goal of good management: that is – to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources.” — Harvard Business Review



(Please find the original article at


Productivity for Martians

One of the most often cited reasons why people seek out coaching is to become more efficient with their time management.  Outcomes from the 2010 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, show more than two-fifths (42.6 percent) of coaching clients choose “optimize individual and/or team performance” as their motivation for being coached,  followed by “expand professional career opportunities” at 38.8 percent and “improve business management strategies” at 36.1 percent.  As a male do you find yourself worn out at the end of the day? Even though you are now working longer hours, do you think you are as productive? There are two ways to combat unproductiveness: (1) replenish testosterone stores daily and (2) clearly defined SMART goals.

Do you remember when you were more productive? Do you think it has to do with having more energy and focus? You may recall being more productive when you were younger or when you were well-rested—like after a holiday weekend or after doing something with your male friends. This is because you topped off your stores of testosterone. In a relaxed state you are more productive, because your focus is better.

There are physiological reasons for why you are more productive when you spend time resting and relaxing. For males your stress-reducing hormone is testosterone. For women it is oxytocin. This is partly why asking your girlfriend, mom, wife, sister, or female co-worker to relax, sit down and rest, forget about it, or do something different may be met by resistance on their part. These kinds of activities are not stress-reducing for women if they have many things to do. However, for men when you shift gears to easier tasks such as:

  • reading an article,
  • checking sports scores,
  • watching a TV show,
  • surfing the internet, or
  • just sitting and doing nothing,
  • forgetting the problem for awhile, or
  • taking a nap

What you are doing when you are doing these activities is replenishing your testosterone stores. If you ask a woman to do the same thing it can have the opposite effect and increase her stress. You can learn more about this by attending one of our Mars Venus Coaches seminars or taking an eWorkshop if you’re really crunched for time. Your relationships will improve at work and at home. And, when males anticipate coming home to a successful relationship…it’s a testosterone producer! So what does replenishing testosterone daily have to do with productivity?

For men it takes longer to replenish testosterone stores on a daily basis, and if you’re productivity is suffering, it may be due in part to not taking enough time EVERY day replenishing your testosterone. If you felt more productive when you were younger, it’s because you produce less testosterone as you age. I’m sure someone is reading this and thinking, “great, but the bottom line is I have more responsibilities, and the pressures on me to perform. I don’t have time to take time to sit and do nothing.” When we experience chronic stress in our lives, then there is excess cortisol (this as well as adrenaline are the stress-producing hormones) in your body which inhibits testosterone production.

The way you attack being more productive then gets into creating SMART goals. Your goals professionally and personally need to be:





T—Time Bound

Once you sit down, write out, and create your SMART goals, complete them when you say you will, and work on them every day. If you are doing things that are not a part of your goals, then you must choose to keep doing them or not. By writing and following through on your goals you learn how to prioritize and manage your time. If you don’t know where to start or what’s important, then this is when coaching may help you gain clarity and accountability to follow through on your intentions.

The way you make sure that you stay productive is to incorporate down time as part of your SMART goals every day so you ensure time to replenish testosterone throughout the day, especially on the busy jam-packed days. Make sure you have an objective person hold you accountable to your goals so you don’t slack off on what’s really important to you. Not only will you be more productive, you will be more successful and satisfied with the quality of your life.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Reply to Why Failure is the Secret of Your Success by Suzanne Lucas


One of my favorite quotes that I use with my clients is: “I’ll fail more times today than most people ever try.”

Having the courage to try, and keep trying until you see progress or success for me is what makes life exciting. I do it with our son and in my business as well.

Letting our son try and problem-solve on his own–& then seeing the smile of accomplishment on his face is well worth the wait of letting him figure out in a supportive environment how to do things creatively by himself. We’re not in the elementary school years, but I believe there are many ways to get to the end result, and I plan on encouraging my son to find inspiration within himself to try and solve problems he comes across in life–whether it is school work or with people, I believe this is one of the keys to making independent, well-rounded, self-sufficient adults.

In business–I believe things can look great on paper, but until you throw yourself out there and test your business and marketing plans…throw in chaos and human dynamics, you won’t know until you try. Being able to laugh through and at your mistakes, regroup, and try again is what inevitably makes you successful in your endeavors.

As always–thank you Suzanne. I really enjoy the dialogue between you and your readers.

Other versions are:

‘To try and fail is at least to learn; to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss of what might have been.’— Chester Barnard

‘Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.’— George S. Patton

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations


Positivity is King!

From President & CEO, Rich Bernstein

Choosing Mars Venus as the vehicle to hold you accountable to achieve your potential is a great step. Congratulations on taking action. You’ve chosen the right brand for your needs as we continue to gain momentum and change lives for the better. It is the start of the New Year, and to keep your energy high and focused on success I wanted to briefly talk about remaining positive as you come across obstacles in your path to personal success.  I often tell my coaches to “believe more in yourself that you are successful, more than others think you aren’t successful.” Attitude is everything. When we are optimistic about ourselves and our outcomes, and we put in the belief, effort, and action to bring about this change; then the only way to move is up. There you have it the sweet smell of success.

I came across someone’s facebook status the other day that said, “I will fail more times today, than other people will ever try.” Isn’t that poignant?  Mars Venus does this on a daily basis, both within the coaching network and externally with you, our clients. There are three ingredients to success that we at Mars Venus Coaching believe strongly: (1) positivity, (2) taking action, and (3) accountability. When you are able to look at life as full of possibilities, then obstacles become easily surmountable. Obstacles whether they are identified or unforeseen are easy to overcome, especially when you join the Mars Venus Coaching team, whether that is as a coach or a client. Our coaches are client’s themselves, as we routinely network with each other to support one another’s short and long term goals. Why do I say life becomes easier to navigate when you first have a positive frame of mind? The second step is creating an action plan that specifically transforms your dream into a vision with goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, results oriented, and time-framed. The third part to being successful, which Mars Venus brings to you, is accountability. Once you have a plan, you have to take action in order to actually make a change in your life. Fear is a big part of our resistance to change. This is why a positive attitude is so important when choosing to undergo major life changes. Studies show people are better able to follow-through and adapt to change when they have someone else holding them accountable to complete these necessary actions. By doing something new, you are taking a step forward to the future you envision for your success. Add to this a mindset that it will all work out in the end, and you will be setting yourself up for success. In trying, and moving yourself forward the point is you are taking action. We here at Mars Venus Coaching give 100% effort and 100% positivity every day. We require this of you as well, because we cannot be more committed to the process of change than you. Why? You’re the driver. Mars Venus Coaching is your vehicle to get to your desired end-state faster. Every time you meet your goals, we will be there right with you to help you get to your next destination.

When you choose to live your life with positivity, that inner light is bound to shine through. Other people will be attracted to this positive energy, and the more you help raise other’s optimism by your enthusiasm, the more people will come back to you for more. In a world where many people wish they were living their dreams, wish they were fulfilled, wish they had more…time, love, wealth…We know what the secret is to success—it’s positivity. If your emotions back you 100%, meaning if you believe in yourself and your vision, then when you take the action steps to implement your goals, you will be successful, because you are not standing in the way of your potential by naysaying. This secret attitude—positivity—will trump negativity any day. Positivity is King. And, you have it. Now go out there take action. You are in the business of changing and transforming lives.