All I can say to the single people out there, forget dating buzz or adult finder,
“God is the greatest Matchmaker”.
On the 2nd February I became Mrs Haydee Alexander - exactly 6 months after I met my husband Nicholas. Hence this newsletter being later than usual!
White has never been my colour and in true image consultant style I wore my most suited colour –turquoise– whilst all the guests wore white, beige or cream.
Some of the most successful people are the ones who have mastered the art of listening. Those individuals who can listen effectively, ultimately hold the power in communication. Have you mastered this art?
Right now, if you walk through a shopping mall you will be bombarded by sales signs-beware! Learn how to recognise a good bargain and avoid the dreaded question “what was I thinking of ?”
If you or your staff:

  • Find it difficult to express
    thoughts or ideas
  • Often misunderstand or misinterpret people
  • Find it hard to focus on what others
    are saying
  • Feel ignored
  • Are not taken seriously

Our Communication Excellence workshop is for you!
Learn how to:
  • Be an effective listener
  • Structure your thoughts and get your message across clearly and succinctly
  • Confidently sell your ideas
  • Be more persuasive
  • Deal with angry and abusive clients, colleagues

  • Contact us for more information on new and exciting ways to approach team building, events, conferences and seminars.
    Tel: 011 467 5126   Email: prof–   Web:
    Are you listening?

    70% of what individuals hear is misunderstood or misinterpreted.
    The reason being few of us have been taught to listen. Schools focus on
    teaching reading, writing and speaking.
    This is ironic as 45% of our days
    are spent listening.
    “Listening is a learned skill that usually comes
    from the school of hard knocks.”
    Communication is often ineffective because:
    • People listen to 25% of the content of what is being said
    • You recall 50% of what you hear when you actually listen
    • 70% of misunderstandings occur because people do not listen to each other
    Hearing vs listening.
    Hearing is the physical ability to transmit sound waves from eardrum to the brain. Listening is being attuned to sound. Listening is an active, versus a passive, process.
    The average person speaks about 150 – 200 words per minute, while your brain processes about 650 words per minute. This explains why your thoughts wander and why we need to make the effort to listen actively.
    Identify your Preferred Listening Interrupters (PLI’s):
    To actively listen you must be aware to what blocks your listening. By becoming aware of your PLI’s you will be able to focus on the person talking and listen 100%.
    Some PLI's are:
    • the environment i.e. background noise, physical comfort, speaker’s communication style and interruptions
    • your opinions i.e. past experiences, prejudices, preparing a response and personal agendas
    • your physical / mental state i.e. time of day, lack of sleep, multiple track syndrome, and time pressures
    Tips to improve listening:
    • Reflect back the speaker’s feelings and demonstrate empathy – “ Thuli, I am sensing you are upset because you didn’t get promoted.”
    • Clarify by asking questions – “ Kobus, when you say Martie was unprofessional, what exactly do you mean?”
    • Remain silent – pause before responding and avoid interrupting the speaker. This encourages the speaker to give more information.
    • Summarise what has been said to ensure even better understanding.
    • Focus on the speaker physically by taking notes and giving non-verbal cues and mentally by focusing on the emotions behind the words.
    • Practise patience – slow your internal voice.
    • Keep an open-mind – learn new information and “walk a mile in another man’s shoes”.
    “ God gave us two ears but only one mouth. Some people say that’s because he wanted us to spend twice as much time listening as talking. Others claim it’s because he knew listening was twice as hard as talking.”
    For more information on our Communication Excellence workshops contact us at Professional Impressions
    Tel: 011 467 5126   Email: prof–   Web:
    Beware! – The Silly Sales Season
    Normally sensible during the year – some of us seem to loose control at the sign of 70% off!
    It’s the sales season-all sense, logic and decorum go out the window! Normally sensible for the rest of the year most of us seem to loose control at the sign of 50% off! If sales irritate you or give you an adrenalin boost – read on ...
    Great Buys:
    • Something that you have been desiring for a while and is now marked down hugely (eg a designer label neutral pant suit).
    • An item that is in your size and fits properly.
    • Timeless, classical pieces that will not date either in colour or styling.
    • Clothes that fill real (not imagined) gaps in your wardrobe.
    Visit the shops that you would normally not set foot in because you feel they are above your price range – often they have some of the best reductions. Normally these clothing items are better made and thus will last you longer.
    Disaster Buys:
    • High fashion that will look “very last year” in about 2 weeks.
    • Seasonal prints and colours.
    • An item which is not your personal style eg a “romantic” blouse when you are a “classic”.
    • Shop soiled or damaged goods – often can’t be fixed despite your best intentions.
    • Garments that are too small, fabrics that don’t hang well – there’s usually a reason they are still sitting on the rack.
    • Something you would normally not choose if money were no object. Even if it is the bargain of the century, you will never get further than the bedroom door in it.
    Apply the match 3 principle:
    • Does it match at least 3 other items in my wardrobe?
    • Can I wear it for at least 3 occasions?
    • Can I wear it over 3 seasons?
    Handy Tips
    • Try it on – shops can be picky about returning sale items – and no matter how much it has been reduced, don’t buy it unless you are certain you will wear it.
    • Remember what colours are best suited to you and you will save hours by only scrutinising those pieces that are your best shades.
    It is better to come home empty handed and in pocket than to buy something for the sake of it and waste money!
    Unsure if you or your staff are making a lasting impression?
    Contact us for more information on our Impression Management Workshops
    Tel: 011 467 5126   Email: prof–   Web:
    Professional Impressions would like to credit the following for information and images used in this article:
    Mariette MalherbeCommunication Excellence Trainer & facilitator
    “Listening is your choice”Sandie Ackerman
    “Emotional Intelligence workbook” Dr R. Le Roux, Dr R De Klerck
    CosmopolitanOctober 2004
    FeminaDecember 2004
    Should any of your friends, family or colleagues be interested in Professional Impressions and the services we have to offer, please feel free to pass this on to them.

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