One of the delights of being involved in the SVALA is meeting new people and discovering their “hidden” talents.

The June luncheon provided just such an opportunity!

Luncheon - June 2016 - Kellie 1

Kellie B. Narayan, Executive Director Wilke Fleury

Kellie B. Narayan, Executive Director at Wilke Fleury, recently joined the SVALA Board of Directors and took over the Programs and Education Chair position.  Kellie has not only arranged for a wide variety of speakers and topics to educate us in the coming months but also stepped into the role of speaker for the June luncheon!

Kellie has been a terrific addition to the Board of Directors and now has shared her “hidden” talent of “Speaker” with the rest of the membership.  Kellie’s presentation on Communication Strategies to Shape the Culture of Your Firm was engaging, insightful and laugh-out-loud funny.

Luncheon - June 2016 - attendees

June 2016 luncheon attendees

Kellie’s self-described passion is to help “law firms enact strategic initiatives to accomplish the universal goals of effective business generation and succession planning, along with intentionally creating of a positive work environment that eliminates bias, fosters positive rapport, incentivizes hard work, rewards effort, communicates openly, effectively resolves conflict, and facilitates the development of positive professional relationships that contribute to successful recruiting, training, and retention of talent for generations.”

With a B.A. in Communication and 25+ years of law firm management experience, Kellie certainly has the credentials to back up her passion. Not only does she know her stuff but she presents her information in an engaging and humorous way.

In other words, this woman can communicate!

Kellie talked about the Uncertainty Reduction Theory and how this applies to the workplace. For instance, lots of closed door meetings create an air of uncertainty which can translate to problems in the workplace and the spread of misinformation and the deflation of morale. Kellie not only explained how communication problems in the law firm can negatively impact the office environment but gave us tools to enact change.

She also is a Star Wars fan so tossed in some insights from Yoda:

Luncheon - June 2016 - cheri

You never know what to expect at a luncheon: President Cheri almost made us do the Chicken Dance!

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hates leads to suffering.”

No one can disagree with the wisdom of Yoda!

Kellie gave us tools to take back to the office so we can recognize how others might be communicating in a destructive way and how we can successfully communicate within our firms and lead others to more effectively communicate as well.

A few tips for successful and effective communication include:

  • Exercise good judgement;
  • Be intentional;
  • Communicate directly (stop stewing and avoiding!);
  • Communicate differently (be aware of tone of voice and body language);
  • Communicate privately (“praise publicly; criticize privately”);

Kellie left us with one of my favorite quotes:

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama

Many thanks to Kellie for a terrific presentation!

The SVALA would also like to thank its Platinum Business Partners! It is always a pleasure to see them at the monthly luncheons. Please be sure to say hi to them at the next luncheon or check out their websites through the links below.

See you next month!

Trish