Communication Styles Workshop

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.

Sally Magee of Magee Leadership Solutions, Inc. kicked off NAWIC LA’s 2019 Professional Development series with a workshop on Communication Styles on January 15, 2019. She began the workshop with a quote by Peter Drucker, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” And how do we do that? By paying attention to verbal and non-verbal clues, such as the tone of voice, body language, and other interpersonal behaviors.

For example, a man’s lower pitched voice can be seen as authoritative and decisive; whereas a woman’s higher pitched voice can be perceived as timid or uncertain.

Sally covered some important points about gender-based communication differences. For example, a man’s lower pitched voice can be seen as authoritative and decisive; whereas a woman’s higher pitched voice can be perceived as timid or uncertain. Men are generally seen as more concrete, competitive and solutions-oriented; where women are generally more empathetic, nurturing and compromise-seeking. These generalizations can have huge impacts on the effectiveness of our communication, especially in the workplace.

Participants walked through an exercise to identify their preferred communication style as one of the four principal categories: Relator, Socializer, Thinker or Director. Sally discussed the aspects of body language and other communication signals to help explain the aspects of each style, based on direct or indirect tendencies, and open or self-contained behaviors.

She explained each style values most: for Relators, it’s strong relationships and harmony. For Socializers, it’s about recognition and status. Thinkers value precision, accuracy and getting the facts rights. For Directors, it’s all about results and accomplishments.

The group enjoyed learning about the nuances of each of the four communication styles and discussed strategies for improved communication with those who have different styles than their own. The key to effective communication is knowing when to be adaptable and flex our style to ‘meet in the middle’ with others; i.e., follow the Platinum Rule of “treating others the way they want to be treated.”


Following the workshop, several participants commented, “The presentation was so easy to follow and there was good interaction with the audience,” and “For me, the most valuable takeaway was learning about my own style and why I am who I am.” All respondents rated the workshop as either very good or excellent, and 100% said they would recommend it to their companies or other teams and projects they are involved with.

“For me, the most valuable takeaway was learning about my own style and why I am who I am.”

Our Chapter President, Shilo Losino, also commented, “I personally enjoyed Sally's presentation. It was immediately applicable to me both in business and personally. It provided vital insight in working with others. I appreciated her ability to read and engage the audience as well as make the information interesting. Everyone was fully invested in what she had to say. She was fully prepared and personable. Our Chapter is looking forward to accessing her knowledge for other series & would highly recommend her as a speaker.

Sally is the President of Magee Leadership Solutions, Inc. a woman-owned small business based in Southern California whose mission is helping organizations build peak-performance teams and high-impact leaders. She works with large and small businesses in the engineering and construction industries providing project partnering, team building, leadership coaching, organizational development, and management training services. She would love to help your organization transform into a peak-performance team! Visit her website at, download her brochure here or reach out to her on LinkedIn at or Twitter at @SallyConsulting.


Block Kids 2018

NAWIC Los Angeles Chapter #42 hosted its National Education Foundation (NEF) Block Kids Competition at Open Charter Magnet School to engage 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students in construction and construction-related careers. Students were asked to design, build and explain a construction project that they created out of leggos, string, foil, and a rock.

NAWIC-LA Block Kids gives us an opportunity to share information about construction and construction-related careers to middle school students.  It is essential to build the pipeline for careers in construction and to do so we found the most effective way is to start young. 

We are grateful to our volunteers, judges and generous sponsors.

We are happy to hear about ideas, suggestions and sponsorship opportunities you may have.

View our photos here or on our Facebook page!


The Magic is in Their Stories!

57th Annual Installation & Scholarship Ceremony: Recap

October, 24, 2018, 6PM, The LA Hotel Downtown – NAWIC Los Angeles #42 had the great opportunity of thanking the outgoing officers and directors for their efforts and a job well done and welcomed the new leadership team to their roles and responsibilities.

Marilyn Klinger enthusiastically led the installation of the new officers and directors of the chapter.  A former NAWIC LA leader herself, Marilyn focused on the word “key”, sharing that in olden times, the Keeper of the Keys was a high and trusted officer in the royal court and it signified much favor, much authority, and much responsibility.  Keys are important in our lives and can cause a great deal of trouble when they are missing. They have also opened doors to happiness, friendships and service.

For the Directors - LAKEISHA BEARDEN, JACKIE RIVERA, CHRISTINA WATKINS, DR. GIOVANNA BRASFIELD, and SHAYLA SMITH – their keys were to unlock the responsibility for the execution of the authorized policies of this chapter. Their key is symbolic of the vigilance and alertness you will maintain throughout the coming year. 

For Secretary – BARBARA KOTSOS – hers was the key to information.  Her key symbolizes that she will keep fresh and new the records of the chapter’s activities and likewise symbolic of the record of the golden deeds she is to keep.

For Treasurer – NANCY LIRA – her key was symbolic of NAWIC LA’s confidence in her integrity and trustworthiness.  Charged with the responsibility of handling the finances of the chapter, her key is a symbol of truth and honesty.

For Vice President – PRISCILLA CHAVEZ – it was a skeleton key, something to be held in readiness when the president is unable to turn the locks herself.  Her key is symbolic of fidelity.

For President – SHILO LOSINO – it was the Master Key because it will be depended upon in all instances, not only for the duties of the presidency, but to see that all of the officers and directors keep their keys in readiness and well used. Read Shilo’s Message here.

We asked the guests to tell us how they felt that evening, and this is what they told us.

We asked the guests to tell us how they felt that evening, and this is what they told us.

Since 1961, NAWIC Los Angeles has always been about promoting and supporting the advancement and employment of women in construction.

Professional Development

Lakeisha Bearden, NAWIC LA’s chair for professional development committee, was proud to announce that the group have in some capacity impacted, changed, and or influenced about 885 women in the past 12 months alone.  The number affirms the value of women and our membership see in the professional development arm of the chapter.  At our events, there is no judgement, no competition – just growth and development opportunity personally and professionally.  It’s about reinvesting, reinventing and reshaping you.

STEM Scholarship

2017 was the first year that the chapter awarded scholarships directly.  In prior years, nominal amounts were sent to the national fund to support the overall effort.  The leadership of the chapter felt that the money should make it to our own community.  So, Priscilla Chavez headed the processes of fundraising and awarding scholarships locally. The chapter pressed on this path with Christina Watkins and Shilo Losino charged with the 2018 Scholarships.

Reading through the scholarships essays, you can see the lives of the young women that the chapter can help.  Many of these young ladies are first generation college students in their respective families.  They are women of color.

NAWIC LA’s scholarship committee was able to tap into a wider network of schools and community programs, doubling the number of applicants.The generosity of our members and donors made it possible for the chapter to double the funds.This also allowed us to contribute to WINTER (Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles) and to DIY Girls for K-8 STEM advancement.



NAWIC LA’s goals has always been to get the word out and generate interest for our cause.  We have seen a spike in attendance, over 50% more from last year’s and are encouraged by the engagement of our activities and posts.  We have also developed media contacts where relevant press releases are share shared.  NAWIC LA has been featured in StrXur, the editorial arm of BlueBeam and La Opinion, a local Spanish newspaper.

NAWIC Los Angles #42 remains a safe place to share their experiences with their peers and colleagues without judgement.  We are challenging the status quo and bringing girls, young ladies and women in these incredible STEM fields where they can affect change for the future.  We encourage you to get involved, as a volunteer, sponsor or simply spreading the cause to your network.

For #womeninconstruction, it is easy to feel like you are an island by yourself.In 2019, NAWIC LA’s goal is to reach over 1,000 women and build value on their career.Plug into our energy as you become the power in your own success.

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Did we miss something? Do you have a write-up about a NAWIC LA event that you attended? Got a suggestion or recommendation? Please share it with us by reaching out to Barbara Kotsos ( or Jackie Rivera (


She Negotiates: Recap

NAWIC Los Angeles wants to help #womeninconstruction nail it, whether their next negotiation involves asking for a raise, or closing out a project. We collaborated with WCOE California to host, She Negotiates: The Power of Negotiating Effectively, last Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at the Flight Path Museum. The panel discussion featured leaders in the construction industry, owners of small companies, and women in roles of influence. The amazing venue we selected was also meaningful, as it celebrates the history of LAX, a site for so many ongoing projects for everyone in the room.

The panel discussion was moderated by Brenda Radmacher, an attorney, mediator, instructor, and skilled negotiator, and the panelists were, Cathy Orquiola, District Manager, PCL Construction; Mitra Memari, ZGF Architects  and Carrie Schmidt, owner of BC Schmidt,

We asked some of the ladies present at the event to share their notes from that evening; and here is some of what was jotted down from that very fast-paced, engaging conversation:

How to prepare:

  • Go into the meeting knowing my absolute upper and lower acceptable limits

  • Know as many facts as possible about the person with whom I'm negotiating: do my research (see tip below.)

  • Be calm

  • Be willing to listen to the other side, so that you both ultimately leave feeling that you've each won

  • Be confident- set yourself up for the best outcome.  Attitude is a huge part of success.

  • Eat beforehand

  • Be authentic and sincere

  • If you leave a bit on the table, it will come back to you in the future, in a good way. It’s important that both sides leave feeling that they got something.

  • Go in knowing what YOU need to leave with

On asking for a salary or raise:

  • Research the going rate for your skills set, present numbers on your successes and achievements, be prepared to completely justify the number you’re asking for, to make it hard to have your boss say no.

  • If you get push-back, or nowhere, say you’ll think about it overnight, and meet again the next day.  Begin with, “I can't accept being undervalued and I believe I am.  This is why: ____”

  • It is hard to argue with logic; back up why you believe what you’re asking for is justified with facts. Be informed; use facts and logic, presented in a non-emotional manner. Remember, it’s about building lasting relationships.

  • Don't compare yourself to others, base it on the value of your own worth

  • New 2018 law: In a job interview, a potential employer cannot legally ask your current salary

  • Use reflective listening, say something like “what I hear you saying is…” or “help me understand…” and repeat back what you heard them say.  The idea is for you to show/reflect on the points where you both agree, rather than only focus on how you differ.

  • Get them to talk

  • Sit on the same side of the table if possible during the negotiation

  • Practice the negotiation or discussion - out loud! - with friends or colleagues, including what you predict will be the other person’s point of view or objections

When confronted with a sudden unplanned negotiation- it's ok to say you need to look into it deeply and get back to it at a later time.


When negotiating with a man:

  • Men say “I think” or “I know” , phrases which show strong belief and are fact-based

  • Women say I feel, I believe, phrases which show emotion and opinion. Switch to fact-based (as men do) when negotiating with men.

  • Studies show that women tend to do a better job when representing someone other than themselves 

The goal is to attack the problem and NOT the people. It is hard and it will be uncomfortable.

Work on the sticky issues together and use the word "we" a lot.  “So it appears that the issue we’re facing is _____.  How can we fix that?”

If you tend to get emotional, and feel the tears start to well up, pause, and take a sip of water. You can't cry when you're swallowing. Bring water with you into the meeting!

We’ve heard it before "nice girls don't get the corner office,”(see below), so read up on the following book recommendations.

Book Recommendations:

Finally, if you have read this far, you may want to know that there is an app that tells you anyone's personality! This will help with the “do your research before the meeting!” Ask us more about it. Email:

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Did we miss something? Do you have a write-up about a NAWIC LA event that you attended? Got a suggestion or recommendation? Please share it with us by reaching out to Barbara Kotsos ( or Jackie Rivera (

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