Author Archives: kellivrla

About kellivrla

Kelli Vrla (Ver-lah: n Road Warrior for Humor & Productivity in the Workplace; funny, entertaining, exciting, motivating, Greek). Global Engagement Specialist! Kelli Vrla (Ver-lah), C S P, Texas-born corporate communications consultant, has enlightened and "entertrained" thousands in the U.S., Europe, and Central America with one of her dynamic programs. Kelli shares over 30 years of lessons and experience: Sixteen years as a broadcast sales executive in radio and 14 years as CEO of her own people development firm. Her in-the-trenches scope of learning comes from first-hand experiences in handling change, effective marketing, bottom-line communications, difficult and demanding people, and motivating the tough-to-motivate people. All of this prepared her for the variety of ways she now helps people stay less stressed and laser focused on full-throttle productivity. Life’s too short to get stressed over things we have little or no control over. Kelli helps people write the Reality Checks that will clear even the biggest bankable challenges. Since her radio days at ABC & CBS, Kelli has successfully consulted companies in helping their people enhance personal and professional development skills. She has helped them learn to OWN their jobs and get others to OWN theirs. She has helped them learn to handle CHANGE before it handles them. She has even helped them deal with PEOPLE THEY CANNOT STAND. Kelli has helped major corporations overcome the challenges and the chaos with her most-requested keynotes & workshops. She has done all of this with a festive delivery of relevant, memorable and immediately-transferable skills. As the kick-off morning show host, Kelli energized listeners on Dallas' first all-women talk radio show. Not only does Kelli hold the CSP, she proudly carries the honor of GPE (Greek Pastry Enthusiast)! In addition to serving on the boards of the National Speakers Association-North Texas and the Dallas Classical Guitar Society, she has worked with clients ranging from ABC, CBS, Lockheed Martin, NASA, H & R Block, ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart, Discover Card, HSBC, Capital One, TimeWarner, Canyon Ranch Resorts, Burger King, IBM and Southwest Airlines. She is an active member of the National Speakers Association as well as the Engagement Network. Her publications include co-authored works in the "Pathway Series: The Top Ten Packing List for 21st Century Leaders" and "Glee = MC2, A Guide to Exceptional Customer Service." Newest release this fall: Engage! Have Your People After 'Hello'! One recent attendee remarked, "Kelli was utterly amazing. She kept me awake, alert and assimilating. I laughed so hard my eyes were watering.” Kelli brings you relevant, memorable and DO-IT-NOW skills, so you can have more fun as you get more done! For a powerful conference kick-off keynote; for a motivating, closing keynote; or for an action-focused breakout, Kelli can bring impact and excitement to your event. SAVE the Date with Kelli V!

You just cain’t fix stupid…


Ask yourself right now: “How can I think before I engage in a frustrating encounter with one of my ‘SAI’ people? How can I remind myself to be more amused than mad?”

Dealing with the “severely aware impaired” (SAI) can be a daily frustrating challenge. Decide to be amused with people who just don’t get it. Your other futile option is to get increasingly upset when they continue not to get it.

“Where’s my surprise face?” If you continue to be surprised when they don’t get it, perhaps you’re becoming “severely aware impaired.” Resist the urge to give FREE SEMINARS to people who did NOT sign up! Stop wasting precious time and energy explaining the whole enchilada, when the chips and salsa are all they can handle.


75/25 Rule


75% of dealing with difficult people and situations is understanding. 25% of dealing with difficult people and situations is skill and technique.

The good news is it’s something we can all improve upon; most of us are not born with the ability to handle the sticky wickets among us. Practice every chance you get, as the opportunities are bountiful. Before diving in, strive to understand the person, the situation, the real issue, and the real obstacles. If all else fails, ask the person you’re dealing with his/her take on the situation, so you can at least agree on where the gaps are.

So ask yourself: How can I better understand a person or situation this week I have perceived as “difficult”?

Next Best Steps


This is the best phrase for moving a conflict forward: “What’s our Next Best Step here?”

Whether it’s with a client, colleague or loved one, you will always be taking the high road if you’ll remember this valuable phrase.

When we focus forward to fix facts, rather than back on blame, the conversation takes on a more productive dynamic. Some of us want to hang out in the limbo of “he said/she said,” when it doesn’t have anything to do with fixing the challenge at hand.

We like to be right. Best to focus your creative energies on the “next best step.” You’ll find a much quicker end to the discussions in the process and a plan to move it forward.

So today, ask yourself: “When can I use the “Next Best Step” phrase today? This week?”

Bless yore lil h-e-a-r-r-r-rr-t!!


Today, ask yourself: Is the comment I’m about to make a “blessing” (sincere praise) or a “dissing” (passive-aggressive)? If there’s doubt, probably best to leave it out.

In Texas we have this wonderful catch-all phrase and we use it like an etch-a-sketch erase of a back-handed compliment. Example: “Nice dress, but not on you…“Bless yore lil h-e-a-r-r-r-rr-t !” You think you’ve been blessed, when you’ve really been ‘dissed.’

Back-handed compliments lurk everywhere. They’re like giant take-aways from a real issue. Comments like, “Did you lose your yard guy?” or “It must be frustrating gaining back all that weight…” or “It’s great knowing your kid passed…with the curved grade and all…”

Ethos, Pathos, Logos and Laugh-os


Today, Ask Yourself: Where can I practice “Laugh-os” this week and look at things more lightly?

Quote: “She who laughs, lasts.” Kelli S. Vrla, CSP

Distilled Nugget: What helps persuade others both in drama and in life?

  • Ethos: having ethical, moral character
  • Pathos: appealing with passion
  • Logos: appealing with logic

But don’t forget to add my favorite Greek trait: Laugh-os (laff-os), the ability to look at things lightly and with a great sense of humor. Perhaps the greatest gift you can give yourself (and others) is a sense of humor. Find difficult situations amusing. Remember, you will always find what you seek. Seek lightness and it will lay itself at your feet.

Title: Ethos, Pathos, Logos, and Laugh-os

Icon: 21619632, hysterics, ha, face, laughing

Let There Be P’s on Earth


Today, Ask Yourself About the Four “P’s”: Positive, Polite, Professional, Proactive: How many of the four Ps can I practice in my next interaction? In all my interactions?

Quote: “The glue that holds all relationships together – including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” Brian Tracy

Distilled Nugget: Practice the four Ps in all you do. Strive to be Positive, Polite, Professional, Proactive. Positive: Tell people what they can have or do, not what they can’t. Polite: Remember to use simple courtesies like “Please” and “Thank you.” Professional: Always be above board. Pretend you’re being followed by a paparazzi of cameras at all times. What would you like to see on the six o’clock news about you? Proactive: Be ever mindful of moving transactions forward. Focus forward on fixing, rather than backward on blaming.

Title: Let There Be P’s on Earth!

Icon: 22322163 – GUY driving with PEACE sign

Fear=Lack of Knowledge


Today, Ask Yourself: What can I know more of this week that can help me fear something less?

Quote: “Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.” –David Rockefeller

Distilled Nugget: Knowledge is the antidote for fear. If ever you find that you are fearful of something, you must strive to know more about it because knowledge controls fear. The odds are good that someone knows a bit more about this situation than you do. Strive to find out more with all the resources available to you: friends, foes, Internet, books, tapes, seminars, etc.

Title: Fear = Lack of Knowledge

Icon: 1330524 (ENLARGE as much as possible; or this one if you cannot enlarge the above one: 14733837 Man being pulled into computer by scary hands!