Thursday, August 21, 2014

Take Charge of Your Email Inbox

Guest blog writer, Bonnie Shay, one of the featured speakers at our upcoming breakfast workshop, Soft Skill Development for the Women Business Leader to be held on August 27th 

Take Charge of Your Email Inbox

Email has become a full-time challenge to manage, both personally and professionally. People have become inundated with the quantity of emails that find their way into their inboxes, and before they know it, 3,000 emails have taken up residence there. As a result, they become overwhelmed, stuck, and don’t know what to do. Are you one of these people?

How would you feel …

  • If your inbox had less than one screen’s worth of email in it?
  • If you could find any email you were looking for in a few seconds?
  • If you didn’t miss important items because they weren’t buried in your inbox with 2,999 other emails?
  • If you felt peaceful and calm because you had regained control of your email?
This is all possible and it can be your reality if you want. 

How did our inboxes get to be overflowing?

  • We get more and more emails each day.
  • We fear deleting something because we think we might need it someday.
  • We fear missing out on something good.
  • We don’t make decisions or we don’t make good decisions.
  • We have multiple email addresses and multiple devices to manage.
  • We are inundated with many modes of communication and infinite distractions.
How to un-clutter your inbox and make it work for you.

Inbox goal: Your inbox should only contain those emails that are truly important and need your attention.

Consider an overflowing inbox as a collection of decisions not made. Either you don’t take the time to decide where the email needs to go or you don’t know where it needs to go. Vow to make decisions about where emails should go so that your inbox remains uncluttered. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Unsubscribe from emails that are no longer relevant to your life. 
  • Automatically divert emails that you don’t need to see immediately to appropriate folders for later reading.
  • Delete emails you don’t really need to keep.
  • File emails that you need for future reference in appropriate folders.
  • Act on emails that need your attention and then delete or file the email.
It is all about making decisions and being determined to maintain an uncluttered inbox so that email once again becomes a tool to work for you instead of being a full time job in and of itself. You can do it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 27th Breakfast Workshop - Soft Skill Development for the Woman Business Leader

Soft Skill Development for the Woman Business Leader
A breakfast workshop for women who understand the

importance of personal attributes on the job

Soft skills are increasingly becoming the hard skills of today's work force. It's just not enough to be highly trained in technical skills, without developing the softer, interpersonal and relationship-building skills that help people to communicate and collaborate effectively. Problem solving, delegating, motivating, and team building are all much easier if you have good soft skills. Knowing how to get along with people, displaying a positive attitude and carrying yourself well are all crucial for success. Soft skills revolve around personal relationships, character, and attitude. By developing these skills, you can increase your work performance, build stronger relationships, and take your career to the next level.

Workshop Details
When: Wednesday, August 27th
Where: Kessler Orlean Silver
1101 Lake Cook Road, Suite C
Deerfield, IL 60015
Cost: Free
RSVP: Kristin Kentra

About the Speakers
The Impact of Psychology on Your Business
Paulette Janus, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and founder of Janus Behavioral Health Services with offices in Chicago and Wilmette. Paulette has over 15 years experience providing individual, couples, and family psychotherapy, specializing in children, teens, and families. She is also trained in and provides alternative dispute resolution interventions including family mediation, divorce coaching, and co-parent coaching.
The Carrots & Eggs of Leadership
Cathy Carroll is the founder of Legacy Onward, a leadership coaching firm specializing in family businesses.  Cathy had a 20-year corporate career with Hewitt Associates, Sabre Inc., and United Airlines before leaving to lead a turn-around of her father's manufacturing business. Legacy Onward helps leaders navigate the dynamic challenges of leadership, and Cathy has a knack for helping leaders identify and overcome the obstacles blocking them from the results they want.
Take Charge of Your Email Inbox
Bonnie Shay, Professional Organizer, is the founder of Mariposa Creative Solutions. Bonnie aims to create order out of disorder; she specializes in office organizing (home or professional), residential organizing, and photo organizing (printed and digital). Bonnie is also an expert in the field of email management and has recently published Take Charge of Your Email Inbox, a step by step guide of how one can “de-clutter” their inbox and maintain a streamlined inbox going forward.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Psychology of Skillful Business Leaders

Guest blog writer, Paulette Janus, one of the featured speakers at our upcoming breakfast workshop, Soft Skill Development for the Women Business Leader to be held on August 27th


Business and Psychology…two words that often are not linked together. Yet, recognizing, and maximizing on, the interplay of psychology and business, can help you and your team in terms of increased motivation, morale, goal-driven behaviors, and customer acquisition and retention. In psychology, five dimensions are used to describe the core human personality make-up. This is referred to as the Five Factor Model (FFM) and can be remembered with the mnemonic OCEAN. Skillful leaders have been shown to be high in Openness, Conscientiousness, and Extraversion, and low in Agreeableness and Neuroticism, although flexibility is also important as different situations and scenarios often require different skills. Typically personality traits are thought of as unchangeable yet personalities are not static. Here are the five dimensions and ways to build (first three) and minimize (last two) these skills.

1.      Openness: This refers to a person’s openness to new ideas, experiences, and activities. A person high in O tends to be curious, imaginative, and independent. A person low in O tends to be practical, conservative, and prefers repetition.
-        Try something new.
-        Do not be ruled by fear.

2.      Conscientiousness: This refers to a person’s approach to their work, life, and relationships. A person high in C tends to be organized, dependable, self-disciplined, and goal-directed. A person low in C tends to be a procrastinator, lack focus, and be casual about responsibilities.
-        Do what you say you are going to do.
-        View your behaviors through the lens of the other person.

3.      Extraversion: This refers to a person’s comfort level with external stimuli. A person high in E tends to be energetic, social, talkative, and assertive. A person low in E tends to be introverted and quiet with a preference for working alone.
-        Find a group where you feel you fit.
-        Focus on what you can give, not what you can get.

4.      Agreeableness: This refers to a person’s tendency to be cooperative, agreeable, and helpful. A person high in A tends to focus on getting along and is willing to compromise for social harmony. A person low in A tends to be skeptical and competitive, focusing on their self-interest.
-        Quit apologizing.
-        Stop making statements that sound like questions.

5.      Neuroticism: This refers to a person’s emotional stability and impulse control. A person high in N tends to experience negative emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, and frustration. A person low in N tends to be able to remain calm in aversive situations and have a high tolerance for stress.
-        Have a good self-care routine.
-        Work towards positive reframing.

Want more information? Attend the KOS breakfast workshop, Soft Skill Development For The Woman Business Leader, on Wednesday August 27th.

For more information regarding the FFM click here.

For a brief, free on-line test to measure your FFM click here.

Paulette Janus, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and founder of Janus Behavioral Health Services with offices in Lincoln Park and Wilmette. Paulette has over 15 years experience providing individual, couples and family psychotherapy, specializing in children, teens and families. She is also trained in and provides alternative dispute resolution interventions including family/divorce mediation, collaborative divorce coaching and child specialist services, and co-parent coaching. Her website is

Follow Paulette’s blog Happy Healthy People where starting in September she will write a weekly five-part series exploring each of the FFM in detail.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

KOS is Hiring for the Tax Department

TO APPLY: Email resumes to

Our firm is currently seeking talented, entrepreneurial-minded, advancement-oriented individuals for the following opening in our Tax Department.

WHO WE ARE – Kessler Orlean Silver & Co (KOS) is a 50+ person full service CPA firm located in Deerfield IL. We provide clients of all sizes in many industries primarily throughout the Chicagoland area with a wide variety of assurance, accounting, tax and consulting services. We are a family-friendly environment with an emphasis on career development and advancement.

SOME THINGS YOU CAN EXPECT AT KOS – Challenging work assignments and promotions based on skill; leadership development and soft skills training programs; mentoring; semi-annual performance appraisals; business casual attire year-round; flexible hours schedule; lunch and learn meetings; book discussion groups; and a thorough orientation process.

SOMETHING NOT TO EXPECT AT KOS – Crazy, ridiculous hours, all-nighters, sleeping accommodations, and sweat-shop conditions. Yes, we work hard, but there is life outside the office and we respect that.

4-8 Years Public Accounting Experience

Responsibilities will include, among others:

  • The provision of tax compliance and consulting services to individuals, partnerships, trusts, corporations and tax-exempt entities in a variety of industries;
  •  Review of diverse tax returns for corporations, partnerships, trusts and individuals;
  • Identifying and researching tax topics of varying complexities;
  • Helping develop, build and manage client relationships;
  • Assisting in managing, developing and coaching professional staff;
  • Expansion of technical and professional knowledge and training opportunities; and
  • Involvement in networking and business development activities.


  • Previous public accounting experience and any experience with CCH ProSystem fx is a huge plus;
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills with emphasis on the ability to articulate complex accounting, tax and financial information to clients;
  • Proficiency in use of computers and computer accounting / tax software programs;
  • CPA; 
  • Comfortable working in a team environment with changing priorities and deadlines; and
  • Self-motivated and detail oriented.

BENEFITS WE OFFER: Competitive salary; generous PTO policy; employee bonus program; partially paid maternity/paternity policy; 401k and cafeteria plan; health, life, dental, and disability insurance; bereavement; firm-paid CPE, membership dues and licenses.