You Can RISE ABOVE YOUR COMPETITION…with behaviors that build leadership, confidence, class and authority.

In today’s competitive business environment, good sense and everyday manners can make the difference between getting ahead and being left behind. Why? Because all forms of etiquette affect others…including clients, colleagues, suppliers and friends.

Many colleges teach ethics, but few teach business etiquette. As objective as many of us like to feel that we are, the fact is that even in business relationships, we still judge people by how they act, speak, look and write.

Our outward appearance, demeanor and ability to communicate directly affects our on- and off-the-job performance. It also differentiates us from the competition– often the defining reason one person is chosen over another.

Business Etiquette enables us to have confidence in variety of settings with people from all walks of life, whether in meetings, sales calls, the golf course, or dining.

A Professional Image and manner gives us a psychological advantage over how people see us.They may think “if you care that much about yourself, manner, communication skills and demeanor, I feel comfortable that you will also take good care of my business too.  Good manners grease the wheels of society and  make people want to know us better.

Remember, in that first seven seconds of meeting someone, they are making numerous judgments about us, whether correct or not. They make assessments about our self-esteem, outlook on life, economic and educational levels, trustworthiness, social position and our future success. In my next video, I’ll show you just how powerful those signals can be!

Oh, those silent signals are speaking so loudly!

Kinesics is the study of body language and non-verbal communication pioneered in the 1950’s. Researchers discovered powerful signals displayed in the business world. Non-verbal signals are the most honest (unconscious) form of communications because they show what is really on our mind regardless of what is coming out of our mouth. Reading these signals helps us form our responses. Example: If someone says something nice but their body is stiff or their eyes show frustration or anger, everything is NOT fine. Follow up; with a question such as “You seem concerned. Please tell me how you feel/what you’re thinking/your ideas, etc.”

Communications – 55% of your message is non-verbal ( how you look, act, sit stand, enter a room, posture, movements & gestures, handshake, what do with hands).  38% is comprised of the quality of your voice (expression, pitch & tone). Studies throughout the years have shown, surprisingly, that only about 7% of our message interpretation is the actual words used. Body signals and HOW we say it have incredible power (or not, depending on what we do with our appearance, mannerisms and tone).

Benefits Giving positive, confident and engaged signals makes a big impact towards increasing sales, making you more approachable and believable. Negative signals (frustration, angst, control, indifference) repel people, and give them the impression you may not be as effective or honest as what they want/need in order to build a relationship with. Use their signals consciously to read what other’s are REALLY saying to help frame your response. Words should match body language. Pay attention to sudden changes in posture, expression or other cues. Why? Sudden change in movement usually show that you hit a nerve so go back and think about what was just said and…either explain it again…or change directions.

Different cultures & countries – The same gesture may have an entirely different meaning to someone from another country. A positive signal in one country may be vulgar in another. Use caution and WATCH their reactions carefully, adjusting as necessary.

By Watching job candidate or business prospect – you can often discern how aggressive they really are, whether they willcome across as obnoxious or personable, shy or feels inferior to others.…and most importantly, their attitude and motivation.

Entice individuals to hire or buy from you, not repel. When someone enters a room, it can color the meeting indelibly before a single word is spoken (energetic & lively, angry w/dark cloud, pleasant yet serious & professional). Is someone saying “yes” but closing themselves up with a foot bounding towards door? Profile! It works!

Only part of message – (crossed arms – cold? Or defensive.  If teemed with lack of eye contact, they are distancing selves. Slamming the door shut says they are unhappy, just not why! Non-verbal signals can’t solve problems or sell product by themselves so follow up with a verbal query, especially if there is a SUDDEN change in demeanor. Reading body signals really works!

My next blog will discuss powerful techniques to communicate positively and professionally!

Rita Rocker – Personal and career transformation consultant and rapid results coach, international author, national speaker, Transformation Academy



Add New Scenes to Your Life’s Screenplay

Grab your pen and paper and let’s talk about doing some rewrites to the screenplay of your life—replacing old disheartening scenes that serve no positive purpose! How often is our value tied up in what we do personally and professionally, our bank account, amount of education we have …or don’t have.

We look at past failures as a measure of our worth. We compare what we believe to be our “liabilities” with someone else’s “assets.” From this day forward, never let failure define who you are but only allow it to help you move one step closer to your breakthrough.

Remember the story of Mary Kay Ash, the cosmetics tycoon who was told by her attorney weeks before she opened her first store, “Liquidate the business right now and recoup whatever cash you can. If you don’t, you will end up penniless.” In 2003, this unstoppable woman was honored with the award of “Greatest Female Entrepreneur of American History” by a panel of academicians and business historians. What is my point? NO one can actually stop you from your phenomenal transformation! Their words really do not have legitimate power over what you make of your life. Seek out and pray for new friends and support system that will build you up and support your dreams and give the boot to those who don’t. You have to want the change badly enough to make it happen!  Please ponder one of the most powerful quotes I have ever read that has impacted the lives of numerous women:

If you are not being treated with love and respect, check your price tag.  Perhaps you have marked yourself down. It’s YOU who tells people what you are worth by what you accept.  Get off the clearance rack and get behind the glass where the valuables are kept. Learn to value yourself.  If you don’t, no one else will!” — You are Priceless!!


The Treasure Lies Within You!

Are You a Pearl Stuck in an Oyster? Do You feel hidden away from all your heart’s desires and life goals? If so, let’s talk about how to quickly transform that pain and bring you out of the dark, showcasing all the beauty and talent you have!

Changes can be painful and irritating, just like the series of events the oyster experiences that causes it to create a beautiful pearl. That lustrous gem is actually created because of the injury done to the oyster that contains it. The constant irritation of a sharp piece of sand inside of it (sound familiar?) causes the oyster to excrete a white pearly liquid to coat the sand in order to stop the pain. It is the gnawing pain that eventually prods the oyster to begin changing its situation and do what is necessary to change its life. The result is a pearl of great beauty and value although the process was not easy. Transforming our lives bears some resemblance to the pearl’s metamorphosis. We work on the issues until they no longer can hurt us!!!

Releasing the pearl’s beauty to the world requires the oyster to be opened (in a sense, being vulnerable to the outside world). Despite the hardness of the shell, it can be opened with ease as it is only held closed by a single muscle called the adductor. The oyster’s shell is opened using a thin knife to separate the adductor muscle. Once it is cut, the shell falls open and a beautiful treasure emerges. Sometimes our “releasing process” feels equally difficult but the end result is beyond belief! We can make something beautiful out of our pain.

We then use our experiences and knowledge to guide others down a similar path. As we do, our own confidence will soar even higher as we help change lives while fulfilling our own divine purpose! If your gifts and talents are still a hidden treasure deep inside of you, allow the mental adductor muscle to be cut. Release your potential!

Visualize yourself stepping out. What are the first five steps you will take? Write them down. In order to attain a life-transforming metamorphosis – 1) we either realize we have grown too much to stay where we are, or we cannot allow ourselves to suffocate in that painful, constricting shell any longer. End result is a pearl of great beauty and value where we have removed the sharp edges and made something beautiful out of our pain. Then we share it with the world!


What Picture Are You Looking At? Inside or Outside of Package!

Here’s a great affirmation for you!  A flower does not think of competing against the flower next to it. It just blooms! Well…So should you! 

Today I make a list of all of my abilities, accomplishments and qualities. These are what I will nourish and see them grow strong! Read on………………!!!!!!

Who isn’t delighted by a gorgeous rose, a beautiful symbol of love, romance, and life itself? It didn’t start out that way though. Nature’s storms pelt the little seed in similar fashion to what we experience in life. Oh yeah! However, the turbulent moments in life are actually where roots grow deep and the seed starts to take the shape of a lovely flower IF, as the gardener, you nourish your seed (life) every day.

In spite of the thorns (trials of life), the transformation has brought you from a tightly closed bud to a magnificent bloom. Yes it has. I spent most of my life feeling like the shriveled up, ugly little seed hopelessly in the dark, abused, self-destructive and quitting everything I started, always afraid of failure and rejection. Then I looked at the picture on the outside of the seed package! What I could become with God as the Master Gardner. In all honesty, I had to quit feeding myself with negativity and garbage that was growing weeds and choking out the blossoms.

When shopping for flowers, you look at the photographs on the seed packages. They do not show you a picture of what the seeds look like in their current state, as dark, tiny, ugly seeds that do not showcase their true beauty and potential. The package shows the magnificent end result. Given the right nourishment and care, it will blossom into a vibrant and delightful creation. Likewise, when you look in the mirror, never see yourself as inferior, unlovely or defective–but as you truly are–a child of God’s magnificence! Allow the seed inside you to grow, and only focus on the lovely picture of what you can become! How magnificent you are!


Life feeling a bit disjointed?  You Can Rearrange the Pieces!

Like a Kaleidoscope, life can seem like a mass of disjointed bits and pieces, but with deliberate adjustments, they can create a beautiful new picture.

I’m sure God sees the overall picture, not our broken dreams and frustrations. He sure saw mine! After going through two divorces from very abusive marriages and then losing a loving man from cancer in between, I hit rock bottom. Daily life was filled with such self-destructive habits. Shortly after taking refuge in my new apartment, I began taking walks after work in a park I called my “sanity trail” when a strange experience unfolded. As I prayed and walked, I literally had a vision of myself with jagged shards of glass stuck throughout my body. It was a real awakening as to how emotionally wounded I had become due to all of the self-sabotage, years of degrading treatment and self-loathing. I felt completely unworthy of deserving a new start.

What changed my life was a clear message God put in my heart that told me from then on, I was not to let anyone’s opinion or comments determine what I was worth. I was only to allow God to show me how He sees me, as His beloved daughter. Those nightly walks took on a new scenario as I began concentrating on all of the gifts and talents I was blessed with that had previously been pushed deep down inside. I also developed a new appreciation and gratitude for where I was at the moment, not for where I still wanted to be. Piece by piece, those jagged shards seemed to come out as I turned my focus on using them to create a beautiful new picture of God’s design.

You too can take those scattered pieces of your life, sort them into your personal and professional goals, personal relationships, financial situation—whatever the case may be—and every day, let God be the Master Designer, guiding your hand to create a new, transformed life. Is my mosaic finished yet? Nowhere close, however, I am determined to keep rearranging my life’s design for the good of my life and those I’ll touch along the way. What will you do with yours? You can move the mountains of fear, doubt, depression, sadness, lack (and all others) and create a new design.

Just keep working it and never, ever give up. I’ve tried so many times to throw it all away but God says “No, I have work for you to do!” Grab His hand and let’s get going!


Are You Ready to Soar High Like an Arrow? 

Are you feeling like your dreams are being pulled farther away? Think of the Arrow, which can only be shot by pulling it backwards!! 

When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that, with determination, it’s going to turn around and launch you into something great!! Just focus…and keep aiming! So if someone or something tries to bring you down or pull you back, show them the struggles only made your arms stronger.  Strong enough to get up, focus on your dreams, and shoot that bullseye straight on!

You may be thinking—how am I going to do that? I’m so worn out, broke, tried and failed too many times! Remember, No material in the world is as resilient as the human spirit! Yet we must decide what are holding onto that is holding us back and what damaging dead weight to let go of. Why? When holding on to negatives, researchers believe it can actually reshape the human cell to the point where our thoughts of the past can negatively affect our cells and physical body. Here’s an example: Looking back, did your negative relationships (personal or professional) provide any kind of physical, spiritual or emotional nourishment to feed you with encouragement, positive direction and support? Or did they bring disappointment and frustration, shooting your arrows into the ground? If so, mentally grab those arrows, sit down, and take a moment to visualize a picture I once saw: a bird was sitting on the outside of its cage and it read: The day came when she finally broke free from the cage that had been created in her mind. She slammed the door shut, spread her wings and flew free… to her destiny!

So can You. Yes, there is nothing stronger than the human spirit!  Where you might be right now is not where you are intended to spend the rest of your life. Ready? Pull back that arrow…aim…soar higher!




Ooh baby, time to knock down some barriers & create a new life landscape!

 We have all encountered barriers that impede a successful transformation. Ugh!!

         I once read a story about a barracuda and mackerel, the barracuda’s favorite dinner. It is amazing how much two fish can tell us about our own human nature and how we can give up just before our breakthrough. Researchers put them in a tank with a glass partition in between. For three days, the barracuda feverishly banged its nose against the glass anxiously trying to capture its next meal. After three days, it gave up, believing the tasty prize was not within reach. When the researchers saw the unhappy barracuda, they removed the partition so the mackerel was fair game. What happened? Absolutely nothing! Although the barracuda had free access to a hefty gourmet delight, it had given up the fight. It wouldn’t even attempt to snatch it although it was right there for the taking.

         *How many times do we hold on to partitions in our lives because our dreams have been so far out of reach and we’re not sure how to move forward. It can be uncomfortable to change so we look for excuses that something cannot be changed, whether competing for a new career, or leaving a bad relationship and allowing ourselves a new, healthier one. That negative situation can be painful and so unfulfilling but…it is familiar! We stick to it even if we are trying to get out of that box. We may possibly think that there is no risk of failure or rejection IF we stay in what is familiar…but is there? What is the transformation you are seeking?

         It may be time to make a New Life Declaration: I declare God’s dream for my life is coming to pass! It will not be stopped by people, disappointments or adversities! God already has solutions lined up to every problem trying to hit at me. The right people and the right breaks are in my future, even if I may not see them yet. I decree and declare I will fulfill my destiny!

Instead of saying “Lord, I don’t know how to do this…say, Father, I can’t wait to see how you do this”! That one thought can really put you in a whole different frame of mind! It may be that to reach your dreams, you need to restructure your life patterns. It may be necessary to tear out a few seams in your life’s design that no longer fit you or that have become too uncomfortable—a lifestyle choice perhaps, or a place where you like to go, unhealthy diet choices, etc. You may need to replace a torn sleeve in life’s current pattern (ouch)—like a friend or job. Be sure to replace each piece removed with something positive and uplifting, such as a dash of life-giving color—flowers, educational or self-improvement classes (many are free online), a positive new friend who has your back, or music that makes you happy—to your new design. Create a rich new pattern that is instrumental in manifesting your purpose, dreams and heart’s desires. 

Your current circumstances and heart can lead you very far in determining what life issues(weeds) need to be pulled up, which new habits to plant (your seed) and the desire to make a new life flower bed or a whole new landscape.


Steps Towards Writing Your New Life’s Chapter–GO!!

Now can be the first step of your new beginning in whatever area you are seeking changeanother exciting push forward towards your new transformation – NOT when you are forty pounds thinner, can afford a newer house or car, are remarried like your ex-husband, or whatever issue may be holding you back.

Those “new things” may take a bit longer to accomplish than you want (like “Gee, I wish that would have happened yesterday, last year, half my life ago–I can relate to that one!), so take one step at a time and walk through each phase after carefully answering the steps below. Do what it takes, in small increments, to turn your situation around. Even quick, shorts steps can cause you to feel better and stronger: Walk another half block each day until you reach a fitness plan that works for you, exchange that doughnut for a healthy yogurt with cinnamon toasted walnuts, make a cup of yummy flavored coffee and save the Starbucks money towards your new car fund. Thoughtfully consider these questions, then write down the who, why/why not, how is this affecting me, etc. Seriously, evaluate each one, how it makes you feel, and kick the fear of change in its backside. Go!!

  • What do I wish to change and why? Relationships? Health? Finances? Career?  Be detailed on where you are now and where you need to be.
  • What will it take to transform my life? Different friends? (Ouch, but in a good way). Letting go of someone or something that keeps me down? An exercise and eating plan? Classes that will equip me for my dream job? There are so many free classes on the web.
  • Who or where can I turn to for support? We all need it and it makes others (the right ones) feel special for being able to help. Never try to do it alone but it is critical to pick those who will be supportive and positive. That is the key!!
  • Who or what is preventing me from stepping into my new life? Are they perceived or real roadblocks? Be honest. Is it fear, finances, taking care of a family member? Is is (just) memories of something someone said that actually does NOT determine your abilities at all!. 
  • If I can’t completely change a particular area of my life, what steps can I take to make it better? Begin with one realistic step, then the next, and the next. Exchanging an area of your expertise with someone who can watch the kids while you attend class. Getting up a half hour earlier to have quiet time with God and seek His direction. Taking the stairs to recharge and burn a few calories?
  • Where I am speaking in negative or defeated terms, what can I say to turn it into victory statements?

Take each negative thought and literally rewrite it. You can change, “I’m too old to change careers” to “I have years of valuable experience, insight and creative relationship skills that will give me favor to be hired by the best company for me.””I deserve a wonderful, loving partner.” “God can give me new, supportive and fun friends to replace those who have kept me down.” Name it–claim it!

Believe it or not, it is NEVER to late to begin again!!! Or again. Or again. Never!!


Changing Our Thoughts Changes Our Lives

Every time we speak, we are prophesying our future.

Jane Goodall, anthropologist (ape family) and UN Messenger of Peace said… You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make right then and there!

We make a choice at that very minute to be angry, forgiving, revel over someone’s misfortune, withdraw to a corner, smile and talk to a lonely person, or even laugh and do a little victory dance step, and move on! Motivational Speaker Zig Ziglar once said: You cannot tailor-make the situations in life, but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations. You can start changing what is going on around you when you begin changing what is within you.

When someone says something to or about you, either positive or negative, that seed tries to plant itself in the soil of your life. It is at this very moment that you determine whether or not to allow that kernel to take root and grow into a self-sabotaging weed or pull it out!! and plant a positive, beautiful new seed. If we dwell on what was said or done to us, we are watering and fertilizing the damaging seed and it will manifest in our life if left inside. That is why we must stop every time, immediately, and think of what impact our thoughts and words have on us, our loved ones, and on the world! Switch and meditate on positive thoughts, blessings, and what God’s Word ways about you throughout the day. Nourish those good seeds and watch them grow into our newly created reality!



Do my non-verbals say I’m the one to do business with?

Our “self-perception” shapes the perception others will have of us. Our goal is to be perceived as a confident, caring, engaging and knowledgeable individual who sincerely desires to provide the best products and service possible.

What Does One’s Own Perception Have to Do With It Anyway? 

What caused the current perception we have of ourselves? As previously mentioned, more than likely, it is from all of our past experiences and how other people treated us. For instance, picture someone walking into a place of business who is well groomed and wearing a nice suit. Previous experience says that someone who looks like that is a successful, educated, organized, and intelligent person because that’s what we probably learned to think. This is how we see them whether they are really that way or not. Often, how we see ourselves is also based on past experiences, whether positive or negative.

On the other hand, when meeting someone who, upon first glance, has a disheveled appearance, or looks cranky or shy, we immediately decide he or she does not have anything to say that is worth our time. That perception may be correct or it may be completely false.  However, we may miss numerous opportunities because we do not perceive ourselves as good enough, competitive enough, educated enough, or dressed nicely enough.  You can fill in the blank with any number of reasons. Our energy, manner and appearance will be busy forming impressions that will may be hard to shake.

            A question we should ask ourselves daily is, “Do I send out the message to others that I am the one they want to do business with because I am the best?”  Why or why not?

             Exercise:  Stop! Take some time to really examine the following points and determine:  “What is the most important area that I would like to change as far as the perception I am giving to others?”  ________________________________________________

  • Could it be getting in better shape to appear more energetic and able to successfully handle their business?
  • Could it be working on simple body language changes such as a more confident handshake, erect posture and good eye contact?
  • How about a few changes in grooming to show others that I take good care of myself, therefore, I will also take equally good care of them and their business?
  • What would make me “feel” more confident, organized and ready to take on the big guys?

Your answers will help you lay out the steps necessary to change any perceptions that are not in your favor.  Stay tuned for tips on Giving an Impression That Commands Positive Results!


Rita Rocker is an international published author, life-transforming inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and career consultant with Transformation Academy, LLC. She inspires individuals to rise and go forward by providing powerful techniques for victorious personal and professional life makeovers. Clients include teens, adult men and women, and the elderly. She works with individuals, professional organizations, corporations, youth programs, and at conferences and retreats. Rita has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. Her professional background also includes corporate training, human resources and non-technical project management. She is a former Mrs. Nebraska and Mrs. America contestant (whose husband died during her term from cancer), and on the international board for Professional Woman Network.

On a personal note, Rita’s passion to transform lives comes from climbing out of her own deep pit of very low self-worth, domestic violence with physical/mental/emotional abuse, self-sabotaging behavior through fear of failure and rejection, emotional eating, care giving, personal loss, and self-destructive relationships. Rita understands what it is like being stricken with several health issues and eight surgeries in two years including a brain tumor, jaw bone tumor and Meniere’s disease. She is very authentic and transparent while filling her clients, audiences and readers with hope, help, humor and heart!


  • Inspirational and Self-esteem Programs
  • Dynamic Communication Skills for Your Personal and Professional Life
  • Polished, Professional Image, Business Etiquette & Social Skills
  • Career Development and Exceptional Leadership
  • Successful Branding/Networking Techniques
  • Customer Service and Relationship Building

Keynote and Breakout Topics Include:

  • The Whole Enchilada: Creating New Recipes for Your Life
  • Marketing Yourself for Success
  • Attitudes That Overcome: Triumphing Through Transition
  • Get Your Combat Boots on Ladies but Don’t Forget Your Mascara
  • You, Getting Older? You’re Just Getting Started!

Rita is the author of: Hope at the End of Your Rope: Steps to Rebuild Your Life and Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success. She is a contributing international author to: The Professional Woman, Overcoming a Chaotic Life; Sink, Swim or Float: How to Survive the Trials of Life; The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being; Woman Power: Strategies for Female Leadership; The Power of Transformation: Reinventing Your Life; Baby Boomers: Secrets for Life After 50; Tapping Your Inner Vision: Transforming Your Life, Shifting Your Mind; The Self-Esteem Guide for Women: How to Build Confidence; Your Personal GPS: How to Navigate Life’s Challenges and Roadblocks; The Woman’s Book of Empowerment and Confidence Daily Affirmations.