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Beyond the Bio: Bob Keteyian, Pirate King

by Lydia Swann

_DSC1866Robert V. Keteyian, M.Ed. is a communication specialist and the author of Do You Know What I Mean?—Discovering Your Personal Communication Style, which offers a unique, in-depth approach to conversational dynamics, problem-solving, and successful collaboration. With over 30 years of experience, Bob has developed a wide ranging consulting practice, helping people have important/difficult conversations, developing creativity in teams, aligning leadership and communication styles, and rooting company culture in successful communication practices.

To help you get to know this regular SkillBuilder presenter, we asked Bob the following questions.

Where is your hometown?
I grew up in the Detroit suburban area in the 50’s and 60’s. Our school playground backed-up to the world headquarters of the Ford Motor Co. We could get glimpses of the Ford test track from time to time.

What’s something we might not know about you even after we spend a day with you?
That I love to sing, but haven’t now for many years. I sang in an a cappella group for 8 years (we even produced a CD) and I played the Pirate King in the Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan.

What do you do for fun?
I love watching old, classic movies.

What’s your greatest strength?
Helping other people get along. That was true, even when I was a young child. There were comments on my report cards reflecting this.

Who is your hero?
Clark Moustakas, a child psychologist. His capacity to listen deeply, understand others, and embody genuine compassion was extraordinary.

Favorite part about living in Maine?
The combination of the natural beauty and how accessible everyone and everything is. I can pick up the phone and pretty much reach anyone I need to, or stop by and see them.

What book is on your nightstand/coffee table?
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, by Sherry Turkle

An article/blog/book you recommend?
Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein. He studies and writes about organizational culture. He helps consultants (and others) learn to listen with a truly open mind to discover what’s really important.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
As a communication guy, I’m very aware of how common misunderstandings are. Therefore, I think we all need to accept how common this occurs, being more gracious in revisiting conversations and clarifying what we meant. We can’t hold each other in the past by saying, “Yeah, but that’s not what you said.”

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Playing baseball all day, every day, every summer of my childhood.

Learn more about (and from) Bob at his upcoming training: Communication Styles in the Workplace: Key to Collaboration.

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