Archive for March, 2010


Tiger & Elin are staying together for now. After a ton of pressure and publicity, he may have a chance of saving his marriage.

What causes you to stay in a business relationship vs. leaving? Have you felt trapped by circumstance? What about a personal relationship?

What are the deal breakers that would cause you to leave or stay in a relationship? Kids? Money? Confidence?

Let’s talk about what is best in different situations.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

Have you noticed it? Can you feel it when walk into the store? Is it generational?
I walked into Macy’s with my parents. They wanted to buy a new jacket and return a shirt. Fifteen minutes later waiting at a counter to return the shirt, (One cashier, ten people waiting), I volunteered to wait in line while my parents looked for that special jacket.

Senior citizens ten to have a shorter span for patience. My parents knew what jacket they wanted, but it was not where two sales persons had directed them to go. The cashier at my line turned around. She had at least ten nails or prongs in each ear, something in each side of her nose and on her tongue. Now, I have two nephews who are in the millennial generation, and I am a former child psychologist. I am used to people expressing their individuality. Yet, this cashier had trouble speaking clearly, due to her tongue accoutrement.

My parents gave up, and I suggested Nordstrom’s, across teach mall, and would still have excellent service. They also have fallen pray to “minimum staff allowed” syndrome.

We heard comments such as ” I don’t know, not my department, we do not have that item,” after wandering around for another twenty minutes. My father was ranting, my mother taking things in stride.

Do men and women respond differently to customer service issues?
Who has more patience?
Do men and women sales reps communicate differently?

Call in, listen in tonight at 6PM PST to, or email a question in now.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

The deadly email

With Sunday’s Oscars looming around the corner, Nicholas Chartier reached out to his fellow academy award members by writing a simple but provocative email, imploring them to vote for his small independent film, The Hurt Locker – and not that big behemoth $500 million dollar blockbuster, Avatar.

His efforts backfired.

Not only did the Academy rebuke Chartier for violating Oscar rules that prohibit mailings promoting a film and disparaging another, but they’ve banned him from the ceremony itself.

So even if The Hurt Locker wins big time, Chartier will not be hopping on stage with his fellow producers to accept the academy award for best picture.

Imagine a chance of a lifetime – all his friends in tuxedos, celebrating, hooting and hollering and poor Chartier home with the kids, eating a Hungry Man TV dinner, and watching the ceremony on his ten-year-old Toshiba .

Ever send an email that got you in trouble?

Certainly, it might be rare to lose one’s job or in this case be banned from a celebration, but it’s not unusual to hear management complain about arrogant, attitude-ridden emails that violate ethical, moral, or professional etiquette.

To be fair, Chartier immediately bounced an email back apologizing. “”My naïveté, ignorance of the rules and plain stupidity as a first-time nominee is not an excuse for this behavior and I strongly regret it,”

But it came too late. Damage was done. The film may not win because of this email. And Chartier will go down in history as the only producer ever banned from the Academy Awards.

So what could Chartier have done differently that would have changed not only his fate, but the success of his film?  What can we learn from his mistakes?

Here are three rules to consider before sending the email that could ruin your career:

  1. Never put anything in writing that you might regret afterwards.  Don’t do it. In fact, don’t even write it on the computer.  If you need to express your feelings in writing, use a pen. Write on paper. And then burn it afterwards.
  1. Always get feedback before sending an email that might spark controversy. In this case, Chartier should have picked up the phone, called an academy board member, and asked, “How would you feel if I sent an email out asking voters to support my little film?”  Do your research first before writing the email.

3.    Never overreach your boundaries via email.

Chartier basically overstepped his bounds. He criticized a competitor and begged voters to support his film.

Beware of a backlash.

The competitor –the director or Avatar— was once married to the director of The Hurt Locker, so  embedded in this contest is a whole other level of social/political even sexual intrigue voters may have gleaned from this email.

This misinterpretation – or “reading within the lines” – happens all the time in business.

Recently  the President of a large electronic firm innocently moralized to his staff,  asking everyone to join him in a physical fitness program instead of sitting at home watching American Idol.

Big mistake. He not only implied that his staff  was fat and lazy, but goes on to insult the group for watching a show he thinks is a waste of time.

Another example that gets managers in trouble is the innocent thank-you email that calculatingly thanks certain people and leaves others out.   Don’t think it won’t get a resounding backlash.

The misinterpretation can be as simple as this: “I can’t believe Frank didn’t acknowledge Connie. I don’t think he likes women.”

Write an awesome email – free of baggage.

Now it could very well be that voters will ignore Chartier’s stupidity and vote for the film they feel deserves “Best Picture.” But we live in an age where we are generously influenced by social media and television commentary. No one lives in a cave anymore, and that is true in business as well. Gossip spreads fast. An innocent but disparaging email could reek repercussions that will sink your reputation or  be grounds for your demise.

This blog was written by Dr. Gary Seigel, For information on how to write an awesome email – free of baggage – check out my chapter on Email Road Rage in The Mouth Trap: Strategies Tips and Secrets to Keep Your Foot Out of Your Mouth. And for information on seminars and workshops, where I can interact with your staff and inspire error-free communication, visit my website,, or e-mail me at

Category : Uncategorized | Blog