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.


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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 www.genderlyspeaking.com, or email a question in now.


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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, Gary@Themouthtrap.com. 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, www.drbriangrossman.com, or e-mail me at DrBrian@DrBrianGrossman.com

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Are you a professional speaker, business person, husband, wife, son, or daughter? How would you handle a situation like Tiger Woods?

Tiger Woods spoke today for the first time in three months. Media outlets like CNBC, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, covered the event.

Reactions varied from “he was robotic. He read from a script. It was rehearsed. He is a phony. It was drama. It was real. He apologized.”

Whether you like Tiger Woods or not, some facts need to be stated.

• He has not been seen in pictures for three months-amazing in today’s world
• He had to speak in front of 100 million people
• He took total responsibility

Tiger Woods did something today that not many celebrities or politicians do. He accepted responsibility without blame. His statement can be interpreted differently depending upon your vantage point: Were you listening, watching on TV or live in person.

My belief, from watching, then listening, then watching again, is he was genuine. His eyes were red, teary, lip quivering, all signs of being genuine, hurt and humility. He the FIRST sports celebrity I have ever heard to admit “I did not think the rules applied to me.” Roger Clemons, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez? I have never heard them take total responsibility and admit they broke a rule.

Friends and media have suggested that Tiger should not have had notes. It was rehearsed. Would it be better to be “off the cuff, unprepared, rambling, and arrogant?” Those are the opposite of the criticism thus far.

Effective communicators use notes. Professional speakers use an outline and rehearse. I have been a professional speaker for ten years, and always prepare in advance. When I have had to apologize, I sure have had to think and rehearse how I wanted to say what was on my mind. Off the cuff in emotional moments may release terms, phrases and emotions you cannot take back.

It is difficult for anyone to take full responsibility when they make a major mistake. Add the publicity, media pressure, sponsors and a family crisis; I think Tiger did pretty well. (I am speaking of today, not the last three months)

I’m curious what you think of Tiger Woods and his mea culpa today.
E-mail comments, or if you would like help in how communication scripts may help your business or personal communication to DrBrian@Drbriangrossman.com

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How are you at crisis management?

Buy a Toyota lately?

One of the strongest brands in automobile history is currently experiencing what some might call severe crisis management. The cars accelerate on their own. Toyota isn’t sure what’s causing it. People are dying.

The #1 issue seems to revolve around the source of the problem itself: Is it in the electrical system (experts say yes, Toyota says no) or is it the floating floor mat causing the pedal to accelerate? In either case, why has it been kept a secret for so long, and why hasn’t Toyota aggressively pursued a solution?

You might remember the days when Tylenol learned millions of its pills were tainted with poison or more recently, that it may cause liver damage?

Or the mad cow disease rage (quite current) and Oprah’s beef with the cattle companies.
(They sued her for defamation – but lost.) Still, beef rebounded. People eat steak. People take Tylenol for headaches.

Over half a century ago Arthur Miller wrote about this kind of crisis management problem in one of his greatest plays, All My Sons, in which a father discovers the faulty airplane parts he knowingly shipped to companies may have caused the death of his own son, a pilot in WWII.

That play – a huge hit in 1947, — poses the question quite clearly.
Do we let the fear of losing money undermine and erode our basic moral values and sense of integrity?

Of course we do. We’re seeing signs of it day after day.
Sixty three years after the premier of Miller play, we might ask the same question
of Toyota President Akio Toyoda.

What if one of your sons, Mr. Toyoda, was driving the car that had a faulty accelerator? Wouldn’t you want to know what caused it? Wouldn’t you have done whatever e possible to prevent that from happening? What took you so long?

Karen and Dr. Brian bring this issue up because every day we are seeing examples of behavior we don’t want to mimic. As business profesionals, we can easily earn invisible MBAs by simply taking heed of other people’s personal embarrassments and tragedies. We help large corporations and small business owners with their written, e-mail, verbal and public communication needs.

Here’s the lesson we learn from Toyota.

You spend whatever it takes to disclose the problems, even if it means telling the honest and embarrassing truth. The sooner the better.

Knowing when to wait to publically announce the crisis is another matter. Does one death do it? Two? Or do you spend zillions investigating – uncovering as much as possible before anything horrible happens?

Decades ago I worked in a company that built European style rail-hung cabinets, and unfortunately at that time, a few cabinets fell off the wall and demolished the hoods of a couple of Porsches,

The problem, we discovered, was a manufacturing defect, complemented by bad installation.

Several executives truly wanted to stick their hands in the sand. They said – it’s only been a few cars – let’s wait and see.

Several others, on the other hand, pursued the redesign of the system and called up every client that had these cabinets installed in the past, and sent trained installers out to re-enforce all bolts and screws so that no future damage would occur.

It was a very costly nightmare. And it was worth every penny of it.

We live in an age where people think there still are secrets. I don’t believe that’s true.
If there’s problem or an error or a manufacturing defect, we will twitter, facebook, and youtube until we find out about it.

No matter what the cost, do the right thing. Can you and your company use ethics over profits? Are you allowed to speak your mind when you sense something is wrong? It will ultimately keep your company in business and brand you as an individual with integrity and compassion, something poorly lacking in the world today.

Listen in Tuesday night, 6PM http://www.genderlyspeaking.com/Weekly_Tele-Talk.php

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Fired up?

You’d think he was fightin’ mad.

After only seven months on the job, he and (his entire staff) were fired this week.

He lost what has sometimes been called the best job in the world.

And he’s being replaced by the very person who had the job originally.

But Conan O’Brian spoke of his job loss at NBC with his usual flair and sense of humor.

“Tonight I am allowed to say whatever I want. No, I really am,” he said, prefacing what the audience expected to be an outpour of sarcasm and vitriol. But, no, he diplomatically praised NBC and thanked the company for all that they did for him for the past twenty years.

That, my friends, is how you do it.…with kindness, sincerity, and discretion. If you lose your job or suffer the loss of an important client, even if you feel it’s unfair, unwarranted and plain wrong, it makes sense to filter your words so you say the right thing.

Burning your bridge in 2010 means you’ll have no where to go should opportunities ever come your way.

Here are tips to help you filter what you’re thinking and make smart choices of what to say:

1. Make a list of everything that’s bothering you – what makes you angry, frustrated, and even vindictive.
2. Take full responsibility for each of these. How did I contribute to this problem?
3. What issues are worth sharing with my boss?
4. By sharing this with your boss, will any of this help you keep your job or move you in a direction where you can expect a positive referral?
5. If there is no real rhyme or reason to share (it won’t help your future), say nothing.
6. And in that case, thank your power people at your work for everything they’ve done. Show appreciation. Keep both feet in the business until the day you leave. And feel proud that if you left the bridge in tact, you can depend on your boss for a positive referral.

Conan’s farewell speech came probably after many days of heated negotiation. But we didn’t feel any of that when he spoke the other night because he showed restraint as well as humility.
Once the anger subsides and logic kicks in, you can make much smarter decisions that may prove valuable some day in helping further your career.

This blog was written by Dr. Gary Seigel www.theemailwizard.com
For a free report on speaking up at work, or help with speaking up at work, e-mail Dr. Brian: Drbrian@drbriangrossman.com

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Ever shoot yourself in the foot?

We see it in the news every day.

Republicans associate Health Care with such terms as Death Panels, Government Take Over, and Obama socialism, and turn off voters with their fear mongering and paranoia.

Democrats, on the other hand, optimistic and change-oriented, become stupefied by over confidence and lose the most important senate seat in the country, risking any accomplishments they’ve made in the last 12 months

It’s nice to know we’re not alone when we make dumb mistakes…but what can we learn from this?

What gets you into trouble?

What’s the one thing you’d like to change about yourself that would make you more successful, earn you more money, and keep you from ever shooting yourself in the foot again?

Call in your questions. Get answers from two very different perspectives. And discover ways to create rapport with even the most troublesome people on earth!

Karen & Dr. Brian can help you find the solution to make you the communication expert you need to be in order to be amazing in 2010. Call in Tuesday
Phone # to Dial: 323-476-3672 | Use Conf ID: 921346#
or post a question now, at http://www.genderlyspeaking.com/Weekly_Tele-Talk.php,or e-mail us at talk@genderlyspeaking.com

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