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Breaking the Ice

I bet all you East Coast subscribers would like to know how to “break the ice” right about now!  I’m sorry, I don’t have any tips for sending our West Coast early Spring temps to your side of the country, but I do have a few awesome reminders for how to break the proverbial “initial conversation ice” when you are …

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A Better You

My clients who have had a Phone Skills Training Call experience with me know that perfection is not a quality I value nearly as much as a commitment to constant improvement and growth. If you believe that you have not become your best self yet, then there is always something more that can be learned. Likewise, you should never fall …

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Don’t Pick Up the Rope

“Yes, you did!” “No, I didn’t!” “I know I’m right.” “Well, I know you’re NOT right.” “That’s not true.” “Yes, it IS true.” Ever been there? I have—recently!  I call it the spin cycle—round and round and round we go, a cat chasing its tail with a frustrating inability to actually catch it. None of us go into an argument …

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Getting Got

I know its poor English and bad grammar, but “getting got” by another person is simply one of the very best feelings in the world! We do a lot of mystery shopper calls for clients, and one thing we notice that is seriously lacking in our fast-paced, over-booked, high-production world is personal connection and empathy (not to be confused with …

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The Great Communicator

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” “We will never forget them… (as they) ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’” “Honey, I forgot to duck.” Whatever your politics and assessment of his presidency, one thing we would all likely agree on is “The Great Communicator” was an apt description of our 40th President, Ronald Reagan. …

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Merry Rest of the Year

Well, it’s over—the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the singing of carols, the baking, the cooking, the driving in traffic to get where you’re going. Okay, I’ll admit it. I love it when it’s here, but I’m happy to put it all back in the box again when the new year arrives. But, there is one thing about the holidays …

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La Polentata… and a Really Big Zin

How I wish, as I write this week’s “Stretch,” that the internet was able to deliver to you not only images but aromas as well, like a digital “scratch-n-sniff” sticker! One Sunday years ago, Tom and I participated in an Italian tradition called la polentata, or polenta party, at Doffo Winery in our hometown of Temecula, California. The Doffo family …

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Retention Vulnerability

When a country’s defense systems are weak, unprepared, or ill-informed, it becomes vulnerable to attack from its enemies. When a person is unaware of their surroundings, they are vulnerable to pickpockets. When immune systems are comprised, people are vulnerable to sickness. The same is true for our businesses. When we don’t pay attention to why employees leave or stay, we …

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Are Things Getting Worse or Better?

“Tell someone that everything will be great and they’re likely to either shrug you off or offer a skeptical eye. Tell someone they’re in danger, and you have their undivided attention.”  This is a quote from Morgan Housel, bestselling author of The Psychology of Money, as he explains our seduction with pessimism in today’s media-frenzied world. On this Monday morning, …

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The Daily List

We just had the most wonderful Thanksgiving I can remember. All the people I love the most were gathered around my table, celebrating the things for which we are so grateful and blessed. I am hyper aware lately that things will change at some point in my future and that there will be a Thanksgiving when some of those faces …