Sunday, December 18, 2005


One of the proudest things I do for my International Rotary Chapter is serve on the Alexa Dyer Life Challenge Award Committee. Through this committee we provide funds for families who are losing their child through cancer.

It might be helping with their electric bill, mortage or helping to provide transportation to a distant city for additional treatment. In any case, the family has been stretch to it's financial limit. We provide funds to make this time somewhat easier -- though one cannot really put herself in their shoes unless you have lost a child this way.

We have come up with a win win win situation. One registers and lists how much weight she/he wants to lose and then sends the notice to friends and ask them to sponsor them in their weight lost program by making a pledge to the Alexa Dyer Foundation. One can register now, yet the actual challenge does not start until January 15, 2006.

All of it can be done on line. Pledges are 100 percent tax deductible.

The website to register and read more about the challenge is:


To check for accurate time go to:

Sunday, December 11, 2005


I spent an intense week (28 hours) in the classroom with 14 people from throughout the nation, including St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Eric Allenbaugh taught us tools that will help employees to be even more successful.

Eric's premise is that we should spend our time working with the 80 percent at the top of the organization. They want to keep learning and growing, and it is important to help them, instead of spending all our time/funds on the bottom 20 percent. With emphasis on top employees, retention is often less of an issue.

Since I am already certified in "Interact -- a Personal Strength Profile, I could readily see the application of this profile for performance coaching and team building. Once again, it all comes back to teaching people how to communicate with each other, including telling others what you need and want to be even more successful.


Read newspapers and magazine articles about working with people from the different generations. You will not remember everything you read. Yet, it will be a good reminder that not all of us want to be talked to and rewarded in the same way. Learn more about the certification

Sunday, December 04, 2005


This year I am going to spend the holidays in Texas. My 86 year old mother moved from Wisconsin in June and now she's living in 85 degree weather. Have to say, I am looking foward to the sunshine.

However, with that being said, I realized I had to be ready to hit the ground running when I come back. Thus, it is all the more important that I have a number of appointments set up to talk about future training and speaking.

I am pleased to say that there appears to be a new attitude forming about "in person training." On-line training is not meeting the needs of individuals for it does not get employees up and away from their daily tasks--most spend hours in front of their computer screen just to do their work. They need more human interaction.

People ask me how I keep getting appointments with decision makers. The answer is easy---I ask to meet with them.


When deciding on which networking event to go to, consider who will be attending. If you want to meet the decision makers you should consider fund raising events. Yes, these events cost more, yet, you can be pretty sure the heads of organizations will be attending the $75 and up events.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


A couple of months ago I got a call from Jane Byrne, a staff writer for "Engineering Times" -- the national magazine for the National Society of Professional Engineers. Jane did a terrific job of quoting me. You can read the article online:


People ask me how I get my name out there online and at the top of the search engines. There is no question that writing on your subject is not only a great way for you to document what you know and share with so many people throughout the world.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Kathy's Connection KC Solutions --- Kathy Condon's Website Getting Upgraded

Anyone who has ever put up a website knows that a good website person can make things flow smoothly. My website person, Mandi, lives in Northern California. We have only met on the phone and through email, yet I have learned to rely on her.

She helped me find a new distributor for Weekly Wisdom--My ezine, a one-line quote, with no more than 4.5 lines about why I like it and then a question for the week. Her knowledge of available software saved me $200 a year.

When developing a website, make sure you leave LOTS of time to develop content for it can only be written by you, unless you hire a marketing person. Even then you'll be totally involved in the process. I have to admit it is pretty rewarding when you take the time to do it right....check out my credentials page on my website.


If you are giving directions to someone, make sure
that you are giving the "why" you are doing it. They will
understand why you are doing it and will understand better
why they must carry through.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Kathy's Connection

The phone rang early this week. At the other end of the phone was my daughter, Kara, who lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She said "Mom, Dominique and I have some news for you. We have set the wedding date and are getting married in St. Martin in the Caribbean on May 4th."

There was cheers on my end for not only is Dominique a fine man who will be an outstanding son-in-law, he loves Kara to his toes--a dream for any mother. I could tell by the tone of their voices that they were both thrilled.

They chose St. Martin because it is half-way between Belgium and where we live. In addition, since Dominique's family speaks French and we speak only English, we are going to an island that has both--smart thinking on their parts.

In nothing flat, Kara and I got into our planning mode. Do we really need formal invitations when we are spread out all all over the world? We came to the conclusion no--besides return cards are impractical considering the distances involved. Yes, even I was thrilled technology has come into full use here.

Yes, I am thrilled the wedding is there. I lived in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands for four years --some of the happiest years of my life. Can't wait to be dancing to steel drum music again!!

On excellent source for inexpensive overseas calls is Net2phone. I discovered it over four years ago. You deposit an amount into your Net2phone account and then dial an access number. It has never failed me and it automatically refills (charged to my credit card) when I get near an $0 balance.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Saturday I had the opportunity to attend a four-hour seminar on "On-demand Publishing of Books." It was fascinating to hear veteran writer, Hal Zina Bennett, talk about his 30 years experience publishing 25 plus books in all kinds of formats.

One of the woman in the room listened in amazement when she learned how a book is prepared for printing now verses her experience over 10 years ago. The most glaring difference was the cost -- it has gone down so much to design, typeset and publish a book.

Some interesting facts:

Success is considered achieved if 10,000 books are sold. When you go through a publisher your royalty is $1 if it is not discounted, then it is cut to $.50. Think about what that means per hour--not much. Remember you have to help promote the book too.

If you self-publish, the profit turns out to be about $4 a book on average. Yet, remember like when you work with a publisher, you have to do promotional tours/presentations; and, this time you have to do all the advertising.

Mr. Bennett's Point of View: "Bottom line is that the new electronic venues are democratizing publishing, giving us more choices and encouraging diversity."

First we had sound bites. Now we have eye bites. That means it is imperative that you have economy of words. People tend not to read a paragraph on internet if it is over 4.5 lines long.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Often I have people asking me if they can call someone up that they haven't seen or talked to in two or three years. They fear that they had not been good at keeping in touch and the person would not welcome a phone call. Well last Thursday night I got a phone call from Scott Ginsberg.
We met when we both were speakers at conference in Portland. Scott is about to celebrate his five-year anniversary of wearing a nametag. The stories he has to tell!

Since I was leaving for the Washington beaches mid-morning Friday, we decided the only time we could connect was for breakfast. I picked Scott up as he was finishing a phone call with editor of a major magazine. One of his quizzes will be published. (I forgot to ask Scott if I could say which one -- In any case, you would be impressed).

For the next hour we shared ideas, connections and happenings in our lives....the positive energy flew! We didn't want to stop the conversation or the energy that was flying -- yet, we valued that the fact that we connected face-to-face.


Keep your contact program up to date. If you are in the area where someone you had connected with at some level, give them a call and see if you can arrange a time to reconnect. It doesn't matter how much time has passed. The person you call will be impressed you remembered them.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Kathy's Connection

This weekend I spent some time at my favorite consignment shop. Sofia has an amazing ability to tell me "why" something looks right or wrong on me. Often, it is just the length of the jacket or the shade of the red. When you feel good -- you act differently. I have made a decision never to walk out the door unless I feel really good. Yes, I have a bag that is getting full---a non-profit will be receiving my bag of clothes shortly.

Most people understand that an opinion about you is made within the first five seconds of meeting you. That goes for how people react when they walk into your store and meet your employees. Employers are constantly asking me how to get their employees to follow store rules with appropriate dress.

1. Tell you employees "why" it is important.
2. Enforce the rules.

There is no excuse that works--there are far too many thrift stores out there that carry quality clothes for anyone at any age or size.


When someone repeatedly ignores rules, they just might not understand why it is necessary to do the assigned task. When giving out assignments, let the person know why it is important that they follow through. You'll be surprised at how much quicker tasks get done.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Kathy's Connection

Last Thursday I was fortunate to be one of the 1000 people at the YWCA's Annual Benefit Luncheon where Paul Rusesabagina spoke. He is the man whose life in the movie "Hotel Rwanda" was protrayed.

Mr. Rusesabagina was a consultant on the movie. They made the conscious decision to use what really happened inside the hotel as a microcosm of the events that were happening. He said if they had made a film about what happened outside of the boundaries of the hotel people would not have paid attention because it was too horrific not only to watch but to comprehend.

He has set up a foundation

The goal of the organization is to help orphans for he said they are the ones that will be the leaders. We must help them understand how their actions can help or hurt their country.

Mr. Rusesabagina was a wonderful reminder that even when the task is huge, improvements start with an idea of one person.


The word "should" is one of the three words that we need to eliminate from our daily language. When we say "should" we are making a statement that we know we think it is important, yet
we have not committed to take the action needed to correct or improve the situation.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Kathy's Connection

This week I was privileged to have three major presentations/facilitations.

1. Intergenerational Communications in the Workplace.
2. Networking Fundamentals
3. Facilitated a National Board Meeting

While I totally enjoy one-on-one executive coaching, it is when I have a room full of people that I realize the real benefit of presenting or facilitating a meeting. It is the ability to share knowledge/wisdom with many more people in a shorter period of time.

Yet, I remember the time when I made my first presentation--I was scared to death. I now know the ability to stand up in front of people is a learned a skill---not something you were born being able to do with no fear. The only way to overcome the fear is to keep getting up there.


As many of you know, I am not a proponent of Power Point.
Nothing worse than the lights being low and someone reading line for line the same thing he is saying.

Presenters that are tuned in with their audience know if they have the interest of their audience. Flexibility is of utmost importance. A presenter, because she is the authority on the subject, must have many tools in her tool chest. Flipcarts allow you that flexibility

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Kathy's Connection


This weekend I had the opportunity to go on a tour of the Columbia Gorge on the Oregon/Washington borders. Many people visit our area and miss seeing it all. This Saturday I learned that there was plenty of things I had been missing even though I had driven through it many times.

This was a joint tour of the Gorge developed by my Vancouver Rotary and the Portland Rotary. The Executive Director of the Columbia Land Trust
and a Geologist from Portland State University provided us with insights about this marvel in our backyard that we never would have discovered on our own.

Both of these men where Rotarians who took their time to share their talents with all of us who eagerly listened as they pointed out things at 9:00 location on the horizon or told stories of how they worked with landowners to donate land so that it could be perserved for all of us.


It is important to understand that joining service organizations have three-fold benefits: 1. You work on projects that enhance your community; 2. You learn something through developing relationships with the members 3. You often have opportunities open up that you would not have imagined--just like the tour in my own neighborhood when I took time to look and listen.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Kathy's Connection


Saturday I was thrilled to be a witness to the opening of our new indoor, year-round Farmer's Market in in Vancouver, WA (America's Vancouver) The market evolved over a fifteen year period from 20 to 240 vendors. Now there is a permanent home where we can go all year to buy fresh local produce.

The facility was developed through the use of strong business communcations skills from everyone from the Mayor to the developer of the building to the farmers. Saturday I was standing next to the former Mayor who began the process as we watched the garage-type doors opened the market to the public. We gave each other a hug for we knew we were witnessing the results of communicaton and partnerships at their best.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION TIP: Grand openings, ground breaking ceremonies, press conferences are all places where you can meet and talk to high-level officials. Actually, there is no better place to network,
AND they are free.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Kathy's Connection


This week, my colleague, Paula Johnson, and I trained in Salinas,
California. We worked with people who work with people with disabilities. My role is to help them learn how to communicate with the business world.

During the morning session I helped them understand how to prepare a resume that will get Hiring Managers attention. More than one person was surprised when I said most people need a two-page resume. The point is that if you "try" to get it on a one page you have to leave out many of the great things you have accomplished during the last ten years.

(One should go out ten years only on his/her resume unless it is with the same company).

It was great, because in the afternoon we had a panel of five local business people who didn't know it; yet, they reinforced everything I had said in the June training about networking.

They shared what they were looking for in employees.....Showing up on time, honesty and enthusiasm were at the top of their list. I had told the group that not everyone wants/needs to be a team player--it so happened three of the five specifically said "We want team players."

Do not even consider putting anything on your resume that is not totally accurate. Relationships are built on trust --- no half truths.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Once again, I had a terrific week spending quality time with people. One of them was Jean Rahn from the SW Medical Center Foundation. She joined my Vancouver Rotary, yet we hadn't taken time to learn about each other. Over a cup of coffee at the Java House we learned how much we had in common, including knowing people in Ft. Collins where she had moved from six months ago.

I teach all the time, take time to have a cup of coffee with people so learn about them personally. Once again, I am soooo glad I did--I'm looking forward to spending more time with Jean.

Another night met for drinks at Beaches -- got caught up with what some of my friends were up to ---- As I suspected, they too are out and about learning new things. I have never figured out how anyone can be bored living in the Northwest.

Had dinner with Karen Sheridan, own of the Money Mistique in Portland, OR. We met at her loft apartment in the Pearl and proceeded to walk to a wonderful Greek Restaurant,
Eleni's Philoxenia at 112 NW 9th Street.

Karen and I hadn't seen each other in about two years so it was great to connect again.


Even if you have not talked to someone in five years, you can still call them up to connect or ask for advice. Think of how good you would feel if you got a call out of the blue from someone you met at conference five years ago. It is flattering to be remembered.

I'm off tonight to Vancouver, WA's new theatre --- Going to see the play "Road Rage" with a bunch of my friends.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Oops still learning how to use this:

Websites are:


After watching an hour of news Friday night, I called my daughter, Tami, just to say "I love you." As we talked, we realized we had no emergency plans to get in touch with each other if anything major happened.

It is all the more important in my case for my family is spread all over the world. My daughter, Tami and her husband Chris, live in Olympia, Washignton and my daugher Kara her fiancee Dominique, live in Brussels, Beligum. I live in Vancouver, Washington. (America's Vancouver)

My mother and sister live in Mission, Texas -- they were 80 miles from hurricane, Emily in July. I was never so glad in my life to have them answer the phone the next morning -- I think of the thousands who were not so fortunate with this storm. Then my terrific brother, Bruce, lives in Madison, Wisconsin (My state of birth)

Tami gave me this website:

Then this morning I read in the paper that Target will donate $10 on each Emergency Kit that is bought through them to the Red Cross. They cost: $29.95

I am proud to be a member of Rotary International. Right now we members are holding back waiting to hear where we can be the most help. My guess is not only will it be welcomed funds, but also professionals who have the skills to help our fellow US citizens.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


The first part of July I announced that I had hired my own Coach. Let me tell you, it was one of the smartest things I have ever done for a number of reasons. Now I totally, know why people appreciate so much how I help them move forward in their lives.

Mari helped me understand the importance of taking a day off. That means totally off -- no cell phones and no emails. Actually, the goal was not to even turn the computer on during my day off. The night before, I lost sleep thinking it was one of the dumbest things I have ever done -- I couldn't take a full day off --- I'm self-employed!!

Well I did it! After a day of exploring our great Northwest wherever the road took me, I came home totally refreshed and very clear. The next morning, I turned on my computer and 62 emails came up -- none of which required attention the day before. There were four phone messages -- none of them required attention the day before!!! I had missed nothing of importance on my Thursday off; and instead felt totally revived and ready to take on the world.

I have now taken off a day for five straight weeks. I am having fun planning my next day off. Last week I took the day and explored the beauty of the Oregon Coast.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION HINT: If you decide to take a day off, don't even consider checking your voice mails. One day I did and even though it wasn't a problem, it broke the energy of a totally carefree day.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Kathy's Connection

Communication Training/Coaching and Speaking this Week

Spent two days in Kent, Washington training fourteen dedicated people who are locating positions for people with disabilities--"Job Development." With the jobless rate of 70 percent for people with disabilities they are working to become more efficient. O'Neill and Associates based in Seattle, WA realized my business communication experience would be helpful so they hired me to do the training.

I was pleased to teach participants how to:

Develop resumes that will get attention
Develop cover letters
Network Effectively
Write effective handwritten notes
Hints to keep track of their new networking contacts

I came home feeling very good for I felt that the two days were very effective--plus, there was lots of laughter.


The word "try" contains very little energy. If someone told you they would "try" to get the report
done by 3:00 p.m. would you believe they would do it?"

I'd suggest you work to eliminate "try" from your vocabulary.