Thursday, February 26, 2009


It was suppose to snow this morning so that it was “iffy” if I was going to the State of City address by Mayor of America’s Vancouver, Royce Pollard. Since we live in a temperate climate, I am not the owner of snow tires. In this area, when a snowflake falls things are immediately cancelled so I have never even entertained the idea of buying snow tires.

Snow was melting when I got up, so read my paper, and then got dressed for the event where the who’s who of Vancouver shows up to hear how our city is doing. My hope was that I didn’t have to go there and hear how bad things are – we get enough of that every place we go.

As I suspected, the Hilton Heritage Ballroom was alive with people when I arrived. There were hugs and greetings from people I only see at this event. The politicians were there, photographers, city employees and average citizens all coming together to hear and learn about how our city is doing.

A video was shown with actors portraying what our city was like in 1989. As my daughter would say “It was right on spot”. Along side of the picture/dialogue were facts and figures to show how far we have come in 10 years. Let’s just day we could not help but feel good.

The Mayor ended his speech with the announcement SEH American (wafer tech company) is going to expand its operation in Vancouver, Washington. This will mean approximately 1,000 new jobs in our community. In addition, SEH also gave us a gift of $1 million to build a Japanese Garden on our Clark College Community Campus.

Optimism was the word of the day. Lots of great one-on-one networking happened between people. Our Chief Ranger of Fort Vancouver National Park told a group of us the Park had over 890,000 visitors last year – one the highest attendance rates of any of our National Parks in the United States.

Make the effort to attend your community-wide events so you can learn and connect with your fellow citizens. Feeling really good about the future.


When you attend a community event, make an effort to introduce people you work with and believe in to others. Watch how quickly they return the favor.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


One my favorite neighbors passed on from a heart attack. He had reminded me so much of my own father. As I watched his two daughters support their mother it transported me back to the time of my dad's passing.I knew how much hugs were appreciated then and freely gave them to the family. One of the grandchildren said "You are a really good hugger".

At one point we were asked to say something about the individual. While I had been at other funerals with this celebration of life I had never spoke up myself. This time I did and said "I'm going to miss George. He watched over me and always knew when I was safely home from one of my many trips. Sometimes he would say 'God, are you leaving again with a big smile". His last words to me were "Welcome home, Kathy". He knew I had just been to the store, yet he acknowledged my presence in this great way.

George served in the military. I had never witnessed a military honor before. Two representatives from the Navy came forwarded, took the carefully folded flag on the alter...unfurled it totally, refolded and handed it to Betty, my neighbor and said "On behalf the United State President etc....."

Yes, there was a big lump in my throat. I felt grateful to be in a country that has a way to honor people who have helped our freedom. George was very proud of his Navy service and I am glad our country honored him in this very special way.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Okay, I give up. I have gone through my old tapes (yes, you read it right – I still have drawer full) and wanted to find the tapes by a woman who owned a chain of beauty shops and has become a national speaker. If anyone knows whom I am talking about, please send me her name.

At any rate, I heard her speak and there was a statement she made that has stuck with me. A man asked, “Why would you go on tour and give away your secrets when the people you are speaking to could start their own stores and become your competition?” Without missing a beat she said, “Honey, I am not worried about that – it is hard enough to get my own staff to do these things.”

I answered a question in a social networking discussion group about my marketing plans for this year. I listed five points:

1. Social networking-- LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
2. A new website
3. Submitting articles
4. One-on-One Coffee Dates
5. Enter into discussion groups.

The next morning I got a call asking if I would like to be interviewed for a radio program.

A human resource communication list had a request: “Giving a presentation to people who are unemployed—any helpful tips?”

Sent off a note: Yes, make sure they have contact cards (formerly called business cards) and suggest that they write handwritten notes.

A call came that night and the author of the question asked if she could hand out my “50 Tips for Networking” on my homepage

Still smiling – gave information away and things came back to me two-fold.


I have a number of subjects that I follow: intergenerational communication in the workplace, networking, business communication, men and women communications in the workplace and, of course, blog ideas or book ideas. Way too many papers to keep track of in my office. Problem solved : Got stacking bins and have labeled them. Each time find information, it is put into the appropriate bin

Saturday, February 14, 2009


My good friend, Shelly Fleming of Fleming Marketing Group sent me an email this morning and asked me that very question. She was referring to the links that I forward when I think it is of particular interest to her or her clients.

I finished cleaning up the kitchen and asked myself “Where do I get this good stuff”? Stepping back I realized that, perhaps, I am a bit unusual in that I believe when you learn something fun/great – give it away! My parents taught me to be curious and relationships were a major part of my childhood. I watched Mom and Dad nurture relationships on many occasions.

To me it seems perfectly natural to let others know what you are learning. As an Executive Coach, I tell clients once they are a client they are in the forefront of my mind. When I hear things that will help them, connect with people they should meet or hear about a new model for success they will hear from me.

Yes, I am a Twitter

Yes, I am on LinkedIn

Learning Facebook:

No question, many of the things I learn come from the places listed. However, I also get my information from selected newsletters. You cannot read them all, yet choose a few from your industry and read them and forward the great information you find in them.


Curious about the links after Facebook? Great, I wanted you to notice---go to learn how to shorten long link addresses.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Networking Events have the “Right” Ingredients

This has been a week where I have been out and about my community. It seems people were thinking that this week is a good week to hold events. Apparently, it was because the events were well attended.

People ask me how I decide which events to attend. Frankly, my criteria are simple:

Will I learn something?

Will I have a good time?

Once I decide to go, I make a reservation – the more times you can get your name and company down in writing the better. If you do not make a reservation, you are missing opportunities to have your name and company on lists for future invitations. I would much rather get an invitation for events I am not interested in than being left off lists when something of great interest comes along.

One event was a retirement party. My friend, Beth Taylor, is retiring from “Partners in Careers”. She said it was to be “low-key event”. Walked in and many leaders in our community were sharing in the festivities—the room was packed. I connected with people I hadn’t seen in ages.

Had a good chat about new avenues to promote my book “It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s all about Communication”. I smiled as I went out the door to the next event.

Two women got together six of us last August to talk about a networking event for professional women. These same two women Cindy Johnson, Vancouver Business Journal and Shelly Fleming of Fleming Marketing Group stood in amazement as approximately 75 women walked into the Heathman Lodge’s Klicktat Room last night.

Gale Volk of Fitness with Purpose did an excellent job of showing us some simple tips that will help us maintain our bone density. It was great; she gave us the statistics first.. then moved into the positive stuff.

In my mind, each one of these events broadened my understanding of my community, let me connect with friends and help me learn….the perfect combination.


Okay, this probably is a blatant plug for my book with the same title, yet, I am convinced the way to truly move forward and get what you want is ask. Remember “It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask.”

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Last year my sister visited me in March. She was staining my kitchen cupboards and I walked into the kitchen and said “Janet, we got to go for a walk”. Her response was “Kathleen, I want to finish this.” My reply was, “Janet, you don’t understand the sun is out and we don’t know how long it will be shining today”. Reluctantly, she followed me out the door. We had a great walk along our Vancouver waterfront. We stopped at one of my favorite coffee shops and took off our jackets. The rain began. She smiled and said, “I guess I see what you mean”.

Yesterday, I was picking up the house and noted the clouds had parted. The sun was shining--a most welcome sight after the fog had socked us in all week. Ok, this meant it was time for me to put on my sweats and head to the waterfront for a walk.

Got in the car and drove to the park. Had trouble finding a parking spot--it seems others had the same idea. Families, couples, and people like me have learned to grab an opportunity when it arises.

Now is the time for you to look around and grab opportunities that will uplift you. It may be hiring your first executive coach, writing handwritten notes to people (trust me it feels great when you are telling someone how much you appreciate them) or taking a walk in the park. I am convinced you will feel better.

By the way, apparently, the sun has decided not to come out today…certainly glad I took that walk yesterday.


Check airlines policies regarding baggage. Some airlines are now charging less per bag if you get your boarding pass online.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Is your email “In Box” stressing you out?

As I start to write this blog, I have 208 emails sitting in my “In box”. I need to take the time and literally put each email into the appropriate bucket. It truly is amazing how much different one feels when you are not staring at your entire computer screen full of emails.

The buckets are:

Action (Work to be done soon)

Pending (Have replied and waiting for an answer)

Read (Newsletters that I know I cannot live without. Speaker Net News is a must read. )

During the holidays and into the middle of January I was not in my office. I had some success handling emails from afar, yet, when I got home, the backlog was huge. Since that time, I have been writing and developing new proposals and email handling is at the bottom of my to-do-list.

This morning as the emails started flying in, my stress/frustration mounted. That’s it! This afternoon after Rotary, I am going to categorize the emails so my computer screen is bare of old emails.


Develop folders for each of your accounts. Business credit card, Business debit card, Personal credit card, Personal debit card, and cash. At the end of the day take your receipts, circle the date, amount, and the account number, and drop them into the appropriate folder. Great help when entering data into Quickbooks.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


It had been a busy day. Sprinkled among computer issues, I was taking care of emails and getting some writing done. Spent some time on Twitter.

I have reached 800 followers on Twitter. Checked on my Twitter rank quality. I am ranked 98.8 out of a possible 100. Smiling about the rank. Of course, now I want to be ranked at 100.

At the end of the day, I called my friend Gayle Beacock, Vice President of Beacock Music. It was so good to be curled up on the sofa and get caught up on what is happening in her world. Unlike many retailers, Beacock Music is flourishing. It seems people are turning to music in this unusual time.

Our conversation led to the discussion of what makes a good speaker and trainer. She had heard me speak many times. She said “Kathy, you actually do the things your suggest people implement into their lives. You are believable because you do it.”

Gayle is speaking at more and more international and national music conferences. In fact, I’m not sure there is any conference Gayle attends now that she is not asked to speak. We talked about the “why” she is received enthusiastically. The more we talked, it became evident to us that it is because she actually does what she was speaking and training. She knows and trains their employees on great customer service on a daily basis.

Our conclusion, if you want to be real, authentic, or believable—whatever word you want to use—it appears to be very important that you actually work in the field. You can make your points with real stories events that unfold every day in your world.

By the way, I hung up the phone and smiled. Nothing like a conversation with a friend that stretches your thinking. Remember true friends know you well and will share with you suggestions that will help you be an even better person.


If you need activity to save your miles on your airline reward systems, go to their shopping mall. Buy anything through their mall and it is considered activity on your mileage account.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Recently I was talking with my son-in-law and I said “Weekly Wisdom” is now three years old. He replied, “You have been writing it a lot longer than that”. I just looked back and sure enough, my weekly positive Ezine has been going out since February of 2004. "Weekly Wisdom" has a one line quote, no more than 4.5 lines, which explains why I like it and a question to challenge you for the week. It is a quick read and attracts new readers daily.

To use an old cliché it is amazing “how time flies when you are having fun.” It certainly is not a chore for me to sit down and write this brief message each week. Half the fun is keeping my ears and eyes open to great one-liners that I can comment on each week.

It is time “Weekly Wisdom” gets the attention it deserves. A logo is being designed. A packet of 52 “Weekly Wisdoms” printed on contact size cards has moved beyond the planning stage. People will be able to draw their own quote for the week.

The proof to me that “Weekly Wisdom” is being appreciated is the emails that arrive from people who are changing jobs and ask me to change their email address. Comments are always welcome and you will receive a reply back from me.

Remember “Weekly Wisdom” can be forwarded. Better still have your friends and colleagues sign up for their own Monday email on my new website in the upper right-hand corner.


Here’s some great information about the use of Twitter: