Posts belonging to Category Business and Sales

Cyberbullying: No Online Laughing Matter

Word cloud for cyberbullying
My business was nearly ruined by a cyberbully. And that was before "cyberbullying" became trendy.

About 10 years ago, an individual began a very ugly attack on me personally and professionally out of a need to "get even" for a perceived wrong.  At the time, I didn't realize that this person had a history of "old school" bullying, stalking and harassment, but this appeared to be the first time technology was the weapon of choice.  The perpetrator used all sorts of tricks and tools to discredit me, including hijacking my business website, substituting a different, damaging site in its place, and creating new linked sites that not only attacked me for my position as an expert and coach on character and social skills, but also spread lies about my abilities and track record as a mom to my young children.

It was horrible...and didn't let up for months. I'd get the inflammatory sites taken down, just to have new ones pop up almost immediately. I lost sleep, couldn't eat, and my business suffered. I had to hire a private investigator, and, even get the FBI involved at one point because this individual harassing me happened to be a trained computer security expert.

The cyberbullying and harassment eventually ended, but the resulting damage couldn't be undone. (more…)

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First Impressions are LASTING Impressions

So yesterday, I had a real life situation come to me that underscored the importance of being conscious of the impression you make -- or could potentially make -- on someone you meet for the first time.

This or That?

This or That?

Last November, I was in a car vs. pedestrian accident -- no joke, I was hit by the pizza delivery guy in my own neighborhood as I was taking a walk after dinner. As a result, I'm in twice-weekly physical therapy for a hip sprain/strain that is stubborn in healing.   As luck would have it, someone who could be potentially influential to SocialSmarts was in town from Europe, attending partner meetings with another group. I was invited to stop by for an introduction and an opportunity to bond a little over SocialSmarts. However, one problem: the time I was supposed to stop by was directly after my physical therapy appointment; I would be wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt.  I really wasn't comfortable meeting the "big guy" dressed like that.  My contact assured me that it was just fine -- the guy was casual, the whole atmosphere of the meetings at that point were would "okay" for me to come as I was.

Only I couldn't do it.  I'm the head of an organization that provides training and consulting for kids and professionals on social skills, etiquette and manners. What impression would I make -- casual or no -- if I appeared in sweats, regardless of the reason?  I decided to simply send materials for review and opt for a, hopefully, later opportunity. This gentleman already is reading a copy of my book, so he has an expectation of who I am, and, thereby, how I likely present myself. I didn't want to give him the wrong impression or change an impression he previously had based on what he had seen/read.

A flashback I had of me while I was in college came to me later that same day. This must have been...oh, only 10 years or so ago (just kidding!), so it was a clear image.  I was an Information & Computer Science Major in college, and I was continually encountering other students in the computer lab who would approach me for a conversation late in the evening or other times when we were working on assignments. At some point, the discussion would come around to (more…)

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Civility in the Workplace: A strategic move for business success

I was reminded today about the importance of civility, particularly in the business world where so much involves less-than-respectful behavior and a lot of rudeness and discourtesy. Instead of writing about it, I thought you migh find this video an interesting piece -- maybe you can take a few nuggets of information out of it that will help you get your week off to a great start! To your success!



Was this helpful?  You can more about civility and social skills in business in the acclaimed book, "It's Not Who You Know, It's How You Treat Them" available in print at, for Kindle here, for Nook at and other ebook formats.

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