Julia Child and the Value of Human Relations

I think it's fitting that I write this as Julia Child's 100th birthday is being recognized.  Lately, but coincidentally, I've become quite fascinated with Julia and the impact she (and others of her era) made on the food world. So, recently, I had an opportunity to read her book, "My Life in France" co-written with Alex Prud'homme and published in 2006, two years after her passing.

This book documents her years in France, where she learned to cook and also chronicles her evolution from budding chef to cookbook author to culinary media star. What I love about this book was not just the talk about food and how she developed as a chef, but also how her philosophy and "voice" can be heard in its pages.  (Now, I have to say that so far I haven't read any of Julia's other books -- although I have one poised on my nightstand -- so maybe this is typical of Julia's books).  I never had a chance to meet the woman, but through her book, I feel like I am getting to know the character that she was.

There was a passage that struck me early on in the book that I think we can all take a lesson from.  Julia is discussing how shopping for food in Paris was a "life-changing experience." According to her, it was during these daily shopping excursions that she learned "one of the most important lessons of my life: the value of les human relations."

As she writes... (more…)

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Need a job? Mind your manners!

This week, I had the opportunity to attend one of the largest Job Fairs here in the Seattle area. No, I wasn't LOOKING for a job... was helping a business partner staff their booth.  It was eye-opening to me because I'd never attended one before.  Yes, certainly I had the basic idea of what occurs in one, but having never attended, I wasn't certain.

My business partner is in the "business" of providing career development services to individuals and organizations.  And, because of that, "we" were in the position of giving candidates advice on their job search. As a content-development partner for them, I had a first-hand look at how the advice I give professionals about their social skills is truly a strategic tool in their job search, and, frankly, at any point in their career.

Some of it is SO basic, or should be.  Yet, too many people just don't have the right tools. For example, it takes 27 seconds to make a first impression.  (more…)

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What’s in a Name?  Uh, a whole lot, actually…

I don't like Connie.  Or Colleen, either, for that matter. 

No, I"m not referring to any particular person and it's not that I dislike those NAMES, per se.  It's that people call me by "Connie" or "Colleen" all too often.  It's not just that they get my name wrong -- heck, we all make mistakes, and I've long since gotten over mispronunciation (is it"Co-RINN" or "Co-REEN?").  I even reconciled myself with the fact that my name was misspelled THREE different times in my High School yearbook when I was a senior...and not even misspelled the same way. THREE different mis-spellings.

But, there is a time when it's strategically important to use my name correctly: when you are trying to sell me something.  Let me explain...


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