Category Archives:Communication

Communication skills

Changing behavior

At least once a month, I make the drive from Napa to Modesto on Highway 12. It’s a long drive, especially when I start out early in the morning without ample caffeine. As most locals are aware, the road is mostly two-lane highway through fields so the drive can quickly become monotonous. It is easy to lose sight of the speed limit during some of the long stretches. I’m not intending to break the law by exceeding the speed limit, sometimes I just lose focus. 

But there are a couple of stretches on the road where I pay extra attention to my driving speed.

It has to do …

The devil is in the details.

The details matter.  Nuances make a difference.  Ask any winemaker in the middle of harvest if another day on the vine can really have that much impact on the taste of their wine. (I advise you to be out of striking distance if you ask that question now, when they are wrestling with that very issue.)

Millions of tiny details are the reason one bottle of wine scores 92 points and another scores 89.  If the world was simpler, our choices would be  black or white, on or off, true or false, and there would be no need to have 51 pages on Wikipedia devoted to …

Clear communication.

 I was making plans for Father’s Day and decided a trip to the Napa Valley Museum for my history-loving husband might be fun (if combined with a wine tasting or two).  I stopped by there to see when they are open and found this stenciled on the door :  “Open Wednesday- Monday, 10:00-5:00”. 

It’s a simple enough statement. But it wasn’t clear.

At first, I was disappointed. It seemed they had a limited schedule.  But after a second, I realized they were open all week – every day but Tuesday. 

Who decided to list their open days in this fashion? And why was it hard for me to translate …

“Picking” tomatoes

One my favorite things to do after tax season each year is to select tomato varieties for the coming gardening season. 

First tomato set- Paul Robeson )_1.JPG

Around seven years ago, before I expanded my lawn into what had been my vegetable garden area in the interest of making my house more “marketable”, I had the …

Pondering why

We had our firm retreat last month. As part of our team outing (you don’t want to hear about the results of the marshmallow challenge) we spent some time talking about the reasons behind the jobs we do and the meaning behind the work  we produce. 

We came up with 4 primary tenets: People Matter (hence our tagline), We support our community, We like what we do (even on April 14th), and We fulfill dreams. 

We were inspired by training we received from www.mentorplus.com and a video on TED by Simon Sinek. Our firm has already been talking about our …

Lemonade in the mist

lemonade.JPG

There is an old saying that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade.  Last year, a new job opportunity resulted in my having to make a fairly significant daily commute. For someone whose previous “commute” was less than four miles and took about ten minutes, this could be considered a “lemon”.

My new commute from the north end of Santa Rosa to St. Helena takes around forty-five minutes. It is a route with minimal traffic but one …

Silent Lessons

When I was a child, one of the things that my favorite uncle shared with me was his love of classic movies. Some years later, when I was in college, I happened upon a class in film appreciation and I have been a dedicated movie buff ever since.

The most significant discovery I made during that long-ago film class was the genre of the silent movie. Prior to that time, my limited awareness of silent movies was due to a television show which featured silent films run at the wrong speed (with silly captions inserted) strictly for comic value.

In this film …

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