Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

RSS Feed
Subscribe by Email
This form does not yet contain any fields.

    p:| 360.222.6820
    c:| 425.351.7531

    f:| 360.222.6820

    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

    Make Good Use of Your Sidebar

    Use this space for anything from simple blocks of text to powerful widgets, like our Twitter and Flickr widgets. Learn more.

    To access Website Management, hit the 'esc' key or use this Login link.




    11-8-18 Are we losing some of our communication skills because of our reliance on texts, emails, tweeting and the like?

    I’ve talked about this subject in earlier Blogs, but I am starting to have real concerns about whether the generations coming after me are losing some basic communication skills.

    Have you received an email with several misspellings or grammatical errors?

    Have you had numerous text exchanges with someone and finally gave up and made a phone call to resolve something?

    Have you received a group email that got sent around several times to several people, including you?

    Do you find yourself sometimes struggling to get through a long email, only to reach the end and realize you’re still not sure what it was all about?

    Have you sent an email or a text assuming the other person would understand your words and your tone, only to get a response back that didn’t really relate to your intentions?

    And let’s not forget about tweeting which has become an accepted form of communication by many, including our President. I always thought of tweeting as a game….can you put your thoughts down in a limited number of characters?

    I’m sure you can come up with several other items to put on this list. In our high speed communication age, we rapidly email and text and tweet several times a day. But are we really communicating?  There are some disagreements about how much human communication is non-verbal, but I think that we all can agree that lacking voice intonation, facial expression, body language and simply feeling another person’s energy, words alone will not necessarily convey thoughts accurately.

    I have a bit of a silly streak in me (those who know me might say it is more than a bit). I learned a long time ago never to use my silliness in an email unless I was absolutely sure that the person knew me well enough to understand the communication (and I’m not sure it’s wise to send anyone a silly email). Of course, I can add an imogi, but……

    Here are a few suggestions to avoid misunderstandings when emailing or texting:

    • Keep it short and simple
    • If at all possible, save your sincere, serious communications for in-person or by phone
    • Read every email over before you press “Send”
    • If you are sending out a longer email or something with important information, make sure you have someone else read it before you send it
    • If you are feeling angry or frustrated with someone, DO NOT send them an email or text and let them know this; cool down first, and then make a phone call
    • If you are sending an email to a group of people, use the bcc, even if everyone knows each other; it will seem more personal and it will be impossible for someone else to press the “Reply all” and send out swirling emails that can drive us crazy.

    Better yet, whenever possible, call or meet with the person to whom you are sending an email.



    11-1-18 Promoting a Business Story 

    Every week I submit a business story to Whidbey Local as part of the “Business Spotlight” -

    The businesses cover just about every kind of story, from sole proprietorships, to larger companies with several employees.  Some of the businesses offer services, some make products to sell, some do both. The one qualifier for being a business featured in the Business Spotlight is that the business must be on Whidbey Island. The story also includes information about the business owner as well as his or her business.

    What I have observed in the more than five years that I have been doing these stories is the wide range of people who see the articles. Sometimes, only 30 have seen a story but there are some that have been seen by more than 800.

    The difference I have concluded is how much the business owners know how to use social media and how much they have a large network of current and potential customers that they can email to inform them about the business.



    10-25-18 Understanding what makes a valid survey

    There are a lot of public opinion surveys right now, especially with all that is surrounding President Trump and the upcoming elections in two weeks.

    How a sample is chosen and how a question is asked determine if a survey result will truly be providing projectable, statistically valid data.

    A random sample means that everyone in a given population has an equal chance of being selected. Anything that alters this concept biases the results and makes it unlikely that a survey can be an accurate prediction of a given population.

    If you sample everyone who is registered to vote—this will include a lot of people who will not vote.

    If you sample likely voters in a way that excludes certain elements of the population (such as neighborhoods with a lot of low-income or minority populations), it’s likely that the results will not be accurate for the entire population being sampled.

    If you sample using a self-select method (such as a Survey Monkey or some other on-line survey or a mail survey) it will exclude people who simply have no interest in responding.

    As part of the survey methodology, the survey company will want to have a screening question, (assuming they are using a list of registered voters) such as:

    “Are you planning to vote in the next election in your community?”

    Surveys are a snapshot of the moment. If a major event happens that is widely reported in the news a few days before the polling is done, that will definitely affect the results.

    It is also important to check, if you can, to see who is conducting the survey to see if it is a legitimate survey company and not simply one that is financed by a particular political party or promoting something, 



    10-18-18 The importance of filling a niche

    A theme I have talked about a lot is the marketing power of filling a niche, creating a needed business that fills a void.

    My latest Business Spotlight is a perfect example of this.  Greenbank Pantry and Deli opened a few months ago in a small building next to the historic Greenbank Store.  After the story was published this last week and was featured on the Facebook Page of Whidbey Local, I was amazed at the number of people who looked, shared and commented.

    Even though the Pantry and Deli is in a small building, the owners - Emily Terao and Alex Pulichino - stock an amazing variety of grocery foods, deli foods, wine and beer.

    When the store opened, it filled a great void: the only grocery store between Freeland and Coupeville. The store has been getting a lot of business from people who are driving by, but it is especially appreciated by the people who have a local place to buy groceries.

    Emily and Alex also purchased the Greenbank Store and are doing major rennovation to the building. They plan to re-open the restaurant sometime in the spring. They hope thy will be filling another niche that will generate a lot of business.


    10-11-18 Can a cat take over your business?

    (This was a Blog I published last year, but it is still a description of my business life)

    Although I am officially retired I, like many other seniors, do not want to stop working and doing something that I feel has value in our community.

    In my case, when I moved on from my marketing research and public involvement consulting business that had been my work identity for more than 40 years, I morphed into becoming a business writer.

    I enjoy doing interviews and composing stories. When the time comes to write the stories, I am at my computer.

    We have a rescue cat that came with the name of Dash. Once he was convinced we were not going to return him to the Cat Cottage, he became our buddy, rarely more than six feet away from one of us.

    As those who have cats know, you really don’t own a cat because he (or she) believes you are there to serve them.

    Recently, I was at my computer finishing another “Business Spotlight” story when Dash showed up and sat down on my computer, right in front of me. I am pretty sure he was simply saying, “Notice me.” Several times I said, “Dash get off of there”….and he refused to budge. I finally had to push him off.

    He wasn’t happy that I didn’t understand his cat speak.