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!

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    p:| 360.222.6820
    c:| 425.351.7531

    f:| 360.222.6820

    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    11-10-16 Dealing with Negativity

    Whether it’s our personal lives, our businesses or our political beliefs, we all have to confront negative situations from time to time, things that don’t come out the way we wanted.

    The challenge I feel is learning how to look for lessons and positive outcomes we might not have seen previously. I believe looking for these positive messages makes all the difference in how we see our lives and the world.

    Many of us (but not all) were devastated by the election results. The easiest response to hearing news we didn’t want to hear was to be angry, or full of grief or disbelief, or to blame ourselves for not seeing what was going on in our country.

    The evening of the election and the day after, it felt as though many of us might never get over our feelings of grief and loss.

    Every month I publish an email newsletter, “Progressives on Whidbey,” which is a compilation of progressive news from many sources that I find or that others send me.*

    The day after the election positive comments began to surface. In the November newsletter, I am including many of these positive ways to interpret and better understand what happened.

    There was an excellent film at our Clyde Theater this week, “Queen of Katwe,” that told the true story of a young Ugandan girl who learned to play chess and became a chess champion (which included some losses as well as wins). I heard from someone today who said “Politics is like a game of chess.”  The girl in the film loses a major match and is miserable. Her teacher comes over to her and tells her, “If you lose a game, you reset the pieces and play again.”

    Maybe all of life is like a game of chess.


    *If you would like to added to the newsletter mailing list, just send me your email:




    11-3-16 A special marketing tool: Telling a good business story

    I am a story teller at heart. 

    A few years ago I got into writing stories about Whidbey businesses.  My professional background was as a marketing research and public involvement consultant.  Then I moved to Whidbey and was asked to write a couple of stories about marketing research for a local business magazine (Northwest Business Monthly, which no longer exists).  I don’t even remember now what first created my connection with the magazine. Then, I was asked to write stories about local businesses for that publication.  

    Somehow, the publisher of Whidbey Local, JoAnna Weeks, learned about my writing, and she asked me to do business stories for her on-line publication.  She encouraged me to write what I wanted, in my own style.  She has now branded me as the “Business Spotlight.”  Each week, she trusts me to choose a business, tell their story, and it is published without any editing (my husband is my “official” editor).

    I feel very privileged because I am having the delight of making my own choices and telling stories in my own way.

    I believe that what makes a business story appealing is knowing about the person or people who started the business.  I ask three basic questions: Why did they come to live on Whidbey? Why did they decide to create their business? What is special or unique about the product and/or services they provide?

    For me, a business story is really about the people behind the business.  If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact me:

    And, I invite you to check out a new story each week on The Business Spotlight on Whidbey Local .


    10-27-16 Good customer service can include solving a problem talking with someone

    My husband likes to solve problems on his own with his computer. I, most often, prefer to call someone who can resolve the situation. We each obviously have our own system for figuring out the answer to a concern.

    Today, we needed to resolve a situation with Alaska Airlines and get some questions answered. Rich went to his computer and sometime later announced to me that it looked like a big hassle.

    I picked up my phone, called their general information line, gave a quick definition of my question to an automated system, and about 30 seconds later, a real person came on the phone. She was with me for over half an hour working out all my concerns and questions. Aside from having everything resolved, I was extremely appreciative of the great customer service I got.

    I know everyone has their way of seeking answers and solving problems. There are a lot of people like me. Good customer service by my definition means being able to easily contact someone I can talk to, having that person make my experience as pleasant and satisfying as possible, and getting all my questions answered and my problems resolved.


    Buying local adds to your experience as a tourist, or a local 

    Rich and I recently spent a month in Europe, most of our time in Prague, Slovenia, Venice and short excurions to some of the countries that were part of the former Yugoslavia.  It was a fabulous trip, and I'll be glad to share some of our experiences if anyone wants to find out more.

    What especially impressed me was how often we saw things to buy on our trip that were made in the country we were in.  This was especially wonderful in Prague and the cities in Slovenia where there were so many unique items.....all made by local artisans and craftsmen.  Purchasing gifts to bring home (for others or oursevles) was a delight.

    On Whidbey, we have a great number of talented artists and crafts people living here.  A major benefit to buying local is, of course, is to help people earn a living selling their products.  An additional benefit is the knowledge that these items are made on Whidbey and represent an authentic memory for visitors to the island (and a feeling of purchasing an authentic item for ourselves as well).

    Here on Whidbey, and wherever you travel, watch for items actually made in the place you are visiting and not simply items that bear the name of the place, but are made elsewhere.


    10-13-16 Smiling and making eye contact are the first steps in providing good customer service

    If you tell someone about a business, it’s usually because you were pleased with the service and the product; if you come back to a business again, it’s probably for the same reasons.
    Good customer service includes many elements, but one of the simplest parts of good customer service is the first impression someone has walking into a business. Making eye contact and having a sincere smile are the first steps in sending the message that you really care about providing a positive experience for the customer.
    While there is a lot of business done today through the Internet, owners and managers of many small retail operations still meet people face to face. 
    Depending on what source you check out, you’ll find that human communication is 70–90% non-verbal. Even with today’s texting and networking, most true human communication is without words. (Ever notice how often you have a “gut feeling” when you meet someone new?)
    Making eye contact and having a warm smile are the most effective ways to let someone know you appreciate their business.
    Here’s an excellent article that was published recently about the power of nonverbal communication:
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