The Oakland County area has an abundance of opportunities for existing businesses and new ventures.
When the going gets rough, the entrepreneurial spirit gets creative and resourceful.
The Oakland Press has gathered upcoming events, news and links to help business owners and professionals succeed.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Oakland County workshops help new businesses get started

The Oakland County Business Center offers workshops for business owners and entrepreneurs.

Walk In-Start-Up Thursdays Free Business Counseling is every Thursday. The hours are 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sessions are limited to 15 minutes, available on a first come, first-served basis.

The weekly business counseling and the following events are held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township.
For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783. For workshops with fees, payment can be made online with a credit card or by calling 616-331-7378.

Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2. This workshop is for startup or existing small business looking to research their business idea or find research for their business plan. The workshop is free, but registration is required.

Marketing Your Business is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2. The course presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to help small businesses grow. The class is $40.

Know Your Numbers: Five Keys to Using Financial Statements to maximize cash flow and increase access to capital is 8:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 8. Fifth Third Bank is a co-sponsor of this program decreasing the cost to $25. The bank’s customers can get the fee waived by calling 248-858-0783.

Starting a Business workshop is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9. The basics of business ownership are introduced, along with resources available to help launch new ventures in Michigan. The cost is $30.

CEED (Center for Empowerment and Economic Development) Microloan Orientation is 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9. This free workshop discusses the requirements and process to apply and obtain a microloan.

Team SBA Financing Roundtable is 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Oct.10. This is a free loan orientation conducted by a business banker, a business consultant from the SBAs network of Small Business Development Centers, and an SBA representative.

Writing a Business Plan is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16. This course covers business planning in detail along with a demonstration of the MI-SBTDC online business plan tool. The cost is $40.

Financial Management Basics is 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Oct. 22. The course covers the basics of financial management, including how to start an accounting system and how to apply the information from key financial statements to help you manage your business. The cost is $40.

Legal Business Basics for Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Oct. 29. This workshop provides an understanding of the "key” legal and financial considerations when starting and operating a business in Michigan. The workshop is free, but registration is required.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Advancing Michigan's Energy Future free panel is Monday

Advancing Michigan’s Energy Future, a renewable energy, energy efficiency and policy discussion is 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30 at OU INC-Smartzone Business Accelerator and Clean Energy Research Center, Golfview Lane, Rochester.
It is a series of presentations and a policy discussion on Michigan’s energy future. Topics will include current and future energy policy, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Panelists will also lead a discussion on the Michigan Public Service Commission’s draft report containing recommendations for renewable energy policy. The report is based on a series of hearings Governor Snyder held across the state earlier this year. A panel of experts, including: Steve Bakkal, Director of the Michigan Energy Office; Joshua Brugeman, Director of Energy Efficiency at Next Energy and Jim Leidel, Director of Clean Energy Systems at OU INC.
There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested.Lunch is provided. It is sponsored by Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs and OU INC. Register at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Great Lakes Crossing to host job fair

AUBURN HILLS - Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is hosting a job fair, 1 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 4000 Baldwin Road in Auburn Hills. Candidates will be able to meet with prospective employers from more than 50 stores and restaurants, who will conduct on-the-spot interviews in the shopping center’s food court.
Great Lakes Crossing Outlets Retailers are looking to fill part-time, full-time and seasonal positions. Available jobs include sales, management, culinary specialists, stocking and inventory associates,and more. Participating retailers include A&W, Art Van Furniture, Bass Pro Shops, Bose Factory Store, Bozii, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Charlotte Russe Outlet, Charming Charlie, Coach Factory Store, DKNY, Dress Barn, Eddie Bauer Outlet, Famous Footwear Outlet, Finish Line, G by Guess, Gameday Detroit, Guess Factory Store, Johnny Rockets, Kasper Outlet, Levis Outlet, Loft Outlet, Sweet Lorraine’s Mac N Cheez, Michael Kors Outlet, Movado Company Store, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nike Factory Store, New York & Company Outlet, Olga’s Market Fresh Grille, Panda Express, Payless Shoe Source, Samsonite Factory Outlet, Skechers Outlet, Stride Rite Outlet, Sunglass Hut Outlet, Swarovski, The Body Shop, The Limited Outlet, Things Remembered Outlet, Tim Hortons Café & Bake Shop, Torrid, True Religion Brand Jeans Outlet, Victoria's Secret Outlet and Yankee Candle.
Interested candidates should bring a resume and dress professionally. No appointment is necessary.
Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is at I-75 and Baldwin Road in Auburn Hills. It features more than 185 shops, restaurants and entertainment options, including manufacturer outlets, unique restaurants, Michigan’s largest food court and a 25-screen, state-of-the-art theater-featuring Michigan's largest IMAX Theater. To learn more about available positions, visit

Saturday, September 21, 2013

State of Michigan to host MiVirtualCareerFair

LANSING  — Job seekers and employers can connect with each other in a live virtual environment through a MiVirtualCareerFair career networking event hosted by the State of Michigan, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 at
“There are more than 60,000 jobs currently available in various industries on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect website, which connects Michigan employers to qualified talent as well as provides resources for job seekers,” said Joe Quick, Manager of Talent Programs, Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
MiVirtualCareerFair allows employers to connect with top talent and gives job seekers the opportunity to apply for dozens of available positions without the inconvenience and expense of traditional job fairs.  Since the first MiVirtualCareerFair event in February 2012, more than 90 employers and more than 10,000 job seekers have been connected.
Within MiVirtualCareerFair, employers host exhibitor booths that include links to job postings, company profiles, employee benefits, and employer contact information, and allow job seekers to communicate one-on-one with company representatives. Post-event, employers receive in-depth analytics including candidate resumes, applications, chat transcripts, and booth visit data. All job openings posted during the fair will be accessible to participants for 30 days after the live event. 
These employers will take part in the September MiVirtualCareerFair: Advanced Physical Therapy Center, Auto-Owners Insurance, Cochrane Supply, Edgewater Automation, GC Services, Genemarkers, General Electric, Grid Logic, Inc., Hope Network, Lyons Industries, Microline Technology Corporation, New York Life Insurance Company, Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., State of Michigan, Stout Systems, TechSmith Corporation and Van Loon Industries, Inc.
Employers interested in hosting a booth in one of the upcoming MiVirtualCareerFair events are encouraged to contact Andrew Belanger, Project Coordinator for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation at

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Developing international IP strategy program is Friday

TROY — The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, East Michigan District Export Council are hosting a program on intellectual property rights in the global marketplace, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20 at Michigan State University, Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road, Troy.
This one-day program is aimed at providing companies with tools to develop an IP strategy to support expanded export sales and increased global business activities, while avoiding the pitfalls of IP theft and abuse. The program is open to companies of all sizes in all industries, located across the United States. The cost is $125 per person. To register, visit or call 248-975-9609.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Business events in Oakland County

Sept. 18
SOUTHFIELD — Flagstar Bank presents the third annual ‘Speed Networking’ event, which will bring together more than sixty professionals in the business and legal arena for a chance to network, exchange business cards, and promote their services. It is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Regency Manor in Southfield.
Each person will have three minutes to introduce themselves to another professional, and provide a short ‘pitch’ for their products or services before they rotate to the next professional.
The event is co-sponsored by the Armenian- American Bar Association, the Chaldean American Bar Association, the Chaldean American Association for Health Professionals, the Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan, the Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and Steward Media. For more information, contact Derek Dickow at 248-702-5501 or email To purchase tickets to the event, visit

Sept. 18
WATERFORD TWP. — Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification Orientation is 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18. The cost is $25 per person. The workshop covers the benefits and process of becoming a Women's Business Enterprise (WBE). Benefits include certification to private sector WBE's and access to procurement opportunities with major national companies. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 19
WATERFORD TWP. — Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 19. This free workshop is for startup or existing small business looking to research their business idea or find research for their business plan. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 19
BIRMINGHAM — Miller Canfield lawyer Michael P. Coakley along with Linda Cena, securities examination manager, and Jason Craft, securities examiner, will discuss the latest legal developments affecting the securities industry at an upcoming “Before the Bell,” 7:15-8:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept.19 at the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham.
The presenters will discuss examination sweep results and best practices derived from them, IA switch firms’ most common violations and recent legislative developments in the industry.
There is no cost to attend. Reservations are required, contact Sandy Bera at 248-267-3345 or This event is limited to investment officers, registered representatives or trust officers. For more information, visit

Sept. 19
TROY — The Troy Chamber of Commerce will host the next luncheon in its CEO series on Thursday, Sept. 19, featuring Delphi Automotive President/CEO Rodney O’Neal. O’Neal will present a keynote address, “Reinvention and Remaining Relevant.” The event will begin with a mini business expo at 10:30 a.m. followed by lunch and O’Neal’s keynote address, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The event will be held at San Marino Club, 1685 E. Big Beaver Rd., in Troy. The cost to attend is $27 for Troy Chamber members and $37 for non-members. An additional $5 will be charged the day of the event. The cost to exhibit at the event is $100 for Troy Chamber members and $150 for non-member (limited number), including one lunch.
To register, call 248-641-8151 or e-mail

Sept. 19
WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP. — The Greater West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce is hosting Nancy Schlichting, Chief Executive Officer of Henry Ford Health System as the keynote speaker for the fall 2013 Leadership luncheon. The luncheon will be held at noon Thursday, Sept. 19 in the atrium of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. Schlichting was named the Crain’s 2013 Newsmaker of the Year and is recognized as a national leader in the health care industry. Dr. Frank  McGeorge, WDIV-TV4 medical reporter and Henry Ford Hospital emergency medicine physician, is the master of ceremonies for the event.
Tickets are $45 for West Bloomfield Chamber members and $50 for non-members. To register or for more information, visit or call 248-626-3636.

Sept. 19
DETROIT – Paul A. Glantz, founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment Inc. and CEO of Proctor Financial Inc., this month will speak at Wayne State University about ways start-up businesses can attract investors and protect their financial investments.
Glantz will present “Valley of Death: Surviving the Financial Rut” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at Wayne Law, 471 W. Palmer St. The free workshop is open to the public. Parking is available for $6.50 in the structure across West Palmer Street from the law school. For more information, contact Shawn Starkey at 313-577-4629 or
The keynote talk will begin at 6:15 p.m., and hors d'oeuvres and networking are 7:15 to 8 p.m.

Sept. 24
TROY — A Health Care Reform Connect Conference is 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the MSU Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road, Troy. There will be a series of interactive sessions with experts discussing: what's new, exchange options and changes required for your benefit plan. A speaker from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, will discuss the latest updates to the Affordable Care Act and answer questions. The cost is $100 for Michigan Business & Professional Association members or $125 for nonmembers. Admission includes workshops and brunch. For more information or to register, call 586-393-8800 or visit

Sept. 24-25
ANN ARBOR — The Center for Empowerment and Economic Development is hosting the annual Great Lakes Women’s Business Conference, Sept. 24-25. The 13th annual  Women’s Business Enterprises Council Great Lakes (WBEC) conference will offer networking, silent auction, workshops and opportunities to speak with supplier diversity professionals. The event will include “Power Lunches.” The list of participants is at Tickets start at $150 and can be purchased at or by calling CEED at 734-677-1400.

Sept. 25
BIRMINGHAM — The 10th annual Vine & Dine gala benefitting Gleaner’s Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Neiman Marcus at the Somerset Collection in Troy.  Hosted by the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, the event will showcase the talents of students from Oakland Community College’s Culinary Institute.
The event includes a runway fashion show featuring Neiman Marcus Fall fashions, a chance to win a diamond necklace valued at $3,800 from Astrein’s Creative Jewelers and a luxury vehicle display from the Fred Lavery Company.
Food and wine participants include: 220 Restaurant, Beverly Hills Grill, Café ML, Cameron’s Steakhouse, Fox Grill, Hills Fine Wine & Spirits, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Maggiano’s Little Italy, Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council, OCC Culinary Institute, Old World Olive Press, Peabody’s, Roadside B & G, Salvatore Scallopini, Schakolad Birmingham Chocolate, Streetside Seafood and Woodberry Wine.
Neiman Marcus is at Somerset Collection, 2705 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy. The event includes complimentary valet. Dress to impress. Tickets are $75 each. Special corporate pricing is available for groups of 12 or more. To purchase tickets, visit or call 248-430-7688.

Sept. 25
TROY — L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive discusses what advanced manufacturers need to build a globally-competitive workforce, 7:30-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Troy Marriott, 200 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy. Breakfast is at 7:30 a.m. and the program is at 8 a.m. The event is free, but registration is required at

Sept. 25
WATERFORD TWP. — QuickBooks Essentials Part 1 and Part 2 is 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The cost is $40 each or $75 for both parts. This introduction to small business financial management provides an overview of accurate recordkeeping, report interpretation and utilization, and management of  QuickBooks tools. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept .25
WATERFORD TWP. — Health Care Reform and Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 25. This free workshop discusses health care reform legislation and how it will affect all business owners. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 25
WATERFORD TWP. — QuickBooks Essentials Part 1 and Part 2 is 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The cost is $40 each or $75 for both parts. This introduction to small business financial management provides an overview of accurate recordkeeping, report interpretation and utilization, and management of  QuickBooks tools. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept .25
WATERFORD TWP. — Health Care Reform and Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 25. This free workshop discusses health care reform legislation and how it will affect all business owners. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 25
PONTIAC — Buckner's Bakery, A Dessert Cafe is hosting a ribbon cutting is from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. Located at 19 N. Saginaw St. in Pontiac, the cafe features cakes, pies, ice cream treats and hand-scooped ice cream. For more information, call 248-454-0445 or visit
Briggette of Petals and Gems

Sept. 26
TROY — Automation Alley Headquarters is hosting Technology on the Move, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26. This presentation will provide business leaders with knowledge on what their mobile devices can do for them, and will provide a sampling of applications that exist that can benefit their business. Speakers include Suzanne Chartier, Director of Engineering Services, eyeWyre Software Studios and Jim Salter, Business Development Director, Persis Consulting Company. Lunch is included. The cost in advance is $20 for members and $40 for nonmembers. The cost at the door is $30 for members and 50 for nonmembers. Call 1-800-427-5100 or visit to register.

Sept. 26
WATERFORD TWP. — Writing a Business Plan is 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 26. The cost is $40 per person. This course covers business planning along with a demonstration of the MI-SBTDC online business plan tool.  It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 26
SOUTHFIELD — Southfield-based Farbman Group, a leading full-service real estate company, is hosting a speed networking event titled Five Minute Farbman for its metro Detroit tenants and vendors. The event is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 26 at the Southfield Office Centre, 18000 W. Nine Mile Road, Southfield.
Five Minute Farbman provides the real estate company’s tenants and vendors with the opportunity to meet and connect with potential new customers, clients and vendors, while learning and sharing best practices for conducting business from individuals across a broad spectrum of industries.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided. For more information, or to register, visit

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to get ahead by showing weakness

Submitted by Dottie DeHart, DeHart & Company Public Relations,

New York, NY  — Do either of these scenarios sound familiar?
A colleague sends you a snarky email, so you type a cutting response right back.A Facebook “friend” insults your political beliefs in a post, so you write a scathing comment about their obvious cluelessness.

Nobody likes to back down, give in, knuckle under, or swallow an insult. And showing weakness isn’t likely to get you anything but disrespect and marginalization…right?Wrong. Communication consultant Geoffrey Tumlin says being what some would call a “wimp” is often an effective response. And in the right circumstances, it can even be a way to get ahead
“Weakness can be a very effective communication tool,” said Tumlin, author of the new book Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counterintuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life“In many scenarios, allowing the other party to maintain what appears to be ‘the upper hand’ can help you successfully navigate volatile situations, protect important relationships, and get you what you want personally and professionally.”

So why do we feel it’s okay—even smart—to maintain a forceful presence? Some of it might be the vestiges of our caveman past, but Tumlin believes it’s also a consequence of the digital communication revolution. We’ve gotten in the habit of impulsive, expedient, and self-expressive communication. We can chat, tweet, text, and email to our hearts’ content. And because it’s all so quick and easy, we’ve come to believe that it’s our right, as citizens of the digital age, to say what we want, when we want.“One consequence of this mistaken belief is that we often fight back too quickly and too forcefully whenever we’re annoyed,” Tumlin says. “But impulsive and unfiltered communication—whether it happens face-to-face or digitally—often costs us dearly. Because we aren’t willing to be seen as wimps, conflicts escalate and relationships deteriorate. We would do much better to hold our tongues, control our emotions, and focus on long-term goals instead of on short-term gratification.”

Tumlin shares six ways to get ahead by showing weakness: 

Respond with weakness. We all too often use more force than we need to accomplish our objectives. We yell when a measured response would work better, send a blistering e-mail when a more restrained reply would suffice, or issue an ultimatum when a firm but gentle statement of convictions would do. Conflicts that start or escalate with excessive force frequently cause a destructive cycle—attack, retaliation, escalated attack, and escalated retaliation, etc. No matter how justified you may feel, the bottom line is that using excessive force isn’t usually a winning strategy.
“You should try to apply the least amount of interpersonal force and intensity necessary to accomplish your objective,” asserts Tumlin. “In other words, bring a stick to a knife fight. No, it’s not always easy when emotions are running high, but a ‘weak’ response can often stabilize a harsh conversation and prevent damage to the underlying relationship. Try to stay serious and focused and keep the conversation as brief as possible. Keep your words calm, controlled, and even boring—don’t add any new emotional material." 

Back down from challenges. In our achievement-oriented society, backing down from a verbal challenge can be the equivalent of not accepting a triple-dog-dare on the playground. But that’s exactly what smart communicators do. They know that our quick, cheap, and easy digital devices allow us to have far too many unnecessary conversations, engage in way too much unnecessary chatter, and get our hands (and thumbs) on too many irrelevant issues. Smart communicators are willing to let some problems go unsolved so that they can focus on those that are truly important.
“I recommend dividing challenges and problems into three categories: Now, Delay, and Avoid,” instructs Tumlin. “Problems in the Now category require an immediate, solution-based conversation. Don’t automatically assign too many issues to this category—this is the most frequent miscalculation of our ‘everything now’ digital age.
“Delay is your default category,” he adds. “Many issues don’t need your active intervention, and others may disappear completely or resolve themselves without your participation. Finally, some issues reflect highly emotional, incredibly complicated, and other volatile feelings that reside deep inside the other person. Avoid them unless they are impairing the accomplishment of critical work.” 

Let difficult people win. Jane talks too much. Jim is incredibly stubborn. Uncle Billy loves to argue. Whether they’re controlling, critical, or cranky, the behaviors that make someone a difficult person tend to spark frequent confrontations—even though we’re unlikely to influence these people. For example, we wrestle with Jane to get a word in edgewise. We struggle to change Jim’s mind. We fire a barrage of points and counterpoints into Uncle Billy’s arguments. It’s time to quit trying, insists Tumlin.
“At the end of a conversation, the difficult person remains the same, but often you are in a weaker position,” he points out. “Only a commitment to let go of your desire to ‘win’ by imposing your will on the other person can realistically and consistently improve your communication with difficult people. When you find yourself with no choice but to interact with a difficult person, have modest expectations, avoid tangents, and stay focused on your end goal. It’s really all you can do.” 

Swallow your pride and say you’re sorry. Apologizing to another person isn’t easy, even when you know you’re in the wrong. It’s even tougher when you think that the other person is being unreasonable. And, of course, it doesn’t help that certain people view apologies as a sign of weakness. Yet Tumlin believes you should apologize anyway.
“In so many situations, a well-placed ‘I’m sorry’ can keep an incident from escalating and can prevent lasting harm,” he says. “Usually, salvaging a relationship and staying on track to accomplish your goals is worth a momentary blow to your pride.
“Apologizing might seem weak, but in fact, it’s a powerful communication maneuver. Most people have a very hard time refusing a sincere and timely apology. ‘I’m sorry’ cures a wide variety of interpersonal ills.” 

Ignore insults. When somebody offends you, your inner Neanderthal rushes to the front of your brain, urging you to club your foe over the head and show the other person that you won’t allow yourself to be treated that way. But guess what? Your inner Neanderthal isn’t known for restraint, civility, or strategic thinking. Sure, it might feel good to act on your emotions and indulge your impulses, but responding aggressively to insults can also result in a lot of long-term damage.
“No, I’m not suggesting that feelings don’t matter. And I’m not suggesting that you should let anyone insult you consistently. But people say things they quickly come to regret all the time. Don’t let your inner Neanderthal lunge for the club; give the other person a chance to self-correct instead.
“Even if you’re offended, try not to let the interaction escalate,” he adds. “Not allowing your feelings to dictate your words will impact your quality of life profoundly: You will get what you want more often. By focusing on what you want to accomplish instead of what you want to say, your goal—and the underlying relationship—can survive for another conversation.” 

Stop constantly defending your beliefs. Standing up for your convictions has been the American way since the Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776. And yes, you should speak up when you feel your own or someone else’s well-being is being threatened. But even though others might label you a wimp for keeping your mouth shut, you don’t have to rise to every challenge. Even though your brother-in-law’s political rants on Facebook make your blood boil, you don’t have to comment on why you disagree with each and every post.
“Too much impulsive disclosure and reflexive communication can upset the people who are most important to your work and personal life,” Tumlin says.
“Ask yourself which is more important to you: throwing your two cents in or maintaining a decent relationship?” he continues. “And be especially careful on Facebook and Twitter because there are many more deeply held beliefs to consider. Play your cards closer to the vest. Failure to exercise caution around sensitive topics can lead to a relational explosion.”“It’s like Kenny Rogers sang in ‘The Gambler’: ‘You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run,’” Tumlin concludes.

About the Author: Geoffrey Tumlin is the author of Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counterintuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life. He is the founder and CEO of Mouthpeace Consulting LLC, a communication consulting company; president of On-Demand Leadership, a leadership development company; and founder and board chair of Critical Skills Nonprofit, a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to providing communication and leadership skills training to chronically underserved populations.
Tumlin holds a PhD and an MA in communication from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS from West Point.
For  more about Geoffrey Tumlin at, and you can reach him by e-mail at

About the Book: Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counterintuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life (McGraw-Hill, August 2013, ISBN: 978-0-0718130-4-4, $20.00, is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and at

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oakland County business events set for this week

Sept. 10
WATERFORD TWP. — Davidson Family Dentistry is hosting an open house and ribbon cutting, 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 5574 Cooley Lake Road, Waterford Township. Reservations requested at 248-977-3006.

Sept. 11
SOUTHFIELD — A seminar to assist franchise owners and operators in navigating union protests and strikes focused on quick serve restaurants and other franchises is being hosted by Maddin, Hauser, Wartell, Roth &  Heller P.C., a Southfield-based law firm and Permanent Solutions Labor Consultants, of Brownstown Township. James M. Reid, IV, a Maddin Hauser employment attorney, and Ricardo Torres, a former high-level union official and president and CEO of Permanent Solutions Labor Consultants, will lead the seminar, which is scheduled for 8 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11 at the Skyline Club, 2000 Town Center, #2800, Southfield. A complimentary continental breakfast will be available at 7:30 a.m. Register for the free conference by email to or call James Reid at 248-351-7060 or Bob Carroll at 734-536-7829.

Sept. 11
PONTIAC — The Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce presents a healthcare reform luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11 at Downtown 51 Grill, 51 N. Saginaw St. in Pontiac. Healthcare reform starts Oct. 1 and  how it may impact business owners, will be discussed. The cost for chamber members is $18 and $35 for nonmembers.

Sept. 11
BIRMINGHAM — The Community House continues its monthly “Bulletproof Your Success Business” Lecture Series, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11. This lecture, presented by Camille Jayne, President and CEO of of The Community House is titled, “Strategic Planning For Your Career & Your Work.” The Community House is at 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham.

Sept. 12
WATERFORD TWP. — The Dance Place is hosting a ribbon cutting, noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. The Dance Place is at 7544 Highland Road, Waterford Township. The event is a grand reopening and features snacks and give-a-ways.

Sept. 12, 19, 26
WATERFORD TWP. — The Oakland County Business Center offers Walk In — Start-Up Thursdays Free Business Counseling every Thursday. The hours are 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Sessions will be limited to 15 minutes and are available on a first come, first-served basis.
The weekly business counseling is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 13
NOVI — The Greater Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is hosting “Steer Business Forward,” as the organization sponsors a General Motors “Ride & Drive” event, Friday, Sept. 13 in the parking lot of the Novi Sam’s Club, 27300 Wixom Road. Several General Motors vehicles such as the Chevrolet Impala, Buick Encore and Cadillac ATS, will be onsite and available to be test driven, 4 to 6 p.m. It’s free to drive, but it is recommended to arrive early to get one of the limited amount of drive tickets. All drivers must be 21 years or older and present a valid driver’s license. The event includes a BBQ provided by Sam’s Club, a dessert reception and guest speakers talking on the topic of “Steering Business Forward.”
The reception, which includes a raffle, is 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at The cost is $10 for NAWBO members, $15 for non-members.

Sept. 13
TROY — MI Biz Growth Expo and Workshop is Friday, Sept. 13 at Northwood University, 1500 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy. The event includes Expo and Networking, 9 to 10 a.m. and six speakers to choose from, 10 a.m. to noon. Register for the free event at or call Minesh Baxi at 248-866-0063.

Sept. 13
TROY — Automation Alley’s 13th Annual Awards Gala is  6 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn. The categories and finalists for the awards include: Automation Alley Member of the Year: Rochelle A. Black, Oakland University; Tara Miceli, Walsh College and Karen Mitchell, DTE Energy.
Educational Program of the Year: Central Michigan University New Venture Competition; PTAC of Schoolcraft College and Wayne State University GO-GIRL: Gaining Options - Girls Investigate Real Life.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Bill Coughlin, Ford Global Technologies, LLC; Sarah Jacobs, The Robot Garage and Yan Ness, Online Tech, Inc.
Global Trader of the Year: Fluxtrol, Inc.; Fori Automation and Process Development Corporation.
Technology Company of the Year: Pratt & Miller Engineering; Secure-24 and Vectorform.
The cost is $175 per person for Automation Alley members and finalists and $200 per person for non-members. For more information, contact or call 800-427-5100.

Sept. 16, 23, 30
STERLING HEIGHTS — The Macomb-Oakland University INCubator will host its Startup Lean program. Part of the OU Lean Diversification Program, this three-part series will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Sept. 16, 23 and 30.
Startup Lean is targeted specifically toward startups, early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs. The Green Belt and Black Belt certificate programs, also part of the OU Lean Diversification Program, are more comprehensive and beneficial to companies at any stage.
"The Macomb-OU INCubator has successfully trained numerous existing companies in Lean through both the Green and Black Belt programs and decided that it made perfect sense to develop a course that was shorter in duration and focused primarily on startups," said Julie Gustafson, executive director at the Macomb-OU INCubator.
Tuition is $95, breakfast is included.
For more information and to register, visit or contact Joan Carleton at 586-884-9320 or

Sept. 16
WATERFORD TWP. — A ribbon cutting is at Leo's Coney. 11 a.m. to noon, Monday, Sept.16 at Leo's Coney, 5076 Highland Road, Waterford Township.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Birmingham publisher hosting celebration of local authors

Grey Wolfe Publishing of Birmingham is hosting a celebration of local authors, with readings, signings and networking, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17 at Troy Community Center, Room #304, 3179 Livernois, Troy.

Local author and attorney, Michael Kitchen, will read from his debut novel, "The Y in Life." This is the story about the revelations and consequences of questioning life. Darryl Lawrence was a man who never questioned anything. On the cusp of his marriage proposal to college friend, Lisa Nelson, an event happens that changes his life, causing him to question the purpose of life. His journey takes him to Agra and Dharamsala in India, and to Jakarta, Indonesia.
Other featured authors include Ralph Moore, Kevin Lucas, Diana Kathryn Plopa, Christopher Chagnon, Lisa M. Wolfe and the Grey Wolfe Pack Writers.

This is a casual, family-friendly, free event. RSVP is required by Sept. 12. Food and beverages will be served. RSVP to or call Diana Kathryn Plopa at 248-914-4027. For more information, visit

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Six personality types that can sabotage brainstorming

Submitted by Dottie DeHart, DeHart & Company Public Relations,

New York, NY (September 2013)—Brainstorming can be a productive way to solve problems; generate new products, services, or processes; and capitalize on golden opportunities. But far too often, say creative problem solving experts Mitchell Rigie and Keith Harmeyer, the process is hijacked by disruptive individuals who undermine collaborative efforts.
“Have you ever found yourself in a brainstorming meeting that felt dominated and controlled by an attention-seeking personality?” asks Rigie, coauthor along with Harmeyer of SmartStorming: The Game-Changing Process for Generating Bigger, Better Ideas (Dog Ear Publishing, 2013, ISBN: 978-1457516634, $29.95, 
“If so, you are not alone. It seems every company or organization has its share of those idea killers.”
“In fact, in our twenty years of brainstorming experience working with many of the top Fortune 500 companies, we’ve identified what we call a ‘rogue’s gallery’ of six disruptive personality types you might want to avoid inviting to your next brainstorming session," said Harmeyer.

See how many of these troublesome types you recognize:
Attention Vampires—They always want to stand out, be in the spotlight, and be the center of attention. It’s always about them. Attention Vampires can smother a brainstorming session by dominating the conversation, excessively pushing their ideas, and ultimately sucking the life out of the whole group.
Wet Blankets—These are the pessimists who see the flaws in everyone else’s ideas. Nothing goes unscathed. Wet Blankets have the unique ability to instantly dampen the enthusiasm level of a session. They are discouraging and depressing, and the majority of their comments don’t hold water.
Idea Assassins—These seasoned killers love to shoot down ideas…anyone’s and everyone’s. Under the pretense of being constructive, they will find flaws, poke holes, and pick apart promising ideas until they bleed to death.
Dictators—They love every idea—as long as it’s theirs. These totalitarians feel they are the only ones with good ideas, or good taste, for that matter. Everyone else’s contributions need to conform to theirs or risk being shot down. Many bosses unknowingly become Dictators in meetings (not on purpose, but their role in the company makes it too easy.) Such idea overlords are to be avoided at all costs. It’s not wise to let them dictate a negative outcome for your group.
Obstructionists—To them, nothing is simple or easy. They overcomplicate conversations and procedures and bring up extraneous facts or considerations that derail the flow of the group. Obstructionists overthink, overspeak, and singlehandedly dead-end otherwise promising sessions. 
Social Loafers—These are the people who show up for a brainstorm session, but rarely participate in the generation of new ideas in a meaningful way or contribute much of substance. They usually sit back, appearing bored or aloof, and let others do the heavy lifting.
Any one of these problematic personalities can undermine the focus and collaborative efforts of a group. While it’s difficult to prescribe a simple, one-size-fits-all formula for handling all these different personality types, Rigie and Harmeyer say there are a number of practical steps you (or the session leader) can take to more effectively manage disruptive behaviors to keep your sessions on track and productive:

Forget the Invitation—The simplest way to avoid problematic personalities in a session is not to invite them in the first place. If it’s the boss or a senior-ranking person, assure him or her that you will share any good ideas the group generates afterward.
“Tell the boss that other session participants may be intimidated by her presence in the room,” suggests Rigie. “And since she certainly wants the ideation session to be as productive as possible, it may be best if she waits to join the group until the end, when ideas have been developed and selected.”
Establish “Rules of the Game”—Introducing a few rules at the start of a session can help eliminate, or at least significantly minimize, disruptive behavior problems.
“Some popular and effective brainstorming rules are ‘Suspend all judgment,’ ‘There’s no such thing as a bad idea,’ ‘Go for quantity, not quality,’ and ‘Embrace wild, audacious ideas,’” shares Harmeyer. “It is also important to reinforce the fact that brainstorming is a collaborative group effort; so the origin of any idea is irrelevant.”
Impose a Short Talking Moratorium—If a participant is dominating the session, being overly negative or judgmental, or being an attention hog, quickly shift gears and introduce a nonverbal brainstorming exercise. For example, ask everyone to silently write down five ideas and then read their favorite aloud.
Segregate Strong Personalities—A great tactic for managing strong personalities is to divide the group into smaller teams of three. Deliberately assign any disruptive personality types to the same team…and watch the sparks fly.
“Surprisingly, strong personalities often get along with one another in a productive way,” says Rigie. “Have these teams develop ideas, and then take turns sharing the best ideas with the whole room.”
Create a Self-Policing Group—Explain early in the session that if anyone exhibits any type of negative or judgmental behavior, he or she is to be bombarded mercilessly by the group with crumpled paper balls.
“Make a game out of it,” suggests Harmeyer. “Encourage everyone in the room to participate in order to create a self-policing environment. While it may seem silly, this technique is a playful, good-natured way to minimize transgressions and allow the group itself to enforce the ‘No Judgment’ rule.”
Engage in Silent Idea Voting—Evaluating and selecting ideas can become problematic when strongly opinionated individuals assert their preferences or biases. Instead of ideas being selected based on merit, the evaluation process can devolve into a Darwinian contest for favorites. Using a silent voting technique can help eliminate coercion and level the playing field for everyone to vote.

Invite a “Dream Team” vs. “The Usual Suspects”—When planning your next brainstorm, why not invite your dream team? This group would be made up of knowledgeable individuals who possess a collaborative, can-do attitude—even if they are typically far removed from the project at hand.
“Let the usual suspects, the mixed bag of colleagues or teammates you usually invite by default, sit the session out,” says Harmeyer. “Shaking things up can have a dramatic impact on a group’s ability to collaborate freely, share, discuss, and build upon one another’s ideas. This is how innovative solutions are born.”
"A brainstorm is only as good as a) the people in the room and b) the tactics you use to minimize bullying and self interest, stimulate creativity, and bring out the best ideas in everyone,” says Rigie.

About the Book:
SmartStorming: The Game-Changing Process for Generating Bigger, Better Ideas (Dog Ear Publishing, 2013, ISBN: 978-1-4575166-3-4, $29.95, will be available from all major online booksellers and at

About the Authors:

Mitchell Rigie is a creative professional with 25 years experience in the fields of art, design, communications, strategic marketing, and human development. As a vice president and award-winning creative supervisor for advertising agencies—including Saatchi & Saatchi and Foote, Cone & Belding—and as a consultant for Grey Worldwide, he has managed creative teams in the development of campaigns for Fortune 500 clients, including Johnson & Johnson, American Express, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and General Electric.

Keith Harmeyer's background includes over 25 years in advertising and strategic marketing, sales and business coaching, and advanced presentation and communication skills training. As a marketing and creative executive at agencies in the Omnicom and Publicis networks, as well as founder and principal of his own marketing communications firm, Keith created successful brand-marketing programs and business presentations for companies such as American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Sony, Time Warner, ABC, Disney, Philips, Fujifilm, Condé Nast, Sports Illustrated, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, McDonald’s, Foot Locker.
Throughout their careers, Mitchell Rigie and Keith Harmeyer personally experienced thousands of brainstorming sessions and witnessed firsthand how frustrating and unproductive the process can be.
The SmartStorming methodology is based on their experience and expertise, their extensive research on the subjects of idea generation and creative problem solving, and practical application in the areas of innovation, peak creative performance, and interpersonal communication.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Women Tell All...Almost Luncheon features insight from local women leaders

Achieving personal as well as career success with balance will be discussed during the "Women Tell All... Almost" event hosted by the Auburn Hills and Rochester Regional Chambers of Commerce. The Chambers, in collaboration with leaders from Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, FirstMerit Corporation and the 52nd District Court, will share insights into the professional and personal stories of the panelists that have lead to their advancement within their careers and the community.
Women Tell All...Almost panelists include Judge Lisa Asadoorian, 52nd District Court Division 3 serving within Oakland County,  Michelle Hornberger, Chief Strategy Officer of Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester and Sandra Pierce, Vice Chairman of FirstMerit Corporation and President and CEO of FirstMerit Michigan. These business and community leaders will provide personal insight and encouragement for women of all ages and stages of their careers. 
The Women Tell All...Almost event, sponsored by Oakland University, and dbusiness Magazine, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Great Oaks Country Club in Rochester. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $35 for members of the Auburn Hills or Rochester Regional Chambers of Commerce and $40 for nonmembers. Table sponsorships are also available.
For more information about the event contact: Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce: 248-853-7862,,
Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce: (248) 651-6700,,