We’re hosting an SMCSeattle Education workshop here inside thinkspace on Nov. 5, 2010.  The event starts at 3pm until 6pm.


Part 1 –  “The Power of Your Brand : Personal and Small Business”

Workshop lead – Karen Kang

In part 1, you will learn how to

  • Identify the rational value and the emotional value of your brand
  • Understand the importance of the personal brand ecosystem and how to work it
  • Jumpstart your own personal brand with proven tips
  • Guide your portable brand in an era of social networking and media
  • Take charge of your professional destiny through unique personal branding

Part 2 –  “How to Accelerate your Branding Efforts using Social Media”

Discussion lead – Maya Bisineer

In part 2, you will learn how to

  • Apply a framework to accelerate your brand building efforts using social media
  • Use online tools to monitor your brand
  • Develop a strategic plan of action for your personal brand for the short and long term.

There is a limited number of seats for this event and registration is required. Please click this link to register and see the attendee list.

The event is sponsored by: Jones Soda and thinkspace!

We’re are heading over to Coho Cafe immediately following the event.  Our friends at Coho Cafe (Redmond) are sectioning off an area for us with special happy hour pricing menu!

One week ago, we sent out a office space survey through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to find out if we expanded into Seattle where would you like to see thinkspace be located.  We got back a lot of responses, more than I expected!  The chart shows the results from the question “Location – Where do you want this to be?”.  Pioneer Square 42% of the votes. South Lake Union at 22%, Fremont at 14%, Capitol Hill at 8%, and 14% fell into the “other” bucket.  My question to those of you that picked South Lake Union as your number one choice — if we take office space in Pioneer Square would you still come use our space?

Parking is another thing that we polled on.  31% of the responses said “Parking should be free”.  Not a big surprise here, but, seriously free parking in Seattle went the way of the dinosaur a long time ago.  I’m very happy to see that 22% preferred to Walk or Bike as I personally like walkable neighborhoods (thinkspace Redmond has a walkscore of 97).  That was followed by 17% Pay Lots and 14% Street Parking.  Having worked in Pioneer Square for about five years, I’ve accepted the fact that if I want to work in Seattle I will have to pay for parking.  I think that’s a small trade off considering how cool it is to work in the downtown.

Our next step is share some photos of the office space that we’ve identified in Pioneer Square and get your feedback on the atmosphere that you’d like to have!  It’s really important to us that we have the right “vibe” as it’s also the highest ranking survey question based on how everyone responded.  We’ll post some photos later this week and we’ll want to get more feedback from you all.  Thanks again for filling out our survey!

Thank you Michelle Hollomon, of Eastside Counseling and Coaching for bringing us today’s blog post! If you would like to meet Michelle, she is a member of the thinkspace community, and the Featured Entrepreneur for our October 13th Wine Wednesday event! Register Here.

Conflict at work: is it them or is it you? ~By Michelle Hollomon

Nothing can rev the engine like a hearty disagreement in the office. Whether sparks are flying or it is stone cold silent, conflict is a part of normal office life. You may not be able to resolve all conflict, but you can learn to manage it in a way that keeps you from losing yourself (and your shirt too).

Zack was a partner in charge of sales of a midsize company. His strengths included building relationships, product knowledge, and taking the attitude that, behind each sale was a real person. His team liked him and he liked his job. But he felt at odds with his business partner, Pete. When Pete offered a suggestion or ask about progress, Zack got defensive. The more this happened, the less he and his partner talked. This lack of communication affected everyone in the company, and it felt like the company was going in two different directions. Zack came into my office asking, “How can I talk to my partner without getting negative and combative?”

I consider Zack a superstar exec for two reasons; 1) he valued his business relationship more than saving face, and 2) instead of blaming his partner, he sought to resolve the conflict by owning his part.

It turns out, that Zack was acting more like an employee than a partner. Zack respected Pete’s expertise and sense of command so much, too much in fact, that he felt inferior. Zack was a partner in writing, and a subordinate in action. Pete’s self-confidence triggered Zack’s self-doubt. His insecurities resulted in passive anger, defensiveness and un-aligned vision for the company. This hurts the bottom line.

Zack and I talked about the value of the strengths he brought to the business. Zack developed a new script for himself that included “being an equal” and “having valuable input”. Zack was able to accept Pete’s strong style of leadership without taking offense to it, and was able to validate his own contributions to the business without considering them to be “less than”. This didn’t happen over night, but it did happen, and the partnership started to thrive again.


Consider the value: there is great value in the synergy, effectiveness and creativity of working relationships. Sometimes, however, you will do better to cut an unhealthy relationship loose in order to build a healthier one. How important is it for your success to make this particular relationship work?

Own your part of the conflict: it is easy to blame the other person. However, a good leader takes ownership of his contribution to the conflict and seeks resolution.

Ask for Help: often two people need a mediator to help resolve an issue. The working relationship between the two may be important enough to seek outside help.

Take a Break: if you are committed to finding a solution, take a break to think things over with a time and place to reconvene.

Some Places That Michelle Can Be Found:

web site: www.hollomoncoaching.com blog: www.lifesolutionsblog.blogspot.com