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Debra Fine

6 Ways to Be a More Present Parent

Debra Fine | Posted 09.15.2014 | Parents
Debra Fine

Why are we so surprised that the teens in the world are attached to their smartphones? Addicted to their devices? Aren't we, too, "just checking Facebook" or "sending a quick text" or "making a call" when we are with our children? Aren't we teaching them by example?

Three Simple Ways to Prepare Your Child For the Complications of Life

Debra Fine | Posted 08.26.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

Allowing children to hone the skills needed to become productive members of society may cause a few bumps in the road now, but by doing so, they will be able to successfully navigate the twists and turns of the future so they, too, can enjoy the ride.

9 Back-to-School Tips To Avoid Flunking Fall

Debra Fine | Posted 08.06.2014 | Parents
Debra Fine

Because the summer usually offers many freedoms -- later nights, lazier mornings and space in between to just be a kid -- the structure of a fall schedule can be a bit jarring for the under-20 crowd.

Three Ways to Stop a Conversation Monopolizer

Debra Fine | Posted 08.25.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

If you have had enough of listening to someone else's stories about their children, their renovation, their vacation and their stock market success, try to steer the conversation into a more general direction, like current events.

8 Steps to Teaching Teens How to Make Conversation

Debra Fine | Posted 06.30.2014 | Teen
Debra Fine

No matter how advanced technology becomes, landing a scholarship, job interview or fiancé will still require some form of verbal communication.

How to Correct Someone When They Call You the Wrong Name

Debra Fine | Posted 06.03.2014 | Good News
Debra Fine

She sees me and says Jen! Love those shoes! Come on over here and let me see them! But my name is Nicole. I never corrected her -- for two years!

Three Steps to Savvy Sales

Debra Fine | Posted 05.12.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

There is an incredible amount of information out there on customer care, and trying to synthesize it all here would be impossible. Still, there are simple strategies that anyone, even the non-Steve-Jobs of us, can adopt.

5 Tips On How To Deliver Bad News

Debra Fine | Posted 04.28.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

Being the bearer of bad news falls in the category of 'things I'd rather not do' -- along with cleaning bathrooms, fighting off a bear, or installing new software. In all these cases, it's best to be smart about it. And quick. Especially in the case of the bathroom. And the bear.

How to Be a Good Loser in Three Not-So-Painful Steps

Debra Fine | Posted 04.14.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

You are free to go home and eat half a sheet cake, or rip out that ugly fireplace or make fun of Joe Namath's coat, but in the meantime, you get to take this opportunity to congratulate someone else for his or her good fortune.

Business Etiquette - Or Just Basic Training?

Debra Fine | Posted 03.30.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

Attention! There is some big news coming out of Colorado Springs. In order to graduate from the Air Force Academy, cadets will have to pass inspection in decorum. Yes, you read that right.

The Holiday Collection: How to Get Out of a Conversation

Debra Fine | Posted 02.21.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

The key is to be authentic. Do not lie. I have heard too many stories of people saying they had to go call the babysitter only to be caught minutes later by the conversation dumpee yukking it up on the other side of the room.

The Holiday Collection: Making Your Way Into a Group Conversation

Debra Fine | Posted 02.17.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

What happens if you don't find a singleton in the room? What if everyone is already grouped together and chatting merrily while you are standing alone, feeling foolish?

The Holiday Collection: How to Start a Conversation at a Cocktail Party

Debra Fine | Posted 02.08.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

Giving the gift of conversation is worthwhile to everyone. True success comes from taking the first step and saying hello. The topic is not nearly as important as the effort.

Ten Tips to Stop the Trauma of Stage Fright

Debra Fine | Posted 01.25.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

I am not going to suggest you picture your audience sitting in their underwear. You are already nervous, and far be it from me to make you physically ill while picturing a bunch of folks lounging in their skivvies. Like life isn't scary enough.

Dear Debra, How Should I Answer Inappropriate Money Questions?

Debra Fine | Posted 01.23.2014 | Business
Debra Fine

Why do so many people want others to show them the money? Why don't others understand that money doesn't grow on trees? Why are there so many tempting money-themed clichés out there (that I clearly can't help but use in this post)?

5 Ways to End a Friendship in a Friendly Way

Debra Fine | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Debra Fine

However the conversation ends, remind yourself that you put time and thought into your decision and did what was right for you. You may be sad or angry or frustrated, and that's normal. But if you were able to speak from the heart and be kind and gracious in the process, you will be okay.

Is It Okay to Boo?

Debra Fine | Posted 01.23.2014 | Parents
Debra Fine

I am a fan of the Halloween kind of boo -- and the candy that goes along with it. But I'd like to banish the boo that happens during the other 51 weeks out of the year. So, if you are not a fan of booing, what do you do when faced with the boo?

Keeping It Real at Reunions

Nancy Sharp | Posted 01.23.2014 | Women
Nancy Sharp

With so many people to see, so many lives to catch up on, so many long-ago acquaintances to rekindle if only for the weekend, how exactly does one master the fine art of small talk?

Victim Remembers California Shooter's Cold Eyes

AP | TAMI ABDOLLAH | Posted 08.10.2013 | Crime

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Debra Fine lived to tell of her encounter with a heavily armed gunman who killed five people and wounded her and others in a S...

Woman Put Herself Between Gunman & Victim

AP | TAMI ABDOLLAH | Posted 08.09.2013 | Los Angeles

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — What she remembered most about the man who fired at her were his eyes. Hard, cold and intense. There was "no hesitation,...