The Los Angeles Area chapter met July 17th at Red Hen Press in Pasadena. The facility was beautiful, the room doubling as an art gallery, and we had our biggest turnout yet—sixteen attendees and four RHP interns. We got the low down on Red Hen from new chapter member Rebeccah Sanhueza, who was followed by business coach Jamee Tenzer with her presentation Communication Strategies for Working with Difficult Clients. Jamee’s message might be summed up as “respond instead of react.” She focused on three types of challenging customers for editors: the crumbler, the grumbler, and the third party. She prefaced her strategies with two points: you can’t “fix” the client and your power is in knowing the value of your professional skills and experience. We learned to listen to the client to discover what is troubling him or her, look at the problem from the client’s perspective, and present useful solutions tailored to the client’s needs, expectations, and fears. Clarity in communication begins with a boundary-defining contract and is maintained with a commitment to “your own professional integrity.” The meeting was followed by announcements, light snacks, and lively conversation among colleagues.

Janet Long
Los Angeles chapter co-coordinator