In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 17, 2011 / 13 Shevat, 5771

Referrals and Recommendations

By Alan Douglas

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Mention you got a great haircut. Are you engaging in conversation? Or giving a recommendation that encourages someone to get a haircut by your stylist? When you talk about someone, friend or foe, you should be aware of the message you are sending. When we broadcast messages, we have to be very clear as to the reputations or abilities of others. Recommendations given by you have an impact on others. They also reflect on your reputation and can pose legal liabilities.

Helping others by offering to recommend them can be an act of kindness and friendship. Singer, songwriter, actor, and Rhodes Scholar, Kris Kristofferson, when inducted into the Country Hall of Fame, thanked his friend and mentor, Johnny Cash for "Endorsing me back when nobody knew me, and defending me later when everyone did." Recommendations can open doors for the unknown and inexperienced. In a digital world, personal status or a vendor's reputation is often measured by recommendations. Making the extra effort to help others is an honorable effort, but it carries risks.

Most businesses fear giving out any recommendations or job histories for their employees. They stick to providing potential employers with confirmation of past employment dates. An employer who issues a negative report regarding an ex-employee risks law suits. Organizations can be sued for libel, slander, or defamation of character stemming from faulty recommendations. And employers (government, private sector, not-for-profit, and lemonade stands) can be unpleasantly surprised when hostility, friendship and/or sympathy from their workers, motivates their employees to write, without authorization, good or bad "recommendations" for those departing.

Consider when you are writing a reference or recommendation the circumstances and environment where your words will be received. Unless you are a priest, rabbi, lawyer, doctor, etc. with legal privilege- you do NOT have the right to give assurances as to keeping anything "confidential." It may sound silly, but if you are giving a recommendation, be clear by stating what you do and don't know. "I have known John for sixth months…" "We did not work together but based upon…" Let the person requesting the reference know you are giving information or presenting an option, not proposing they hire, retain, or marry the person. Rather than worry about being "all knowing" and "smart" or accused of "passing the buck" you should put your recommendation in context.

In addition to paying damages for harming the ex-employee's reputation the former company can be hit with a claim that a bad recommendation prevented the ex-employee from earning a livelihood. And that can be big bucks. Even if the document is absolutely true it can prompt a costly suit. Corporate counsel or the insurance carrier will settle unjust suits to "make them go away" in a cost effective manner.

Companies even have to worry about giving positive recommendations. A great recommendation can be used against the company in court. A school system recommended a teacher that was departing, a good recommendation even though there had been suspicious behavior. They had no proof as to the allegations and could not defame the teacher without risking a lawsuit. The teacher was discovered at his new teaching job, engaging in inappropriate contact with students. The new school and parents sued the previous school for failing to warn them. The result is that today there is a justifiable fear in giving a good or bad recommendation. Better to be aggressively neutral by confirming only dates of employment, than to find yourself a defendant in a lawsuit. It makes it hard for everyone who wants to give or get a personal recommendation.

The other side of the coin is that you need references for job hunting, for obtaining credit, to be appointed to an office, or for getting a job. Plan ahead and seek testimonials, credentials, and documents that serve as recommendations on your behalf. Remember to act now; don't wait until you need them. Save letters of commendation and praise from your boss. Cultivate customers, clients, association executives, vendors, and others outside your organization that will sing you praises. Hold on to those favorable emails and letters.

Help your friends, but do so in a way that won't comprise the truth or expose you to legal threats. We all like to be asked our opinion. It is a nice boost for our ego. We help others to find new jobs, praise that great plumber and want to be nice. Just make sure you are realistic. Your opinion and evaluation is also a manifestation of your integrity. Remember, giving your opinion about the abilities of other people can be like gargling with nitroglycerine.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas