Waiting for a Crisis to do Something Seems Kinda Dumb

In speaking with a new networking connection, I was telling her that my speaking or training aims to help people create more collaborative environments. She told me that she didn’t need my services because she didn’t have any toxic environments to fix at the moment.

She was surprised at my response. Continue reading

3 Secrets to Stay Calm When Receiving Unexpected Feedback

I was given some feedback about my participation in a closed Facebook group that felt somewhat harsh at first. Now, I want to point out that I deeply respect and admire the person who was telling me this. If it had been someone who I didn’t respect, I might not have taken any notice of his comment. But when he brought it up, I felt guilty wondering if I had done something wrong. (Probably because he was so apologetic for bringing it usimple feedback can be a trigger that causes you to become defensive.”p when he told me, which made it sound worse than it was.)

What is funny is that it was such a small thing, and he just wanted to nip it in the bud. I’ll tell you the story below.

Continue reading

Free Yourself From Emotional Blackmail At Work And At Home

emotional blackmail(Published in Huffington Post)

As a recovering doormat, I struggled with setting boundaries.  But first, I needed to figure out when my boundaries were actually being crossed. When working as a counselor in mental health, I got a crash course on personality disorders. These disorders have a strong element of emotional blackmail to them where another’s boundaries are unimportant. This was an eye opener! Continue reading

3 Reasons To Stop Being So Damn Collaborative

stop collaborating(Published in Huffington Post)

When we think of the best teams, many people aim for collaboration as the most desirable trait in the members and the leaders. While a collaborative approach targets the best win/win scenario that everyone can hope for, there are times where leaders need to step away and adopt a more directive stance.

If we are naturally collaborative, we may have a hard time taking over and controlling the situation.

Here are 3 times when we need to be aware that collaboration is not always the panacea the Buddhists monks may be alluding to. Continue reading

“Not my problem” escalates anger. Do this instead.

De-escalate angerAs we patiently wait for the admin assistant to call our number at the clinic, a man at the desk is asking her what’s taking so long for the doctor to see him and that he has to get back to the office. He wants to know how much longer. She abruptly says they don’t give times. He asks how many people are ahead of him. Instead of answering, the girl dismissively points to the sign next to her desk and goes in the back where the files are. The sign reads “Aggressive behaviours will not be tolerated”. Continue reading

3 Reasons Why People Won’t Admit They’re Wrong

apologizeThis article was also published by Huffington Post under a different title.

Wouldn’t it be great if when people were wrong, they could just ‘fess up, apologize and take different actions to moving forward? Just imagine the increased opportunities of positive and productive workplaces. Call me a dreamer!

Unfortunately, egos get in the way and fear stops us from acting on our healthier options. Continue reading

Rude or not rude? That is the question!

difficult and rudePublished in Huffington Post.

This week, I was speaking to someone who had seen me speak on conflict styles and called saying she needed my services.  Let’s call her Alice. She was telling me about (let’s call her) Cindy, whom she managed and was causing a lot of problems in the organization. Coaching someone like Cindy, who seems convinced that everyone around her is the enemy, is a very difficult thing to do. Here’s what happened in one of the incidences that Alice related to me. Continue reading

5 Tools that Helped me Survive a Workplace Bully

Overcoming and Surviving Workplace Bullies(Published on Huffington Post) When I watched the powerful 2012 documentary called “Bullied”, I cried in recognition, grief, anger and sheer sense of helplessness to stop it.

At the end, there were memorials for children who had taken their lives because of bullying. I wanted to reach through my TV and shake those school principals and parents. I understood the victims and their sense of isolation and despair.

The main difference between children’s bullying and adults’ bullying is that the more “mature” bully leaves no physical scars. After all, there are laws for that!

Having worked in mental health, I’ve seen the other kinds of scars. Unfortunately, I’ve also been victim to them myself.  Continue reading

5 Compelling Reasons to Leave that Horrible Boss

5 Compelling Reasons(Published on Huffington Post)

A good friend speaks about a boss at work, starting his stories with “you’re not going to believe what Paul did, but… “

His boss’ narcissistic ways are legendary. Recently, Paul was explaining to his executive assistant that when people are intellectually inferior and you really want to help them, you hire them as your executive assistant.  This was one of his kinder moments. HR has had to do several interventions, but this guy obviously knows some people. Continue reading

5 Things First Nations Want in Canada

AFOA

(Published on Huffington Post.)  Thursday, February 18th, I listened with rapt attention to The Right Honourable Paul Martin as he engaged with 5 Former First Nations Chiefs. In the image above, from left to right, they are Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, Matthew Coon Come, Phil Fontaine, Ovide Mercredi and Georges Erasmus. This was our last mainstage panel discussion of a week of sharing and brainstorming to reclaim and rebuild after 20 years of abusive neglect by our Canadian government.

The full title of the AFOA conference was “Leadership and Governance: Transformational Change through Education and Capacity Building”. The messages of hope and transformation rang throughout the week without naively denying what has happened. Continue reading