“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

Are You Lying To Yourself About Employee Engagement?

Employee EngagementSo you think you are observant. Everyone seems to be getting along. After all, they come to work everyday and smile when you walk by. If people weren’t communicating well, you’d know! Right?

Here’s an old video to share my thoughts on this.

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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

Where Is Communication Training Prioritized In Healthy Companies?

While networking, I asked an HR professional of a mid-sized company (150 employees) when would she hire a communications expert like me to come and train her employees. She told me she never has because there’s no budget. Then she added that all training budgets were for technical training and only the C-suite folks do retreats, team building and leadership development.


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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

Can Being Too Honest Shoot You In The Foot?

Can we be too honestThis article was also posted on Huffington Post

“I won’t work for someone who is not honest.” Jack said. “I have to trust them or I won’t give them my best. After all, I am always honest and they can take my word to the bank!”

How noble to be truthful. That being said, how it is managed and expressed can be problematic.

In this recent conversation, Jack is telling me how unlucky he’s been, working for all these dishonest companies, he’s thinking of leaving his current employer. He is complaining to me how people should appreciate his deep integrity. Continue reading

Managing Their Expectations

Published on Huffington Post

managing customer expectationsI was consulting for a luxury car dealership not knowing what to expect. I’m one of those people who think “just get me from point A to point B – fancy hubcaps won’t make it drive better”. I drive an economical car and don’t really lean towards branding. I wondered if that belief would be swayed at this first visit. Here’s what happened. Continue reading

The Top-Secret Teaching Tool (Carefully) Used By Professionals


Being an Educator and Process Driven Facilitator is an art form. Some of it is instinctive, and other bits you learn from books. It is extremely different than teaching from a curriculum. I’ve done both. Curriculums are useful but no curriculum can prepare for every contingency, personality or belief system of every participant who enters the room.

A true professional has to be ready to serve and flexible to the context of the moment. Below, I share a recent experience in this video and what happened when I changed my program 10 minutes in. The hiring event planner was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
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3 Secrets To Managing A Boss Who Yells

This article was published on Huffington Post.

Larry was a bully boss. With only 3 employees in this office, he had burned through two secretaries and one office manager in one year. During our interview, he told me he came from a passionate culture and that his previous employees just didn’t “get him”.

Lucie, who was leaving, described his temper tantrums. Dramatic, impatient and erratic are not so much cultural traits as symptoms of a personality disorder. I was a single mom, running out of savings and employment insurance. Desperate for a job, I accepted. I was determined not to let my anxiety around further unemployment take over. Continue reading

2 Motivators That Create The Group Complainer

Enhancing Team PerformanceGroups will be formed or altered significantly in September. This will happen at work, in community organizations and to students navigating group projects.

How well people integrate, or reintegrate, will depend on their personality style.

Underlying motivators

When working in groups we are motivated by our underlying need to satisfy these two elements: Continue reading