Author Archives: np43995

Stop the Social Media Slavery!

It never ceases to amaze me just how much time can be eaten up with all forms of social media and the latest time-saving applications.  We’ve all been there – the quarterly HST remittance is almost due, everything on your desk is waiting for your attention – less stimulating administration, forecasting, and cash flows, not to mention the much needed business development calls, writing and scheduling – but wait…just one more notification to check, one more post to be commented on or liked, just one more tweet,  just one more intriguing article from Forbes, Entrepreneur or the Pulse.

Before we realize it, 2 hours have passed and what have we to show for it? We can all get easily caught up in social media slavery, yes, slavery – something from which we cannot easily extricate ourselves.

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Four Considerations for a Successful Home Business

In addition to the characteristic business savvy and entrepreneurial traits typically required to run a business, there are key ingredients that cannot be overlooked in setting up a workable home office that will support ongoing success and longevity. Although there are numerous factors to consider, many fall neatly into 4 main categories – physical space, organization, social interaction and work/life balance; all of which are essential to running a successful business from the comfort of your own home.

We often take these four factors for granted when working outside our homes as they are already set in place for us – an existing team, an office space with a desk and chair, pre-existing information and time management systems, and a build-in physical and chronological separation from our personal life. Inevitably, working away from home buffers us from the frequent interruptions, distractions, downfalls and pitfalls that can impact us in our home environment, i.e., family interactions, household responsibilities, barking dogs, unstructured days, and isolation to name just a few. What can we do to optimize our physical space, organization, social interaction and work/life balance?


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What Every Leader Needs to Know about Workplace Communication

Good leaders recognize that team communication can either help or hinder overall employee engagement and performance.

A certain level of conflict is inevitable in any diverse organization – simply due to differing values, viewpoints, temperaments, experiences, and agendas. In the case of situational or external factors, conflict can arise out of competition for resources, recognition or growth opportunities as well as organizational changes or restructuring. An optimal level of workplace conflict is not only healthy and normal, but can often serve to generate innovation, creativity and progress.

However, ongoing or unaddressed conflict, due to dysfunctional communication, poor leadership, misconceptions, distorted perceptions and internal biases, can quickly escalate and exert a strong negative impact on other individuals, or whole teams or divisions within a workplace. Unhealthy conflict can lead to decreased team morale and performance, increased stress, and increased criticism and finger-pointing. In extreme cases, if left unchecked, poor communication can give rise to heated confrontations, bullying and social exclusion – all of which are highly detrimental to any environment.

So what are the real impacts of poor communication?  More importantly, what can we do as leaders to not only mitigate these, but actually enhance overall communication and collaboration to build a positive and productive workplace?

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Does Your Resume Distinguish or Extinguish?

All too often when collaborating with a client to further develop their resume, I receive summaries and lists that downplay their capabilities,  underrates their talents, and minimizes their accomplishments – much like the following which is an actual summary I once received from a new graduate.

Skills Summary

  • Experience in customer satisfaction
  • Works well with other people
  • Good communication skills
  • Strong verbal communication
  • Organized
  • Fast learner
  • Basic plumbing knowledge
  • Hand and power tools
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Does this summary give a full picture of this individual? Do you see what makes them unique; distinguishing them from the crowd? Are you confident that they even actually possess these skills? Are you enticed to call them for an interview or entrust them with your precious business or customers? Of course not!  On all counts!! If anything, it completely extinguishes any hope of finding an ideal candidate. It sorely undersells, even downplays, the individual and all that they have to offer. While this individual undoubtedly had very little formal experience, they radiated an almost palpable energy and demonstrated an adventurous, community-minded spirit which was clearly expressed through an affinity for hands on work combined with a multitude of valuable volunteer experiences.

So how do we distinguish ourselves on our resume rather than kill any chance we have for an interview?


What does your resume do for you?

There are many things to keep in mind but, here, we will focus on 10 essential ingredients to capturing an employer’s attention.

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5 Immediate Steps to Reduce Interview Anxiety

You’re about to walk into that long awaited interview for your dream job – your hands tremble, your heart races, and you start to sweat. You have no idea who will be interviewing you, whether it will be one person or a small army, and you’re praying desperately that they don’t ask you any difficult or challenging questions. We’ve all been there at some point in our career.

What can we do to alleviate this anxiety? Does it have to be such a painful experience?

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Is it Time for a Change?

With the weekend just around the corner and the work week getting nearer its end, it’s time for a little reflection. How do you feel by Wednesday? How do you feel on Fridays compared to Mondays? Do you live for the weekend but dread the work week?

Are you putting in time or simply slugging it until the real life finally shows up? Are you feeling enslaved rather than inspired? Sounds like prison doesn’t it? And it certainly is if you’re feeling trapped, unfulfilled, unengaged and unenthused – but guess what. The only warden and master holding the key to designing your own life is you! We steer the course – and yes, there are all kinds of maps and guides, but only we ourselves can take the wheel to turn it around.

So when is the right time to transition our career?


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Temperament-related Stress at Work

We often know deep in our gut if we are on the right path but sometimes, when we are off track, we choose to ignore it due to conflicting priorities which can cause undue and ongoing stress. While we all experience stress to some degree due to the everyday concerns of work, responsibilities and family life, temperament-related stress runs even deeper – not only can it be all-consuming – it can be debilitating and, ultimately, lead to intense career dissatisfaction, burnout and even physical or mental health conditions such as depression.


Are we following a path that aligns with our core values?

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