The New ‘Normal’?

It has been a year since the first COVID cases in Canada and ten months since the restriction began.  While some areas of the country are improving, many are not and it is looking that it will be with us for a while longer.

While COVID may leave us, there will be lasting changes to our way of life, both personal and work.  Many businesses, where possible, have their employees working from home.  While this works for some, others not so much.  It is much like the ‘open-office’ craze of the 1970’s where Extraverts were happy and the Introverts had issues.

I remember the pushback from employers a few years ago to employees working from home.  Managers felt production would go down and they would have difficulty controlling the work although leaders felt otherwise.  The reality is, many workplaces will continue with this model after COVID is gone because it works for them although it may be a hybrid model in order to be effective for the majority.  It will also be dependent on the type of business.

This brings on other repercussions.  Will we still need the amount of office space we currently have on hand?  Some businesses will see it as an opportunity to lower their overhead by reducing their footprint.  The impact in some cases will likely result in the repurposing of some of the office space, perhaps to residential.

In the larger communities, there may be a drop in ridership as commuters are not going to the offices.  This may affect the financial viability on some routes.  I am sure that the volumes of fuel sold is down from a year ago as well affecting the transit taxes.  What will be the long-term effect of this?

Many have been dragged kicking and screaming into a technical world they now embrace.  We didn’t know what Zoom was a year ago, and Facetime is now our link to our children and grandchildren.  While this may decrease when we get face to face again, I am sure the usage will remain high.  I recently ‘attended’ a virtual 3-day conference in Australia on Zoom, and it worked so well that, even if they can have it in person next year, it will also be on Zoom.  Rotary and other group meetings and events are using Zoom.  One of the benefits is the ability to have guest speakers from anywhere in the world.  That is useful and will likely continue.

This is just a glimpse of what our ‘new normal’ might be and it is just the tip of the iceberg.  I think we are in for an exciting ride!

Posted in Assessments, Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Career professional, Communication, Community Futures, Elephant in the Room, Employees, Employment, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Human resources, Leadership, Lifestyle, Managing stress, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Networking, organizational change, Relationships, Social Media, Team development, Training | Leave a comment

The Other Flow – Communication

We all know the importance in business of cash flow.  What is also important is the flow of communication.  Poor communication impedes the ability of a business to respond to situations in a timely manner and make sound decisions.  Misunderstood communication can lead to conflict between participants. 

Different personality types take in and disseminate information according to their preferences.  Knowledge of personality type can assist managers and leaders to strengthen their boards and management teams.  When participants understand type and their colleagues, there can be less conflict and the quality of decisions can increase.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® is a tool that helps improve teamwork, understand and adapt to differences in management style, and communication in the organization.

Yes, cash flow is important, but there may be more work to do!

Posted in Assessments, Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Clients, Coaching, Communication, Community Futures, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employment, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, FaceBook, Human resources, Leadership, Learning styles, Life coaching, Listening, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, organizational change, Relationships, Sales, self-employment, Team development, Training, Volunteering | Leave a comment

Recognition and Type in the Workplace

Some see recognition as the Oscars or Emmys, and certainly they are recognition for the best in their field, but recognition in our everyday lives is much more than this.

Acknowledgement for what we have done, what we are doing, or how we look changes our perspective on how we see ourselves and the person giving the recognition.  This can and does have an impact on the workplace.

Those with a preference for ‘Thinking’ tend to like recognition at the end, when they have completed the work well. Those with a preference for ‘Feeling’ tend to like recognition as they work through the project.  ‘Extraverts’ may like the recognition to be in front of others, while the ‘Introverts’ may like it to be private.  Recognition, in either case, motivates the employee in their work.  Motivated employees produce better results!

Knowing your employees and their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® can be a valuable resource in the workplace.

Posted in Assessments, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Human resources, Leadership, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Relationships, self-employment, Team development, Training | Leave a comment

Covid & the Introvert

An Introvert in Covid 19!

As an ISFJ, I could say that the Covid isolation has not affected me that much, but that is not entirely true. My Myers-Briggs® type and how I react is dependent on the many influences of everyday life as well and the other dichotomies (Sensing, Feeling, and Judging).

Yes, I am comfortable on my own but that does not mean I don’t like face-to-face interaction, it just means that I need alone time for reflection. I do miss the volunteer activities, the theatre and symphony. ‘Zoom’ and ‘Streaming’ do not replace being there, even for me, but I know the difficulties facing my friends who are extraverts. I can see and hear the stress they are facing as they need the interaction in their daily lives.

As an introvert I am not entirely at ease with where I am in the pandemic, but I think I have less challenges than the extraverts.

Everyone stay safe, stay well, be kind!  We are all in different boats in the same storm.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last Blog Post ……..for now

Over the past eight plus years I have written 335 blog posts, this being my 336th.  It did not start easily, nor frequently, but in the last few years it has been weekly.  Some came quickly, some not so quick.  I would encourage anyone who has not tried writing a blog to do so.  It has been a very rewarding and satisfying experience that has improved my English and writing skills.

This will be my last blog, at least for the next little while.  I won’t say never again, but I have other writing projects that are calling me.  I don’t think, having this experience, that I will ever not write.  It is now a part of who I am.

For those who followed me, thank you.  I really appreciated the comments, positive and negative.  My intent was to give my view of things and hopefully cause the reader to think.

Farewell for now, be safe, and enjoy the journey!





Posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Career professional, Coaching, Communication, Community Futures, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Human resources, Internet, Leadership, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Listening, Managing stress, Marketing, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Relationships, Retirement, self-employment, Team development, Training, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is It Just Me?

A major telecommunications company has had a major equipment failure that affected a large percentage of the population.  This has disrupted email communication for the everyday user including small business.  While an inconvenience for the personal user, it is a potential loss of business for the small business that relies on email for connecting with their sales.

A few months ago, a gas pipeline failed and left people in British Columbia rationing their use of the natural resource.  Many businesses had to curtail production as a result.  BC Hydro is now building Site C dam to provide us with power into the future.  This will be the major source of electrical power in the province.  We seem to be relying heavily on two major sources of energy that could fail, or be a target, leaving the province in dire straits.

Why not move to solar, as they have in many countries, so that each home and business would not be so reliant on single sources of energy?  At one time we were more self-sustaining.  We grew our own vegetables, bought eggs, milk and meat from our neighbours, not from another country.  Today we text people sitting twenty feet away or email the office next door instead of face-to-face conversation.  Our international leaders have conferences on saving the environment and travel to where it is in jets and luxury ships.

As a society, we are obsessed with the use of plastic but are now finding it has a downside and is affecting the environment.  So instead of going after the producers we have created industries to re-purpose it into other products that will prolong its life and it still won’t go away.  Government logic – blame the consumer, not the manufacturer.

Technology is doing some amazing things in the medical and other fields, but in others, it is changing our interaction with our neighbours and the world and not always in a good way.  We have people who believe anything on the internet and do not verify the source then distribute it to more ‘believers’.  It is so easy to create mayhem!  We have children who cannot read or write without using technology.

As my late father used to say, “It’s progress, but in which direction?”  I wonder at what point we will be educated beyond our intelligence, or have we arrived?

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.








Posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Communication, Economy, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Environment, Internet, Leadership, Lifestyle, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Should I Do, What Should I Be

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® can be a very useful tool for those seeking a first time career or a change in their career path.  There are some things to consider, however, prior to administering the assessment.

If it is a first-time career, what do they bring to the table in the way of education and experience?  Is the education general or focused in a particular area?  Did they enjoy the experience of the education?  Do they have experience related to the education and did that excite them or bore them?

For those seeking a change in their career path, why the change?  Were they bored?  Was it a poor relationship with an employer or work culture?  Did they need to leave because of stress or medical issues? Some clients may have lost their career due to no fault of their own.  Some may be tied to a community because of family and not be able to relocate to find work in their field.

If the participant is under stress or has mental illness that is not stable, the Myers-Briggs® may not give desired results.  It is important to get to know the individual to put the results of the assessment into context.  Other factors that may influence career choice are health, finances, age, and family obligations.

Just because someone is good at something, it does not necessarily follow that it is what they want to do.  The work may be mentally uncomfortable for them.  They may find that the particular work is affecting home life as they cannot walk away from it.

The Myers-Briggs® assessment identifies preferences and may reflect the ideal job or career but in the real world of work there is compromise.  The assessment can show where you would be most comfortable but we all know you grow by being challenged.  All sixteen types can do any work but some will enjoy it, some will be challenged, and some will hate it.  No-one can be excluded from a career because of their type.

Whether it is a career or a job, knowledge of type is valuable as it give a person a different view of what they, as an individual, bring to the table and how they might react to the position.  It is an opportunity to look inward and evaluate where you are going and why.

It is not the end-all, be-all, just another tool for the toolbox.

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.

Posted in Assessments, Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Career development, Career professional, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employment, Empowering people, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Managing stress, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Train Stops Here

There is an old story about the Foreman going to the Manager with a training request for an employee.  The boss says, “What happens if we train him and he leaves?”, to which the Foreman responds, “What happens if we don’t train him and he stays?”

There is no question that training is needed in business.  The technical skills of how to do the job are essential and one of the main reasons that employees leave employers is lack of training to do their work.  But technical training is only part of the picture.  Soft skills are required as well.  Employees need to know soft skills in order to utilize the technical skills to the maximum.  If you can’t interact effectively, your technical or hard skills will not be as useful or effective.

Why are you looking for training for your employees?  Is there a problem you wish to address?  Is it likely that it is the right solution?  Is the perception of the problem coming from management or the employees?  This is where the management’s soft skills come into play in sourcing the answer.

Technical training is something most employers hire for, wanting the new employee to have the basic skills to do the job.  In today’s changing world, technical skills do not remain static.  Employees need skills to be upgraded on an ongoing basis to remain relevant in their trade or profession.  At the same time many employers offer soft skills training to enable personal growth in areas of communication, leadership, teamwork, and interpersonal skills.

Sometimes internal trainers can be used, but most times the skills you need to impart are not within the organization.  Interesting, but many times outside trainers are accepted more readily by employees.  No matter which trainers are utilized you need to have clear objectives and desired outcomes.  Know what you need.

There are three errors that organizations seem to commit when training employees.  The first is training for the sake of training, with no real need in mind.  I received computer training on programs that I never used in my job, consequently, I quickly forgot what I had learned.

The second is no follow-through. Training is expensive.  Using it as ‘flavour-of-the-month’ shows employees that you are not sincere. and it really isn’t important.  Training involves lessons and processes that you should be incorporating into your routines.  If you don’t, you have just wasted your money.

The third error is sending someone off to training then, when they return, not asking them to provide a report or summary on what they took away from the training and how it might be used in the workplace.  I took training courses and when I returned, I may as well have been on vacation as no-one cared to even ask about the course.  Again, wasted money by management.

Training is essential for the recruitment and retention of employees, but you need to know why you are doing it, the expected outcome, and then make use of the resulting skills.

Otherwise the train(ing) is derailed!

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.

Posted in Assessments, Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Coaching, Communication, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Leadership, Learning styles, Life coaching, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Team development, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loyalty, Generation Gap, and the Workplace

Growing up I never heard my father complain about working with the younger generation.  Oh yes, he would complain about their music (Rock and Roll) and their weird haircuts (ducktails and waterfalls), but not their work.  My father was a little different and preferred not to work with anyone, regardless of age.  But the one thing he liked was mentoring those who were eager to learn.

It was an era when many would quit school at sixteen, get a job and retire with the same company, especially in the resource industry on Vancouver Island.  The generation gap has always been there and the subject of discussion.  It doesn’t matter if they are from; ‘great’, ‘baby-boomer’, ‘millenial’, ‘gen X’, or ‘gen Y’, there is always something to learn from each generation.

In my work experience in human resources and management, I see great potential in the younger generation.  Can you motivate them in the same way as the baby-boomers?  Absolutely not!  We have lost a good number of the high-paying resource jobs and very few companies where you can start at sixteen and work there until you retire.  Most have been downsized, rightsized, and bought and sold so there is a loss of the sense of company loyalty.  The era of the company looking after you is gone and as I have said many times, everyone is self-employed, whether you work for an employer or not.  You are responsible for your own career.

At one time, young people worked so that they could buy a home.  Today, many don’t see home ownership as a possibility due to the current price of housing. The younger generation tends to hold recreation, travel, and socializing to a higher value than working.  That is not to say they do not enjoy work.  Many want to see tangible results from their work.  They want to contribute and be acknowledged for what they do.  If that doesn’t happen, they will find employment elsewhere.

Add to this the fact that there is a labour shortage in Canada due to the number of retirees leaving the workforce and the younger workers have lots of choices for employment.  It is rapidly becoming an employee’s market rather than an employer’s market.

This can be troublesome for employers who do not have an ‘employee retention’ plan.  In other words, an approach to encouraging their key employees to stay with the company.  Without a plan in place, a company could be in serious trouble if certain employees left.  Some employers refuse to believe that employees are key to the success of their company.  One client told me that when her employer let her go, he said, “Employees are like batteries, you use them up and throw them away.”

Times have changed; young workers, new values, multi-generational workplaces, new loyalty, and the work still needs to get done.

How’s your retention plan?

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Empowering people, Human resources, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Older Worker, Relationships, Team development, Young Professionals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Listening, Reading and Writing

Being male, I quite often am told I don’t listen or have selective hearing or, sometimes that I am deaf.  I am guilty sometimes of paying more attention to my answer than listening to the person speaking.  True listening is blocking my responses until the person has finished.  My response should only take place when I have digested what the person has said and then responding accordingly.

Listening also involves understanding what the person means by what they have said.  If you are not sure, it is up to you to clarify with them to make sure you are both on the same page.

Another area that misses its mark sometimes is reading.  Send out an e-mail asking someone to do four things.  You write a paragraph stating the four things you want and get a response back with only one or two of them.  It seems that human nature dictates that as soon as you hit the first item, you do it and as a result ignore the fact that there are four things to do.

This is similar to the university test that asks you to read the questions to the end of the test.  The majority failed as they started answering the questions at the beginning of the test.  The last instruction at the end of the test states that you are not to answer any of the questions, put your name on the paper and put your pencil down.

When you send an e-mail with a request for four things to be done, identify the four with numbers, or letters so that they are identified.  This will not guarantee that the recipient will get it right but will likely get them past number two.

Our communication, whether in business or with a loved one can be critical to the success of the message or request.  Even in business the way we communicate has become less formal.  Years ago there was always a paper trail.  Now, the trail can be difficult to follow, and details of communication become muddy as technology takes on many forms.

Just as in handwritten communication, not everyone is at the same place when it comes to the use of technology.  To communicate effectively, you need to know your audience.  Sometimes it is better to just better to pick up the phone or walk across the hall and talk to them in person!

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.




Posted in Business Coaching, Coaching, Communication, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Internet, Life coaching, Listening, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment