Perspectives on Refugees

Listening to this weekend’s Sunday Edition show on CBC radio, I heard the host, Michael Enright interview Brian Bilston, the “Bansky of poetry”. One of Bilston’s best known poems in ‘Refugees’, in which he uses an unusual literary device, one in which the poem can either be read front to back, as is usual, or […]

Political Conflict Walking Tour in Belfast

I’ve been thinking of tribalism a fair bit lately, given ongoing public conversations among my American neighbours. It reminds me of another tribal conflict that I recently visited. Last month, I had the good fortune of travelling in Ireland. I’d never been to Ireland, before. My wife’s ancestry stems from there. Over the years, I’ve […]

Emotional Labour

Ever had to smile at work, even when you didn’t want to? Or, show empathy and warmth to someone you’re caring for, when you are at your wits’ end? Or, stayed silent when what you really wanted to do was speak up? I got my hand raised. All of these workplace actions involved ‘emotional labour’. […]

“Places” by Shane Koyczan

Shane Koyczan is one of Canada’s best known spoken word poets. Koyczan speaks “truth to power”. His messages and performances are stirring. I saw him in performance at a local theatre, last year. He puts his heart out there. I recall his tears, and mine. He has published a number of books of his poems. […]

Upcoming Victoria workshop to help you embrace and implement a culture of “speaking up”

It seems to me that every workplace employer I’ve interacted with over the last couple of years has mentioned how challenging it can sometimes be for their employees (and sometimes, themselves!) to authentically “speak up”. Speaking Up Speaking up is more than just “speaking truth to power”. It’s about improving team performance by engaging in […]

The Trust Battery: Keep it positively charged to energize your workplace relationships

“Jim is probably going to freak out if I disagree with him, and I’m ok with that.” “Miriam delivers, when I give her a job to do.” “I know Yuri will do the right thing.” Those are all statements of “trust”. You trust that they still truly care about you, even when you disagree with […]

Is swearing good for you and your team?

I feel like I’m opening a can of worms with this post, about swearing. I’ve been blogging for ten years. This is my 401st post. I rarely swear. As best as my memory serves me, the number of times I’ve cussed on this blog is not far removed from zero. That seems a bit odd […]

The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives

Esther Perel says, “the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.” Perel, the popular Belgian psychotherapist and relationship expert, has made it her mission to help us improve how we connect. Over the years, I’ve discovered and adapted much from experts in human relationships (e.g., John Gottman’s magic relationship ratio); to my work, […]

Make your “Open Door Policy” a two-way street

“When the boss says “my door is always open” – it’s a cop-out, not an invitation. ” So says the authors of It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work, Jason fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. The authors are partners (Fried is CEO) in Basecamp, a leading project management and team communications software product. It Doesn’t […]

Premortem Analysis: The pathway to better team chemistry and project outcomes

“Why didn’t you speak up about that, at the time? This project has turned into a disaster.” Having spent a good chunk of my professional life in the project world, I’ve both asked that question, and, sigh, been the one having to answer that question. Projects fail, often, if not at a spectacular rate. One […]