Black and White: The Colours of Conflict [A Poem]

[Last Thursday night I attended Poems of Colour, an evening of local poetry, where I live, that celebrates diversity and explores the themes of race and ethnicity. There were many young poets reading. The MC was Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate, Argutu Ali. The event was sponsored by the City of Victoria, and held at at […]

Apply the Science of Friendship to your next Community Collaboration

Work, and life, is more rewarding when it happens with friends. Reflecting back on my four decades (and counting) in the workforce, many of my most treasured work memories are time spent with co-workers who were also friends. We didn’t start out as friends. It happened organically, over time. Whether over coffee breaks, lunch hour […]

3 Mutual-benefit strategies to reduce conflict and improve the land-use application process

Land-use applications are a rich source of conflict, almost everywhere. That’s certainly my experience, here in Victoria. Too often, the interests of developers, public administrators and community members are in conflict, especially when a rezoning, or amendment to the Official Community Plan, is required.  It’s not uncommon for changes proposed by a developer to be […]

Summer before Fall: A technique to cool things down when team conflict gets too hot

How often have you been in a team or group meeting of some sort, conflict flares, and before you know it, there’s too much talking and not enough listening? Summer before Fall   Summer before Fall is a (non-gender-specific) technique to cool things down when tensions rise in your group. The technique promotes active listening […]

Pass to Receive: Using sports as a metaphor in communication skills training

As a youth, I often played pick-up football games with my buds.  We’d meet in the local park, pick teams, and away we’d go. When it was my turn to be quarterback, I loved calling a ‘long bomb’ passing play. When it went well, my pass was “right on the money”, and my friend caught […]

Behaviours bring values to life

This week, I’ve been reflecting more on the relationship between “values” and “behaviours”, especially organizational values and behaviours, in preparation for some fall workshops I’m delivering. Behaviours bring values to life Values represent our intentions. That’s different from our behaviours, actions, which are how we reveal ourselves to others. Behaviours bring values to life. Valued […]

Our relationship with orcas (killer whales) is transforming us

When I moved to Victoria in the early 1990’s, one of the first things I did was go to Sealand of the Pacific, to watch the orcas, “killer whales”, perform. Sealand, in my neighbouring municipality, Oak Bay, was barely a kilometer from my home. Today – Sealand is no more – though a landmark orca […]

Peninsula Co-op: A business that primes local connections, economy and community

It’s summertime. Setting aside the smoke from distant forest fires that currently hover over my city, summertime is a usually a good time to head out-of-town. When gas is involved, my go-to gas station is Peninsula Co-op. Why Peninsula Co-op? I’m a Peninsula Co-op member, which makes me a part owner. In co-operatives, members are […]

Small Business Owners: How to Build and Sustain a Collaborative Workplace

When you envision your small business five years from now, what do you see? Whether your business has two or 50 employees, your vision more than likely includes growth. A proven pathway to sustainable business growth is through effective collaboration – people working well together – for mutual success. Collaborative Workplace Benefits Positive, collaborative workplaces […]

Collaborative relationships are the foundation of Pacifica Housing’s Private Market Partnerships program

As property values have skyrocketed the last few years where I live, affordable housing has risen to the top of social issues. One of the more progressive local agencies tackling the issue, in a collaborative fashion, is Pacifica Housing. Their mission “is to be a leading innovative provider of affordable and support services that contribute […]