Archive for March, 2007

Next Hot Job: Chief Humanizing Officer

March 28, 2007

Part II….more reflections from the IABC/Tod Maffin event in Toronto. (Note: this is the second part of a two-part post. Scroll down for previous post). 

Aside from all the cool insight Tod shared about social media and the latest-greatest tech in this realm, he also devoted part of his presentation to the topic of technology as it relates to the impact on our lives (work and personal).  He talked about work stress; lack of balance; addiction to our technology – and more. Rather than the tech serving us, we serve it. In some way we have become slaves (to our Blackberries; email; etc.). It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

 We as ‘workers’ have become almost a little dehumanized as we become more addicted to ”busy-ness”. Despite the efficiency tech offers, we all end up simply working harder, working longer – and constantly being pushed (by our employers, clients and even ourselves) to do more. In some ways, our work is distancing us from our humanity – or certainly shifting it to some odd degrees.

 How to bring some humanity back into our work lives (and stop the insanity!)? Well, almost in passing, Tod fleetingly mentioned the notion that corporations and workplaces in Canada should assign a new role within leadership. One that has the title: Chief Humanizing Offer (“CHO”).

Whaddya think?

Personally I love it! In fact, my first question is where do I apply?!

 As a coach specializing in that whole work-life engagement equation  (TGIM – Monday through Sunday) , this idea is music to my ears.  Workplaces — employers and employees alike could do well by reconnecting to more soul and human-ness at work. This is a conversaton about a lot of things: about authenticity, work-life balance; purpose within larger context of contribution; and really so much more.

Of course, there are many wonderful workplaces that are already on to this – in big ways and smaller ways.  It’s not a brand new concept. Unfortunately though – the statistics show that not enough are doing enough. Stress is still a major headline.

Those organizations that do connect on that level tend to be more successful in the longterm with happier and – yes – more productive and innovative employees. There is an ROI to creating a more humanizing work culture.

Let’s get our imagination going on this. If there was such a job, what would that job description look like? Wanna play? I’ll start with a few points but you must join in and add to them (please!)


Skills, competencies, responsibilities:

  • Must have high level of emotional intelligence and be able to demonstrate respect, empathy, compassion and appreciation for its people and all its stakeholders.
  • Must have commitment for wellbeing of its internal assets (its people).
  • Must have sense of social responsibility – and be effective in articulating and demonstrating a meaningful purpose for its people (why the work they do makes a difference in the world…or at least within a particular community).
  • Must demonstrate ability to balance the organization’s commitment to both leveraging “talent” (its people) and developing its talent (in mutually satisfying terms).
  • Must foster collaborative and coaching culture– to bring the best out of its people; to co-create more meaningful work experiences and to foster stronger community internally.
  • Champions a values-based culture that respects, grows, appreciates its people and the environments and communities it participates in and/or serves
  • Accountable for ensuring values are reflected in company’s actions throughout all levels of leadership and overall workforce.
  • Yada, yada, now your turn….pls add…..(this was a quick stab — I’m sure we can do better…help me write this ad….)

Distinction: These competencies and duties are already part of many roles that already exist in many workplaces……and they don’t necessarily belong to one individual….i.e. wouldn’t it be nice if all leadership and employees shared in this directives?

But hey – there’s no denying that this focus must be championed and supported at the most senior-levels first….for it to even have a chance of being honoured throughout the company.

Sometimes naming things (or people with fancy titles)  distinguishes the commitmnet more fully.  Today there are senior roles with titles reflecting commitments to “diversity”; “talent management”; “Performance” – etc. Why can’t we have one that declares “Humanization” as a focus.

Tod – you are on to something!

Does anyone out there know of an organization that already has done this in some way? If so, please share!

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Part I: Tod Maffin Wow’s the crowd at IABC!

March 27, 2007

Part I: I just got back from an amazing morning at IABC’s Breakfast Seminar in Toronto on social media with CBC’s Tod Maffin. We had two hours in the morning then a group of us who have earned the ABC designation (Accredited Business Communicator) were invited for a special lunch for more.

Tod packed the house in both sessions and he delivered! He has an enormous wealth of expertise on the whole gamut related to social media and the Web 2.0 — which for myself as a coach, a communicator and now a  blogger…I want to be in the know of key trends in our work-lives. 

Passion and authenticity: But content aside, he was also so incredibly engaging and inspiring as a presenter that you couldn’t help but have a fabulous time along the way. What was clear to me was that this guy is authentic. He’s passionate about what he does….and does a terrific job in engaging his audiences.

I had the opportunity to sit with Tod at lunch and told him that I thought he was a very talented speaker. He humbly said “when you’re passionate about what you do it comes more naturally.” 

Well good point Tod! Passion serves us in so many ways….when we connect with our authentic passion we do come across more alive, engaged, energetic.

But alas, I know from experience (as an attendee of other presentations and as a speaker) that passion alone doesn’t always cut it. There are a host of skills and competencies that go with the challenge of ‘wow’ing an audience.  Or for that matter – engaging, inspiring anyone we connect with in our work-lives. Your employees, your peers, your customers, etc.

For instance: Knowing who you are; being authentic; having confidence; having a message; knowing your audience; showing empathy and respect, a good (and appropriate) sense of humour; ability to be articulate…..practising….honing these skills and ways of ‘being’….and the list goes on.

So kudos to IABC for putting this on…and to Tod for such an engaging presentation.

AND SEPARATELY……from all the take-aways that I took away:) there was another nugget from Tod’s talk that I specifically wanted to share with this TGIM community.

So as not to ‘bury the lead’ (i.e. leave the juicy bits till the end) — I am going to share this in a separate post (see Part II: The Chief Humanizing Officer).  

 And as always – would love to hear from you….about passion, inspiring communications, social media — work-life…BRING IT ON!:)

Just for fun….

March 26, 2007

Welcome to Monday! With a shiny new week ahead….I was wondering if you included anything on your ‘to do’ list that is ‘just for fun’ — or at least something really meaningful ‘just for you’?

Remember, if you don’t make time or space for it – it may not happen.

 Yoga anyone? 


In case you are wondering, this isn’t just any cat – meet Caesar (one of my two furry feline companions). This is when he was just a little guy. He’s bigger now but despite a very busy and demanding lifestyle (you know….chasing, scratching, pouncing…)  he still makes time for yoga and lots of cat naps. Even though life gets busy, he says a balanced life makes all the difference!

P.S. I’m very excited that I finally figured out how to do the photo thing on this blog:)

If you are new to my blog….Welcome!

March 23, 2007

I’m getting quite a bit of traffic on my blog thanks to the Globe and Mail piece (which also ran on Workopolis). If you are new to the TGIM Work-Life blog, a BIG welcome to you!  I hope you’ll come back and visit regularly — and please do feel free to contribute comments. The blog will be better for it!

Since I launched this blog in January I’ve posted a fair bit. I hope you’ll explore. I thought I’d highlight some of the more popular past posts that offer more Monday work-life tips; and/or share some other perspective that I thought worth noting in the context of this theme.

So here they are…..enjoy (again if you’ve seen them before)

And for those of you interested in the ‘inner game’ of your work-life in navigating your ‘outer-game’ of work-life experience, check out my post on Emotional Intelligence….there will be more coming real soon!

 Thanks and here’s to a TGIM journey (Monday through Sunday!)

Big Cheese Coaching is in the News!

March 23, 2007

I’m feeling quite famous today:)

The Globe and Mail did a lovely piece today (Thank God it’s….Monday?). Wallace Immen from the career sections profiled my client, Aimee Deziel (who is a superstar in her own right) — and interviewed yours truly as well. I did the interview way back in January, shortly after starting this blog and was delighted to read the article this morning.

Hope you enjoy it. Read here.

MORE NEWS….I was recently quoted in another article from Investment Executive on motivational DVDs. The reporter had just heard of The Secret (DVD) and wanted some input from a coaching perspective. I hadn’t yet seen the Secret but offered my thoughts on motivational DVDs in general. I’ve since read The Secret and will post my thoughts on that in a separate  entry.

Read the article here.

Hope you enjoy the and if you have any other tips for Monday mornings and/or general worklife fulfillment – please share them!

Now for your 30 second laugh break…

March 22, 2007

There’s  nothing like a hearty laugh to lighten up your spirits and energize your mood. Well, just in the nick of time (I was bogged down in “Earnest Eileen” work mode and needed a break)….I just received an email from Michael Bunguay Stanier, a very talented guy in the world of coaching.  He shared a link to a short clip that’s good for a great BIG laugh. I mean really, really BIG laugh.

You’ll know what I mean when you see it.

So now I’m sharing it with you. If you are needing a short break and a good laugh, click here.

Enjoy it….and please if you come across anything that’s worth a ’30-second (or so) break from work’ please share.



Coaches Corner: Navigating choice – next career steps

March 15, 2007

Welcome to the TGIM Work-Life Coaches Corner. This Q&A was first published in the Careervision online newsletter by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) – where  I co-author a monthly coaching column. If you have a question for me – send me a note or a comment and I’ll do my best to address in a future post.

Dear Coach:I work as a senior manager with one of the large firms in Advisory services. The company is great and the work is generally interesting. I have worked with some great people domestically and internationally both in industry and public practice. I have performed well in all of my jobs in my career; however, much of my recent work has been outside of technical accounting, governance and reporting issues.I look forward at the next step in my career and question the lifestyle, work load and know how requirements of a partner and wonder if I have what it takes to fill the role. Something doesn’t feel right and it is starting to show in my attitude at work. Yet at the same time I question my ability/skillset or desire to fulfill a finance role in industry. I am restless but am unable to figure out what the next move should be or even if I should be making a move.I know I am not alone based on conversations I have with peers, and I would welcome any tips/pointers or comments you may have.Stuck in a good place

A: Dear Stuck in a good place…. You certainly do sound like you are standing in a good place with a solid track record of performance, success and enjoyable work experiences. You’ve got a great foundation to build on. Yet your instinct is telling you something is ‘not right’ as you consider the possibility of becoming Partner. (more…)

I’m back….but..uh… oops, what do I do for a living again?

March 13, 2007

Sorry for the long break. I went away on a little holiday and thought I’d be in touch more often. I had some access to a computer but the lure of the golf course, the lull of the sea, the lap of the nap…..well, .you get the point? I geared down and zoned out for 7 days. I golfed, swam, slept, read, ate, etc. Not an iota of work.

I’m back but moving slowwww. I am at my computer but not really connecting….kinda feels like I forget who I am…. in my worklife anyways (what do I do again?).

I know it’s temporary. I also know that gearing down completely on occasion is good for you.  I’m sure I’ll come back recharged, re-energized, more creative and resourceful. Tomorrow perhaps. Not today. Need to take it slowww (just got off the plane a few hours ago).  

I think I’m going to have to visit one of the first posts I wrote on this blog way back in January (my is it Mid march already!?). Back to work tips after the holidays!  March break is coming up for some folks so those tips may come in handy for a few others as well.  

Well, I think that’s it for now….I’ll be back in fine form real soon….just wanted to say hello and invite you back into the conversation. Okay, truth is today’s post is also to invite me back into the conversation. Either way, I hope you’ll join in….

As always, I’d love to hear from you…


How’s Your Emotional Intelligence?

March 1, 2007

Just a quick update on some news in my coaching practice: Last week I completed certification for the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQi ®) and Emotional Power programs. This area (assessment tool and coaching focus) really compliments my previous coach training and experience (bio).

I’ve always had an interest in the ‘inner game’ of our work and lives and have a deep appreciation for how our EQ (emotional quotient or emotional intelligence) can have a profound impact on how we manage and experience our ‘outer game’ (the results we achieve in our work and lives).

My coaching approach and philosophy has always been grounded in that ‘inside-out’ approach. Get to know yourself well (ongoing pursuit) and continuously develop your ability to manage self — – and from there, navigate your external circumstances more effectively and with more personal meaning and resonance.  It’s a journey and different for each individual. But that’s the essence.

In some ways, I’ve come full circle because the EQi and I have a long history. About 10 years ago, I actually did the media relations for the PR launch introducing the  EQi in North America when I worked at Environics Communications. Back then the term, emotional intelligence was just gaining ground when Daniel Goleman published his book “Emotional Intelligence”.  The concept already existed but Goleman’s book raised tremendous awareness around EQ — and its relationship to success in work and life.

Developed by Reuven BarOn, the EQi is a powerful system that when applied appropriately (with coaching and/or other professionals trained in the system and related fields) it can help people (and groups) get a snapshot of their emotional fluency in different areas  of competency within problem solving, managing interpersonal relationships; understanding and managing one’s self; adapting to change; managing stress and our general sense of wellbeing and happiness.  The key of course is to apply that ’emotional fluency’ to our real lives and work context. That’s where coaching comes in.

The good news about EQ (Emotional Quotient) is that it is not a static measure. Whereas IQ tends to be static – we can indeed develop our EQ/emotional intelligence. And that really is the thrust of my work. And it’s how I live my own life….in constant state of development….growing…and with that growth, experiencing more success and fulfillment along the way. 

There are many applications for the EQi and Emotional Power tools including:

  • Recruiting, developing and retaining high performers
  • Team building
  • Leadership development
  • Self development
  • Managing change
  • Career development and planning
  • Experiencing work and life with more flow, joy, fulfillment
  • And more

I do all this stuff already at Big Cheese Coaching but I’m excited about bringing the EQi to this work.

I’ll be getting into more detail about all this and new programs that I’ll be introducing….but for now I just wanted to share the news first. Stay tuned for updates. And if you are curious and want to learn more about EQ and how  you can apply Emotional Power into your work and life sooner than later – than please do get in touch.

Till next time,