Posts Tagged ‘Globe and Mail’

Positivity at Work

October 28, 2013

NOTE: This was originally posted on my Big Cheese Coaching blog:

I’ve been swimming blissfully in the study and application of positivity for quite some time and lately have ramped it up a notch. I have always been hugely interested in and engaged with the science of positivity. I think it’s part of my innate DNA — but also very much a learned skill too.


Recently, I’ve joined a group of global participants in an eight week  learning opportunity: a master class on positivity lead by the Barbara Fredrickson, the pre-eminent expert on the science of positive emotions and author of Positivity and Love 2.0.  This has been an amazing experience (and we’re not yet done).

I’ve also had the opportunity to bring the topic of positivity to several workshops and presentations lately (talking to staff at Sick Kids Hospital, UoT, Administrative Professionals Conference, Red Mountain Resort) and have more on the horizon.  It’s been tremendous fun and the participants seem to have really enjoyed the sessions. Check out the recent testimonials.

I just wrote an article for the Globe and Mail on the positivity advantage  (as part of my “Brain Works” series). It’s been getting a ton of buzz. You can read it here.

I’m learning so much  (from my studies and ‘living it’). Here are just a few tidbits.

1) Positivity matters: It is not just a ‘nice to have’. It is truly an essential ingredient to your success and well-being. There’s over 20 years of hard scientific evidence that links positive emotions with better health, improved brain and cognitive function, greater personal efficacy, a heightened ability to connect and a spark plug to boost your mojo (and much more….but hey, that’s plenty to convince me).

2) It’s in us already – we just need to tap into it with new habits: Positivity isn’t dependent on circumstances. Positive emotions can reside side by side with a range of emotions – even the not-so-positive. We just need to be intentional and learn easy yet authentic ways to tap into our positivity reservoir.

3) We need a steady and diversified diet of positivity: Good nutrition tells us to get a steady and ample diet of fruits and vegetables (and other essential food groups). Likewise, for well-being, we need a steady, ample diet of positive “moments”. Most people go with less than the recommended allotment. It’s not as hard as one may think to get your ‘dose’.  It can be just a thought away – or an intention to be present to moments that might offer you joy, gratitude, inspiration and more.

4) Positivity comes in moments: It’s not about getting to a permanent state. Positivity comes in moments and are fleeting. Still, if we get enough (a minimum of 3 positive thoughts to one negative) we will benefit from all the rewards.

Curious? Want more? Here’s how to tap into this further:

1) Read my latest Globe and Mail article for some high-level ideas and tips.

2) Get ready for Ease, my upcoming book soon to be released. It includes a lot of strategies on how to hone the positivity advantage.

3) Invite me to speak to your people (conference, employees, etc.) Have a look what others have said about my sessions.

4) Engage in coaching – this is my sweet spot and I’d love to help you hone your positivity advantage!

More to come but lots to dive into RIGHT NOW!

Enjoy and may you live with Ease and Well-being.


Overwhelmed? Strategies to Tame the Overwhelm Gremlin…

November 1, 2010

UPDATE NOTE: Check out my new book: Ease – Strategies to Manage Overwhelm in “Times of Crazy Busy”. Tons of tips and really super simple ideas to help you tame the loads, manage the stress and bring more well-being into your life — even in times of ‘crazy busy’. See more at the book website here. 

Are you like most people these days – overwhelmed, stressed, too much to do and too little time? This has become an epidemic. A Globe and Mail poll found that Canadians endure an average of 14 stress periods a week. According the latest report from the Canadian Index of Wellbeing one in five people are experiencing high levels of  “crunch” time – described as periods of overwhelm due to overcrowded inboxes and jammed weekly schedules.

Roy Romanow, the former Saskatchewan premier and current chair of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing Advisory Board said (in a Globe and Mail article this weekend), “We are paying a steep price for this time crunch” and has called for a national dialogue on public policy. Scientists are affirming this need as well. Why? Because there are major implications on our health and wellbeing – and it’s affecting us both personally, professionaly and also as a society.  We’re heading for trouble if we don’t get that work-life balance back in gear.

Tell me about it!!! I see this ‘overwhelm’ pandemic everywhere I go. With clients, friends, family — and in my own life. Yeah, I’m not embarrassed to admit it: overwhelm – that’s my achilles heel. I work hard and am constantly stretching myself. Sometimes a little (or a lot) too much. So I coach what interests me and ‘taming the overwhelm gremlin’ is pretty high on that list. I work hard to walk my own talk and over the years have developed many  strategies that I find helpful – as do many of my coaching clients.

Here are just a few that you  may find helpful too.

 Write it Down: Everyone has got loads to do but trying to remember everything can add undue levels of frazzle and clutter in your head. It’s a waste of energy and takes you away from being present. More to the point: it’s exhausting and distracting!  So instead, make a habit of “writing it down”.  This is a survival tactic for me – and I’m often surprised when I hear others haven’t developed this habit. So, make a list and get your ‘to-dos’ out of your head (so you can focus on the task at hand).  Then of course, don’t forget to check what you wrote down often enough to keep you on track.

To-do Lists  are great, but don’t forget the ‘TA DA – DONE LIST’ too:  As per above, To-Do lists are important to stay organized but they never end, do they? And often we pay more attention to what hasn’t yet gotten done and too little attention to what we have accomplished. It’s very common for people to scratch off their tasks and focus on what’s next or what hasn’t yet been done. That in itself is exhausted and can take the wind out of our sails. You know what I mean if you can picture yourself (or others) sighing in exasperation of all that is still yet to be done.  Stop the insanity (as Jon Stewart might say:). Take some time to notice and acknowledge what you did get done. No task is too small. Heck, this weekend, I changed the vaccum cleaner bag — whoo hoo!!! Well, hopefully you get the point.

Action Tip: make a habit of writing down (or minimally, reflecting) on everything you did get done in a given day (or week)  And accept the fact that the to-do list will always have new stuff or even old stuff that needs to be rolled over to the next day. Pay attention the energy you get from ‘owning up’ to what you did get done vs. the energy drain from exclusively focusing on ‘what’s next’ or ‘not yet done’.

Learn to Say NO. Ahhh, one of my favorites. Are you, like many others, addicted to the yes habit? This week, start to pay more attention to what you are saying ‘yes’ to and what you need to say ‘no’ to more often.  We often get into ‘reactive’ mode and ‘yes ourselves to overwhelm’  Saying no may sound easier said then done. I get that — and presented a webinar on this topic. You can check it out (it’s free and easy to access). It’s called: “Are You Addicted to the Yes Habit?”  All you have to do is register online at the CICA page (they hosted this webinar)  to see/hear the archive. It only takes a few seconds and voila, you can watch at your leisure.  Oh – that’s right, not much leisure. Well, try it anyhow:)

You can also check out a column I wrote (Are you Addicted to Yes) on this topic for the CICA CareerVision newsletter.

Ask Yourself the Right Questions: I’m a huge advocate of being a ‘question-thinker’ and learning to ask the RIGHT questions to help you get the results you want. Here are a few that can help with that ‘time crunch’ and overwhelm issue:

-How can I take more responsibility for the choices I am making and what I’m saying yes to?

-What can I say ‘no’ to – starting today?

-What can I delegate?

-What are my top priorities and what can I really let go of?

-What does balance look like TODAY (or insert another time frame like ‘this month’ or ‘this week’)?

This purpose of this last question is to acknowledge that balance is an ebb and flow thing and doesn’t necessarily look the same all the time. Make the appropriate adjustments to your expectations of what balance means as you live/work in different periods. For instance, fall is always a very busy time for me. So balance in September is going to be different from what balance may be in June or July. Still, no matter how busy life gets, there is always some form of balance. The key is to be aware and then make the commitment to create it.

Folks, I’ve got many, many more tips and strategies (check out this blog for more!). As well, I welcome hearing from you on what your favorites are. But for now, it’s time to carve out a bit of white space for me….speaking of which, how are you doing on that ‘white space’ thing? Check out the post I wrote a little while back.

P.S  before I sign off for the evening, I am going to take my few seconds to check off ‘write blog post’ from my ‘TO-DO’ list and put it on my ‘TA DA – DONE!’ list…….DONE. Ohhhh that feels good.

To a TGIM Work Life!

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Job hunting and career tips for tough times

July 8, 2010

UPDATE: More than 4,000 people logged on to this online Forum. The good news: it’s still available if you’d like to peruse the discussion. See below for more!

The Globe and Mail invited me to be the expert on call today for the Report on Business Online Forum: “Job Hunting + Career Tips for Tough Times”. 

This is related to an article based on a report from the OECD (Roadblock to Recovery – Long-term Joblessness Remains an Obstacle)

Hope to ‘see’ you there where I will be taking reader’s questions. Hop on at:

To a TGIM Work Life!


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