Why listening, really listening, is so difficult

Experts say that the average person actually remembers a fraction of what is said to them

Why listening, really listening, is so difficultSpeaking is easy; listening is difficult. Experts say that that the average person actually remembers a fraction of what is said to them. In the course of a lifetime, so much time is spent mastering nuts and bolts career skills but little time is spent polishing essential interpersonal skills. Listening is one of them. For…

5 ways to stay sane if your boss is a micromanager

The worst thing an organisation can do is to reward pathological behaviour

5 ways to stay sane if your boss is a micromanagerOne of my bosses, Janet, was clever, hardworking and had an amazing eye for detail. She had high standards: if you e-mailed with a question at 10 p.m., she replied by 10.05. She worked hard, delivered on time, hated mistakes and expected the same from her team. She was driving us mad. We had been…

Is happiness the point of human life?

Rather than asking if you are a happy, ask whether you are good

Is happiness the point of human life?It was 2,400 years ago that Aristotle identified happiness as the goal all people seek – the end of all “why” questions. But is happiness really the point of human life? I ask this question because when we look at history (or even the news today), it is apparent that there are a lot of…

Conquer yourself to get ahead

Stay the course and hold on to your vision, no matter what anyone says about you

Conquer yourself to get aheadWar is a powerful metaphor for work. So says Kay Hammer, author of Workplace Warrior, Insights and advice for winning on the corporate battlefield. The real enemies aren't only bad bosses and inefficient management, it's also yourself.  The toughest battles we fight are often with ourselves. Hammer should know. She fought all the way to…

How to become a more confident you

And why it is important

How to become a more confident youFor some people there is a fine line between confidence and narcissism. But even with it being a balancing trick, everyone needs to have some confidence. There are a million things that feeling good about yourself can do from you, from personal life to business life. For some people, building confidence comes naturally; for others…

Your passport to trouble-free travel

As you count down the days and dream of faraway lands, here are five ways your passport could derail your vacation and what to do about it

Your passport to trouble-free travelTravelling abroad this summer? As you count down the days and dream of faraway lands, you may be overlooking easily-preventable problems – including with your passport – that, unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of. Here are five ways your passport could derail your vacation and what to do about it: Your passport can be rejected…

The seven deadly sins of hiring

Avoid these seven deadly sins and you’ll be sure to improve the quality of your hires while at the same time providing a return on your investment

The seven deadly sins of hiringWe’ve all been there: you have to fill a position, and it needed to be done yesterday. Any warm body will do, right? Wrong. Poor hiring decisions mean decreased profits, lost sales, productivity and costumers, increased costs and a decrease in employee morale – costly mistakes for any employer. The average cost of a bad…

How to decide on a corporate structure for your new business

Some tips to help you choose which will work best for you

How to decide on a corporate structure for your new businessWhen you’re starting a new venture, there are a number of things to think through (and often stress about too), from the idea itself and how you’ll execute it, to the staff you might need to hire, money you might need to raise, marketing of the product and service, and so much more. However, one…

Five ways to spot a psychopathic boss

Do any of these characteristics remind you of anybody you know?

Five ways to spot a psychopathic bossImagine you are a CEO and you need to hire a vice-president to turn around a failing business unit. You are down to the last two. There is Jane, who is charming and ambitious and drives the team hard. No fools are suffered, the dead wood is hacked and the parking lot is full from dawn to dusk. Jane…

The resume is a flawed job-getting tool

Most job candidates have unrealistic fantasies about their resume, so here is our advice to make sure yours gets more than a perfunctory read

The resume is a flawed job-getting toolMost job candidates have unrealistic fantasies about their resume. The first fantasy is believing that their resume is exceptional and will actually be read. The second is that all resumes are given a perfunctory read. Now the truth. Few resumes are exceptional, and a tiny fraction of the resumes received by organizations are actually read.…

Domestic violence perpetrators, and victims, know no gender

Domestic violence, no matter the gender of the victim, is wrong

Domestic violence perpetrators, and victims, know no genderI remember being 12 years old when my stepfather scarred my face for the first time. He had graduated to his fists from his belt some time before, and while he usually confined himself to battering me between the waist and the shoulder blades, the non-visible portions of my anatomy, occasionally he lost control. This…

Five principles for a better sales force

How to create a training program that builds relationships and increases sales

Five principles for a better sales forceThere is a lot of on-the-job training required when it comes to creating an effective sales team. A massive amount of information, after all, is needed to learn the job if it is to be done well. But in addition to book knowledge, sales skills require a lot of practice if your team hopes to…

Reinventing yourself – Is it time for a career makeover?

Careers are like sharks, especially at the upper levels. They need forward momentum to stay alive, especially in today's constantly shifting workplace

Reinventing yourself – Is it time for a career makeover?Reinvention means different things to different people. Take Bill, for example. In his sixties, Bill started his first job before the invention of the personal computer, cell phones or even fax machines. All work was done with pencils, ledger pads, typewriters, land lines and messenger services. OK, he never touched an Abacus, but it all…

Dealing with “ambiguity” in the workplace

You may have come across the phrase 'must be comfortable with ambiguity' in a job description and thought to yourself, 'Isn't that a bad thing?

Dealing with “ambiguity” in the workplaceYou may have come across the phrase 'must be comfortable with ambiguity' in a job description and thought to yourself, 'Isn't that a bad thing? How can a company acknowledge ambiguity exists within their system without taking steps to correct the situation?' Ambiguity, which often is defined as 'vagueness,' can also mean directions that can…

Taking your first steps up the management ladder

Leaders who advance to a new echelon often underestimate the challenges they are about to confront

Taking your first steps up the management ladderIn the U.S. military, they call them 'Mustangs' – personnel who have advanced from the enlisted ranks to positions of leadership. Some of them have gone all the way to the top, winning general's stars and recognition as history's finest leaders. The same thing can happen in the business world. Outstanding men and women, rewarded…

What to do when the boss is the problem

Sometimes the only way to deal with a truly difficult boss is to change jobs

What to do when the boss is the problemSome bosses are gems and others ... not so much. While every person's personality can, on occasion, clash with another's, some supervisors seem to make a habit of making life miserable for the rest of us. But what can you do when the person in control of a large portion of your life (and your…

ADHD can stall your career

Millions of people are walking around unaware they suffer attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or how it affects their live and careers

ADHD can stall your careerMillions of people are walking around with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, and are not aware of it. You could be one of them. ADHD has been called a learning disability but, actually, it's a learning disorder. There's a big difference. A learning disability makes it difficult to understand whatever is being taught. ADHD,…

Contrarian approach to job hunting pays off

The herd mentality myth holds that, since many people are working together to accomplish a goal, they must be right. They often aren't

Contrarian approach to job hunting pays offThe myth of the herd mentality goes this way: Since many people are responding or working together to accomplish a goal, it must be the best course of action. But studies at the UK's University of Leeds found this not to be the case. Researchers discovered that it takes a minority of just five per cent…

How to build a strong self-image

Your self-image plays a major part in how you live your life. It determines the quality of your life and, often, how successful you will be

How to build a strong self-imageYour self-image plays a major part in how you live your life. It determines the quality of your life and, often, how successful you will be. It also sets the tone, rhythm and meter for all your relationships, both personal and professional. According to psychotherapists, a strong self-image can be the foundation for achieving a…

The real costs of informal caregiving in Canada

National strategy needed for unpaid caregivers in the workplace

The real costs of informal caregiving in CanadaOne in every three workers in Canada is assisting a chronically disabled person – many of them seniors – with transportation, household maintenance or day-to-day tasks, according to one report. The 6.1 million employed workers who are providing such care, free of charge, to a family member or friend are more likely to experience interruptions…

10 helpful hints to writing a winning resume

A compelling resume should be a concise, well-written statement of your abilities

10 helpful hints to writing a winning resumeWriting your first resume isn't fun. Whether it's after you graduate high school, or a community or four-year college, it's a tedious, time-consuming chore requiring thought and concentration. It comes down to hard work. Considering that the average recruiter spends only seconds skimming resumes, grabbing a human resource or hiring manager's attention long enough to trigger…

Who is reading your resume?

Understanding who, or what, reads your resume will increase your chances of getting hired

Who is reading your resume?Once upon a time, in a world seemingly far, far away, a job seeker would sit down with the classified section of the Sunday newspaper and a red pencil (it always was a red pencil, wasn't it?) and circle jobs that were perfect for them. They would attach a well thought-out cover letter to their…

Is your bad behaviour risking your retirement?

Choosing investments that fit your emotional limits will help you to minimize your bad investment behaviour

Is your bad behaviour risking your retirement?There are three main reasons why investors consistently under-perform the investment indices: bad investor behaviour high investment costs, and high investment Portfolio Turnover Ratios (PTRs) Of the three reasons listed above, No. 1 (bad investor behaviour) is the biggy – accounting for over half of all lost investment returns. When it comes to our investment…

Overcoming the fear of public speaking

Tips to improve your public speaking

Overcoming the fear of public speakingHave you ever met someone who appears comfortable in front of a crowd of people delivering a speech, making a presentation, cracking jokes or performance acting? Wouldn’t you like to be like them? Now imagine how you would react if you were told that part of your job would include giving presentations and talks? It…

Perfecting your elevator pitch to land a job

A few small extra steps can be the difference between unemployment and actually getting hired

Perfecting your elevator pitch to land a jobUnder every rock, there’s another snake that claims that a candidate must have an “Elevator Speech.” Unfortunately, the vast majority of elevator speeches are long enough to last the time it takes to ride the elevator to the top of Toronto's CN Tower. Eyes roll back in respective heads and sleep beckons. Following are the…

Four top mistakes made by job hunters

To be the winning job candidate, your attitude must convey a passion for the employer's business and an eagerness to participate in the corporate vision

Four top mistakes made by job huntersEven with the hundreds of career books published every year, not to mention the thousands of articles about how to write a perfect resume and ace job interviews, job hunters keep making the same mistakes. Every job hunter fumbles parts of the tedious job-landing process, but the four following mistakes can seriously slow the process,…

6 tips for inspiring innovation in your employees

Make innovation a priority with these six tips, and you'll be surprised at the ways your workplace and employees transform

6 tips for inspiring innovation in your employeesWhile not every company aspires to innovate, every company would nevertheless benefit from increased creativity in the workplace. Whether it ends up revolutionizing your product line, improving your supply chain's efficiency, or simply boosting your office's morale, innovation in the workplace should not only be welcome but encouraged. Instead of waiting for the lightning of…

Chronic compromising why most small businesses fail

Learning how to start with no, rather than starting with yes or maybe, will boost your business success

Chronic compromising why most small businesses failThe mortality rate for small businesses is scary. Approximately seven out of 10 new small businesses survive at least two years, half almost five years, a third more than 10 years, according to research. And 25 per cent last 15-plus years. The reasons for the high mortality rate changes little year-to-year. High on the list…

4 steps to getting your boss to listen to your great ideas

If you present them in the right way, you’ll have a better chance of actually seeing them come to life

4 steps to getting your boss to listen to your great ideasIt seems that every guide to career success has the same advice: Be a creative problem solver at work, and you’ll get ahead. “Bosses hate it when you just bring up issues without providing solutions,” guides say. “Always have some ideas for solving the problems before you bring them up.” And chances are, your boss…

Volunteering is good for your career

Employers like to hire candidates who have volunteering experience

Volunteering is good for your careerEmployers like to hire candidates who have volunteering experience. In fact, many companies encourage their employees to volunteer a few hours a week; others run their own volunteer programs. But the importance of volunteering for a worthwhile cause transcends a paycheck and career advancement. The true payoff is the heartfelt satisfaction that comes from improving…