A smile can change your future, and your business

Smiles release serotonin and dopamine in your brain, and that helps improve your mood

A smile can change your future, and your businessWhenever I give a presentation on the impact of body language in the workplace, I always include a section on the power of a smile. That’s because research shows that facial expressions send feedback from your face to your left frontal cortex, which in turn triggers the release of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine into…

Ostrich eggshell beads reveal oldest known social network

Artifacts dating back 50,000 years help us better understand human connections

Ostrich eggshell beads reveal oldest known social networkIt’s one of the most enduring craft traditions in human history, stretching back 50,000 years: tiny donut-shaped beads made from ostrich eggshells. They reveal the oldest social network ever identified, according to a study by Jennifer Miller. The beads probably originated in eastern Africa and spread west and south through the continent as people traded them…

Indigenous criminology students seek to change justice system from within

U of A criminology program has highest rate of Indigenous enrolment among all arts programs

Indigenous criminology students seek to change justice system from withinGrowing up near Lac La Biche, Alta., Shaylee Lyne Desjarlais-Whitford couldn’t help noticing how Indigenous people were treated differently by the justice system. She saw how many close to her on the Kikino Métis Settlement didn’t get fair representation when charged with an offence. “Prosecutors were throwing cases away just to get them done,” she…

Annual reviews only feed corporate paranoia

The whole employee rating process is a recipe for disaster

Annual reviews only feed corporate paranoiaI was 23 when I got my first promotion to Acting Assistant Labour Relations Manager in the UK’s Health Service. My boss’s gift to me was my one and only report, Megan, 20 years old, grumpy, difficult and the department’s secretary. My first task in my new position was to deliver her end-of-year review. My…

Your gender may dictate how effectively you communicate

The most effective communicators come across as both confident and caring

Your gender may dictate how effectively you communicateA few years ago, I conducted research in the United States, Europe and Canada to see how gender differences in communication were displayed in the workplace. The first thing I found was that both men and women identified the same sets of strengths and weaknesses in themselves and each other. Top three communication strengths for…

Body language secrets for people who hate networking

6 changes you can make to your body language that can turn that networking experience from frightening to fun

Body language secrets for people who hate networkingImagine that you are at a networking event with the intent of doing business with some of the other attendees. In your mind, how’s that going for you? Do you see yourself socializing with ease and grace, or – if you are anything like me – has the very word “networking” increased your stress level…

Develop a winning mindset to achieve your goals

To quote a noted sage: “Do or do not. There is no try”

Develop a winning mindset to achieve your goalsIn modern society, we’ve wandered away from the thought of winning. It has become taboo. All focus has been put on ensuring that those who don’t place feel just as special for having contributed. However, this flattening of drive seems to have had some unintended consequences – diminishing confidence and persistence. And if you want…

Building the root system for personal success

Live with integrity and gratitude, work hard, be kind to others and focus on your potential

Building the root system for personal successThe Chinese bamboo tree shows little or no apparent signs of growth for four years. Then suddenly, it can grow as much as 25 metres in weeks. That’s a powerful metaphor for the growth of successful people. Over those apparently-dormant four years, the tree actually is growing; we just can’t see it. It’s developing an…

How to supercharge your success in 2022

Our tips to make the most out of what you have to offer

How to supercharge your success in 2022I once gave a seminar on leadership presence for the executive team of a high-tech company in northern California. The next day, the president of the company phoned and said: “I have an administrative assistant who is the brightest, most creative person I’ve worked with. The problem is, we’re relocating and she can’t move her…

Get emotional about a culture of safety

It’s a dangerous myth to believe there is a trade-off between safety and profitability

Get emotional about a culture of safetyIt was a small terraced house in a northern English city. The young couple did not look old enough to have a son in our apprentice programme. They gave me a cup of tea and I sat down on their sofa. There was no TV, just some chairs, a picture of their son and the…

Why employees jump ship

Employees don't quit their companies; they quit their bosses

Why employees jump shipContrary to popular belief, a low salary is usually not the primary reason for quitting a job. Statistics predict that most career-builders won't be working for the same company a decade from now. They're likely to have at least two more jobs. Even though frequent job changes often have a lot to do with variables…

New Year’s resolutions that will boost your business

If you are self-employed, you will need to hone new skills to succeed

New Year’s resolutions that will boost your businessAs 2021 morphs into 2022, more than numbers on the calendar are changing. Technology, communications, media, weather – even the way we work and earn our livings – aren’t what they used to be. It used to be jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s what we wanted for ourselves, our partners, our kids; it’s what politicians promised…

How to handle job-interview stress

It is unrealistic to hope the interview will run smoothly

How to handle job-interview stressWhether during good or bad economies, interview stress is a given in the job-hunting process. Job candidates experience stress prior to the interview and during the interview. During both occasions, the stress can be equally intense. Don't be passive and hope the interview will run smoothly. That's being unrealistic. The worst thing you can do is…

Why New Year’s resolutions never stick

Change isn't difficult. What is difficult is doing things when you don't really want to

Why New Year’s resolutions never stickSo it's a new year. The pressure to look optimistically and confidently ahead, resolve to change old ways, and embrace the new is palpable. Forget it. Most people really don't want to change, and some shouldn't even try. While I hate to be the Scrooge of New Year Present, I guarantee that human nature won't…

The ABCs of negotiating a job offer

It's not a good idea to zone out when HR explains complicated benefits packages

The ABCs of negotiating a job offerMost new hires zone out when HR staffers explain complicated benefits packages. It's not that they're not concentrating on what's being said, it's because the explanation is being delivered in an incomprehensible dialect called "HR-speak." Just because a job offer is doled out in an alien tongue doesn't mean you can't ask for a translation…

How Santa knows if you were naughty or nice

Here are some of his secrets

How Santa knows if you were naughty or niceHave you ever wondered how Santa Claus determines whether to leave you a present or a lump of coal on Christmas? How he knows if you’ve been naughty or nice? I don’t have any hard evidence to back me up, but I’m pretty sure that he must be a first-class lie detector. If so, here…

Mentorship program puts U of A grads on path to careers in energy sector

A recent PhD grad and a mentor talk about the mutual benefits of mentorship

Mentorship program puts U of A grads on path to careers in energy sectorWhen the time comes to settle on a career, there’s plenty out there for University of Alberta graduates skilled in the wide-ranging field of energy: jobs in research, government, industry and startups, to name a few. But how to decide? One tried and true way is to talk to somebody who’s already out there –…

10 powerful and simple body language tips

Sometimes the smallest body language change can bring powerful results

10 powerful and simple body language tipsEvidence from psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and anthropology has given nonverbal communication new credence in the workplace. One example is a study at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging that discovered it takes the brain just 200 milliseconds to gather most of the information it needs from a facial expression to determine a person’s…

Engineering grad earns Polytechnique Montréal memorial scholarship

Willow Dew was recognized with the Order of the White Rose as a role model for women in engineering and science

Engineering grad earns Polytechnique Montréal memorial scholarshipSome praise her intellectual abilities and perfect grade point average, others her assertive leadership and exceptional social involvement. But when asked to describe herself, Willow Dew shows a great deal of humility. “I am a curious person who loves to learn,” said Dew, who recently graduated from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering. That…

Great leaders share similar traits

But there is no proven path to preparing for it

Great leaders share similar traitsThousands of books have been published about leadership because millions of people have fantasies of being top dog. Former presidents, prominent military leaders, CEOs, academics and consultants of every stripe have written books about what it takes to be an exceptional leader. It's worth finding out. While theories abound about what makes a great leader,…

10 change management strategies backed by science

Offers insights for helping us deal with change

10 change management strategies backed by scienceI’ve been studying change leadership for over 25 years, but only recently have researchers been able to use technology like functional magnetic resonance imagery (fMRI) to look at the brain and see what actually happens when we’re facing a major organizational change. For example, most of our daily activities, including many of our work habits,…

Fossils dug up 100 years ago found wrapped in old newspaper

Specimens, including turtle skulls likely dating back more than 70 million years, uncover the earliest days of paleontology in Alberta

Fossils dug up 100 years ago found wrapped in old newspaperA stash of rediscovered dinosaur bones wrapped in century-old newspapers is set to reveal two pasts: one set in the 1920s and the University of Alberta’s earliest paleontology, the other some 70 million years ago. “It’s always a surprise to find these bones that have been sitting in the ground for millions of years, but…

Don’t let incompetent bosses stand in your way

As frustrating as it is, it can also be an incredible career opportunity

Don’t let incompetent bosses stand in your wayIt's been said countless times: "People don't leave companies; they leave bosses." It's hard working for an incompetent boss under any circumstance. In demanding IT and technology jobs where the workloads can be torturous and the pressure to complete projects quickly is relentless, it's especially tough. Tougher still is when you love your job and…

True grit is the great equalizer in life

With grit, there’s no telling how far you can go

True grit is the great equalizer in lifeLouis Pasteur, the French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization, once said, “Let me tell you the secret that has led to achieving my goals: My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” Pasteur would have approved of Grit to Great by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin…

Speech-language pathology grad honours her francophone roots

Emilie Lefebvre helps French-speaking youngsters overcome their speech-related challenges

Speech-language pathology grad honours her francophone rootsPlanning her career as a speech-language pathologist, Emilie Lefebvre wanted to work with bilingual adults, but a happy whirl of Francophonie Week celebrations changed her mind. The festivities by an Edmonton school board tugged at her own French-language roots while she worked there on a clinical placement to finish her University of Alberta education, and…

Body language tips for the holiday office party

A holiday get-together can quickly turn into a career-limiting event

Body language tips for the holiday office partyThe holiday office party offers a great opportunity to socialize with co-workers, meet new people, and develop or deepen relationships. However, a holiday get-together can also quickly turn into a career-limiting event unless you understand the do's and don'ts of appropriate behaviour. The desire to relax and have fun can be a highly anticipated, positive antidote…

Master’s grad thrives on team atmosphere as scientist and athlete

Liam Buchart's work in climate modelling was what really showed him the power of teamwork

Master’s grad thrives on team atmosphere as scientist and athleteLiam Buchart has always been a team player. He didn’t let academic pursuits get in the way of playing junior B hockey in the Capital Junior Hockey League while stickhandling through his first three years in the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta. Even after junior, when he joined the U of A’s…

Why first impressions can harm your career

7 body language tips for making a positive first impression

Why first impressions can harm your careerTwo seconds – 30 seconds, tops – that’s all the time it takes to assess your confidence, competence, status, likeability, warmth, and trustworthiness. That’s how much time you have to make a first impression. In fact, it’s impossible for us not to make these snap judgments about one another. Human beings are wired that way.…

Going back to school re-energized grad’s career

For Margeaux Maron, an MBA was a way to put more of herself into her work – and a pathway to a new career direction

Going back to school re-energized grad’s careerMargeaux Maron was standing in water up to her knees in the cowboy change room under the grandstand on the Calgary Stampede grounds when she noticed old rodeo photos float by. “That’s a really historic space where generations of cowboys have come to compete at the Stampede. I was sad because it was such a…

When a job becomes greedy and overwhelms your life

The pandemic has taught us that life beyond the job is possible

When a job becomes greedy and overwhelms your lifeThe wage gap between men and women stubbornly persists even after adjusting for all the usual factors like education and occupation. Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey Toward Equity, a new book by Harvard professor Claudia Goldin, takes a fresh look at the issue. Goldin introduces the concept of greedy jobs. These are the jobs…
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