It’s time to stop living in denial!

It’s time to stop living in denial! I volunteered to write this post for Spark the Change as I thought it would be easy. I’ve been working on this post for several weeks now and struggling to find the words to help explain denial. I started to wonder whether I was in denial about being in denial about something. What a paradox this became. Denial is a defence mechanism humans use to protect ourselves from something uncomfortable or painful. In this state of denial people believe they are seeing something as right or just. Living in this state doesn’t make things better or the problem go away, but it can feel easier to deal with for a period of time. A different reality may be obvious to those around them but in the state of denial any suggestion regarding your mindset will be difficult to believe. I have been in a constant state of change for months now. In my own practice I have been transforming myself and the business I am in. Thanks to this blog I spent a considerable amount of time being introspective and even working with my coach on this topic. It turns out there has been a significant area in which I was living in denial. Once I realized this and started making a shift lots has opened for me. I believe had I not addressed this area of denial it would have impacted me for a long time to come. How to prevent a transformation from taking hold: I once worked at a large company in which my department had a reputation for the...

Team Building and Axe Throwing

Last week I participated in a friend’s birthday adventure I won’t soon forget.  In a secluded warehouse in the Toronto port lands we spent the evening throwing axes at Backyard Axe Throwing League. I’d heard a fair bit of hype about this team-building trend from my students and clients, but have to confess, before throwing my first axe I didn’t really get it. The activity starts with some instruction on technique and strategy and a few practice throws. Then our group was broken up for a round robin tournament with these words, “The people who came as your friends are now your enemies. There are no friends in axe throwing.”  Yikes!  But after one throw, I was hooked and hungry for the elusive bulls-eye. Axe throwing is strangely gratifying and I highly recommend you try it. In the corporate world we’re always on a quest for new and exciting options for team-building events. I think there’s a naïve belief that if we do something fun and cool, this will instantly make our corporate culture fun and cool. Over the years I’ve done many different team-building events ranging from a sales conference where we went on a pub-crawl through downtown Toronto dressed as Star Trek characters, sailing with Olympians, naval drowning simulation exercises and helicopter rides around the Isle of Wight. While I found these activities were memorable and fun the most lasting impact was a few juicy stories. I’m not truly convinced they actually fostered the intended camaraderie or yielded stronger teams. It’s important to understand the fundamental reasons why plucking employees from the office and giving them...

3 Alternatives to Performance Reviews

The number one indicator of employee engagement is the personal relationship between the manager and the employee. Studies show that a whopping 70% of employees are disengaged, with 18% of those being actively disengaged. How can we solve this problem?

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