How to shake off your Christmas stress

People who have a calm perspective make better decisions than those who are stressed. And stress behaviour is self-perpetuating

How to shake off your Christmas stressIt’s almost that time of year again – the shops are filling up, along with the roads, and people’s stress levels are increasing. Christmas is a time of tradition. Some people have huge family gatherings with relatives from all over the place, others prefer a quiet evening – fireplace, wine, blanket and time off work.…

How to deal with harsh criticism

We have a tendency to fixate on the most devastating of critiques, rather than focusing on the ones that offer honest, objective and useful feedback

How to deal with harsh criticismIs it just me or do others find themselves overly fixating on criticism about their performance? I wasn't sure I had a thick enough skin after the first reviews came in when I began speaking professionally (and I was in law enforcement at the time). I prepared, practised delivery and made every effort to ensure…

How willing are you to stretch your comfort zone?

Fear has the power to hijack our thoughts and behaviours, even when a new path makes sense or is harmless

How willing are you to stretch your comfort zone?I’m often fascinated by how rigidly some folks cling to the familiar, especially when it comes to being asked to do something novel. Not something dangerous – just unfamiliar. In my former career, this came up a lot, with leaders standing up in meetings and asking for “out of the box thinkers.” Then they would point…

Taking the stress out of Christmas, preserving the joy

Christmas isn’t about gifts, a blanket of snow, a crackling fire and carols. It's about family, and creating warm memories

Taking the stress out of Christmas, preserving the joyIt was cold the other day – really cold. As I sat in a coffee shop with a cup of tea, preparing to answer a few emails during a break from Christmas shopping, I noticed four shivering teens – opting for fashion instead of warmth. They ordered hot chocolates, then headed to a far corner of…

How to let go of disappointment and avoid conflict

If we want to move past unrealized expectations in our lives, we have to forget the old script and craft a new one

How to let go of disappointment and avoid conflictThe conflicts that rear up in our lives most often stem from unrealized expectations. Each of us has a script we follow, an expectation of how things are supposed to go. When our expectations aren’t met, we can be delighted by the change, significantly disappointed or even angered. When we head to a nice restaurant,…

Trust yourself to make a leap of (informed) faith

Your skill as a decision-maker depends on your willingness to make a mistake and manage a level of risk

Trust yourself to make a leap of (informed) faithDecisions, decisions. We face them every day. Big ones, small ones and ones we’re all terrified of getting wrong. Can someone just give us the blueprint guiding us to the right decision every time? Sadly, there’s no fail-safe way to ensure that the decision you make will be the right one every time. So we should just…

How to change your emotional response on command

Your brain needs direction; it wants you to lead. You choose where you want to focus your efforts and energy

How to change your emotional response on commandAre you fed up? Perhaps with politics, taxes, grumpy people or the smoke in the air. Usually these feelings pass. But when you get stuck in a swirl of negative emotion, the problems of the world seem to pile on and leave you feeling spent. Perhaps this is what causes normally rational individuals to become…

Turn the heat down on your summer holiday stress

Summer-related events can increase our blood pressure rather than lower it. We have such high expectations. Take a breath!

Turn the heat down on your summer holiday stressThe summer heat is on! It may have taken some time to arrive (especially for those in the western provinces), but those warm temperatures are here. And with them, the frantic scramble to get on the road and enjoy a little down time with the family. We work so hard year-round to reach this moment.…

How to put your inner workaholic to rest

Today is National Workaholics Day. But by working smarter, you could work less – and have more time for family, friends and fun

How to put your inner workaholic to restIt's National Workaholics Day. Does this seem like something we should really be celebrating? According to Forbes, the average Frenchman works 18 hours a week; the average Italian about 16.5 and the British work 21.5. But in North America, our idea of full employment is a standard 40-hour week. And in some locales, that number…

Are you an argumentative communicator?

How to make your point without alienating, angering or humiliating your audience

Are you an argumentative communicator?It’s that time of year when a lot of us take holidays with family and friends. As much as we enjoy getting together, conversations can be a bit prickly and leave loved ones feeling less supported than we might want. So we need some strategies for reducing potential misunderstandings when confronted with the argumentative communicator.…
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