When your child has problems at school

Regular open and honest communication with your child’s teachers is definitely the best policy

When your child has problems at schoolWhile your kids are at school, it may be a good idea to think about the important, even essential, relationship you and your child have with those people responsible for your child’s education: teachers. As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. When it comes to academics, you know for a…

How to deal with unreasonable people, and win

It's difficult to deal with idiots, but once you recognize the types you can build strategies to minimize their impact on your life

How to deal with unreasonable people, and winLife is a learning process: what works and what doesn’t; how to behave in public, with family and in the workplace; and especially what sort of people we want to be around and who we’d rather see sent to Mars. Even if it hurts to admit, we’re all guilty of behaving like idiots at times…

Love thy neighbour? Well, maybe not always

Bad neighbours are a fact of life, but before you end up in a feud, there are a few things you can do to find peace

Love thy neighbour? Well, maybe not alwaysSome neighbours are great. You visit over the fence, call when you need help and pitch in when the hard work needs to get done. But not all our neighbours are so fabulous. My son has a frustrating renter and a messy neighbour. The renter’s dog barks constantly. There are truck parts in the alley and somehow this…

How to hold those difficult conversations

Yelling, regardless of how much you want to, is not an effective way to deal with the issue and will only make things worse

How to hold those difficult conversationsHave you ever had to hold a difficult conversation, the kind in which you have to get across a message that is very likely not going to be well received? (No, I’m not talking about explaining to your spouse why you spent all your retirement money backing your favourite hockey team, although that certainly falls…

How we deal with conflict is all a matter of perspective

When you change the context in which a behaviour occurs, the behaviour itself is transformed

How we deal with conflict is all a matter of perspectiveHow we deal with objections and problems is often just a matter of how we frame those problems. Our ability to quickly thin slice information can keep us alive by allowing our minds to make rapid assessments. But although this ability to spot patterns unconsciously has evolved as a valuable gift to communication, it has…

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…

Five tips to spotting liars at work

While not foolproof, these tips are strong indicators of possible deception

Five tips to spotting liars at workHere are my tips to help in spotting liars at work. 1. Begin with a baseline Spotting liars begins with observing a person’s baseline behaviour under relaxed or generally stress-free conditions so that you can detect meaningful deviations. One of the strategies that experienced interviewers use is to ask a series of simple questions while…

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,…

We’re in this together: how to solve problems big and small

Make today the day you pause, make eye contact and explore how to ease conflict and build a more connected community

We’re in this together: how to solve problems big and smallThere will never be a shortage of situations that put people in conflict with one another. From our strong opinions about the environmental impact of pipelines to the economics that drive decision-making. From differences of opinion about in-laws (and outlaws) to parenting to crime prevention and everything in between. Who owns the problem and how…

Intimacy requires constant nurturing

When conflicts create added pressure, focus on opportunities that promote a sense of belonging and a sense of significance within your relationship

Intimacy requires constant nurturingThe third instalment of the Fifty Shades of Grey movies was released in time for Valentine's Day. This has certainly been a catalyst for some pretty interesting conversations on respect, fidelity and experimentation. If your relationship is strong and boundaries are communicated well, experimentation can work. However, I tend to work with the fallout when…

Landlord-tenant conflicts often come down to respect

Most conflicts would simply evaporate if everyone took the time to adhere to some simple and fundamental courtesies

Landlord-tenant conflicts often come down to respectWhy are tenants and their allies already protesting landlords in Vancouver as 2018 dawns? They’re outraged that a landlord would have the audacity to apply for an eviction order to remove a tenant who hasn’t paid the rent. How inconsiderate of them. And a few of those landlords are trying to make repairs to their…

Don’t be so quick to take offense

A bad joke or inappropriate comment is often just that: a bad joke or inappropriate comment. Calm down, and carry on

Don’t be so quick to take offenseMy old friend and colleague, Postmedia columnist Lorrie Goldstein, recently tweeted out, “The ‘new racism’? Apparently it’s something called ‘microaggressions.’” More specifically, it relates to “racial microaggressions,” a term coined by psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce in the 1970s. It was reintroduced by Columbia University psychologist Derald Wing Sue several years ago, after he and an…

How to cope with calamity and crisis

Rehearsing a state of relaxation through these simple daily exercises can help you face up to the inevitable tension in your life

How to cope with calamity and crisisThe Las Vegas mass shooting has caused most of us to pause. Bad stuff can happen to good people. We wonder what we would do if we found ourselves caught up in such violence. Sometimes just hearing about such tragedies can lead us to feel tense and uncertain. And that can cause us to become…

Finding the inner strength to get through a divorce

Confidence, direction, соurаgе and reassurance аrе constant companions in your efforts tо mаkе a successful rесоvеrу from divоrсе

Finding the inner strength to get through a divorceDivorce is nothing like it appears on TV or on the Internet. The grieving ebbs and flows as your life changes significantly. Divоrсе rесоvеrу gives rise tо thoughtѕ like, “I nеvеr thought I'd hаvе tо dо this. I'vе never bееn in this predicament bеfоrе. Evеrуthing iѕ nеw and threatening. I feel lоѕt and afraid thingѕ…