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…

Taming the irrational beast called anger

When strong negative emotions kidnap the thinking brain, we become scarcely more coherent than a wild animal

Taming the irrational beast called angerYou may have seen a video recently of a man punching a fellow pedestrian who he felt took his photo without authorization. Once the video was released, the man came forward and apologized for what he called his uncharacteristic behaviour. Whether it’s a result of stress, the state of the economy or a variety of…

The trouble with money

We crave, mythologize, demonize and fight wars over money. Why can’t we just treat it with respect and maintain harmony in the home?

The trouble with moneyMy husband and I recently got into a mild argument over finances. It started with calculating costs for a trip east with friends to see a football game. It ended with a tally of summer bills and how on earth they would ever get paid. This happens in countless households. Money – or lack of…

Politics is filled with conflicting opinions, and that’s healthy

Sure, conflict is uncomfortable. But if we’re not exposed to it occasionally, how will we ever get more comfortable being uncomfortable?

Politics is filled with conflicting opinions, and that’s healthySaskatchewan Premier Brad Wall recently announced he was retiring from politics. This news came as a crushing blow to my husband, although neither one of us has ever lived in that province. Why did he take the news so hard? In his opinion, Wall was the last political leader willing to stand up for national…

On the road to travel trauma? How to find a better route

When things aren’t going quite according to plan, breathe. No one likes travel stress, but sometimes we create our own problems and cause unnecessary delay

On the road to travel trauma? How to find a better routeJust when did we all become so sensitive and overreactive to situations beyond our control? Recently, my husband and I travelled to San Diego for a surprise birthday and anniversary party. The weekend was a ton of fun as we connected with family we haven’t seen for a long time. However, the travel was filled…

Managing boundaries without emotion or nasty payback

We’re often reluctant to establish a line when dealing with others because we don’t want to be seen as difficult. So instead we stew in our anger and resentment

Managing boundaries without emotion or nasty paybackHave you ever lived near or worked with someone who seemed to have a problem respecting personal space? About 15 years ago, a neighbour decided he wanted to build a garage. There was a tree on his property line that he didn’t want to take down, so he figured he would just appropriate needed space…