Category Archives: Management Excellence

Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume

At a quick glance at a resume, hiring managers can easily be too quick to judge to determine if the candidate deserves an interview.

In this TED Talk video below, HR Manager Regina Hartley shares with us why highly motivated ‘scrappers’ are the kind of candidates hiring managers should be looking out for. Scrappers have experienced hardships and overcome adversity which has shaped them to be highly motivated, productive and successful.

Back to Work

Summer can be a good time of year for recharging your batteries, but it can also be a tricky time for getting things done. With many people away on holiday, trying to schedule meetings is like herding cats. In terms of work productivity, how do you feel about summer being over?

Administrative Professionals Day

Administrative Professionals FB-Event-Cover

Administrative Professionals Day is on April 27th.

IAAP is the organization that first created “Secretaries’ Day” back in 1952, which is now renamed to “Administrative Professionals Day”. It is a day when bosses and businesses are encouraged to honour the work that their administrative staff perform all year long.

The BC/Yukon Branch of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) is proud to present “Administrative Professionals Day Breakfast & Education Event”.  The branch invites you and your colleagues to join them at the annual morning event on Wednesday, April 27th in downtown Vancouver.

Click here to view event details and registration info.


Look For The Small Successes

Originally posted on Practical Practice Management


I recently had a conversation with an office manager who really seemed to be struggling with the “Glass-half-empty” syndrome.  I know that we all can struggle with this from time-to-time, but this manager really had a bad case of it.

He had been working hard with his staff over the past couple of years and felt that no matter what management strategies he tried he still could not produce the “Super Team” he wanted.

I asked him to tell me what successes they accomplished last year as a team.  He began to tell me that they did finish a much-needed protocol manual, which took much longer to do than he expected.  They also achieved making a Facebook page for their company and to date have 156 followers, yet he thought they could have accomplished more.

And finally, they had reached their monthly financial goals 3 months out of the year.  This was good, but not great since they had never reached them before.

When he finished, I told him that he and his team had accomplished a lot to be proud of this past year and if he continued to focus on what they did not do he would pass his negative feeling along to his team and then good luck in trying to motivate them to be successful this year.

His hard work with his team had paid off.  He was just missing it because he was looking at the wrong thing.

He was leading them down the right road, it was just a little bumpier than he expected.  I encouraged him to keep moving forward even if he and his team are moving at baby step speed.  Little accomplishments are better than none.

“Success is not a destination, but the road you are on.” ~ Unknown

Handling Difficult Employee Conversations

Originally posted on Practical Practice Management

Stressed Employee Working In Busy Office

As a manager or team leader you have probably had the opportunity to speak to one of your staff members regarding something not so pleasant, perhaps a need for discipline or correction.

When conversations like this need to happen it is important that the, the deliverer, of the message be in the right frame of mind and have the right attitude going into the conversation.  This means wanting to have a positive outcome even though the message may be about something unpleasant to the receiver.

Below are a few good rules to remember prior to the conversation taking place.

5 rules for a creating a positive outcome from a not so pleasant conversation.

1. Stop and think before you speak so you can choose your words carefully. You want to get your message across in a way that discourages defensiveness and arguments. (This may take some thinking)

2. Be objective and use frank and factual, or descriptive phrases. Choose neutral and positive words.

3. Speak with a tone of voice that sounds sincere, wanting to solve or correct the problem.

4. Frame your message carefully.  Make sure that you stay on track with the issue at hand and do not go off on random “rabbit trails” bringing up non-pertinent information.

5. Listen with empathy and understanding so you can really hear the other person’s point of view.

These types of conversations can end well when time and effort is put in prior to having them and they are delivered with the right attitude.

“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.” ~ Henri Kaiser

Warning Signs That Your Team Is Struggling

Originally posted on Practical Practice Management


Working with teams of people are great when all is going well.  It is quite amazing how quickly things can turn from great to oh my gosh!  One team player stepping out-of-bounds or not following through with their tasks can cause a good team to go sideways fast.

Sometimes things can happen very quickly, like a team player saying something that rubs another team player wrong.  There was no warning just an action that turned out bad.

When things like this happen usually they can be fixed if addressed quickly and the team does return to normal function.

It is when underlying things begin to infiltrate the team and they build over time that quick fixes are not going to work.  There are a few key things to watch for as a team leader or player that may indicate that the team is struggling and if not addressed quickly could end up causing a divided team.

  • If team members start not seeing eye-to-eye on the purpose of the goals of the team.
  • If team members seem to lack team spirit or the energy to pump themselves up at work.
  • If two or more of the team members seem to often be at odds with each other.
  • If decisions need to be made by the team and they are unable to come together to do so.
  • When a team member starts talking more about themselves and not the team with regards to work goals.
  • When one or more team members want to quit the team.

As a business owner, manager or team leader you must always be watching and listening for the slightest of issues between team members.  Not that you want to create a problem where there really is not one, but you want to be aware if one may be brewing that can be resolved before it escalates.  Little issues dealt with quickly can usually be resolved.  Issues left unattended, over time will fester and become infected with negativity and poisoned attitudes.  These types of issues unfortunately rarely end on a happy note.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” –Phil Jackson

Adding Value To Teammates

Originally posted on Practical Practice Management

 praiseENLARGING: Adding value to teammates is invaluable.

“The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought to other people’s lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner

Team members always appreciate and admire a player who is able to help them advance to the next level, someone who enlarges and empowers them to be successful.

Players who are enlargers have several things in common.

  1. They value their teammates.
  2. They value what their teammates value.
  3. They add value to their teammates.
  4. They make their teammates more valuable.

Key things you can do to become an enlarger:

  • Believe in your teammates, they can tell if you do.  People do better and work harder under the spirit of approval.  People’s performance usually reflects the expectations of those they respect.
  • Understand what your teammates value.  Know who they are, it shows that you care and creates a strong connection between teammates.
  • Adding value is really the essence of enlarging others.  Find ways to help your teammates improve their abilities and attitude.  Someone who is an enlarger looks for a teammate’s gifts, talents and abilities and how they may benefit the team as a whole.
  • Enlargers work to make themselves better, not only because it benefits them personally, but also because it helps them help others. “You cannot give what you do not have.”  If you want to increase the ability of a teammate, make yourself better.
  • It takes a secure person to add value to others

If you want to be an enlarging team player do the following:

  1. Believe in others before they believe in you.
  2. Serve others before they serve you.
  3. Add value to others before they add value to you.
  4. Encourage and motivate others.

“People will always move toward anyone who increases them and move away from others who devalue them”

Administrative Professionals Day

iStock_000016187190SmallToday is Administrative Professionals Day. Back in 1952, this day was created by the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Back then, it was called ‘Secretaries Day’. Today some companies use this day to recognize the work of administrative assistants, receptionists and other administrative support workers.

Over many decades, the job of an administrative professional has changed dramatically thanks to new tools, and corporate culture itself. Administrators are one of the engines of business,  and Administrative Professionals Day is a good time to observe the importance of administrative professionals in the workplace.

However, let’s not just limit this observance to one day a year. Admin staff can be, and should be acknowledged year round for their contribution towards a company’s success. Why limit it to just one day?

Let this day be a reminder that all upper management have the opportunity to show respect, appreciation, and honour the work that their administrative staff perform all year long.

The Successful Manager

Originally posted  on Practical Practice Management

Pepperdine University designed this infograph called “Inside the Mind of a Successful Manager.”  There are some great points on management and some amazing statistics.

  • For example:
  • 71% of employees are not fully engaged at work.   The most common reason is a strained relationship with their supervisor.  Wow… that is a lot of strained relationships at work out there.
  • 60% of employees say they would work harder, if that relationship improved.

Business owners really need to be aware of how much damage or good the managers they hire can do.

The link at the bottom of the post will take you to the full size graphic for better reading.


Link to full size infographic


Showing Employees Respect

Originally posted on Practical Practice Management

respect-1-e1413562524495One common complaint I hear from employees when I speak at conferences is they do not feel that their superior or employer really respects them as a person and fellow co-worker.

I have a difficult time understanding why a manager or employer would not want to treat their employees with the highest sense of respect as they are the people who come in contact with their customers.  How do they expect their employees to show respect for customers when it is not being shown to them at work.

Demonstrating that you value your employees involves treating them well every day they are at work.  Below are a few tips on how to show respect to those you work with.

  • Do not ask an employee to perform an unpleasant task without providing a positive reason and showing them yourself how to do it.
  • Always treat employees as equals who just do a different job in the organization.
  • Take the time to train employees and listen to their concerns.
  • Treat a mistake as an opportunity to teach and to better communicate regarding their job tasks.
  • Take the time to praise good work.

Most of all remember the Golden Rule needs to apply in the workplace, “Treat each individual as you yourself would want to be treated.”