The Human Side of Business

We get so caught up in the chase for profit that we often forget why we got into business in the first place.

Hopefully we entered into business as an entrepreneur or employee, because we wanted to help solve a problem for our customer. Yet many have lost track of the customer and instead focus their attention on the bottom line. This is not a win/win situation. It’s win/lose. You win and the customer loses. Or You win and the employee looses, or vice-versa. How long do you expect that model to work? For rich relationships to last, everyone has to be growing or gaining, or … they’re dying.

How Do We Touch the Human Side of Customers and Employees?

Let them know you care about them as a person or thought of them; … sales flyers or promotional ads just don’t pack that emotional deposit. People are creatures of emotion, fueled by pride and vanity. When we feed their emotions, they feel good.

You’ve heard that people won’t necessarily remember what you’ve told them or done for them, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel … Good or bad. Well then, what if you spent 80% of your marketing efforts making people feel good? The human side of your business would grow rich, and so would you!

Touching someone’s emotional side means recognizing them as a person first and a business associate second. We live in an era of instant gratification. Increase your client and employee retention and gain referrals simply by acknowledging and appreciating the human side of your consumers immediately.

What are you doing to follow up and show gratitude to your customers and staff?

It’s been predicted and proven that successful businesses of today need both a “high tech and high touch approach.”  I use a system … its high tech – and high touch.  I’ll share it with you today as a courtesy because YOU matter to me, and the human side of your business does too. Your bottom line will be abundant. Ask me about it. I’m happy to help.

motivational speaker Ontario

p.s.  There are several chapters in my book share information about high tech – high touch customer and employee relationship strategies.

Attract Rich Relationships

I think everyone wants to be more attractive—in other words, to attract more of what we want. Perhaps it’s a partner; maybe it’s the desire to attract more wealth, opportunity, success, love, or respect.

What I know about attraction is that it is vibrational. We attract things similar to the vibrations that we are putting out. So if you want to attract good things, you have to put out good vibes.

Here’s an example: one afternoon, while I was shopping downtown in my beautiful home town, I asked some shop owners how their businesses were doing. The answers that I received were less than positive. There was a sense of doom, gloom, and fear in the shop owners’ responses. Ultimately, this way of thinking will attract more of the same kinds of vibrations. When fear and panic drives our responses, we need to work in the opposite direction of what comes naturally to us.

Check out the great new video on this topic.

Recently, I listened to a conversation at a local coffee meet-up between Mike Campigotto, Ian Kilgour, and other wise community members. The topic was about dealing with negative gossip, and the consensus was to not buy into it. “Keep conversations positive and upbeat,” they agreed, “and for heaven’s sake, don’t be one of those energy vampires that suck the life out of conversations by always complaining about how things aren’t, when there are so many other, greater things to discuss or get involved in.”

Chronic complainers and gossips are often lonely, or they have a few in their circle that like to maintain those same low vibrations. You’ve heard the saying “You become who you have coffee with”. Choose your pack wisely. Rub shoulders with winners, and before long, you’ll be winning too.

Before we can truly speak highly of our business, we need to feel good about it, and that has a lot to do with how we believe we are doing. Sometimes, in order to have good vibrations, we have to believe in what is unseen. A lot of that lies in vision and faith. Faith is being able to go beyond what the eyes can see.

Success starts at the root level of what we believe and how we’re feeling. We emit a vibration of that belief. I refer to this as ‘posture’. People are sensitive to the vibration we put out. If it’s high and positive, they want a piece of it.

Here are some tips to maintain those high vibrations:

Speak positively. Rather than wallowing in self-pity, negative circumstances, cynicism, or judgment, talk about ideas, possibility, and potential. Ask good questions that will lead you to a better understanding of what you can do to improve your business or relationships. Where attention goes, energy finds a match, and the results will come.

You’ll know you’re in a state of high vibration when you feel good. Circumstances beyond your control are going to challenge you, but your job is to feel good (naturally). I don’t mean taking drugs or alcohol, or excessively using any crutch to get you feeling high. I mean really feeling good about who you are, how you are, and where you are. This takes work, but I guarantee that it is the absolute best investment you can make in yourself. People like happy people.

When people ask you how you’re doing, tell them you’re fantastic, happy, or excited for life. Emit an authentic, high-vibrational answer with matching words. Don’t lie. If you can’t honestly say something great about yourself and where you’re at, call me. We’ll get you on track.

If you’re feeling stuck, stagnant, and full of low-vibrational energy, you can always give. Get out there in your community and get involved. Start giving a little more of your beautiful self away. Make a difference. Everyone has the ability to change this world and make it a better place and that, my friends, is very attractive. Not only will you inspire and influence others with your actions of kindness, but you’ll increase your own self-worth and sense of value.

Being attractive has very little to do with how we look and lots to do with our ‘posture’—what we believe, feel, think, and speak.

My purpose and my passion is to foster rich relationships between businesses, employees, and clients so that the world can vibrate at a higher level and be more efficient, harmonious, and abundant. For that to happen, we need to be vibrating at our absolute highest. I’m committed to helping your entire team raise their vibrations and attract rich relationships in business and in life.

Call me, and remember…your greatest leadership day is with Penny Tremblay!


Improve Workplace Relationships with Love

“Love in the workplace” is not a phrase you hear often, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to talk about it.

We have relationships with everyone in our workplace.  Some may be closer than others; some may be kind and courteous; and others may be challenging, disconnected or downright nasty!  You can improve workplace relationships starting today.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career as an expert on Workplace and Business Relations, it’s that there is a big difference between love and relationships.  Love is easy, but relationships are hard.

For Valentine’s Day, I’d like to invite you to celebrate the fact that you have relationships, and that these relationships have taken effort.  Congratulations!

Valentine’s Day is an outward expression, like giving flowers, cards or chocolate.  I’d like to challenge you to outwardly recognize your colleagues today.  You don’t have to acknowledge them with gifts—words will do.  You can improve workplace relationships with Love

Words like “I love the way you serve customers for us.”

Or “I’m happy you’re my boss because you seem to care about me as a person.”

“We need you.”

“Your skillset is valuable to us.”

 “I appreciate you because…”

I use the phrase “love in the workplace” to symbolize the important things we do to connect and build rapport, like sharing admiration, giving respect, and honouring, appreciating and complimenting the people around us!  These acts of recognition are free and only take a few seconds, but they build relationships because we are all emotional creatures of pride and vanity.  We all want to feel valuable and feed our worthiness.

If you’re up for another challenge, consider reconnecting a disconnected relationship in your workplace.  Look someone in the eye and pay him or her a genuine compliment.  Oh, and by the way, “Mary, you look hot in those pants” isn’t an appropriate “love in the workplace” compliment.  Speak true words when you find something to compliment about.  If you can’t think of something nice to say, either you’re not thinking hard enough, or you need my conflict resolution services!

Even if you have to resort to writing the compliment or recognition in a little note because you’re afraid of the face-to-face conversation, do that.  In my humble opinion, nothing beats a face-to-face or a phone call to convey sentiments.  The energy that you pass into the sacred invisible reservoir between two people will have a lasting affect.

Interacting and intertwining our energy with someone else to result in a positive interpersonal relationship doesn’t always go as planned.  But this is where we learn the most about ourselves.  Relationships shine a light on our most needed lessons.

Remember that love is easy, but relationships are hard.  The way to better relationships is through love, respect, honour, and authentic communication with people who matter.

Love is a verb.  Take some action that is going to move someone else, especially if there’s a need between you and a co-worker.  A conflict. A disconnect.  Take a step toward reconciliation today.  Call me if you need help.  A big part of what I do is help people fix broken relationships in the workplace.

Never underestimate the power of this invisible, energetic connection that you can put effort into.  Create more love in your workplace, and remember, your greatest leadership day is with Penny Tremblay.


Preparing Your Elevator Speech

You’re at a networking event—or the grocery store or a conference—and you bump into a prospect.  After you exchange pleasant greetings and business cards, your prospect asks you about your business.  You open your mouth to answer, but your mind races, thinking “If I’ve only got seconds to respond, where on earth do I start?”

These circumstances call for a crafty ‘elevator speech’: a brief, prepared speech that rolls effortlessly off your tongue, succinctly explains what your business does, and leaves the other person wanting to know more.  It should last no longer than 20-30 seconds, like an elevator ride, which is how this kind of pitch got its name.

Follow these steps to create a compelling elevator speech of your own.  Use the exercise file for more help.

Determine the goal of your speech – If you want to get to the point, you must have a point to get to.  You must pick one thing that you’d like to accomplish with the elevator pitch.  Do you have an exciting new product you want to hone in on?  Do you want to tell your prospect what you do for a living, or tell them about the company itself?

Example: To entice people to contact me for information on how they can increase sales and lower expenses by learning about my rich relationship techniques for business and in the workplace.

Define What You Do – Start your pitch by describing what your organization does, the problems that it solves, and how this benefits your clients.  If you can, include a statistic to assist with the value of your product, service or business.

Example: The Tremblay Leadership Center specializes in leadership training and relationship management.   It costs one and a half times an annual salary to replace a good employee, and it’s far more cost-effective to maintain existing customers than to find new ones, so rich relationships mean more money.

Before you begin drafting your speech, ask yourself how you want people to remember you.  You don’t have much time to hook into someone’s mind in order for your pitch to stick, so if there’s just one thing that you’d like to be remembered by, it’s likely that your audience will remember it.  If there are too many things, your signal may become lost in the noise.

Also, make sure that what you’re creating excites you first.  If you’re not lit up with enthusiasm by your idea and your speech, then your audience won’t be either.

Convey Your Uniqueness – What makes you better than the competition?  What makes your product or service unique, and how does that benefit people?  You’re going to want to stand out above the crowd of other people that could be offering similar products and services.

Example: I customize programs to assist people with taking responsibility for making critical relationships work, and I provide tools to help them maintain positive, productive and profitable allies.

End With A Question – When all is said and done, more is said than done … unless you’ve got an opportunity to enroll the person into your conversation.  Therefore, end with a leading question that encourages your audience to discuss and inquire about your business.

Example: How can I help you create rich relationships?

Now that you’ve created each section of your elevator speech, put it all together and use a timer to see if it fits into a 20-30 second timeframe.  If not, pare it down.  As the ancient Chinese proverb says, “Less is more.”  People will remember small, memorable bits.  Long, run-on information is just too overwhelming.  Practice, practice, and practice your pitch some more, and see how it works.  If your elevator speech isn’t leaving people wanting more, then you need to change it up.

Here’s a complete example of an elevator speech that I’ve drafted:

The Tremblay Leadership Center specializes in leadership training and relationship management.  I customize programs to assist people with taking responsibility for making critical relationships work and I provide tools to help them maintain positive, productive and profitable allies.  It costs one and a half times an annual salary to replace a good employee, and it’s far more cost-effective to maintain existing customers than to find new ones, so rich relationships mean more money. How can I help you create rich relationships?

If it’s too long, or too boring, you’ll want to spice it up.  See how this version compares to the one previous:

I help people learn to play nice in the sandbox.  Within a workplace, or in any business, relationships are the glue that holds people together.  I meet with people and businesses of all types and help them achieve more sales and fewer expenses.  Did you know it costs one and a half times a good employee’s salary to replace them?  And what’s a customer worth to business?  Lots!  So rich relationships mean more money.  How can I help you make more money?

There you have it!  A compelling elevator speech that’s just 27 seconds long, and I’m smiling when I say it because I think it’s fit, fun, funny, and fabulous … just like me!  If you need some help, contact me.

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Use our Elevator Speech exercise file to create one for your business.

Consider Speaking With Confidence – Deliver Powerful, Productive and Profitable Presentations, by Penny Tremblay

Join a Toastmaster Club in your area to learn effective ways to have structured speeches that deliver greater impact in fewer words.

Giving Just to Give

The first chapter of my book, Give and Be Rich, is titled “Giving Simply to Give”. Its premise seems simple: just give for the sake of giving. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

I remember trick-or-treating on Halloween many, many moons ago, and the time that a man tricked instead of treated. He would place a full-sized Eat-More chocolate bar deep into trick-or-treaters’ candy bags with one hand, and then, as they were leaving, tug on an invisible string with the other hand and pull the candy bar back out. Most kids didn’t notice, but I did, and smiled at him to let him know that I was onto his trick. More recently, a teacher of mine from California used the term ‘sticky giving’ to represent the concept of giving with expectations or conditions, which resonated with me and reminded me of this Halloween experience. Sticky giving, for sure.

Sticky giving, or giving with conditions—whatever you choose to call it—is the act of giving to someone with an expected result and not simply for the sake of giving. In workplace relationships, we may give someone some extra help to fulfill our own hidden agenda of being noticed or praised. We may also wonder why colleagues don’t give back to us in the same way we’d give to them. In both of these scenarios, we are giving with conditions.

Here’s an excerpt from Give and Be Rich:

Giving unconditionally is key. If we simply give without the expectation of receiving anything in return, we are giving properly. Many people, however, give with conditions attached. They have an underlying motivation for giving; one common motivation is recognition, another is control. This is our ego working, wanting to be right, wanting to be noticed, wanting to protect us from being vulnerable. I believe that the hearts that give – in any capacity and without any expectation of return or favor – will be the most richly blessed. Furthermore, when we give in secrecy or anonymity, we receive in greater abundance. Give without the expectation of receiving anything in return. When you give with the intention of getting something back, you just don’t make the same impact.

Having written the book on giving, and having lived through some tough life lessons since its publication, I’m visiting this concept again. Even I have a hard time giving without conditions, especially in situations when my emotions are running high or my own insecurities are flaring up, causing me to speculate why someone I’ve given to won’t acknowledge my generosity or fully receive my gift.

There are some deeper questions we can ask ourselves about our attachments to giving with conditions. If you’re disappointed in the response you get from giving to someone, or if you feel the need to shout from the rooftops about your generosity, give yourself some time to really contemplate the following.  Ask yourself:

Why do I need other’s acknowledgement?

Why do I need other’s recognition?

Why do I need to be right?

Why do I need to be noticed?

Why do I need to protect myself from vulnerability?

As for other’s behaviour, I have two comments. First, know what’s yours and what’s not yours in situations where others are involved. When you give to them, that act of giving belongs to you. How they choose to respond belongs to them. Focus on what’s yours, and let go of what belongs to others. Maintain your energy for your own gain, and put it to good use within, rather than trying to control and change others.

Second, people do the best with what they know. They have a certain set of tools, and use them with the skills they’ve developed—or not developed. If someone’s unwilling to receive what you give them, or not mannered enough to acknowledge it or respond appropriately, understand that this is just where they’re at. Their reaction doesn’t represent where you’re at or what you deserve.

You can thank yourself for giving gifts that others don’t thank you for. You may also decide to put your energies elsewhere the next time you’re feeling generous. For every action or no action, there is a consequence or a choice of something new.

The hearts that give without any expectation of return or favour will be the most richly blessed.  Simple, but not easy.

Best wishes for unconditional giving,




* The third chapter of Give and Be Rich is about giving to yourself. Giving and growing rich is an inside job. What if we could just love ourselves enough, and give ourselves away in service to others? What if we just loved ourselves unconditionally? Acknowledged ourselves, recognized ourselves and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable? We wouldn’t need it from any other source—except, perhaps, a divine source such as a Creator, God, Buddah, or whatever you choose to name it. In that sense, our backs are always covered.

Are You Open for Business?

Are you open for business?  For wealth, good health, or quality relationships?  “Of course I am”, you will answer to the question.  But are you really open?

What is ‘open’? How can I be more open to receive more of what I want?  This article is about being open for all types of business: the business of being a good employee,  employer or successful entrepreneur ; or the business of life, love, joy and enthusiasm.

“Am I open?” is a question I’ve been asking myself often.  “Fully, completely open?” What I’ve learned is that this is an inner energy, not an outer action.  To be open means not to be closed.  When we’re open, energy can freely flow in and out of us.  We feel expanded, enthusiastic, clear, prosperous, energetic, valuable, and worthy—and the emotions that these high-vibration adjectives create.  To be closed means to be blocked someplace deep inside; to feel constricted, tight, negative, stuck or depressed; to close your mind and your heart to something that is stirring up bad feelings.

We close ourselves off for protection.  Our fear and insecurities from past experiences makes us want to curl up in some restrictive place inside, rather than to stay open.  The problem is that we can’t be open to receiving an inflow of energy, and yet closed at the same time.  There is a great collision going on within us when our mind wants to be open, and our heart is working to keep old emotions and feelings pushed down inside.

Imagine you are an entrepreneur, and you’re asked to give a presentation about your area of expertise during a conference.  You remember your primary school public speaking assignment and feel your past fear of standing in front of the class, trying to deliver a memorized talk, but forgetting the words and feeling humiliated.  So being presented with this new opportunity many years later, you begin to close up, thinking that you hate public speaking. Instead of remaining open to the potential you have to share your expertise, and putting in the preparation and practice time that you need to build your confidence, you’re letting the stored energy of what happened 20 years ago block your prosperity today. You’re closed for business.

Now imagine that you are an employee, and you’ve been yelled at or treated poorly by a customer in your past, so a part of you is closed off to protect yourself from ever experiencing that pain and embarrassment again.  So you choose not to work in the ‘line of fire’ dealing directly with customers, even though so many of them are awesome and they need your service.  Perhaps you stay somewhat closed by wanting to privately listen to music as you work, or by finding some mind-numbing way to cope with the tasks of your day. Perhaps you hide in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ department because you feel you are better suited to work under those conditions. You’re closing yourself off to giving and receiving your full potential.  These days, your employer needs your full potential, and you deserve fullness too.

Finally, imagine yourself as a recently promoted manager who now has authority over their previous colleagues. Somewhere inside, you feel a sense of not being completely worthy of the position.  When a difficult situation triggers those feelings of self-doubt, you act out with defensive behaviour.  Although you want to feel worthy of the position, you are snagged on feelings of inadequacy from somewhere in your past, so you close yourself off to the opportunity to notice that there is a disturbance or a block in your energy.

This idea of ‘staying open for business’ will show up in many places of your life if you simply become aware of where you are open, flowing, floating and moving along, versus where you are closed, stuck, restricted, hurting and frustrated.

Hopefully you had an opportunity to read my previous article earlier this summer about fishing—the high risk of getting snagged, and the importance of going back and freeing yourself from the snag in order to move forward efficiently.  Staying open for business is a metaphor, then, for realizing what is getting you ‘caught up’ or tangled in your process of flowing, and then detaching from your own inner issues and past experiences.

You stay open by noticing patterns in times when you typically close.  By noticing, you become aware of your behaviour.  With this awareness, you can make a different choice.  You can feel the feelings, relax, breathe, and release them.  In your state of being and with these feelings, you are allowing the situation to take place.  You can honour it, respect it, and just let it be exactly what it is.  For the entrepreneur, it’s to relax into the idea of preparing for and delivering an effective presentation. For the previously abused employee, it may be to go back in time to revisit the pain and humility felt, and to just let that experience go.  It is not you; it’s only what happened once, so long ago.  For the new manager, it’s noticing what disturbs their confidence, and letting that thing go so they can be more supportive in their role.

It takes more energy to be closed than it does to stay open. Stay open to allow an unlimited inward energy flow, one that fills you until it begins to overflow outward.   Don’t ever close. You will attract everything you’ve ever wanted when you stay open.  Stay open to change, growth, opportunity, feedback, initiative, learning, feeling, being … just stay open.  I’m here for you if you ever need help.

Read more about Opening the Soul for Business, and the inspiration for this article.

Yours in service, and always intending to be open for business,

Fish On! Overcoming Snags

What an exciting way to spend Father’s Day, yelling “Fish on!” often.  Annually on the Father’s Day weekend, my brother, Captain Art, takes my mom, son and I on a weekend fishing trip to commemorate my father and fish his favorite lake.

Captain Art always encourages us to let enough line out so that, as we troll, our bait is moving along the bottom of the lake.  “That’s where the fish are,” he says.  The challenge we encounter is that there are also many rocks, logs and branches along the lakebed, so we get snagged often.  When someone’s hook or line gets caught up, the forward motion of the boat must stop; everyone must reel in before we reverse the boat to release the snag, hopefully without breaking the line and losing the tackle and bait.

This got me thinking about how often in life we find ourselves snagged on something that needs resolving, and whether people chose to stop, go back, and find and fix the issue first before continuing on, or whether they continue despite the snag and risk losing so much in the long run.

In the workplace for example, the best profit, productivity or performance is obtained  when we work in the most efficient conditions possible, just as fish are most easily obtained where it makes the most sense to troll—along the bottom. But, as with the lakebed, the workplace environment is rich with obstacles which may snag us.  However, it’s important to work in these productive areas rather than taking an easier path, because if you’re not on bottom, you’re not amongst the fish.  The most productive zones can be risky; perhaps you might find yourself caught up in something unexpected or unwanted, or in what seems like a time-waster or barrier to your success.

Becoming ‘snagged’ could mean:

  • Uncovering the need for training in a certain area of your career or for your team because times are changing and people need to be skilled to move forward.
  • An unresolved conflict between you and a coworker, customer or relative, or between two departments in an organization.
  • Finding yourself in an unexpected circumstance, and needing to come to terms with where you are and how you got there, so that you can determine the best way forward.
  • Needing to have a difficult conversation or work through uncomfortable feedback so that you can come out stronger in the end.
  • Noticing that a process is not safe for the people involved, and that better safety measures are required before proceeding.

It may seem easier to continue forward without properly unhooking yourself from a snag, but you could risk losing everything if you do so.

This metaphor of fishing close to the bottom despite the possible snags is reflected in many areas of our lives.  In business, we can become snagged often because we are moving so quickly that we are not taking the time to nurture relationships or embrace change.

When our lines get caught and we become held back, we must realize that we have a choice between two options. The first is to take a brief time-out, go backward, find the problem and fix it before we resume forward motion again.  This takes time, but in the long run, you will go faster.  The second option is not the best, but is a shortcut often taken: avoid the snag, move forward anyway, and hope that everything works out.  The problem with this option is that within it lies a bigger risk—the risk of losing respect, trust, loyalty, or possibly even a life.

Snags, therefore, are good things.  They help us see the importance of taking the time to make sure that, although we’re fishing along the bottom, our bait is poised perfectly for the greatest success.  Before you know it, you’ll hear “Fish on!” and maybe even experience a double- or triple-header—when many people in the same boat are elated to discover some real big successes hooked on the ends of their lines at the same time.

Where do you feel you’ve been snagged but haven’t yet gone back to the source to unhook yourself?

In closing, I would like honor all of the men who read my articles.  Tying these important concepts to a sport that many men can relate to is my offering this month, in addition I’ve included some photos that I think you might enjoy.

Best wishes for courage and patience to stop, reverse, and become un-snagged, so that you may move forward more efficiently in the long run, and reap an abundance of fish.

* Dedicated to Captain Art, and my father’s spirit, which calls me to be courageous.

leadership training

One’s Name is Like Music to Their Ears

I was reading through evaluations from a recent “Workplace Relationships” seminar that I delivered to the support staff at Lambton College in Sarnia.  One participant wrote “I wanted to learn how she remembered all of our names”.  I love to read good feedback, especially when it concerns ways that I can improve or things that really stood out for participants. Because of this, I have learned to value feedback and leverage it as a way to make my programs better each time I deliver them.

This brief article will teach you how to remember people’s names and the benefits of using one’s name in conversation.

During a full-day seminar, I often make time first thing in the morning for a round of introductions so that I can get acquainted with my students.  I ask them to tell me their name and something about the topic of the day—perhaps what skills they already have, or what they want to learn.  After everyone has introduced themselves, I go back through all of their names, repeating each name out loud to make sure that I have remembered each person correctly.  Participants get so excited that I am able to remember so many names in such a short period of time, even in groups of 50-60 attendees or more.

Later, during the “Active Listening” section of my presentation, I refer to my morning ritual of going around the room during the brief introduction process, and then ask people how they felt having their name remembered.  Their responses are “important”,  “valued”, “like you really care”, “that you are present”, and that they have felt “an immediate connection”.

The lesson to take away from this is the importance of listening with laser-like focus when someone is talking, and restating that person’s name or another key piece of information that makes them realize you were listening.  The result of remembering and using your listeners’ names is an instant rapport builder, and a good foundation for great relationships!

People sometimes ask me how I do it. Here’s how:

Step 1: Actively listen for the name of the person you are addressing, and repeat it either to yourself or out loud. We often completely miss names because we aren’t focused on hearing them.  If you miss it, ask for it again.  People will be glad that you are interested enough to get it right.  If it’s an unusual name, pronounce it with them, so that they can help you understand it and feel confident to say it out loud.

Step 2: Associate the name with someone or something that you can easily remember.  Look for ways to match up the person’s appearance, expressions and features with their name. Here are a few examples:

Name: Suzanne

Association: I have a cousin Suzanne with the same hair colour.


Name: Chris

Association: The compassion in his conversation reminds me of Christ.


Name: Tina

Association: Her tidy appearance makes me think of a “tiny Tina”.


Name: Marcia

Association: Soft-spoken and sweet like a marshmallow—Marcia.


Name: Rick

Association: Rich Rick—rich in good morale and respect from his colleagues.


Name: Vicky

Association: Her V-neck sweater reminds me of her first letter.


That’s it!  That’s my technique. The power of connection and persuasion can be found in something as simple as using a person’s name.  Just look at local monuments, highways, bridges and buildings;  they are named after people to honour their legacies.

In my life, I have learned that someone’s name is like music to their ears.  So use people’s names often in conversations with them, and they will open up with interest to what you have to say and appreciate your song, whatever that might be—in sales, service and friendship, or even in meeting someone for the first time.

In the words of Dale Carnegie, the famous developer of self-improvement and success programs and the bestselling author of How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), “A man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Pay attention to names, practice repeating them, and use them in conversation.  You will find gold here if you dig, and you will become rich in good relationships.


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Dedicated to Cindy Harness of Lambton College in Sarnia, Ontario for inspiring this article with her curiosity about how to remember names, and her courage to write it on my evaluation form.

Love is a Verb (Team Development)

You’ve heard me talk or read my work about love in the workplace, and how relationships are key to success in business.  When we treat customers, colleagues and managers with love—respect, appreciation, quality service, etc.—relationships flourish, as do productivity, sales, co-operation and more .

Just how do you ‘love’ the people that you spend your days with—especially when you may not have chosen them to be on your team in the first place?  Is it just a feeling you either have or don’t?  Do you buy it, or earn it with service or quality work?

A way to ensure that love lands in your day, every day, is to consider ‘love’ a verb.

Love  is something you do.  It’s the small and big things: the random acts of kindness, surprises, extra support, smiles, conversations, pats on the back, compliments, patience, kind thoughts, compassion, and many other acts of doing something for someone else.

Love is the glue that bonds teams together, and clients to businesses. Love is also priceless—it does not have to cost a cent.  The currency of love is our heart energy.  We all have it, and can tap into it if we open up.

The most amazing thing about love is that the more you give out by doing for others, the more you have left for yourself.  Love is infinite. It has no limits. You never run out; love just keeps growing when you take action on it and give it away to other people.

As we near Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to shower your workplace with acts of love.  Here are some examples of bringing love into the workplace:

1.    Show a customer some special attention by telling them how important they are to your business or organization.

2.    Be open to a change in the workplace that you’ve been resisting, and tell the person who is spearheading the change that you will buy in and play full-out.

3.    Give your assistance to someone who needs help, and tell them that, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, you are offering some special support.

4.    Verbally praise, recognize, or acknowledge someone for a specific thing they do or have done that is valuable to you or the organization.

5.    Wish three people in your office a Happy Valentine’s Day, and tell them why they are so special to you.

6.    Go with the consensus of your team, even if you don’t agree with the direction.  Consensus means that everyone’s on board.  Tell the team that you’re doing it out of love or honour for the team’s goals.

7.    Hold positive thoughts about someone in the office who you know needs some T.L.C. (Tender, Loving Care) at this time.

8.    Forgive someone in your workplace who has done you wrong previously, or ask someone for forgiveness if you have been the wrong-doer, to free you both from the grudges of the past.

9.    Hold that difficult conversation that you’ve been putting off with someone, and approach it with deep listening to understand their side of the situation first.

10.    Have a group hug!

Love in the workplace is just as sweet as candy, has no calories or refined sugar, and leaves a great taste in the mouths of both the giver and the receiver long after its transference.  (Of course, chocolate is a welcomed offering as well, and can be made extra-sweet when presented with a verbal recognition or appreciation of someone.)

Please remember, every day of the year, that love is a verb.  It is something that you do, and it builds and maintains loyal relationships upon which strong business can be leveraged.

To love and be loved is like feeling the sun from both sides.  Best wishes for an amazing Valentine’s Day week!

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“When you love people, you have no time to judge them.” ~ Mother Theresa

Presents or Presence?

Presents or Presence?  What do people want?  Which will you give?

As the calendar year ends, we enter the holy season—the holidays—and magically begin to open ourselves to more giving and more receiving.  When I stop to think about the gifts that mean the most to people, I think of connection, wisdom, acceptance, understanding, compassion and love.

When we can believe in someone, see them for who they are, and understand them to a point of feeling compassion and unconditional love for them, then we can be present with them.  That is the gift that people seek beneath the materialism of good gestures: to be loved, noticed, heard, understood, and felt.

How can your presence be a gift in your world?  In your workplace?  In your home?  Who are you a gift to at this very moment in your life?  What is it that you do that makes you a gift to those people?  Please take time to contemplate your answer.  This is precisely where your presence makes all the difference in your world.  This is where you are the hope, the miracle, the blessing and the love to those who need you the most.

Paramount to being able to give these things to others, we must also be able to give them to ourselves, and receive these gifts by letting them in.  When we strive to be our best, it is a gift to those we love.  When you live in a way that gives people hope, you can inspire them too.  They may think, “If she can do that, then I can do it too”, or “If he has overcome those challenges, then I can strive harder to overcome mine.”

When we lead our own lives and strive toward the highest version of ourselves, we could be bringing even a tiny bit of light into someone else’s darkness—in the form of comfort, safety or guidance.  You may lead yourself in hopes to inspire a certain person who does not follow your lead.  Remember, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.  Don’t look for those you are not inspiring, but instead find evidence of those you are inspiring and stay motivated to walk your path of being their gift of hope, light and wisdom.  Remember that wherever you are on your path, there is someone behind you who has bigger challenges.  Be the gift of presence to that person.  Likewise, there is also someone ahead of you, and that person will most likely be a gift to you.  Receive them.

Motivation seems to come from wanting to get more. The prospect of more money, time, fame or recognition drives us to want to do what it takes to have these things, but permanent abundance and prosperity come from looking more deeply into what you can give to the world.  When asking “What can I give? How can I serve? What are my highest behaviours?”, we find more than motivation.  We find hope, determination, perseverance, and a sense of purpose.

So this season, don’t look for the gift; be the gift.  Don’t look for the light to shine on you; be the light.  Don’t look for the love; be the love.  Rather than looking for the blessing, be the blessing.  Don’t ask for hope; be the hope.  Don’t expect the miracle; be the miracle.

Give your pure presence to others.  There is no better gift.

Blessings for a wonderful Holiday season,

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