Creating Healthy Harmonious Work Teams

Help your team get an A+ by creating a harmonious work team.

Is your team poised for productive and profitable results? How about healthy and harmonious team work?

Maybe you already have a great team, working in harmony, productive and profitable. If so, congratulations. If there’s room for improvement, plan for it and make it happen.

For HR managers leading teams, plan for their success with good relationships training or support to help people play nice in the sandbox.

Plan to give them the tools when things get tough.

Plan to build bridges not silos.

Plan to work together, not separate.

Plan to create an inclusive workplace environment where everyone is contributing their best and feeling valued. None of us is as smart as all of us.

If there is even a slight chance for improvement of your team’s performance, jump on it, and help them get an ‘A’ at being top performers.  There are training grants to help Ontario employers build soft skills like those taught in Play Nice in the Sandbox workshops and keynotes.

For employees, plan to give your absolute best to the commitments you’ve made to your role. We’re in an economy where employers can’t afford anything but your best efforts. Your full engagement is critical to their success. We need employees who are willing and able to give their absolute best, everyday they’re scheduled to work, on-time, focused, clear and clean… and there is a global market competing for those jobs. Plan to follow your leaders with consensus and support, and there’s a good chance you’ll be one of those leaders of an organization in the not too distant future.

Together you can create a healthy and harmonious work team, be competitive and be profitable with good planning.

Best wishes for an incredible new year ahead and remember, your greatest leadership day starts here!

inspirational speaker, self help author

Engage and Retain Millennials (Employees)

Having just come off Small business week, I’ve heard from many employers that their biggest struggle is finding skilled people, motivated people and people who want to stick around. In the human resources industry, Millennials In The Workplace has been the common theme of training and education to engage and retain them … as they’re now the largest population in the workforce this year.

Click here to watch my new video on this hot topic.

I see this as a double whammy for employers.  A worker shortage, compiled with a large population of workers who think quite differently than their older colleagues.

So … What to do about it?  Here’s my hottest tip:

Create an inclusion based culture 

Yes, there are competing interests between generations in the workplace.

Yes, there are demands and desires of the younger workers that are diametrically opposed to their senior counter parts, but guess what?

That’s ok.  It isn’t right or wrong.  It doesn’t have to be black or white.  We have different generations, different personality styles, different ethnic backgrounds, different morals, different values but so what?  Why do we seek ‘same’ in a workplace culture with such differences?

Inclusion based culture is about: 
– Listening to your team’s different perspectives
– Placing value on that feedback
– Benefiting from it

It’s about achieving a new way of thinking, and your whole team, inclusively, has the best answer for what’s best for the culture of their workplace.

I’ve got lots of ideas, based on tons of research on the topic, and so I’ve created an interactive program called “Engaging and Retaining Millennials, but honestly, it could be called “Engaging and Retaining Anyone” because when you really look at the solution, we’re different people who all want the similar things.

There’s your hot tip!  Create an inclusion based culture, where everyone’s feeling engaged to dig in and play nice in the sandbox.

Call me because your greatest leadership day is with Penny Tremblay.

Success is Posture – Posture is Success

Our posture is critical to success. I’m not talking about shoulders back, chin up so much as posturing ourselves as confident, influential people who stand up for what they really believe.

In my part-time direct sales business, the word ‘posture’ is used referring to how we present ourselves and our offering in a very confident way.

In my role as a speaker / trainer on the topic of workplace relationships and conflict resolution, I often talk about posture as a personal foundation to improve one’s ability to get along with others and resolve conflict, but regardless of the industry or application, the Olympic podium upon which an athlete steps up to receive a performance medal, is a great analogy.

The bronze step is relative to where you are now in your life, career or business. The silver step would be the next level to achieve, and the gold step the absolute best performance and results possible.

For example, if I consider myself a bronze level keynote speaker today, I’m making myself aware that I could be better, and why I’m not.  This awareness is critical to improving.  I get clear on what I need to do, and be to take the step up to silver. Then repeat that same process to get the gold!

Discovery from the activity is why I’m at the bronze level, (my past performance, successes, failures and lessons learned) as well as a clear understanding of the things I need to be doing more and less of, to attain the next level.

Let’s take this to a workplace example.  The Manager of a department has reasons why they’re currently at a bronze level.  Their Posture Podium Activity might look like this:

“I’m a bronze level manager because I’ve earned this promotion, I have attended training – Play Nice in the Sandbox with Penny Tremblay – to learn how to build productive, peaceful and profitable relationships at work, I’ve approached confrontational conversations with staff when necessary, I’ve reached out for help when needed…. etc. The manager would look at the silver podium spot and list the skills, attributes and successes needed to qualify for earning that next medal on the podium, and likewise for the gold.

Now here’s the real magic.  The distance between bronze, silver and gold on our podium is our own posture!  Our real Work is internal. Compiled with diligent action, accumulated experiences, client testimonials etc., advancing up the scale of success is highly influenced by the belief we have in ourself.

For example, I’ve seen many small business owners, especially women, undervalue themselves, their pricing, and their worth and as a result, sell themselves too short. I believe the toughest distance we need to advance on the podium is only 6 inches between our ears.  It’s a mental shift, a new a mental space to move into.  But … It’s not ego.  It’s not thinking that you’re better than you are, or better than others.  It’s being real, and humble about all that you are, and knowing the work ahead of you to become that world class performer.  Without the mental shift, you won’t step up on the podium.

Own the decisions you’ve made with great confidence.  Own who you are and who you are not and become content with them. Speak to that and know that you don’t have to justify yourself to people.  Allow yourself to be who you really want to be, and free mental state to chase that silver or gold medal that you so desire.

I’d like to invite you to have a workshop in your workplace or place of business, or a coaching activity just with you and I to improve your posturing because I can guarantee you there are people out there who think you’re way more amazing than what you’re giving yourself credit for so it’s high time just step up your posture from bronze to silver and then set your sights on gold!

My activity process to work on increasing one’s posture is an amazing investment.  *Notice my posture in that statement?  🙂

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.


Giving With No Strings Attached

‘Tis the season for giving, and there’s no better season to practice the gift of giving with no expectations.

I wrote the book on it, but I also need practice. I’ve recognized times when I am not giving unconditionally, and I have learned that we often have a motivation beyond just giving for the sake of giving. Giving with no strings attached is not as easy as one might think, but the reward is well worth the practice.

Take the following 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 expectations of return or favour – 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.

Whether it be a gift to someone special (young or old), a workplace compliment, some time to invest in a relationship, helping someone, a charitable donation etc. try giving all that you’re offering this season with an openness that allows the recipient to receive it their way, and just feel rich knowing that your gift came from the heart with no strings attached. Sounds easy, but it’s actually quite a spiritual workout.

Strings attached to giving can have many symptoms, some of which include expectations of gaining something in return (which usually leads to disappointment), judgement of how someone is responding or reacting to your gift, frustration that you’re not getting equal to or more than you’re giving.

With no attachment, I am sending you a wonderful blessing this season of Rich Relationships with all those who really matter to you, and even those whom you’ve struggled to have a healthy connection with.

Wising you inner peace, joy and contentment,

leadership training


Assumptions Cause Unnecessary Conflict

Have you noticed the word play when you break down the word “assume”?  When you assume, you make an *SS out of U and ME.

Of course, sometimes we need to assume because it’s a logical decision-making process. For instance, I assume the roads may be slippery on a frosty morning, so I’ll give myself extra time to get where I’m going.

However, I can think of a few lessons I’ve learned about assumptions: how they cause us so much unnecessary conflict, where they stem from, and how to think them through before they make an *SS out of U and ME.

Here are a couple of examples.

Early this September, I ramped up my marketing efforts and made contact with people on my prospect list. There was a period of about two weeks during which I was persistent and consistently planting seeds, but no one was getting back to me. I began to assume no one was interested. Rather than letting that assumption get me down, I just kept persisting and, in time, the seeds began to sprout.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you can relate to this feeling; if you’re not, I’m certain you can relate it to other areas of your life.

How often do we let others’ lack of engagement with us bring forward assumptions which are deeply rooted in our own fears and insecurities?

  • Maybe when someone doesn’t like or comment on a social media post, we assume they’re miffed or disinterested.
  • Maybe when we need some help and people aren’t responding, we assume no one cares.
  • Maybe when we are going through a change, we assume it’s not going to work out for the better.

The list goes on. But before we get to the next example, let’s define a few terms:

Fact: A thing that is known or proved to be true, including a statement about one’s own feelings or thoughts.

Observation: The action or process of closely observing something or someone.

Assumption: A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen without proof.

How can we apply these terms in a real-world scenario?

Fact: In the workplace, Susie competed for an internal job, and lost to Paul.

Fact: Susie felt defeated and was angry.

Observation: Over time, Susie continued to find flaws in Paul’s performance and results.

Assumption: Susie accused Paul of being less than capable.

To be closest to the truth, we need to be aware of the differences between facts and assumptions. If we can ask questions about the things we assume and play detective on our own selves to uncover the truth, we’d make less inaccurate assumptions and create less conflict in our lives and the lives of others.

Pay attention to your assumptions. Are they facts or fears? Are you letting them take you out? Are you making them mean something that doesn’t serve your best interests? Don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify motives—both yours and others’.  Asking questions is an excellent communication skill.

I’d like to assume this was helpful 🙂 But I won’t, so please message me to confirm and I may share your stories on my Facebook page.

Reboot, Reset, Recharge

Reboot, Reset, Redesign, Redefine or Recharge … We’re familiar with all of these terms as ways to return to new again.

We know that the most convenient ‘fix’ for most technologies is a reboot. To turn something off and back on again often clears out any glitch and allows for full function, but what does a ‘reboot’ mean in your personal or professional life? How can you benefit from a reset, redesign or redefinition of who you are, where you’re going and how you’ll get there?

For me, a ‘reboot’ means turning off all electronics, silencing all voices other than my inner one, and just being in the nothingness. It means being still, unavailable to others, yet connected to my source energy.

I’ve learned that my personal wellness changes with relationships that are in jeopardy but really matter to me. Add on top of that the business aspects of being an entrepreneur, and there can be a whole lot spinning, with very little traction. Often I need to reboot, reset, refuel and recharge. I can do this in nature, in silence, by myself, or with someone who helps me refocus. When I take the time out, then return to task, I feel clear and can focus, re-engage and gain traction on what I’m doing. You might be saying “I already know that”, but do you do it?

On the subject of time management, I’ve always said that one hour of uninterrupted time is equivalent to eight hours of interruptions considering the level of productivity that we can achieve with laser focus. So too is the power of nothingness for our refueling of energy. A reboot for ourselves—like our technology—is needed more often than we think, because we have so much going on in our minds.

If we want to regenerate our ways of being, we need to escape the busy-ness and find our stillness. If we want to be creative, we need a space for our creativity to stir up new ideas. Quiet, still downtime is effective. Fitness, fun and fresh air are tools to help us overcome overwhelming periods and lift our spirits.

Sometimes doing nothing is doing everything.

August is a time of renewal for me. Not only is it my birthday and a time that I think about my upcoming busy season and what I want to redesign for the year ahead, but it’s also the closing of the summer months that I need to use for rest and relaxation. I definitely want to make sure I’ve had some down time and created some space for my creativity to soar.

We are in the habit of recharging our devices, but are we in the habit of recharging ourselves? How could you benefit by adjusting your routine to recharge or reset? Plug in and expect a fresh, new, clear and clean outlook of where you are, why you desire what you want, and what you need to do to live it.

If you’re too busy to reboot, reset or recharge, you’ll definitely want to read my last leadership tip, Too Busy first, then … reboot as prescribed. 🙂

If working tirelessly then resting interests you, you’ll love this private mentoring program:

5 Days of Private Resort Session – Become your personal best for a lifetime!

Are You Sleeping With Your Co-Workers?

Are You Sleeping With Your Co-Workers?

Sounds like a crazy question, but conflict with co-workers often have a way of creeping into other aspects of our personal and professional lives. We think about the conflicts while we’re on the job, stuck in traffic and resting at home, and the next thing you know, the disruptive conversations in our minds are playing out in the shower, in the bedroom, and in the most private places of our lives. How do we stop taking our coworkers into the shower and into bed in our minds?

I’m going to give you three tips, and some theory.

The nature of conflict is that it percolates inside us like a hot drink. It gets stronger and stronger the more it percolates, and we get more heated, agitated and aggravated as we continue to focus on the problem. We think about co-workers as villains, we feel victimized, and soon enough we’re caught in a whirlwind of thoughts that steal our precious time away from more productive and peaceful thinking.

Tip #1: It’s important to be aware when we find ourselves needlessly spending energy in such a whirlwind of problems and challenges.

Employees spend, on average, 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict. That’s $359 billion dollars of hours paid, or 385 million working days lost. Conflict is popular.

There’s a huge personal cost for conflict as well, including sleepless hours, stress, and not being present for the tasks and relationships that we enjoy most. So there are actually two conflicts at play: one related to workplace issues, and another related to our own inner struggle with the conflict.

I love the teaching of an old Cherokee legend that speaks of a fight between two wolves as a metaphor for the conflict inside each of us.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Tip #2: When we’re aware of negative thoughts and feelings about a situation, we can choose something different.

If we’re choosing to remain in a cycle of conflicting thoughts about our co-workers, we need to ask ourselves what we’re getting out of it. Some of the answers you’ll find in the characteristics of the first wolf. We’re nurturing our need to stay angry, envious, sorry, regretful, greedy, arrogant, guilty, resentful, inferior, dishonest, with low esteem, or above others with a big ego. But what are we getting out of it? This is a great contemplation if you’re stuck in such a cycle.

Tip #3: We need to feed ourselves with food for our mind and spirit that will fill our beings with the characteristics of the other wolf.

We need to do things where we find joy, peace, and love. We need to read about or find hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith in the circumstances that already surround us.

Although these tips don’t even begin to scratch the surface of shifting the conflict in the workplace, they do everything to shift how the conflict affects YOU. You don’t have to carry issues with you. You can feel joy, peace, love, hope etc. and still be angry with a circumstance that is unresolved. The real question is which approach do you feed the most?

What thoughts do you want to take home? Shower with and sleep with? Blessings for peace, no matter what the circumstances. With a peaceful mind, you can conquer all that needs your attention when the time is right.

Although the strategy is simple, it’s not easy. I’d be happy to help.

leadership training

Dedicated to the employees at Pioneer Ridge in Thunder Bay, and the Alderville First Nations Health Centre, who inspired me to write this article and share with all of you.


Speed Wobbles

Honouring Ourselves Through Misalignment

As I was driving out to a meeting one dark and snowy evening at a speed of 90 km/h, my Jeep Wrangler, “Ruby”, began to wobble. I became nervous because she’d never done that before, and I was afraid of her breaking down completely on this cold night. I slowed down, geared down and she steadied. Whew! I drove further for a few kilometers and sped up again to reach the speed limit, and again Ruby began to wobble, so I had to shift back down and continue at a much slower pace.

Traffic was on my tail, impatiently swerving to find an opportunity to pass me. I began to feel the pressure of the other drivers’ impatience, and I acknowledged the responsibility I was feeling because of it, even though a slower, steadier pace was right for me at the time. I also found it very hard to watch others pass me, like a transport did as we climbed uphill—“OMG, are you kidding me?!”—while I was slow but steady. Others were passing me by and it was bugging me.

I graciously learned two lessons from the speed wobbles that I’d like to share with you.

The first has to do with the concept of moving slower than the posted speed limit. Sometimes, the standards set by others don’t suit us in our current situation or circumstances, and it’s okay to slow down or produce below those standards so we can remain in motion, but in a steady fashion. Better than maintaining an unsafe speed and crashing! Slow and steady can still win the race. This is true in many aspects of our lives: our spiritual, mental and physical health; our relationships at home and at work; our finances, careers and education. There’s a desired pace and then there’s our pace. They don’t always align. Sometimes we may have to be, do, or have less to accomplish more in the end.

Sometimes we have to allow others to move ahead of us, let them lead us, take care of us, or eat their dust while we regain our balance, but we’ll catch up. It’s not necessarily about ‘time’, but more about ‘timing’. Although we don’t want to wait for anything anymore, we certainly don’t want to watch our family, friends, and colleagues move ahead without us any more than we want to slow them down.

The second lesson I learned from the speed wobbles was how I was affected under the pressures of others’ impatience with my slow pace. What makes their pace more important to me than my needs? Why do I allow the pressures of others to cause me stress when I’ve willingly or unwillingly chosen slow and steady as my temporary path? We honour ourselves by considering our needs before the needs of others, especially when we’re wobbling—a sign that we’re out of alignment. We need to focus our concern on our own need to heal, balance or realign, and not concern ourselves about what others think. They’ll understand and respect us for respecting ourselves. We just need to be honest, vulnerable, and able to talk about these things to those who may show impatience to us. If it’s a passing vehicle giving you the finger—well, that’s where they’re at, not where you’re at, so let them keep their frustration, and you keep your confidence.

Slower than standard is not a place to stay, but sometimes we need to back off or gear down from a pace that’s not right for us so that we can realign and rejoin the race and pace of champions. Don’t ever be afraid to take speed for a road test. There may not be any wobbles at all.

Who would have thought there’d be such rich lessons in the speed wobbles?

Need a speed test,  tune up or check up?  Call an expert.  Call me!  You can be sure that I’ll help you or the whole team gain a steady pace.

Dedicated to Rachel W. and Cheryl V. You’ve both inspired me tremendously.

Rejection is a Great Gift

How can rejection be a great gift? I’m going to tell you but first, a quick example.

In May 2014, my book Give and Be Rich was published and made available for purchase through bookstores, my website, and speaking engagements. One additional avenue for distribution that I have keenly sought ever since is a greeting card and gifting service called SendOutCards. This is a vision I’ve had since long before the book was published; it’s something I’ve asked for hundreds of times in person and in prayer. I have endured the rejection of my requests, yet I’ve kept on asking.

I’ve recently received news that my patience and perseverance have been rewarded!  SendOutCards will make Give and Be Rich available as a gift to be shipped with a card to anywhere in the world—a dream come true for me! Thousands of customers and distributors use this service to send appreciation and build both relationships and business by reaching out in kindness—a philosophy that compliments Give and Be Rich perfectly. My distribution channels have just multiplied by the thousands.

So what does this mean to you?

How many times do you ask for something in business or in life without receiving a favorable response?

Maybe you’re asking for a prospect to take a look at your product or service.
Maybe you’re asking for a client to come on board and trust that you’re capable to help them get what they want.
Maybe you’re working in an office and asking colleagues to trust in you or your potential. Maybe you want a new job or promotion.
Maybe there’s someone or something in your personal life that you want to have or be a certain way. In any case, you may not get the favorable answer you’re looking for the first time you ask—or the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth time, but you get my point here: never give up on your dreams! Rejection can be your greatest gift.

If what you’re chasing is worth it for you, and if you really want it that much, push through the rejection! Persist. Don’t give up. Don’t let your fear of being rejected stand in the way of staying true to all that you desire. This may be a challenge, so reach out for help when necessary.

Make what you want more prevalent in your mind than how you feel at the time of rejection or loss. Stay focused on your goal.

Here are the most important lessons I’ve learned from receiving a ‘yes’ after hearing ‘no’ so many times:

When I experience rejection, my emotions act first, telling me that “I’m not good enough, worthy, as talented as others, or capable of being and playing at the top of my field.” This is all just FEAR—False Experiences Appearing Real.

After allowing my emotions to subside, I can revisit and assess the situation more clearly from all angles—especially in areas where I can take responsibility for creating a new circumstance. I can use this as an opportunity to grow, learn, and refine my inner beliefs and the skills required to become better.

When I act based on a clearer understanding of the situation, I am able to dig deeper and find better and more creative solutions than I could the first time around, resulting in a win-win outcome for everyone involved.  What a gift!

Here’s a challenge for you to put past rejection to work in your personal development.

Step 1: Think about a time when you faced rejection that you haven’t yet resolved in a positive way. Reexamine the details of the rejection to form a clearer perspective of all factors of the situation.

Step 2: Figure out what you can do to grow, learn, and refine areas of your life or career so that the rejection ends up being a step up for you. Remind yourself of your desired end result—your goal or dream—by putting it in writing or placing a note on your vision board to see the result manifesting itself before your eyes. Believe that it’s possible.

Step 3: Take action again. Ask again. Attempt to do so from a more creative angle than the last time you tried. Bring your new and improved self to the table. Repeat as necessary.

May you create abundance for yourself over this holiday season and into the new year, may your dreams be more prevalent in your mind than how you feel at the time of rejection or loss and may rejection be turned into a great gift for you.

Happy and safe holidays to all,

leadership training


Another useful link about rejection: