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

Create a New You

Are you ‘living the dream’?  Do you jump out of bed to dive into your awesome day?  We’re just one thought away from living at the top of our game.  The thought of believing you can, believing you’re able, capable and deserving.  You’re never to old to recreate yourself.  Have you ever thought ‘I need a new me’? … you can create a new you.

I love nature’s lessons.  Here is one I came across that I thought was amazing.  It’s about the Eagle, and how it transforms itself later in life, to be new again.

When eagles get older and weak because of worn out feathers, which slow down flight speed and manoeuvres, the eagles retire away in the rocks and will pluck all their old feathers until it is completely bare. It waits until a new set of feather grows and comes out of his body. It stays in the hiding place until all the new feathers comes back to make it fly dynamically and royally again without much effort or toil. This happens at about the age of 30. What happens is that when the eagles reach the age of 30, their physical body condition deteriorates fast making it difficult for them to survive. What is really interesting is that the eagle never gives up living, instead retreats to a mountain top and over a five month period goes through a metamorphosis. It knocks off its own beak by banging it against a rock, plucks out its talons and then feathers. Each stage produces a regrowth of the removed body parts, allowing the eagle to live for another 30 – 40 years, regaining its full potential.  Source

We can decide to reinvent ourselves and return to our full potential, or create a whole new life.  Transformation is within our reach, and similar to the five months that the mature eagle spends, can happen quickly.  Who would you be if you could reinvent your career or personal life?  Eagles symbolize power, freedom, beauty, bravery, courage, honour, pride, determination and grace.  Let their ways be an inspiration to you.

Another remarkable story is Jenni Byrne, a young woman from Eastern Ontario, recognized today as Ottawa’s most powerful woman, who left nursing school without graduating to rise to become the ultimate alpha in a political environment dominated by middle aged men with advanced degrees.

As I pack my suitcase and briefcase for Harvard Law School’s program Advanced Mediation, I am including my own beauty, bravery, courage, honour, pride, determination and grace.  I’m reinventing myself, but I’m keeping all my feathers of Workplace Relationships training, because they’re still young, current, awesome and shifting lives.  I’m just adding to the toolbox.

Wishing you lots of great thoughts, especially the thought of believing in yourself.


Dig In and Be Rich


It’s human nature to want to come out big—to present ourselves as larger-than-life in conversations, relationships, and success.

However, in order to come out big, we have to go in first, even though our instincts tell us otherwise.

In one of my keynotes, I talk about going in big before you can come out big, and the concept of expanding on the inside first before you can become big on the outside.

Take, for example, my favorite golfer—my son—who wants to send the golf ball as far as possible down the fairway and into the hole with the least number of strokes.  To do this, he needs to come out big off the tee.  His first motion, however, is not toward the hole.  Instead, he draws his club into a full backswing, only then bringing it forward in a more powerful way to connect with the ball and drive it much further than if he’d just teed up and swung forward.

Those of you who play the game of golf will also agree that the toughest six inches of the course are between your ears.  It’s your mental game that holds your physical game together.

Regardless of what you wish to become better at, before you can come out in full swing, you need to consider the ways that you need to go in first.

Let’s say you want to come out big during a workplace meeting.  You’d naturally think that you have to come out with the right words that appeal to the meeting’s audience.  But what if you shifted your approach to go in first?  What if you started by listening to what people want, taking in their thoughts and feelings, and then coming out with something relevant to their input?  Do you see how you’d engage their interests more effectively and have more influence?

Going in before coming out can also resolve conflict.  When dealing with conflict, our natural instinct is to win—to place blame or find fault with the other party involved. That’s your ego wanting to be right and to protect you, but it’s not always the shortest path to resolve.  Rather than coming right out with your need to place blame and find fault, you could go in the opposite direction: you could go in and take responsibility for yourself.  What did you bring to the conflict?  If the conflict within you was triggered by someone else’s actions, it could be a mirror for you to see something within yourself that is unresolved.

Dig in, get messy, and find out for yourself.  Explore the connection between what’s happening today and how it relates to something in your past.  See what you need to see, own what’s yours, and come out with cleaner hands, bigger and more powerful on the outside than had you not challenged your natural instincts first.

Going inward to develop first on the inside is the only way to come out with your full swing in life.  What would happen if you used this strategy to gain more inner expansion, power, and clarity for yourself before coming out swinging?

Dig in, and be rich in all the ways that really matter.


p.s.  I’d like to dedicate this article to Henry Brunton, for his dedication to Jr. Golf Coaching

Inner Expansion allows Outward Expansion


It’s human nature to want to come out big—to present ourselves as larger-than-life in conversations, relationships, and success.  However, in order to come out big, we have to go in first, even though our instincts tell us otherwise.

In one of my keynotes, I talk about going in big before you can come out big, and the concept of expanding on the inside first before you can become big on the outside.  The lesson of inner expansion in leadership came to me by watching my favorite golfer swing, over and over again.  Dig In and Be Rich – Leadership Tip



Guided and Protected, Yet Sheltered

Preparing for a late-night walk in the rain with my dog Joy, my coat, hood and headband flashlight had made the dark, damp night feel safe.

I had been walking for almost 45 minutes before I realized  that my head was dully aching. The guiding light of my headband’s light had been bright enough to help me find my way along the dirt road and choose secure and solid steps over the uneven ground, rocks and mud puddles, but once over the rough terrain, it became a burden.  Had I been more tuned into the feeling of my skull being compressed by the headband, I would have removed it sooner.  As soon as I realized and acted upon this, I instantly regretted my earlier lack of attention; the release of the taught elastic band that secured the lamp to my forehead loosened, and I felt immediate relief, expansion and freedom.

I then removed my hood and felt a natural high as the cool breeze blew through my hair.  I began to think about how clinging to something—or someone—else’s guiding light and protection might end up sheltering me in the long run.

In my past, I held onto a guiding light: a teacher whom I felt compelled to follow along with, step by step.  Following my teacher’s light, I felt safe and protected, but it was only after our time together ended that I discovered my own way.  Without the teacher’s light, I was forced to find my own.  Without their protection, I had to be brave; to stumble, get back up, and find my own groove.  The chance to do things my own way gave me a new freedom that I had never known.  This, too, was a natural high that felt just like the sudden cool breeze blowing through my hair: refreshing, liberating, proud and abundant.

I wondered:

Why do we remain under the wings of those who’ve led us, rather than take flight on our own journey with what we’ve learned?

Where have we allowed overprotection in our lives, and how has that stifled our freedom?

What are we clinging to for safety which only holds us back from being who we really are?

When will we allow our own guiding lights to shine brighter than those without whom we thought we’d be blind?

The brilliance of others can be helpful to us when balanced with our own guidance.  The protection of others can be a safe place while we strengthen ourselves, but it’s not meant to be a place to curl up and hide from our own potential.

As I walked without the guiding light and hooded protection, I saw the night sky, the moon and the stars and realized that unsheltered and untethered  is where my true freedom is.

Best wishes for your steps to freedom,

leadership training


Penny Tremblay is the Director of the Tremblay Leadership Center, an international speaker, author, trainer and mentor with more than 20 years experience on the subject of business relationships. Her work has been published internationally for over ten years in online and offline publications, books and audio products.  Her new book, Give and Be Rich will help you tap the circle of abundance in early 2014.  Penny lives in Northern Ontario where she loves to balance family, career and time for spiritual self-mastery.


Opening the Soul for Business

Last week I was eating Chinese food in a little restaurant on Spadina Avenue in Toronto with my good friend and fellow author, Barry Spilchuk.  I was speaking to him about being snagged  (previous article explains how to best deal with snags) in my personal development because I realized that I was hooked onto something massive.  I had received some uncomfortable feedback which had created a huge disturbance within me. Because of it I was contracted, uptight and upset, and just really wanted to get through it. 

Being the great friend he is, he listened, understood, and could relate my situation to similar times in his life.  We all need friends like this—people we can lean on when we’re not seeing clearly.  Barry suggested a book to me by writing on a napkin:  The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer.  I bought it the very next day, an am in the process of reading it. 

The inspiration for my article this month came from the realization of my snag this summer, my encounter with Barry, and the first few chapters of this book; implementing the amazing work of my journey towards inner freedom by staying open to everything.

I’ve realized that a snag is stored energy, no matter what kind of snag it is, and that it’s very hard work to continue to fight against it, work around it, or keep it locked down inside.

I know for sure that being open has made this the absolute best summer of my life. 

I encourage you to take some time to read and contemplate my latest article, Are you open for business?, and remove what’s closing off your ability to receive the abundance that life has to offer.

Invest in this rich information, and be fully open for business.



Set Boundaries for Yourself and Others

Are you frustrated about other people not living up to your expectations?  Let’s take that thought of everyone else being the problem, and turn it inward.  Are you frustrated about not living up to your expectations?  This is a common issue that people want resolved.  Start by shifting yourself, and watch others magically fall into line.

Let’s start with boundaries.  For the next few days, observe your compliance to boundaries?

For example, are you wishy-washy when it comes to making decisions or following rules?   When you say ‘no’, does it mean no? or does it mean maybe, we’ll see how I feel at the time?  Do you abide by the speed limit, stop signs and distracted driving laws?  What about time boundaries? Are you consistently late?  Do time boundaries hold firm with you or are they loose?  Does your time-management get away from you often?

After observing your behavior toward how you obey boundaries you will see where the slack is.  Your non-compliance is bothering you, which is why you are seeing examples of it in other people.  Also, those you lead are being improperly influenced by your lack of setting and maintaining firm boundaries.

There are times that we need to be flexible, and times when we need to be firm.  Safety requires tight boundaries, where dealing with the emotions of people could require us to be more flexible.

A perfectly tuned instrument makes beautiful music because it is not too tight and not too loose.  So too can you live with better harmony with a firm but fair balance using boundaries to guide you more beautifully toward your highest self-expectations.

When others see you respecting yourself with boundaries, they instinctively respect you as well. Read my article this month, Set Boundaries and Be Rich.



Honouring a Leader

We lost one of the world’s great human beings, July 16th, 2012. Stephen Covey’s impact on the world is said to be “incalculable” and his influence will continue to touch the lives of millions of people for many years.

Stephen was a mentor to me; his teachings are reflected in so much of my written material and curriculum that I don’t think I ever deliver a training session, keynote speech or mentoring session without mentioning his name and recommending his books.

One of the activities from his wildly successful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I remember vividly as one that shifted me permanently.  He asks you to sit quietly and imagine you are at a funeral, sitting at the back of the church.  Watching your friends, family, colleagues and community members enter the church you come to a growing awareness that it is YOUR funeral.  Four people stand up to deliver a eulogy about you: one from your family, one of your friends, one from your workplace and one from your community.  What would you want them to say about you?  Write it down, and then live your life that way.

On the fundamental principal that the most important thing is to get a clear understanding of what your life is about, and create a personal mission statement, Covey also taught about mastering interdependence, (relationships with others) and how to use your time very effectively.

Dr. Stephen Covey founded the Covey Leadership Center, which merged with Franklin Quest in 1997 to form FranklinCovey Co, a company famous for their day planners & time management tools to help people get organized & productive.

Only in his 79th year, he died from complications of a brain injury after falling from his bicycle.  This certainly teaches all of us that we do not have time to waste.  Life is fragile, and can end at any minute.  How do you want to spend it? Plan it, and live it every day.

I chose Covey as a mentor, because I saw him as a man who was truly who he said he was, on and off stage.  His mission was not to entertain people, rather to really make a difference, and he lived it himself.  He was consistent with his message in his personal and professional life, which proves the power in personal planning.

May you make time to plan and stay true to your mission,


I invite you to learn more about this amazing man, and to internalize his wonderful work in his books:

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (which sold more than 20 million copies in 38 languages)
  • First Things First
  • Principle-Centered Leadership
  • The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
  • The 3rd Alternative


The Riches of Authenticity

“I believe that communication is the most important leadership skill that one can possess for success in business,” I shared with Robin, the CEO of a successful Canadian-wide franchise.  Robin has experience working in many different companies and countries around the world.

I asked him, “In your opinion, what is the most important leadership quality?”

“Authenticity,” he said.

“Authentic leaders create environments where exceptional performance is nurtured through honest, intelligent and sincere communications.  The very best in people is brought out not through fear of consequences but through a desire to achieve.  This is best accomplished, in my experience, where the leadership agenda is all about engaging with genuine candor.  It’s pretty simple really.  Our goal as leaders is to get talented people totally focused on the work at hand and not waste time with the distractions of politics and  implied messages.  Once leadership authenticity takes root, people stop looking over their shoulder and become energized around moving the business forwards – not looking backwards.”

Authenticity is paramount in personal and professional leadership, and in order to exercise it, communication skills are key.  I learned a deeper lesson in leadership from Robin, and I am grateful to pass it onto you.

You can learn more about The Authentic Leader in my November Leadership Tip at

Best wishes for an amazing November,



Cooperation vs. Competition

Here is another excerpt from my new book, I Give and Grow Rich, An Inspiring Guide to Circulating Abundant Wealth.

Cooperation vs. Competition

People in the workplace environment don’t always want to share their knowledge since they feel threatened. They feel that knowledge is power, and that they become more powerful by withholding all of their knowledge.

Nothing could be more detrimental to one’s career.

Knowledge is not meant to be hoarded. Those that do hoard do so under the false pretense that it makes them a better leader, but in reality, they are actually demonstrating a lack, limitation, and scarcity mentality, based on their fear that there is not enough knowledge for everyone.

How powerful will you be when you can share your information to build other leaders around you?

How important will you be to your organization when you can coach people toward better skills and influence and inspire them to perform to the best of their abilities?

People are often stuck in dead-end career positions because of their lack of ability to lead others.

Don’t hold back or keep secrets that could help someone else. You have experience that you can offer to others. Teach it to them. You have resources that others can use; pass on that knowledge so others can benefit.

Be the company’s biggest cheerleader, encouraging and empowering people to grow. When one person wins, we all do.

Always focus on cooperation versus competition in the workplace and beyond.


Cooperation like love and friendship is something you get by giving. ~Napolean Hill