When Sweet Relationships Go Sour

It even happens to me. The sweetest, most delicate and important relationships can go sour, just like that. This can be emotionally crushing. From my experience, here’s my top 3 ideas on what you can do about it. Watch the Video

Take the High Road – Act in your highest possible way; a way that you won’t regret later. It’s difficult, and it’s a lonely place, so reach out to people who’ll help you stay on the high road, not to people who’ll keep you spinning in negativity. You’ll benefit by professional help. I did.

Know What’s Yours and What’s Not – Because there are two or more people involved, and you’re only in control of one of them, you have to know what’s yours, and what’s not.

– What you’ve contributed to the issue,
– What your responsibility is to yourself and the other person,
– and what you need to do about that part.

The rest is theirs, and you have no control over that, but I guarantee you if you spend your energy fixing yourself, you’ll be miles ahead in your relationship potential. Often when you fix your thinking, and the problems fix themselves. So there’s your Work. Fix your own thinking, take responsibility for your part, be humble and vulnerable. Try to see it from all people’s perspectives, and allow others the freedom to have their own viewpoint. Their viewpoint is not right or wrong … It just is what it is. Let go of the need to control others, and do your own Work.

When in conversation about the conflict or issues, rather than defending yourself, (you don’t need to defend who you on the high road), listen to the other person(s) and let you know you heard them. Don’t judge. You’ll never be perfect and neither will others. Don’t make people wrong. As long as you’re making people wrong, there can be no connected relationship.

Have Faith – I learned while going through some tough years of being disconnected from someone so extremely important to me, to stop holding on so tight. Someone suggested that I let it go so that God could pick it up. I never forgot that. That became my Work. Having faith that if I held the intention of what I wanted, and let go of the need to control the timing, that it would happen just the way it’s supposed to.

And so I did, and it was hard, and I waited a long time, and I loved anyway, and I shared my most painful emotions with my closest circle of people, and I cried and yearned for things to be better but it took what seemed like an eternity of waiting. In those times I learned about the fragility of relationships. Of how quickly something so sweet could go sour, and I wept, but I also grew. I expanded and I became stronger and more resilient. Today, I have that person back in my life, and he’s precious like the greatest most fragile and valuable gift in the world. Have faith!

You can’t always mend a broken relationship, but there’s no such thing as a failed one if you learn the lessons from the tumultuous times. Find your lessons. Whether its workplace or business relationships, family or friends, cherish what you have and when sweet relationships go sour, take the high road, know what’s yours and have faith. If I can help, it would be my absolute pleasure because sweet relationships are worth investing in.

Remember, your greatest leadership day is with Penny Tremblay!  705-358-3396

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



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.



What does International Women’s Day mean for you?

March 8th every year is International Women’s Day, where the focus ranges from generalities of respect, love and appreciation to social, economical and political advancement of women.  What does this mean for YOU?

Gentlemen, today is another day like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day where you can make a special effort to show the women in your life how grateful you are for them.  As well, in the workplace, you can honor the special skill set that women bring.  Consider these points:
•    Women are more intuitive and bring in all points of view, which allows for more collaboration and ultimately, win/win situations: an essential skill in today’s complex working environment.
•    Values are more empathic from a woman’s perspective, especially when conflicts between work and life appear, women tend to be more supportive.
•    Fostering a stronger support system, women tend to be solid networkers who help each other out, assist and support more than men do.

One of the most prevalent weaknesses of women in the workplace is their lack of confidence in their ability.  Gentlemen, here lies your opportunity to leverage the woman power in your life and your workplace.  Compliment them with genuine examples of how their intuition, values or support makes your world a better place.  Be specific with your examples, and celebrate with them.  By doing this, you will be tapping in your own feminine energy, which is an important balance to your masculine self.

Ladies, today is the day to reflect on the special women in your life who have helped you get to where you are today.  Reach out and verbally share your gratitude.  In prayer, in words, in a hand written note, a card, an email, text, blog post, facebook post,  twitter feed … Honor the amazing acts of feminine heroism that has been the wind beneath your wings, and also, honor yourself.

I will never forget the words of my baby nurse, Anne Smith when I delivered my first child.  “Isn’t it amazing how giving birth changes who we are as women?”  From that moment onward, day after day, my feelings of being a woman have grown stronger.

To my Mom, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, sister-in-laws, nieces, daughters, colleagues, coaches, energy healers, mid-wife, nurses and audience … thank you.  I wouldn’t even be one tenth of who I am today without your love, lessons and support.

Happy Women’s Day!!

a)    Our Canadian theme for IWD, 2013 is Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence against Women 
b)    My charity of choice is the Nipissing Transition House.  Donations are appreciated.  Read more about how you can help.
c)    More research and video from



Settle Your Own Disputes

Giving and Receiving takes many forms in life.  We give time, money, support and many other efforts to many different people, and by universal law, we receive on some level back in a dynamic exchange.

No matter how good your intentions are, and how hard you try to give your best, sometimes, disputes arise.  Making the time to resolve them is difficult, because it doesn’t feel good to resolve conflict, it re-hashes old wounds and our emotions can get the best of us.  Yesterday I heard a Judge say to a plaintiff and a defendant, after hearing both sides of their case, “If you can settle your own disputes then you can control your own destiny”.  What a powerful statement.  Through making an effort to communicate with those you are in dispute with, to reach a resolution and put the past behind you, you free up energy to move forward, thus achieving more of what you want, rather than being stuck where you don’t want to be.  Take control of your own destiny, and make time to settle your disputes, whatever size they may be, they are holding you back from greener pastures.

Penny Tremblay

Workplace Relations – Building Positive, Productive and Profitable Relationships
with Keynotes, Seminars & Workshops


Do You Talk Too Much?

Have you ever been cornered by an excessive talker?  A “Chatty Cathy”? You know, the ones who ramble on and on, offering too much information about something that doesn’t even concern you? I’m often asked, “How do you escape these situations, and how do you correct this kind of behaviour?”

There are two important points to keep in mind:

(1) Separate the person  – a friend or co-worker, for example – from the problem – excessive talking. They are two different things.  When you can make this distinction, you can have hope in the situation.

(2) Your role is to correct this behaviour where it concerns you.

When confronted with a Chatty Cathy or Babbling Bob, wait until you can get a word in edgewise, and let the talker know that you have other priorities or commitments and can no longer listen.  You may have to interrupt them, because some excessive talkers don’t leave any gaps in the conversation.  If the chatter’s topic is of a personal nature, ask them to hold off on the casual conversation until lunchtime, or to stay after work to discuss the issue.  They will realize that your priority is your job, and your boss will, too.

Another strategy is to physically move toward a new location.  As you guide your talker out of your office or cubicle –  perhaps to the printer, the bathroom,  the water cooler, or to take out the trash, you are taking control of the situation.  Whatever changes the situation and circumstance will help you escape.  But wait – what if your talker waits until you return to continue their one-sided conversation? In this case, it may be time to change the behaviour.

When excessive talking becomes a chronic problem, someone needs to step up to the plate and tell Chatty Cathy that her bad habit is not gaining her any respect. This kind of feedback takes courage, in giving and receiving. Nevertheless, with good intentions, I encourage people to provide this feedback to others when necessary, in a kind and considerate way. What have you got to lose? Worst-case scenario, they decide never to talk to you again. While that would technically solve your problem, you would both be passing on an opportunity to grow as people and begin to communicate more effectively.

Read more on this topic in my August article, “Do You Talk Too Much?” at

Approaching a difficult conversation

A question I get regularly, “What do I say to a bad boss?”
First, separate the person from the problem. It’s not the leader that is bad, it is their behaviour that needs improvement (in your opinion).
Start by visualizing a positive result, and that good intention locked into your mind will bring the right words to you.
Use ‘I’ statements, rather than ‘You’ statements.
Right way: I feel that … The way I see this situation is … I notice … I wonder if …. I was thinking that …
Wrong way: You always … You never … Because of you … Your leadership style causes …
Read more about mastering the conflict conversation at

Anti-bullying strategies for the workplace

Bullying in the workplace is identified as repeated acts or verbal comments intended to intimidate, offend, degrade, hurt or humiliate a individual or group of people either mentally or physically.  Usually there is an assertion of power from those who bully, onto their victims.

Some examples could include spreading malicious rumours or gossip, excluding one socially, intimidating, undermining or impeding one’s work, threatening or carrying out physical abuse, removing responsibility without cause, setting up a person to fail with impossible deadlines, constant changing of working guidelines or withholding necessary information or misinformation.  Using language, tone or jokes that are offensive, invading ones privacy, tampering with work equipment, criticism and undue punishment … unfortunately, the list goes on.

Strategies to foster a supportive workplace are important to nip these behaviours for the benefit of all involved with the company.  Empower your team to treat each other with respect, and educate them to know what your workplace policy is, and the repercussions for this detrimental behaviour.  Do not ignore problems or delay in their resolution.

If you have these types of behaviour problems in your workplace, or want to avoid them altogether, perhaps a learning session on this subject will be an important preventative measure.