Category: Uncategorized

If You’re a Witness to Bullying or Harassment: 5 Tips

96% have experienced disrespectful behaviour in the workplace (Statistics Canada; The Cost of Bad Behavior, Christine Pearson and Christine Porath; The University of Phoenix).

We were thrilled to be recently asked by Kenaidan Contracting, a proud Equal Opportunity Employer, to design a workshop, Respectful Workplace, for all its employees.  From the get-go, we recognized that although we needed to talk about diversity and sexual harassment, a Respectful Workplace is a much more complex topic.

Our first step was to interview several savvy HR professionals about their experiences, whether firsthand or reported incidents. In conducting our research, we asked questions such as:

  1. What is a respectful workplace?
  2. What are respectful vs. disrespectful behaviours?
  3. Why do they occur?
  4. How can one respond if a target or if a witness?
  5. What can every employee do to build a respectful workplace?

The question that was the most challenging was “What you can do if you’re a witness?”. Research shows that regrettably, most witnesses ignore, minimize or distance themselves from these situations.

If you observe disrespectful behaviours happening to someone in your workplace, here are 5 tips:

  1. Document any situation involving disrespectful behaviours such as bullying, cyberbullying, verbal abuse, threats, physical violence or sexual harassment.
  2. Tell the offender that the behaviour is not appropriate or acceptable; be assertive.
  3. Offer the target your support; encourage him/her to take action.
  4. Coach the target about how to address this situation.
  5. Go with him/her to speak to the offender and to HR, as appropriate.

Deb Fillippe, VP of Human Resources at Kenaidan Contracting says this about CORE’s Respectful Workplace workshop:

“The workshop created a renewed awareness and energy around this topic within our organization,  particularly about the role of the witness.”

If you are keen to learn more about to support a respectful workplace, or would like to discuss our Respectful Workplace workshop, please contact me at (905) 990-2515 or  

Craving Something Different?

Remember how at the beginning of the summer, you planned to dive into some leadership webinars, articles and blogs? Kudos if you’ve made progress!  With 5 weeks left until Labour Day, would you like to focus on something more personal?

If yes, order an inspiring and engaging book: “Love Your Life to Death”, by Yvonne Heath. This is an outstanding opportunity to accelerate the clarity, purpose and commitment in your life. The questions Yonne Heath poses, especially about death, are thought-provoking:

  • “What if you had to choose between a shorter life with great quality or a longer life, with less quality? Which would you choose?”
  • “What’s on my bucket list and what am I waiting for?”
  • “What do you believe about life and death?”

Lloyd Robertson calls it “A compelling narrative on navigating life through to its final passage.”

If you want to live your life more fully and authentically, order “Love Your Life to Death” at:  or

And please share your reactions with me!

How Engaged Are You at Work?

7 Questions

As we ring in the New Year full of goals, hopes and expectations, it’s a great time to reflect on how engaged and satisfied we are with our careers.

Do you agree with the following statements? Yes or No?

  1. I recommend my employer to others as a good place to work.
  2. I feel that I am working to my potential in this job.
  3. I rarely think of leaving my job.
  4. I put an effort over and above what is expected of me in my role.
  5. I always speak positively about my employer.
  6. I am committed to helping my employer achieve its business goals and objectives.
  7. I enjoy helping others in their work in this organization.

If you indicated “no”to more than two statements, it’s time to take stock, rather than expecting your manager to take charge, or hoping for a stroke of luck. Do a thorough self-assessment. Develop a career plan that helps you transition into a role in which you are engaged, challenged and positive.  

This is called the “sweet spot”, the intersection of three dimensions:

What You’re Great At: using your key skills, knowledge and competencies

What You Love: focusing on what you enjoy doing and are passionate about

What Your Organization Needs: where there are plenty of opportunities to make a significant contribution to your organization’s success.

I can help you find your sweet spot. I would love to chat with you about your career or career challenges in your organization.  What career question or concern are you currently facing?

Share your comments with me at:                        (905) 990-2515

How to Encourage a Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck’s fascinating model describes a growth vs. a fixed mindset and how to recognize the characteristics of each.

As a leader, you may be asking yourself: How can I inspire a growth mindset in my team? The key is to adopt a growth mindset yourself!

Two 360 degree reports I recently debriefed reveal the difference between the two mindsets.

Robin, a senior VP of Sales received the following feedback:

  • Thinks he’s the smartest person in the room (he’s not).
  • Tries to intimidate other people with his brilliance.
  • Takes credit for others’ work.
  • Blames others for mistakes.
  • Ignores constructive feedback.
  • Is a control freak.

Contrast this with Chris, a Director of Finance whose feedback included:

  • Seeks out ideas from even the least experienced people on the team.
  • Makes feedback a two-way process.
  • Shares his personal development plans.
  • Doesn’t punish us for “failures”; encourages us to explore what we learned from them.
  • Ensures we have robust development plans and provides the necessary resources.
  • Challenges group think.

When leaders use their position power to impress others, make decisions and deflect feedback vs. creating a culture of learning, growth and development, employees focus on avoiding criticism, instead of being creative and innovative.

What leaders do you know that are primarily focused on power and reaffirming their status? Who in your organization treats employees as collaborators and as members of the same team? Who you do want to emulate?

Share your comments with me at:

(905) 990-2515



How to Recognize Two Different Mindsets

In my last blog, I explored Carol Dweck’s brilliant work about how mindset contributes to success, including 5 strategies for how to adopt a growth mindset. Your response was overwhelming. An intriguing question emerged: “As a leader, how can I recognize a growth vs. a fixed mindset among my employees?”

Here’s a recent coaching experience I had that will help you make the distinction.

I recently met two leaders individually to debrief the results of their 360-degree feedback. Both reports contained considerable negative feedback. Not surprisingly, both leaders evaluated themselves significantly higher than their respondents on all 16 leadership competencies.

When I asked, “What’s your reaction to these results?”, they responded:


“I’m not thrilled with the results, but I appreciate this opportunity.”

“I need to work hard to improve my leadership skills.”

“Looks like I’ve got three main deficiencies. How do I address these?”

“I can improve my listening skills by practicing both at work and at home.”


“They really threw me under the bus. This makes me feel like a loser.”

“I inherited a team that disliked their last boss. It’s obvious that they don’t trust anyone in management.”

“I always thought I was a born leader.”

“This is the same feedback I’ve had for the past 10 years.”

Faced with criticism, Ayla showed resiliency, embraced the criticism and demonstrated a desire to learn.

Barrett, on the other hand, resisted the negative feedback, blamed others, believed his skills and abilities were innate and rejected previous criticism.

Recognize any of your employees in these scenarios?

Stay tuned for my next blog in how to create a growth mindset in your team.

In the meantime, send me your questions and comments:

Joan Hill
(905) 990-2515