Nina Spencer

Working Wisdom 2003

Are you: In the company of Strangers?

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Why do some people insist on going it alone at all times and at all costs? Why do some people feel that being “professional” means being technically polite and gracious but, in reality, cool, distant and veiled? Why is it that some colleagues are convinced that self-disclosure and the sharing of free information is the worst thing they could possibly do? These are definitely politically correct and fragile days, and there are definitely times when it’s politically savvy to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, however, there are more benefits than pitfalls to consciously building workplace relationships and

Be an Intrapreneurial Networking Master

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“It’s not what you know, but who you know”, still rings true in many organizations today, but, what’s more is, “It’s not what you know, or who you know, but who knows you, and who knows that you know what you know”–you know?

Chop Wood, Carry Water

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The ice storms of early April (at least in Eastern Canada), the international worries of a nasty virus and the war in Iraq have been consuming our thoughts for at least the past week or two; many have found that this “triple whammy” has effected their focus and workplace productivity. Even so…

Embracing New Perspectives for the Unofficial

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My first adult style “hit” of the power of perspective and perception occurred to me years ago while reading one of my second year university psychology textbooks. The reader was asked to read the following three sentences (each encased in individual triangles):

Fighting for Your Monday Morning Heart-Break

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“One-third of employees loathe their jobs?”, reads the headline of a concerning article in the January 28th, 2003, edition of Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail (Report on Business Section), reporting on a new Towers Perrin study of 1,100 employees, polled across. . .

It’s still summer and “August is a terrific month at work to…”

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“It ain’t over til it’s over”, or until some woman sings something! Right? There are still over five full weeks of official summertime to celebrate. Perhaps some of your vacation time is still in front of you, and you’re still singing Nat King Cole’s song about rolling out those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer”, or Cliff Richard’s “We’re all going on a summer holiday…doing things we always wanted to…” (I realize I must be dating myself, quite severely, if I think of these songs as quintessential, happy-go-lucky summer songs!). On the other hand, perhaps you’re like most, “all done now” and feeling a little wistful that the

March Forth in Leading Today’s Knowledge Workers

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In many cases, people who are now in middle or upper management will remember the antiquated management style that existed when they first entered the workforce. That style has been coined by author and management consultant, Judith Bardwick, (Danger in the Comfort Zone and The Plateauing Trap) as “Peacetime Management”. Barwick suggests that peacetime management style was fine when business was predictable. In those days managers didn’t have to create an emotional following from staff. Their positional power was good enough.

Recovering from Acronymitis and Business Speak

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There has been heightened awareness, and some lip service, to pulling back on acronymitis and business speak in communications, but it still exits to such a degree that many organizations publish an internal book of company acronyms, which they toss to new hires declaring, “better learn all of this…and fast…if you’re going to survive here!” A new employee would be “dead in the water” without it. It’s like how I used to be…

Survivor Workplace

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The average person experiences more stimulus, potential danger and conflict during their commute to work, than a farmer did, working his fields 100 years ago, over an entire month! Now that’s survivor instinct! These days the word “survivor” conjures up many images, from a bunch of people in “reality” tv shows, to cancer patients who live

Taking Risk in 2003: Dive In, The Water’s Great!

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“If I always do what I’ve always done, I’ll always get what I’ve always got!” I first heard this quote (unfortunately without accreditation) back in 1990. Today, doing what you’ve always done might not even get you what you’ve always got&it might get you less! To get something different, you’ve got to do something different! What new or different results would

Work with Spirit

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On a perfect spring evening, while watching my nine year old daughter’s baseball game, my 68 year old mother was at home sipping her last cup of coffee. She was in good health on Wednesday, May 29,1996. She loved her independence, knew the art of living alone without being lonely, went out, loved her books, her records and her movies–especially Robert Redford! She was coming for a sleep over that weekend. I was to pick her up at 5 p.m. Thursday, after facilitating a conflict management seminar…