Nina Spencer

Working Wisdom 2006

A Valentine’s Day Working Wisdom Special Announcement and Edition

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In 1990, I came across a saying that’s become one of my all time favourites: “If you always do what you’ve always done…you’ll always get what you’ve always got!” I regret that I’m not sure who first said it, but this much I do know: anytime I’m frustrated over a recurring, dissatisfying result, I hear that saying in my head and ask, “Well, Nina, if you want to get something different, you’ve got to do something differently! What’s it going to be?”

Know Your Professional Self-Worth

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Through the years I’ve listened and counseled so many individuals who approached me after my keynote presentations, or during workshop breaks, sharing their secret fears about their professional worthiness. Classic worries they’ve whispered to me, time and time again, include, “If I get downsized, laid off or declared redundant, who else out there is going to hire me? Where else will I find this level of work, with the kind of salary to which I’ve become accustomed? I’m a victim of the ‘golden handcuffs’ and I don’t know if anybody else would want my professional services!”

Perpetuate Relationships/Grow Your Professional Networks

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Many years ago, a participant in one of my audiences, as he listened, sketched out illustrations and cartoon situations based on the themes of my presentation. At the end of the day he kindly presented me with his two favourites, one of which pretty much sums up the dog-eat-dog mentality of some workplaces. It shows four men in a rowboat, two in the bow, two in the stern. The boat is rapidly taking on water, and the two men at the rear of the boat are bailing frantically but to no avail. The rowboat is tipped up so that the two men in the bow are high and dry. The bubble caption hangs over the two in the bow, and reads, “We’re sure glad the hole isn’t at our end!”

The Big Value of Small Talk:

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Chase’s famous Calendar of Events tells us that June is, among other things, Effective Communications Month. Great! So how does that relate to small talk? Well, June is also a “biggie” month for annual conferences, company meetings and the likes–events where there’s bound to be big, serious and (hopefully) effective communications, as well as at least some small talk. Some people abhor business-event small talk, preferring to watch paint dry rather than partake. Others see it as a necessary evil…”can’t go under it, can’t go over it, gotta go through it”; while yet even others see the serendipitous value and important direction in which seemingly shallow chatter can lead

The Falling Down, The Getting Up and The Quick Thinking Along the Way

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At the March 5, 2006 Academy Awards Show, as Jennifer Garner gracefully approached the podium, her long flowing party frock got the better of her; she slipped, stumbled and slipped yet again. Millions of viewers must have gasped in unison (I know my daughter and I did). Somehow Ms. Garner managed to think quick and, thanks, perhaps, to a spot of good luck and some balance training, stayed on her feet. More quick thinking, composure and quick wit followed as she approached the mic, declaring, “And I do all my own stunts, too!”