There appears to be a cottage industry springing up around the quandary of when, how and where to go back to work. You can find any number of webinars, consultants and publications jam packed with advice. At this moment it seems the majority of people...

There has been quite a bit of discussion about, demand for, and envy of that ephemeral thing called presence. It's the sort of thing that gets people hired, promoted, and rewarded and yet if you ask most people to define it, they'll probably say something...

Not very many fire departments are comfortable putting on in person training, especially if it means bringing instructors in from outside.  That’s why FireWorks Consulting and Training has developed online, video-based instructional courses leading to accredited or non-accredited evaluation and examination.  We’ve also equipped and...

How many of you are a little nervous about re-entry? That delicate process of re-engaging with friends, family and coworkers as the restrictions on interactions loosen and the immunization rates rise? For months now I have been sad about the inability to see people in...

Centuries before zoom and other online video platforms turned us into the worst kind of insecure self critics, human beings have been holding themselves to an impossible standard. Generally when we are out in the world we feel pretty secure but we can be thrown...

I had a vaguely alarming experience recently when two colleagues, reminiscing about our shared media past, related an incident that involved all three of us.  It was one of those media events where various TV and radio personalities take part in risky, ill-advised and potentially...

Perhaps you are like me and certain types of questions, asked in retail and restaurant environments, set your teeth big time on edge: How are those first few bites tasting? Any plans for the weekend? How’s your day been so far? On the one hand I get it: servers...

Recently, I had the pleasure and challenge of speaking to several hundred junior high school students during an all day conference.  I was the keynote in the morning, kicking off their day which was full of workshops on topics such as money, sex, jobs and...

I love my younger self. She was re-introduced to me as I began to digitize and clean up old home movies and, I have to admit, she was a bit of a surprise.  Having five children in 10 years means that my memories of those...

It may surprise you to know that many senior executives and leaders struggle with public speaking. More contemporaneously they struggle with public speaking on the two-dimensional stage that is the virtual work world. Today’s leaders must be even better communicators because the flattening of the experience makes...

Would that we were all a little slower to judge, to jump to conclusions, to assume, well…pretty much everything. My partner and I are finally getting around to finishing the lower level of our home with the result that there have been various tradespeople coming and...

I do a lot of work in leadership coaching, specifically in presence and strategic communicating. Today, as I prepared for an upcoming training session for a new client, I was reviewing some of their information about success in the profession and what it takes to...

After 30 years of coaching, training and teaching in a variety of leadership programs and initiatives, I have come to the realization that you simply can’t teach leadership, any more than you can teach height, or creativity. It’s strangely axiomatic that something which cannot be...

I bet that any problem you are currently struggling with has a communications challenge within it. And in some cases, solving the communications problem, or reframing the conversation, can actually solve whatever is wrong. Last winter I was in snowy Calgary to work with a group...

Sorry. I apologize. Please forgive me. It seems as if the demands of navigating the pandemic, changing my business model and responding to new challenges and opportunities has meant that I haven’t been fully present in the way I’d like to be. Here’s my plan going forward: ...

You are not attending virtual meetings; you are performing on camera. One of the interesting insights that has come from my virtual workshops with clients in diverse sectors is how much of their time is now spent in virtual meetings with staff, clients, and suppliers.  There...

Amanda Gorman burst onto the international stage with her 6-minute poem at the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris inauguration and while enjoying her performance and her poetry could be enough for all of us, there are also valuable lessons to be elicited from the structure...

I think of family as a kind of meiosis, cells dividing, recombining, and dividing again, like genetic bubbles joining with other bubbles, some popping, some growing larger, some drifting away. When I think back on my family, the genesis of it often starts with my grandparents,...

I had the pleasure of MCing a Soiree/gala/fundraiser last night, this one for the Georgia Strait Alliance.  Although it was disappointing not to be able to get dressed up and meet people in a classy venue somewhere, to share stories, drinks and silent auction bidding,...

Ah yes, the days of cursive writing and basic grammar! Subject, action, object. If you apply those early lessons to your own communications you'll learn a lot about how your requests and instructions are perceived by others. Do this right now:  click on your email sent...

When COVID hit, the public health nurses at Sechelt Hospital immediately recognized that they would have to offer their pre-natal training virtually AND they realized right away that one of the most reassuring parts of the baby-in-waiting program was a tour of the hospital and...

Several years ago one of my clients mounted a global search for a new CEO. This was in the world before COVID, before Zoom and before Microsoft Teams. Skype was the only game in town to do initial interviews with candidates around the world. My client...