Living Well

Leadership for Employee Retention and Satisfaction

I’m a Leadership Coach and my heart is to see Leaders lead in such a way that they feel energized and empowered so that those sentiments trickle down to all those who are influenced by them. Leadership is a skill that is valuable in every workplace, school and home. It’s a skill that everyone can and should develop.

Are you already an amazing leader and think that this kind of post won’t apply to you?  I dare say, if you think that you’ve got it all figured out… you need to read more on the subject of effective leadership.  One of the key characteristics that differentiates good leaders from great leaders is that great leaders are life-long learners. If you are one of these great leaders, please share some of your secrets to success in the comments below so that we can learn and grow together. Knowledge is power.

Here are my 5 steps to produce a high-functioning team of people who have strong skillsets, are motivated and want to work with you.

  1. Include: Invite your staff to be a part of important discussions and encourage them to share their insight, especially in areas that affect their work.

    They want to know that they’ve had their say, even if they don’t have their way.

  2. Empower: What are their strengths? Matching tasks with strengths will do wonders for productivity and confidence. Once you see that they have mastered an area, empower them to make decisions in that area.
  3. Develop: Stretch yourself and your staff. As a leader, you set the tone. If you take time to develop yourself and push yourself to new heights, your employees will do the same. If the budget permits, provide learning and coaching opportunities for them.
  4. Value: People need to know that they are more than just the work that they produce. Connect with them regularly and schedule occasional off-site team meetings to review upcoming priorities and encourage team building. This doesn’t have to be expensive; be creative.
  5. Emotional Intelligence: Self-awareness is so important.  You can’t expect anyone to work on a weakness that they aren’t aware exists… and let’s face it, annual or bi-annual Performance Reviews aren’t quite doing the job we had hoped.  Instead, make EQ a part of your regular meetings and equip people to handle the various situations that might arise. Have some team members role-play a scenario and then talk about what other options might work for that scenario after it’s played out. This allows a learning point to be made without anyone feeling that it is directed at them and it’s amazing how people can really get into the role and feel the emotions as though they were actual situations.

What is one step that you can implement this week? this month? this quarter?


Featured post

Boundaries, Rest & Better Decisions

peaceful.jpgThere’s a wonderful story about sisters named Mary and Martha who were close friends with Jesus. He went to their home often and many people came to hear his teachings. Martha was a very hard worker. She saw the work that should be done and she did it. She prepared meals so that everyone would have something to eat. Mary on the other hand just sat at Jesus feet and marvelled at his teachings.

Martha was obviously upset and she made it known. Luke 10:40-42 says:

Martha was distracted by all the preparations to be made. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha, the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Ouch. Not only does Jesus not support what Martha is asking, he calls her out on some of her issues and tells her that Mary’s choice was better.

Jesus knew his time on earth was coming to an end. If anyone had to “get everything done” it was him. But he knew how to prioritize what mattered most in any given moment. His focus and purpose were clear and that freed him up from any external pressures.

We all have several things we need to do; our “To do list” is never-ending. Perhaps boundaries, rest and personal development should be on that list? Perhaps this was why Mary sat at Jesus feet that day. She knew it was a time to learn from the great teacher. She knew that there were many other things that needed to get done, as Martha did, but she chose wisely.

The story doesn’t tell us what transpired after the interchange between Jesus and Martha but we know that she had two choices. She could either become more frustrated or she could decide to join Mary and sit down to listen and learn from one who has wisdom, clarity, and words of life.

Mary chose to prioritize what mattered most to her. She chose to have healthy boundaries by not letting other people pressure her into what they thought she should be doing. What an inspiration!

Where do you need to set boundaries?
Will you prioritize personal development?
When will you take time to rest (and not feel guilty about it)?

Living on Purpose: Bishop T.D. Jakes — Live on Purpose.. Not by Accident

Living on Purpose: Bishop T.D. Jakes A true visionary and entrepreneur, Bishop T.D. Jakes exudes purpose. Not just when he is in the pulpit but wherever he is, he commands the attention of his audience and inspires them towards purpose. Bishop Jakes is a producer, minister, author, and talk show host. In everything he does […]

via Living on Purpose: Bishop T.D. Jakes — Live on Purpose.. Not by Accident

Soulful Sunday – What is a relationship with God?

prayingmanIn some ways, faith was something I’ve had since I was a child. We went to church weekly when I was young. After that, my mom continued to pray with me at bedtime and eventually when she stopped, I started to do it on my own. I remember especially as a teen when I was going through difficult times, I would lay my heartfelt prayers before the Lord. Amazingly, I would find great comfort and answers as I prayed and it helped me tremendously. Why God would answer my prayers at that time of my life, I didn’t fully understand.

I was not a “godly” person at that time. I was like many teens and made several bad decisions. I enjoyed a good argument and was good at winning them. Things were often my way or the highway. I still believed that there was a God and would never use his name in vain, but the more I made poor decisions, the more I drifted away from my faith. So why on earth would God help me out? I certainly didn’t deserve it. But here is what I’ve come to understand about who God is. I was right. I didn’t deserve it then and I don’t deserve it now. I never will, because we can’t “work” to earn God’s love.

God is Our Father. Think about what that means for a moment. Does a father withhold his love from his children until they “earn it” or until they’re “good enough”? It would be ridiculous for anyone to think that an infant would have to earn our love before we gave it to them. We love them simply because they are part of us. We created them and we recognize that they are a miracle and their mere existence brings us great joy. That is how our heavenly father looks at us; with extreme love and joy. When he looks at us, he sees our potential and our destiny. He sees who he created us to be and longs for us to walk in that purpose.

My husband and I have four children and we can tell you all about the years of sleepless nights, tantrums, terrible twos, trying threes, sibling rivalries, misbehaviours, and many tears. Our children don’t always do something the way we taught them to, and sometimes they’ve blatantly disobeyed us. It is certainly difficult yet… our love remains unconditional. We will continue to guide them and hope they choose better next time. Still, there is nothing that they could ever do that would take our love away from them. Nothing!

This is the beautiful picture of our relationship with God. God is a loving, forgiving, merciful counsellor who guides us. His love endures forever and it is for everyone. Come to him and let him reveal the life you were created for.

  • James 4:8 – Come near to God and he will come near to you
  • Psalm 118 – His love endures forever
  • Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

This song was meaningful when I began to explore my faith again in my twenties – Faithful Father

Lord please be with the person who is reading this right now.
May they experience your amazing love for them personally.
Thank you that you planned their life with a glorious purpose
And that you’ve never left their side.
May they know that they are precious and important to you!
May today be a new day towards fulfilling their destiny.
In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.


photo-1441109296207-fd911f7cd5e5.jpgIn my Employee Retention and Satisfaction post, I wrote about five key criteria for high-functioning and motivated teams. Today I want to further explore how we can incorporate value in the workplace.

V – Validate: Working with various personalities will inevitably bring about occasional issues. It is important that a leader address them without compromising themselves or the organization.  Feelings aren’t right or wrong, so validate them: “That must be hard”, “I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way”, “What would help you in this situation?”, “What will you do?”.

A – Affirm: People want to know what they’re doing well. A person will not feel valued if every time a leader asks to meet with them it’s to discuss something negative. On the other hand, they won’t feel valued if everyone is always being praised for everything they do either.  For a person to truly feel valued, affirmation needs to be authentic. Tell them what they do well and when possible, share it with the team.

L – Learn: Find out what the people on your team care about, what they’re good at, what motivates them, what projects they want to work on, where they would like to be in five years. Being a student of your team members will provide crucial information about how to effectively communicate with them and how to set them up for success. This is especially important when providing feedback on performance. Knowing their unique personalities will allow you to take the best approach for them.

U – Understand: A good leader understands a person’s limits. In any given week, there are at least 500,000 employed Canadians that are unable to work due to mental illness. The cost of disability leave for mental illness is about double the cost of leave due to physical illness and the economic cost is estimated at $51 billion per year. This includes health care costs and lost productivity. 39% of Ontario workers indicated that they wouldn’t tell their managers if they were suffering with a mental illness. This means it’s important for leaders to look for signs of stress, know what support is available through work/community and talk with them openly about their struggles. Assure them that they are valued as a person, not just an employee

E – Encourage: Inspire with courage! Isn’t that the role of every leader? People who are unwell can be encouraged to hope and care for themselves. Others can be encouraged to reach for their next milestone, stretch themselves, grow. A great leader has a lasting impact on a person’s life and their mindset about themselves. Believe in them and help them become all they were created to be.

There is a plan and a purpose, a value to every life, no matter what its location, age, gender or disability. – Sharron Angle

What will you do this week to show people that they are valued?

Mind, Body and Soul Connection & Tools for the Soul

womanwitharmsraised.jpgStudies show that mind, body and soul are connected. When we’re stressed, we’re more susceptible to come down with a cold, feel exhausted, suffer from insomnia or become depressed. These are just a few of the symptoms we struggle with when our mind, body or soul is out of alignment for an extended period.

Being Sunday, I thought today would be a great day to talk about working on the soul. The soul is the least familiar, but perhaps the most significant. First things first, what is the soul?

The soul is the spiritual and immaterial part of a person. It’s your personality, intellect, will, and emotions.

To nourish my soul, I schedule time for rest and family connections. I listen to playlists like this one on YouTube  or audio stories on BibleGateway. Podcasts have been instrumental in building my faith and understanding as well. One of my favourites is Rick Warren’s Daily Hope. There’s an app called YouVersion that sends me daily reminders of selected devotional plans as well. The variety is incredible and there is an abundance of plans on topics like leadership, marriage, family and spiritual growth. These are fantastic options for people on the go because you can listen as you travel.

A relationship with God is like a relationship with anyone. It requires an investment of time to connect. We can do that through prayer, God’s Word, worship music, devotions, or even through the awe at the beauty of his creation. As we seek direction, we’ll start to become more aware of the spiritual reality that is all around us and our burdens become lighter because we don’t carry them alone anymore.

What will you do this week to nourish your soul?

If you are interested in spiritual direction, please contact me. I would love to chat with you.

Matthew 11:28-29 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 – May God himself, the God of peace, make you holy in every way. May your whole self – spirit, soul and body be kept safe and without fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 16:33 – In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Blog post title

This is an additional placeholder post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post.

Blog post title

This is an additional placeholder post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post.

Blog at

Up ↑