Simple Technique May Increase Creativity

Being fully present when you are interacting with someone is considered to be crucial.  The question remains how to best do that.

A simple technique to stay and be present is also useful in instilling calmness is breathing.  Yes breathing.  Take a breath to focus yourself on the person in front of you.  Keep breathing and you are likely to fell a calmness settle in over you as well. Breathing and paying attention to the person you are interacting with is often referred to a s mindfulness.

Having achieved a state of calmness you may be surprised to note that creativity is also present.  A solution to that problem or puzzle at work that has been on the back burner may suddenly come to you.  Or that creative idea for a new project or program suddenly comes into pace.

Breathing regularly and staying present may actually allow you to conduct your day-to-day business and life in a stress free.  Rather than reacting from a flight or fight place.  Working stress free now that would be a game changer.  It is certainly worth considering and even trying consciously breathing during interactions with co-workers, colleagues, and competitors.  After all what is there to loose expect stress.

Need further details?  Contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at


Actions to Take When Networking

Networking events may be challenging or great depending on you.  As an extrovert you may relish the opportunity to meet and be with new people or known acquaintances.  As an introvert they may be a challenge to get through.

Whatever your trait is – the following suggestions will assist you in making the best of a networking opportunity.

  1. Listen intently to the person you are interacting with. Take the opportunity to practice listening with every new person you meet.
  2. Ask open ended questions of the people you meet. Doing so may lead to an in-depth conversation which you and other person are both likely to enjoy.
  3. Focus on the person you are speaking to. It is not the time to be glancing around the room – or fiddling with your phone.
  4. Find a common ground conversation starter with the person you are with (the food at the event, travel, weekend plans are some areas where commonality may be established).
  5. Before moving on to the next person – acknowledge the current person by name and offer an opportunity for a connection point.

Ty these suggestions out and happy networking!

Need further details?  Contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at


Change Management is Necessary for Modifications to Take Hold

As a change agent I question that is often asked is “why is change management necessary”?  The answer is found in the reason for the project or change initiative itself.

A project management checklist consists of the following:

  • Project Name
  • Goal – Scope Statement
  • Objectives
  • Constraints
  • Risks
  • Assumptions
  • Estimated Costs
  • Breakdown of Deliverables (Gantt Chart)
  • Tracking Progress (Gantt Chart)
  • Project Closing – Shared & Lessons Learned, Thanks, Final Report, Close Contracts and Accounting Codes

Change management is the necessary piece that integrates the modifications into the business.  The checklist is the doing portion.  Change management is the piece of having the process tweaks to ensure the implementation is used by the organization as a whole.

Need further details?  Contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at



Self – Awareness is Necessary for Change

The Oxford dictionary defines awareness as the “knowledge or perception of a situation or fact”.  Given that perception is a large part of awareness the question come to mind – what  types of awareness  is brought to the workplace?

Are you someone who shows up at work with the awareness of it being difficult?  Or having past experiences cloud your judgement of a current situation?

Or are you someone who comes to work with the awareness that different opinions from your own are necessary for growth and change?  Do you focus on the needs of other worker s before your own?

Having the latter part of perception and awareness is required to be successful at work.  The shadow side of focusing on difficult and the negative negates having positive and lasting change to occur.

Need further details?  Contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

What Highly Sensitive People Bring to Business

The characteristics of a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) have been discussed and researched in depth over the past few decades.  Dr. Elaine Aron is the Psychologist who first identified the trait and pioneered the research of people who are HSP’s.

Based on Dr. Aron’s work HSP’s bring the following to business:

  1. Deep thinking – the ability to approach a situation from many perspectives and develop solutions to circumstances that are outside of the business norm.
  2. Capacity for trailblazing – they have a predisposition for innovation and seeing situations clearer and from varying perspectives.
  3. Attuned to details that are not visible to others, they see the voids and gaps that others overlook.
  4. Leadership ability that allows others to bring their best to the table avoiding the command and control scenarios found in many businesses.

Curious about other HSP traits?  Contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at


Company Culture – What is it?

There is a lot of discussion about company culture these days.  Often the articles focus on the success of giant multinational corporations and their seeming success in having great work place cultures.  On occasion there is focus on these same gigantic companies and their failures in having a functioning and articulated company culture.

Whether praising or decrying a company culture the proposed solutions focus on adapting what worked someplace else to your own workplace.  On the surface that may seem like a reasonable idea.  It is not.

Company culture is dependent on the people who are part of the workplace.  It may start out as an informal set of guidelines that employees at all levels align with it.  Or it may be a more formalized approach setting out the parameters for the tolerance of risk and out of the box thinking.

Your company may have an atmosphere of casual dress, a games room, onsite child care, or well stocked kitchens accessible to all employees at no cost.  These are not cultural features.

Culture is deeper – it is what has formed over time and is based on surviving downturns, upturns and everything in between.   Shared assumptions leading to shared values, and historic data along with people who are rooted in the experience of sharing that data, are company culture foundations.

What is your experience and perception of a finely tuned company culture that employees chose to be a part of?

Let me know – I am genuinely interested.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Measuring High Potential Employees

All business owners need to be concerned with developing their high potential employees.  The areas that require measurement and tracking are:

  1. Capacity

A key area to focus on for up and comers is self-awareness.  Of crucial importance is the presence of the ability to build relationships at all levels of the organization.  Quick thinking and the ability to learn and maintain information is also necessary.

  1. Experience

Growing as an individual is one thing.  Growing a team is highly valuable.  Beyond that putting in place plans for the development of a number of teams and departments becomes essential.  Having success in this final stage is mandatory for achieving high placement.

  1. Motivation

Desire for career success and attainment is basic to the success of a high potential employee.  People may have the talent and an enviable track record in terms of achievement.  The desire to be a top notch leader must be present for that person to move forward.

Each area is needed for the successful development of the high potential person or people within your business.


Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at


Why Introverts and Highly Sensitive People Are Needed Now

Not everyone in our culture is an alpha person.  For those of us who are introverted or highly sensitive that world is one that is foreign.  The natural tendencies for those who are not the alpha type are quite different from the “go get what you want and take charge” perspective that defines our culture.

Introverts and highly sensitive people are different and that is an important distinction.  Introverted people are on the quieter side.  Highly sensitive people may not be as quiet.  They do however share some of the same natural tendencies.

  1. The need for quiet time is one of them. Alone time to process information is important for both traits.
  2. The need or preference to work alone for part of the time. Again to process information and offer solutions beyond what is typical or expected.
  3. Having deep and meaningful discussions with colleagues or friends on a one-to-one basis. Group and large meetings have their place and both traits are able to deliver in large groups.  The one-to-one dynamic is needed to build quality business interactions that are based on trust.

At this time workplaces and the overall culture of “go get what you want and take charge” is under question.  The overall volatility of the workplace and life in general is demanding a review of values and mores that have been help as the only way forward until recently.  Introverts and highly sensitive people are demonstrating that another way of doing business and being in the world is possible.  And at this time in history those other ways are a necessity.

What other traits do you value in highly sensitive and introverted people?

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at