Growing Your Business – 3 Strategies

  1. Creating Community

Create an offer that encourages other like-minded people into a “community.” When you create community, your business growth becomes driven by the desire to be part of the community by non-customers.

  1. Being Socially Conscious

Value-innovation that connects to the greater good within the fabric of your community. An example maybe to charge an entrance fee to a class or event and donate the proceeds to a local charity or group that is engaged in community improvement projects.  Doing so deepens the drive and connection that everyone has to the business.

  1. Focusing on Superior Service

The objective here is to go beyond great customer service by having clients, community, and employees feel as if they are receiving service from a best buddy or friend.

What additional strategies have you tried in growing your business?  I am genuinely interested.

Business Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Listening Skills – Are you Paying Attention?

Listening Skills – Are you Paying Attention?

When asked most managers and business people would say that they listen well and would probably be able to repeat what has been said verbatim.  The question becomes is that what true listening is?  From my perspective that is not quite what listening is.

Listening only occurs when you are present to the person doing the speaking.  Distraction is common when people think they are listening and includes the following:

  • Being in your head preparing a response;
  • Eager to speak so that you are able to show that they’re wrong or that you disagree;
  • Having an emotional response to what they’re saying;
  • Putting together your shopping list instead of listening openly.

Pay attention to what you are thinking about when you are listening.  People are able to sense when you are authentically being present when they are speaking. Track your results. Let me know what happens.  I am genuinely interested.

Business Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at


Personal Power Dynamics in Business

Quote for May 2018 – “Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
Maya Angelou

Even though I embrace transition in my life and look forward to beginnings and all that they entail I do from time-to-time become dazed and somewhat gobsmacked by the rapidity of the transition process.  Transition seems to take on a life of its own and keeps marching forward with me giving it my all to catch up and come up with new ways of harnessing the process.

For me standing in a place where there is a lack of nurturing, connection, and collaboration is tantamount to feeling like I am stuck on a huge piece of flypaper.  Having said that there are often occasions when I am challenged by an organizational development process or an ongoing conflict in the workplace which requires that I step boldly into a new space.  The new space is undefined, requires my undivided attention, and calls me to take steps that are uncomfortable at best.

We are all required to step out of our comfort zones and address the challenges in front of us.  Being uncomfortable may lead to questioning our abilities as leaders.  It may also lead us to dissipate our own personal power. By that I am referring to questioning not just our abilities but our capacity to move forward with what needs to be done. What becomes necessary is a process or a plan to manage ourselves individually to bring about the desired outcome(s) of the issues we are tackling.

Given you may be facing business challenges that require you to step into unchartered territory and maintain your personal power base – you will want to join in October 2018 for 1 day workshop that will touch on managing yourself and maintaining your personal power dynamic in the midst of it all.

Details including date, time, location and speakers will be forth coming in June of 2018. 

Updates and Specials

  1. Bollyfit Saskatchewan is back! Join Adele as she takes you through moves designed to give you a workout and that provide a mind-body-spirit connection. Bring – a friend on Saturday mornings at 9:30 at 1407 Albert St. (back entrance) during June 2018 for a 2 for 1 special.  Contact Bollyfit Saskatchewan at, or check out their Facebook page at for details.


  1. A gathering for those interested in discovering more about The Leaders Expedition (LEx) will take place in September. Details will be announced during June of 2018.


  1. Facing conflict and changes in your organization? Contact me for details on customized workshops for your management and staff to address the issues.


As always I am here to work with you for the benefit of your business.


Marie Helene Sakowski

Does Your Business Have the Capacity to Change?

Often those in the top levels of a business are entrenched in having a business transition occur without having taken an accurate pulse as to what is actually involved.  This occurs in large and small businesses alike.

An accurate assessment of capacity relies on having your employees provide honest feedback as to what is on their plates currently along with their ability to take more on and have it turn out. Getting real as to what can take place is of course dependent on having honest feedback from employees.

Honesty requires trust.  Ensure you have that trust and that you are willing to have certain tasks be re-assigned, or have additional help brought in on a temporary basis to ease the strain of the current workload.

Assessing the capacity of your teams or teams and then taking the action necessary to ensure your team or teams have the necessary resources and support is crucial to the success of the business transition.

Contact me for a discussion regarding your business transition needs.


April 2018 Newsletter

Achievement Requires Taking a Different Approach

Quote for April 2018 – “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

Maya Angelou







The above quote from Maya Angelou resonates for me right now.  From time-to-time as a consultant I do my fair share of catching everything that comes my way.  That is part and parcel of the business I am in.  However, it is also part of my business to throw things back at my clients.  Failure to do that does not further their business goals or my efficacy in working with them.

Achievement requires that I challenge myself and my clients to focus on human factors that are essential to the successful completion of the process or project underway.  Check out for the essential areas that need to be brought into the scope of work for alignment and achievement of the project.

I believe that all of us are faced with addressing difficult people or circumstances more often than perhaps we would like to be.  Managing yourself in relation to the difficulty is part and parcel of achievement.  It is crucial at these times to have a few strategies in place that work for you.  Suggestions can be found at

The other aspect of achievement that has been especially helpful for me has to do with the training I have received as a Social Science Major during my university days.  My studies have enable me to break ground and forge new pathways that are unique.  Read for the identification of some of these strategies.

April Updates

  1. The Leaders Expedition (LEx) Are you interested in taking leadership within your business and community to a whole new level? Details for an informal get together over appetizers and drinks will be coming out during May 2018.
  2. Details for a fall workshop will be forthcoming before the end of June 2018.

As always I am here to work with you for your business and personal benefit.

Human Factors to Manage During Organizational Development & Change

As a Business Transition Consultant I have noticed that there are several human factors that are triggered during an organizational development change process.  Even when the change is seen as positive we as people react and are typically emotional triggered when circumstances are uncertain.

Recognizing that as people we all want to feel the following:

  1. Secure – a sense of knowing that the transition will be okay and that we as individuals will also be okay.
  2. Connected – a sense of being involved and included in the transition process.
  3. Power – to influence the outcome and results of the change.
  4. Order – to have a clear idea of what is happening when within a plan that is consistent and over which the individual has had input.
  5. Competence – knowing our skills and talents are valued and are being utilized effectively.
  6. Fairness – ensuring the end results are equitable and delivered consistently across all lines of the organization and business.

Within an organizational development change initiative it is important to recognize and address the above needs.  This is especially so as change is often non-linear and disruptive.

What change initiatives have you implemented ensuring that several of the human factors noted above have been addressed?  Do let me know I am genuinely interested.

For additional clarity contact me to discuss.

Business Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Strategies for Managing Difficult Situations

In the aftermath of tragic circumstances near the community where I live – it seemed appropriate to write about strategies for managing difficult situations or people. Last week a tragic accident claimed the lives of 15 people that were part of a community sports team.  Families have lost children and communities have lost friends.  The current mood is one of grief and sorrow.

Strategies for coping with difficult situations, circumstances or people involve the following:

  1. Identify and use your support network.

Be it a friend, a trusted co-worker, a neighbour, or an EAP counsellor – reach out, connect and share your feelings (if possible) or simply what is occurring to you and around you in the aftermath.  Focus on expressing what you need from the other person.  Examples may be a safe place to share grief, the need for someone to simply listen, or a scheduled break from your usual routine.

  1. Get some sleep.

Self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. A good night’s sleep gives you the perspective you need to deal with the situation you are in.

  1. Set boundaries

When you are vulnerable it is important to have boundaries in place.  Take time for yourself to rest and recoup. Avoid as much as possible other scenarios or people that will add to your stress factor. When you have looked after yourself you are in a better position to offer support or request the support you need.

Practicing the above behaviours allows for the relief of stress.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Business Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene at

Newsletter Update

“Worrying about a problem is not a strategy for change”. 

Jody Williams, Chair Nobel Women’s Initiatives.

Effective Placement Business Transition – March 2018

Spring has arrived and along with the knowledge that warmer weather is on its way, even if it has not yet arrived on our doorstep. The days are clearly longer.  Hopefully productivity is on the increase and plans are unfolding at the correct pace for you and your business.

Company news for Effective Placement is that relocation has occurred.  We are now located in Saskatoon and look forward to serving clients throughout Saskatchewan, Canada, and in other North American locations.

For appointments or meetings Effective Placement will be utilizing the services offered at the Two Twenty Complex located in the thriving area of Riversdale.  Mail will be received at 220A 20th Street West, Saskatoon, SK. S7M 0W9.

That is just the beginning of the transition piece for the business.  Watch for rebranding announcements over the next several months.  I am truly excited about the emergence of new brand and focus for the business and am working with long time colleagues on a redesign of services and material that will be forth coming later in 2018.

In the event you are facing business transitions of your own check out for information on what actually shapes behaviours at work.

Perhaps you are wondering why you may be feeling a tad bit dissatisfied at work when it started off being your dream job. For insights as to why this may be check out

As a business owner one of the key skills to have requires being able to decline situations or opportunities.  Check out die information as to why it is beneficial to develop this capacity.


March Updates

  1. Power of an Unstoppable Woman – Saskatoon – April 15, 2018 – is cancelled. Rose will be having workshops in other locations. Kindly check her website for locations and dates that work for you –


  1. The Leaders Expedition (LEx) Are you interested in taking leadership within your business and community to a whole new level? Let’s talk about the possibilities for your community!

As always I am here to work with you and your business requirements that lead to your ultimate benefit.

Skills Social Science Graduates Have in Spades

It turns out that people with a degree in the Social Sciences may have the right type of soft skills to succeed in areas that are uncertain and murky.  That being the case – here are the soft skills that people with a Social Sciences education tend to have:

  1. Curiosity and willing to try new things.

It is speculated about 70 % of working people want to be told what to do and do that over and over again.  Enter the need for curiosity, and the ability to make up the rules as you along, a strong characteristic of Arts grads.

  1. Decoding or analytic skills.

Unpacking systems and processes are what Arts graduates are generally better at than others.  Using critical thinking skills developed during the degree courses is invaluable in terms of putting all of the puzzle pieces together into a logical framework.  It is also valuable when it comes to unearthing details overlooked by others.

  1. Reading people and communicating.

Having empathy and being able to see people as they are is a skill that Arts graduates have in spades.  Focusing on what others want and need and then being able to communicate that clearly is hugely beneficial.

The Conference Board of Canada has published a recent report ( urging universities and businesses to address career transition challenges faced by Social Science grads.  Businesses that have hired and recognized the unique skills these graduates bring to the table have benefited.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Business Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene at info@effectiveplacement.c

Saying “No” is Powerful

As difficult as it seems to be saying “no” is an essential business skill.  The value of declining opportunities, invitations, and even clients is an invaluable asset to anyone.  It is especially valuable in solo or small business.

  1. Saying no garners respect.

When working for and with others I have learned that declining people is powerful.  For example it is powerful to let people know when they have not been successful in terms of a promotion or hiring process.  The person receiving the no has often thanked me for being transparent with them in providing feedback.  These same people have often stayed in touch and have utilized my services in other areas.  To me that indicates a respect for the work done and for me as a person.

  1. Declining opportunities frees up your time.

I have worked with a number of people who say yes to something and then spend their time complaining about the increased workload.  When presented with an opportunity that you think you may want – think it over carefully before you accept.  It may not be what you want at this point in your life.  At the same token it may have been appealing at one period and now it is not.  Saying no to something that you no longer have an interest in frees up your time and energy for a project that does.  Give yourself the permission to say no and reap the reward of time for what fits for you to show up.

  1. Regretting part of social work related invitation may be to your benefit.

At one time or another each of us has accepted a social work based invitation that has been frustrating at best.  It has been my experience as a manager at social events involving those that I work for and those who report to me that not everyone is on their best behavior.  Interacting with a co-worker or colleague who is incapacitated or angry at a social function is less than desirable.   For myself I make it a practice to show up for a brief period including the forma portion of the event.  After that making my regrets and leaving is a priority.  The people I work with know me professionally and by departing early my integrity is upheld.

Learning to say no is a powerful game changer in life and in business.  It has certainly served me and my clients well.

Need more clarity – contact me to discuss.

Business Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at