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.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.  Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Purpose and Value in your Business Brand

Does a lack of purpose in your business brand = no value?  And what constitutes purpose?  What is the building block for it?  Well – how about looking at trust as the building block.  Yes trust as a building block for the product and brand is essential.

Question now becomes – what does it take to master that?  Good question – and one that I do not have an answer for.  Maximizing value to a client needs to go beyond price point.  This is the challenge.

Suggestions and feedback as to methods for creating trust are welcome.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss. Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Conflict Resolution

Conflict it is one thing that we all deal with at work and in our personal lives.  Common strategies for addressing conflict include withdrawal, giving up and giving in, and aggressive behaviour or language.  The behaviours mentioned above are not recommended as they tend to add more stress to an already tense situation.

A strategy that does not add to the pressure of conflict and its resolution involves addressing the problem productively.  Meaning that diplomacy, compromise and negotiation skills are required and need to be fully utilized to resolve the strain.

When you are in conflict you are in a situation of distress and that generally lowers your levels of well-being.  Having the flexibility to resolve the conflict by utilizing the skills noted above will actually boost your overall well-being.

It certainly works for me and I recommend giving it a try.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss. Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Resistance Factors to Change Management

There are at least dozen factors that cause resistance to change in business and organizations.  I have previously mentioned four.  Here are four more.

Lack of Competence

Change implies new skills – fear of not being able to make the transition causes people to push against the process.

Poor Timing

Planning a change initiative and implementing the process during a period of relative calm is a necessity.   Resistance may occur when changes are introduced at an awkward time.

 The Lack of Reward or Incentive

A plan to address the upside for employees and the gains that will be made is necessary.  Failure to do so is a breeding ground for a lack of motivation for the change itself.

Office Politics

Every organisation has its own share of in-house politics. Employees may resist change as a political strategy to “show or prove” that the change decision is wrong.

What other factors have you come across that indicate resistance to change?

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss. Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Habits That Work for You

Are you a gum chewer?  When alone gum chewing gum may have being more alert, improve your mood and reduce your level of stress.  The caveat is to do it when alone.

Have you been told on more than one occasion that you are a day dreamer?  Good for you.  Day dreaming for about 10 – 12 minutes while in the midst of a challenging task may actually help you to solve the dilemma.

Is your desk messy?  Piles of paper everywhere may actually lead to increased productivity.  As humans we want to see order someplace and work is an area that may be the orderly place for your productivity.

Which habit do you have that works for you?  Do let me know as I am genuinely interested.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss. Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at