Personal Power Managing and Keeping it







Quote for June 2018 – “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”  Maya Angelou

Happy Canada Day Everyone! 

This issue is focused on personal power. I know I do it on occasion, and I am sure that many of you do as well – that is giving up your power or acquiescing in a situation just to have it turn around, bite you back, hard, fast, and viciously. It is not a pleasant place to be. Often it takes a huge toll on you.  You may find yourself struggling for an extended time to regain your power.  Some of you may feel that it is useless or hopeless to even try.

A challenge is to not be reduced by the circumstances you find yourself in.  To learn more about maintaining your power in any storm join myself and other speakers for a day that will be illuminating, inspiring, and grounding in terms of retaining your personal power whatever may be going on around you.

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

  1. “Harness Your Power” – mini workshop coming up for the fall of 2018 in Saskatoon. Watch your inbox during July for the date and details.
  2. Does selling your products and services to an audience of women sound appealing? Contact me for vendor details.
  3. Are you a speaker with a compelling story to share about your own journey to keeping your power in trying circumstances? Do touch base with me for additional details about the event.
  4. Tired of the state of leadership in your work or in life in general? Join me for an informal discussion regarding LEx – The Leader Experience – and shared food and drink at the 220 in September 2018.  Details will be confirmed August of 2018.
  5. The weather may be nice – but you may be facing the “Summertime Blues” due to conflict and changes in your organization. Not sure how to cope or where to go for timely solutions? Contact myself 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.


4 Signs of Influence at Work

4 Signs of Influence at Work

Are you wondering about your influence at work?  Do you have clarity as to how to measure your influence ? Where do you look to in your organization to verify or validate the influence you have?

Most managers and executives would state that they have a strong influence overall within the business they are in.  That may simply be their view on the matter without evidence to support their assertion or belief.

  1. Personal attitude and behavior are the platform for influence.

Being approachable and listening to employees at every level of the organization is vital to having influence.  Partnered with that is the need for a consistent message along with consistent body language on our part.  Speaking to others in neutral tones, having an open body posture, and making eye contact with people while speaking to them, are all indicators of consistency.

  1. Continuing to be approachable.

Meeting with the first line of employees conducting the day-to-day operations, or having meetings with the managers the importance of being approachable cannot be overstated.  Maintaining your listening skills and requesting suggestions from those working in the front lines is invaluable.  The crucial aspect of having influence is in engaging those around you and in implementing their best suggestions for change.

  1. Requesting feedback from employees.

When you request constructive feedback from employees you are opening yourself to a degree of criticism.  You are also opening yourself to receiving feedback that assists in confirming and enhancing the degree of influence you have.

  1. Increased cooperation for change and new initiatives.

When those employees who report to you and colleagues rally around you to cooperate, champion, and assist whole heartedly with the implementation of your programs or projects you can clearly see the evidence of being influential.

Like anything else influence may be achieved and lost.  To maintain the momentum that has started be sure to keep your behavior and attitude consistent and open to receive feedback from those around you.

Business Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Engaging People in Change

Where ever you work there is a company or workplace culture if you will.   It is the framework that hampers transition / change management because it is viewed to be necessary for consistency in day-to-day operations.   Now consistency is a good and necessary thing from an operational perspective.  However, what happens when what is defined as consistent no longer serves the business?  Some form of stagnation is a common result.  That stagnation becomes the stumbling block for change to occur.

As a Business Transition Strategist questioning assumptions, behaviors, beliefs and processes is second nature.  However, in the role of transition management you are not typically the person with the authority or power if you will to enact processes that would be beneficial over the short or long term.

Finding a way to engage your clients is imperative and the following areas provide suggestions for a place from which to launch.

  1. Address what is actual current in the operation of the business. Have the leadership and managers look at what they are doing and why.
  2. Bring measurement tools to the forefront. It seems like an obvious thing to do yet it may be overlooked in the haste to get an initiative started
  3. Work within the sphere of influence you have. Promoting changes begins with working within those aspects you have influence over.
  4. Ensure your champion for the process is well informed. The person who is the champion of the process is likely someone who commands a larger sphere of influence than yourself.
  5. Be diplomatic. Being the person who knows it all is hardly a diplomatic approach.
  6. Speak to your audience in the manner they understand. Take the time to define the terms you are using.

Changes occur with action.  Build on your wins and take the time to celebrate each of your successes along the way.

Business Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

10 Leadership Competencies

The list presented is far from exhaustive.  It also builds on having core soft skills in place.  On review which competencies are your strong suits?  From that, which are the ones that can be improved upon?  Lastly what would add or take away from the list?

  1. Social Intelligence – Sensitivity to social situations.
  2. Interpersonal Skills – The phrase “soft skills” is representative of having interpersonal skills.
  3. Emotional Intelligence – Having emotional intelligence includes paying attention to nonverbal cues.
  4. Prudence – Prudence is being able to see others’ perspectives.
  5. Courage – Standing firm in your principles especially in the face of opposition or criticism.
  6. Conflict Management – Working with those in conflict to develop collaborative solutions.
  7. Decision Making – Leaders understand when to consult with the larger team.
  8. Political Skills – An effective leader is a good political player.
  9. Influence Skills – As a leader having mastery in terms of influencing others is necessary.
  10. Area Competence – It is important that you add to the competency level of the enterprise.

Business Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

10 Competencies for Managers

The market place is full of competency and behavioral assessments that assist managers in discovering their core strengths.  The list below is a sampling.  On review which competencies are your strong suits?  From that, which are the ones that can be improved upon?  Lastly what would add or take away from the list?

  1. Action Oriented – Seizing more opportunities than others is customary
  2. Dealing with Ambiguity – Making decisions and acing without having the total picture is usual
  3. Approachability – Generally gracious and patient with the interpersonal anxieties of others
  4. Business Acumen – The ability to deploy strategies and tactics that work in the marketplace
  5. Genuine Compassion – Monitors workloads and appreciates extra effort
  6. Comfort Around Executives – Comfortable in dealing with and addressing more senior managers
  7. Command Skills – Faces adversity head on and is energized by tough challenges
  8. Composure – Mature and can be counted on to hold things together during tough times
  9. Managerial Courage – Takes negative action when necessary
  10. Managing and Measuring Work – Sets clear objectives and measures;

Business Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

5 Ways Body Language Impacts Listening Skills

I am constantly reminded of the importance of body language in listening.  Pay attention to what your body is doing to improve your overall communication skills.

  1. Leaning Back

Leaning back signals that you are disinterested and day dreamy


  1. Slouching

Having your body slouch has the appearance of lethargy or lack of energy.


  1. Crossing Your Arms (Or Legs)

Crossing your arms has you appear closed off or unwilling to cooperate.   Crossing your legs can be interpreted similarly so be aware if your legs are visible not to sit with crossed legs.

  1. Feet Point Away

Your feet point to where you want to go. When someone is listening intently to another person, his or her feet will point towards them.

  1. Turning Away

Your body will point to where it is focused.  To make a strong impression, move your body slightly to angle toward whoever is speaking during a meeting.

The shifts you make in body language may or may not be noticed.  Making the shifts will have others think you are a great listener.  Having that realization even at an unconscious level is worth the effort of paying attention to your body language.

Business Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at



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