Self Promotion – The Foundation

Promoting yourself involves being generous, trustworthy, present, open minded and adaptable.  These traits are offshoots of 3 areas – clearing obstacles, acceptance of others and self, and genuine self expression.

The first is to focus on clearing obstacles or embracing challenges in your life.  Not taking the risks necessary to address the challenges in life is not the foundation for authenticity.  It is often what keeps people stuck.

The second area is to be accepting of yourself and others.  Yes just accepting people as they are rather than having the agenda of changing them.

The third is to express yourself genuinely – that is not permission to cause a scene or be intentionally disruptive.  It is permission to speak from within and be clear as to your opinion or feelings about a project or process.

Genuine self -expression takes practice.  Let me know how you are doing in that area.  I am genuinely interested.

Business Consultant – Change & Transition, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Soft Skills Are Necessary for Work

Working with hiring managers in several different industries including mining, safety, manufacturing, and health care the one common denominator for skills from the Executive Suite to the frontend office has been soft skills. Most managers agree that technological skills are taught in higher education or learned on the job.

Soft skills in this case refer to interpersonal communication skills, relating to others, being approachable, having a good attitude, being pleasant to work with, having cognitive or emotional empathy, and having harmonious interactions with others. Mastery of these skills enables a person to engage and influence others.

The person with great soft skills leads with confidence. They are also able to manage stress. Another attribute is patience, knowing when to take action and when to slow things down until the timing for a change or process is more fully aligned.

Having a good work ethic in terms of being present to the situation, with a willingness to learn something new is part of having well developed soft skills. Lastly engaging in business behavior that mirrors truthfulness is a key aspect of the soft skills tool box.

Business Consultant – Change & Transition Marie-Helene Sakowski at


Blue Monday May Turn into a Blue Week

Many HR professionals describe the 3rd Monday in January as the gloomiest day of the year.  The January slump seems to be in place and it takes more than a day to get over it.  Typically productivity in most office situations slows down in December.  That tends to run over into January.

Suggestions to tackle the productivity aspect include providing a psychological boost for employees.  That can be as simple as scheduling productivity targets for January before the holiday season.  It may be that employees are given the option of leaving early for achieving goals.  Another idea is to provide incentives to employees for creative suggestions to get over the slump factor.

Clearly it is a matter of taking a different approach from the usual day-to-day operations.  What have you tried in your business that has worked?

Business Consultant – Change & Transition, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Time to Hire that Contract Worker

With the volatility of the economic climate in many industrialized counties including Canada, the USA and much of Europe the circumstances provide the perfect storm for the use of contractual consultants.

  1. Contract workers take the edge off of overwhelm due to overwork and or contraction.
  2. Contracts allow a business to keep its overhead manageable.
  3. Contracts with consultants add a different perspective to the workplace that in and of itself leads to positive change.
  4. Contract workers take the edge off of peak vacation periods and ensure that projects and or production stay on track saving costly financial overruns.

Contractors are a beneficial investment of time and resources especially in relation to the challenges of ongoing change.  The true value of a business is the people who work in it.  Shorter term contractors provide invaluable assistance in addressing current and future volatility.

Business Consultant Change & Transition , Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Make Decisions from an Overwhelming Number of Choices

We are all faced with a seemingly endless array of choices in our day-to-day work and personal lives. Choice is touted a s a good thing. And in essence it is a good thing. However, when it comes to having more options than you can research and review in a timely fashion it turns into something that is less than stellar. When faced with too many options many of us tend to freeze and not make a choice. We simply do nothing.

To relieve the inertia of overwhelm when it comes to choosing what may be the best product or service for your business or personal use start to approach it from another point of view. Look at your options not from which is the best and a must have – but from the place of determining what will meet your needs. That entails leaving exceptionally high expectations out of the equation. In doing so you will likely find that your feelings of overwhelm and disappointment lessen.

Let me know your strategies for choosing from the vast array of choices we have in front of us today. I am genuinely interested.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant – Change,


Components of Integrity

In business having a reference document around integrity is valuable. For it to be fully utilized it must contain processes for managing conflict and diversity in a manner consistent with the values of the business.  For integrity to be present the employer and employees need to have a mutual basis of trusting and respecting one another while maintaining a healthy respect for diversity.

In the event the business you are in as an employer or an employee is not thriving it would be prudent to do a quick check as to what areas of the business are out of integrity or alignment with the stated values of the company.  It may be that a quick fix solution will put the process back on track.  It may mean designing a process to monitor and track day-to-day operations to identify areas where a lack of trust and respect have eroded and caused the current situation.  It may mean that the owners or executives need to set aside time to relearn or begin to value one another and allow for trust and respect to show-up in interacting with one another.

Integrity is a word that takes action, courage, and a willingness to change for it to be alive and well in a workplace.  As an employer, a leader, and an employee integrity requires trust and from trust comes commitment.  Ask yourself what you are doing in your workplace to promote trust and commitment.

Business Change and Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski –


The heck with resolutions, intentions, and everything that goes with it. It is time for many of us to Try something differently and experiment with it to see if it works. It may not work. It is still a valuable opportunity to learn from and test the ideas that you have.

 Inspired to think differently, act differently, work differently, play differently – who knows what possibilities are out there from a place of embracing diverse thoughts and behaviours. It promises to be an interesting journey and I for one am ready to take it.

What about you? What is beckoning you?

Business Change Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at