Modern Projects Management – Seventh Edition

As markets and customer needs continue to evolve, organizations must regularly innovate and adapt to remain competitive. Project management methodologies provide organizations with the necessary tools and techniques to effectively execute and control these projects. This application has evolved significantly over time and is widely recognized as a critical discipline for achieving organizational success.

Creative Problem Solving

Creative Problem Solving

In the past few decades, psychologists and business people alike have discovered that successful problem solvers tend to use the same type of process to identify and implement the solutions to their problems. This process works for any kind of problem, large or small.


Click here for full course information:


Supervising Others

For the full Workshop  click below

Supervising Others Workshop 

Supervising others can be a tough job. Between managing your own time and projects, helping your team members solve problems and complete tasks, and helping other supervisors, your day can fill up before you know it.

The Supervising Others workshop will help supervisors become more efficient and proficient, with information on delegating, managing time, setting goals and expectations (for themselves and others), providing feedback, resolving conflict, and administering discipline.

Workshop Objectives:

      • Define requirements for particular tasks
      • Set expectations for your staff
      • Set SMART goals for yourself
      • Help your staff set SMART goals
      • Assign work and delegate appropriately
      • Provide effective, appropriate feedback to your staff
      • Manage your time more efficiently
      • Help your team resolve conflicts
      • Understand how to manage effectively in particular situations
      • Understand what a new supervisor needs to do to get started on the right path


Customer Service

Handling a Challenging Customer

Check out our Webinar, Coming Aug. 1 & 2

Customer Service

 customer service
Customer Service

Each and every one of us serves customers, whether we realize it or not. Maybe you’re on the front lines of a company, serving the people who buy your products. Perhaps you’re an accountant, serving the employees by producing their pay checks and keeping the company running. Or maybe you’re a company owner, serving your staff and your customers.

Customer Service must consider all types of customers and how we can serve them better and improve ourselves in the process. You need to  have a  strong skill set  that includes in-person and over the phone techniques,  such as dealing with difficult customers, and generating return business..

It’s important  to understand what customer service means in relation to all of your customers, both internal and external.    Critically you need to take into account how your attitude affects your customer service delivery.

The better that you are able to Identify your customers’ needs and deliver on those needs the more likely it is that your customers will return. A business with no return customers is not a business at all.

Every interaction with the customer is a golden opportunity to build Goodwill. Being versed in  over the phone customer service is just as important as one-on-one face-to-face customer service.

in today’s day and age there are also many online tools that assist you with delivery exceptional customer service.

Customers are not always easy to deal with. Therefore,  you must develop the skill set of dealing with difficult customers.

Check out our Webinar, Coming Aug. 1 & 2

 Customer Service Workshop

This is a chapter from our course on dealing with difficult customers.

The Customer Service Workshop  contains 12 modules with extensive content.

Recovering Difficult Customers

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

Bill Gates

One of the hardest challenges customer service staff face is dealing with difficult customers. Sometimes customers have a legitimate reason to be upset and sometimes they don’t. In either case, customer service staff needs to be prepared for dealing with difficult customers and finding ways to win them back

De-Escalating Anger

No matter which method you are using to provide customer service, it is almost inevitable that at times you will have to deal with an angry customer. This is the case in even the best-run businesses, and for the best customer service individuals. Sometimes, whether justifiably or otherwise, customers will get annoyed with the company and will wish to vent that anger at the first available representative. It will frequently be quite powerful anger which may boil over into verbal abuse, but the job of a customer service provider is to accept that it will happen and get on with solving the problem. The first step in doing this is to try and calm the customer down; because it will be difficult to solve a problem if they are boiling with fury, whether their anger is justified or not.

The first thing you must do is speak to the customer in a calm manner and get straight the nature of the problem. It may be the case that they want to scream and shout a bit to vent their fury, and it is up to you how long you give them to do this. Your opening gambit should be something along the lines of “I can tell this is obviously a matter of some importance to you – I’d like to do what I can to help you”. Saying “please, calm down” or refusing to help until they have stopped shouting will simply escalate their anger.

Very often, anger arises as the result of a misunderstanding. In these cases it is essential to get to the source of the misunderstanding as quickly as possible. You should speak to the customer and allow them to see that you realize the matter is important. Do not say “I understand” or “I sympathize” – they do not want your sympathy and they will doubt that you understand. Getting the problem laid out, so that you can move forward, depends on getting the customer to see that you are willing to help. From that point, they will be a lot more ready to calm down and proceed.

Establishing Common Ground

When your job entails dealing with customers, it is inevitable that from time to time some of those with whom you deal will be dissatisfied, and perhaps in a bad mood. Your job in this case – as in all cases of customer service – is to ensure that the issues are dealt with promptly and efficiently. If this should mean that you have to listen to some ranting first of all, then it is worth accepting that this will be the case, and allowing a customer to say what they feel they have to say before getting to the heart of the problem. When all is said and done, you will be seeking to get the point across to the customer that you both have a common goal – the resolution to their problem.

It stands to reason, as a result of the circumstances, that the customer will display signs of anger towards you initially. You, to them, are a symbol of the company for whom you work, which is also the company with which they have an issue. In the customer’s eyes, you will be an opponent, and someone to be overcome. Your task is seeing to it that they realize that this is not the case. You are both on the same side here, as people who want to find a solution to their problem. Of course they will not see it that way at the beginning and this is where you will need to employ good customer service. Ask questions about the problem, to demonstrate that you take their issue seriously. Begin to formulate a solution and explain what that will be. Allow the customer to be part of this process, and you will gain their confidence.

In the long run, what you are looking for is a solution that the customer will be happy with. They may have begun the interaction by making known their dissatisfaction and being somewhat hostile towards you, but the fact of the matter is that as long as you maintain a calm demeanor and address their problem seriously, they will recognize you as an ally rather than an adversary, and will be ready to work with you on the issue. Once the issue is solved, they will remember you as a person who helped them, and will see you and the company in a more positive light.

Setting Your Limits

Sometimes a customer will come to you with a problem that you cannot solve. As a customer service representative it is often expected that you will have the solutions to all problems with your company’s products or services at your fingertips. Of course this simply is not possible. Sometimes a customer will come to you with a problem that simply is insoluble, and you will have to tell them so. In these cases it can be difficult to get your point across in a way that leaves the customer satisfied and seeing your point of view – but it is important to at least try.

There are many possible reasons why you may be unable to help a customer with their problem. It may be that they are simply being unreasonable – a defect may have occurred with a product that they bought because they used it for an application it wasn’t meant to perform. It may be that the product for which they are seeking help is now obsolete and that the problem is impossible to repair. In either case, the fact remains that you will not be able to grant their request, and you will need to communicate this in a way that allows them to leave on good terms.

So much of human interaction is in how you say things, and customer service is much the same. If you cannot solve a problem, then it is essential to explain why this is the case, and to give the customer all the help possible to find an alternative solution. The more you can do for them, the more they will understand that, although you could not solve the problem then and there, you gave it your best and you provided them with some help. Demonstrating that you are willing to do what is possible will win you points in almost every case.

Managing Your Own Emotions

When dealing with a customer who is angry, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain your own composure in the face of their protests. Your job as a customer service provider is to try and solve their problem and to avoid getting agitated yourself. However, the fact is that we are all human and we all have our limits. Sometimes you may feel that you want to respond to a customer’s goading by getting angry at them. This should be avoided as it escalates the situation. Instead you should try to remain calm and bring the customer toward your level of calm.

In many cases, the extent of the customer’s anger will be that they have had a problem with one of your products and they want to see it repaired. They will be angry because they spent money on something which, in their view, was not worth it. Your job in this case is to try and calm them down by allowing them to see that you will do whatever you can to help them. Rather than being a faceless, nameless representative of a company which has given them a problem, you are a human being. As much as possible, you should present this human face when talking to a dissatisfied customer; manage your emotions, and although it may be difficult it is worth doing.

Sometimes customers will seek to provoke a reaction from you, as they enjoy arguing the point and feel that seeing you get angry will prove that they are right. Try putting yourself in the shoes of the customer and think about how you would respond to such a situation, and what you would want to hear. Reaching an understanding may take time and effort, but it is worth doing nonetheless – particularly as getting angry could lead to you getting fired.

Practical Illustration

Jordan thought he had seen it all, but boy, he was wrong. One morning a very unhappy customer came through the office shouting and demanding help. Jordan was the only customer service representative that wasn’t currently busy, so he had to deal with the man.

The angry customer was shouting, but Jordan remained calm and collected. Jordan explained that he would try to help him in any way possible. The man eventually calmed down enough to have a discussion, and the issue was resolved rather quickly.

It was a simple misunderstanding, and was dealt with accordingly. Jordan was proud of the way he handled the situation, but would rather not have to go through it again anytime soon.

Click here to see the full content of the Customer Service Workshop.



Leadership Development for Women

Leadership for Women







Women in leadership roles are powerful agents of change. As the business world is continuing to discover the transformative power of women’s leadership, it is becoming increasingly evident that this inclusion of women in these positions leads to greater success within an organization.

Women leaders help to break down gender barriers and stereotypes to women’s advancements, as well as drive innovation and collaboration. They contribute unique perspectives and bring a wealth of skills to the workplace. Through supporting women’s leadership, we can work to maximize the potential of almost half of our population. In a world that needs innovative and compassionate leadership, it’s essential to promote and encourage women’s leadership to help shape a better future for everyone.



Women leaders can serve as powerful role-models and mentors- not only by challenging career barriers, but also by inspiring women of the next generation to do the same. Women in leadership positions demonstrate what is possible and can empower others to pursue their own leadership ambitions. Role-models help us to build our confidence and identify our goals. They provide examples of achievements and behaviors that we can aspire to emulate. Role-modeling is especially important for individuals in marginalized groups who may be facing systemic barriers. By seeing others overcome familiar challenges, they can gain the motivation that they need to pursue their own goals. Essentially, women leaders can encourage others to step outside of their comfort zones and try new things or take new risks.

Mentors are incredibly important to have in the workplace. A mentor is an experienced individual who provides guidance and advice to someone who may be less experienced, known as a mentee. Like role-models, mentors can offer insights on a particular field, as well as help the mentee in identifying and developing their skills and strengths. Women in leadership positions can act as powerful mentors and advocates for other women, by providing guidance and support, as well as championing their achievements. They can also help their mentees by providing them with networking opportunities. Ultimately, mentoring is an exceptional tool for supporting the development of female leaders.


In today’s business world, having a team with diverse thoughts and experiences is invaluable. When individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives come together, they can bring a wealth of unique ideas and insights to the table. This is especially important in a workplace setting, as a team with diverse viewpoints is more likely to challenge assumptions, identify potential opportunities or risks, and consider a wider range of options that may have been overlooked.

Women, with their unique experiences and perspectives, can help to make a significant contribution to creating a diverse team that leads to more creative and innovative solutions. Their diversity of thought can help organizations to better understand and fulfill customer expectations. Women may be more attuned to the concerns and needs of diverse stakeholders, including other women or members of marginalized groups. As a group that has traditionally been underrepresented in leadership positions, women bring alternative perspectives that are necessary in identifying hidden areas and uncovering new opportunities.


A collaborative approach to leadership is the key to unlocking a shared potential of teams that may not be achieved through individual efforts alone. Teams that are led by collaborative leaders tend to have higher levels of employee engagement and greater productivity. In today’s rapidly changing business environment, a collaborative approach is particularly effective for adapting quickly and responding to emerging challenges. Without this approach, employees may feel disconnected and undervalued. They may feel as though their ideas are not being heard or valued, which will often lead to a lack of motivation.

Women in leadership often bring this collaborative approach, which emphasizes the importance of communication, inclusivity, and teamwork. They recognize the value in building partnerships, while empowering others to contribute their expertise. Women leaders tend to be very skilled at aligning their team around a common goal and creating a sense of shared purpose. The encouragement of collaboration will not only help to empower every team member, but it will create an environment that fosters productivity and success.

There are many ways that women may use a collaborative approach to leadership, including:

  • Encouraging open communication with the team
  • Building strong relationships with team members
  • Seeking diverse perspectives
  • Ensuring that all voices are heard and considered
  • Recognizing and rewarding team successes


Women’s leadership brings a valuable perspective to the workplace, that is rooted in empathy and inclusivity. Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is particularly beneficial in leadership because it allows leaders to connect to their team members on a personal level. It involves experiencing another person’s emotions from their perspective, or rather feeling with the person. When leaders are empathetic to those around them, they are able to address the concerns and needs of others. Once these needs have been recognized, leaders can then provide the necessary resources and support to help them succeed. Empathetic leaders are excellent for creating a sense of belonging and trust within the team. Women leaders tend to possess higher levels of emotional intelligence and empathy. They are typically more emotionally expressive and focus on a people-oriented approach to leadership.

By leveraging interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, women leaders can create inclusive work environments. Empathetic individuals relate to the emotions, experiences, and perspectives of their team members, regardless of their backgrounds. When people feel this sense of psychological safety, they will often feel more welcome and included in their environment. Inclusivity and empathy will not only create a work culture that is more efficient, but one that is more fulfilling and meaningful for every team member.


A company’s reputation is an important asset that can impact its financial performance and long-term success. There are many factors that contribute to building a successful reputation for a company, including its products, plans, and people. The positive influence of women’s leadership on a company’s reputation is undeniable. Women in leadership positions will often serve as a driving force of progressive change. They can demonstrate that the company promotes and values workplace diversity, which is incredibly important for a company’s image and appeal to a wider audience.

Female leaders are often known for having strong communication skills, being empathetic, and other important traits in building a positive workplace culture. The culture of a company will have a significant impact on its reputation. A positive workplace culture is one that prioritizes employee well-being, collaboration, and a sense of shared purpose. When employees feel as though they are valued and supported, they are more likely to be engaged and productive with their work, leading to better business outcomes. Having a positive workplace culture will also help to attract top talent, which can help to enhance a company’s reputation as an employer of choice.


Are you ready to set your trainees up for success with these skills? Download our newly updated Leadership Development for Women Workshop today!

Posted by Allen Phillips May the 12th 2023.


Human Skills Training




By Allen Phillips, Human Skills Development

For many organizations, hard skills are at the top of the hiring list. That is, they are looking for skills specific to the job itself and the education or experience needed to perform the job well.

While the importance of having relevant education, training and work experience cannot be underestimated, you also need to consider less tangible skills such as Human Skills/Soft Skills. After all, it’s not just about having the most talented and qualified employees. It’s about allowing them to work together as a team for the benefit of their own success and the company.

What are Human Skills/Soft Skills?

Human Skills/Soft Skills focus on who people are as opposed to what they are trained to be. They serve to present your life and work attitude. Simply put, Human Skills/Soft Skillsare interpersonal skills that are intrinsic to a person’s personality, and they characterize how you interact with other people in the workplace.

Human Skills/Soft Skills are essentially the people skills, personality skills and communication skills that your employees need for their long-term success and that of your company. After all, almost every job requires employees to engage with others inside or outside your company, so these skills cannot be overlooked.

Human Skills/Soft Skills vs hard skills

We have already explained that Human Skills/Human Skills/Soft Skillsare more personality oriented and not based on qualifications or work experience. Human Skills/Soft Skills include social skills, social skills, character traits, interpersonal skills, and transferable skills.

Hard skills, on the other hand, are technical skills that are job-specific. The hard skills of your employees come from education, certifications, training and work experience. These skills can be taught, are measurable, and can be tested through exams and practical assignments.

While hard skills are learned and mastered over time, Human Skills/Soft Skills are often more difficult to develop and difficult to assess and measure. Using an instructor as an example, let’s examine what typical soft and hard skills would be required for this role.

Trainer’s Hard Skills:

  • Thorough knowledge of the curriculum
  • Develop lesson plans
  • Develop educational strategies
  • Grading of learning work, exams, etc
  • Using appropriate technology (LMS, uploading courses, etc.)
  • Human Skills/Soft Skills of the trainer:
  • Communication
  • Solve problems.
  • Critical thinkin
  • Organization
  • Guide – Coach

Examples of Human Skills/Soft Skills

Hard skills are undoubtedly essential. These are the basic requirements that your employees must meet in order to perform their job functions. However, research has shown that Human Skills/Soft Skills account for 90% of what moves people up the ladder of success.

Let’s take a closer look at some examples of Human Skills/Soft Skills that are in demand for every workforce:

  • Self-motivation
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Flexibility
  • Conflict resolution
  • Positivity
  • Communication
  • Guide – Coach
  • Solve problems
  • Critical observation

Why you should care about Human Skills/Soft Skills

Human Skills/Soft Skills are becoming increasingly sought after, and many companies are recognizing them. Human Skills/Soft Skills provide you with a confident, happy workforce that empowers your business.

Many employers assume that the most practical Human Skills/Soft Skills are standard among their employees, but this is not always the case. It’s naïve to assume that your workforce simply knows how to behave in non-technical workplace situations. It is tantamount to assuming that all employees have the same personalities!

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has ranked Human Skills/Soft Skills as the largest skills gap in the US. If your workforce has ample technical skills but lacks Human Skills/Soft Skills, you may find that some elements of your organization are facing challenges. For example, if your employees are well trained in customer acquisition but not so well trained in customer retention, you have a Human Skills/Soft Skills gap. Fortunately, you can work to close Human Skills/Soft Skills gaps in your organization through training.

Benefits of Human Skills/Soft Skills training

LinkedIn conducted a study in 100 metropolitan areas of the United States in early 2018 and found that 1.4 million people lack communication skills. Since Human Skills/Soft Skills like communication can lead to the success of your business, it makes sense to train your employees in these vital skills.

There are a number of options for delivering Human Skills/Soft Skills training to your employees. You can devote entire courses to Human Skills/Soft Skills as part of employee onboarding, or add a Human Skills/Soft Skills area to your existing course content. When you invest in Human Skills/Soft Skills training for your employees, you will see many benefits including:

More effective communication:

Your employees can communicate more effectively with each other and with your customers or clients. They equip them with the skills to express themselves more clearly, to listen, and to tackle difficult conversations.

Stronger leadership

Your employees can delegate better, give feedback, accept feedback, take responsibility and motivate themselves and others to achieve their goals.

Improved problem solving

Your employees can proactively identify problems and potential roadblocks to projects, tasks, and goals. In addition, they are able to identify and implement solutions or offer alternative solutions.

Improved creative and critical thinking

With the Human Skills/Soft Skills training, your employees can “think outside the box” both creatively and critically. With these skills, they will be able to weigh their options, make informed decisions, making them more likely to achieve the results they want.

Better teamwork, efficiency and productivity

Human Skills/Soft Skills empower your people to collaborate and work together to achieve organizational goals together. This in turn leads to improved efficiency and increased productivity.

While the focus on Human Skills/Soft Skills is becoming more popular, hard skills should not be left behind – Human Skills/Soft Skills and hard skills are equally important. Give both equal priority in your L&D strategy to build a diverse workforce with the skills they need to do great work.

If training is a priority for you, look at the 148 courses that we offer at Human Skills Development. You will find that these courses are amongst the best In quality and content. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us at anytime.


-30 –

Allen Phillips, BBA, Owner/Director

Atlantic Speakers Bureau      Human Skills Development 

Employee Retention – Showing Respect

Showing Respect

Employee Retention

Showing respect to employees can have a powerful  effect on morale and performance. Employee retention can be a challenge. Whether you have a small construction crew, or office, or a large corporation, you will agree that hiring people is sometimes easier that keeping them.

There are a lot of different reasons why a person comes to work for you. Of course, a paycheck is a powerful motivation. But on occasion an employee will just quit, and sometimes it has little to do with his pay rate.

What are some of the factors that may influence whether an employee will continue working for you?

  • Schedule – work-life balance
  • Safety of work environment
  • Interactions with other employees
  • Type of work
  • Respect as a person and employee
  • Available training
  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Ability to complete assigned tasks

If we decide to terminate an employee, we usually are quite aware of why we did it. However sometimes someone will “just up and quit” and we are not sure why.

There are many reasons this can happen. Over the next few discussions we will look at some of the reasons this may happen and how to avoid losing a valuable employee. Let’s first consider showing respect.

Showing Respect

Respect the person

What does respect mean? A dictionary definition is “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements” and “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.”

Let’s look at this in a bit more detail. If you have a good employee, you should be able to list some of their abilities, qualities or achievements.

The first part of respect, as stated above, has to do with their abilities. What about their hard skills? They can do their job well. Their isn’t a problem with what they accomplish. They are always on time. They are good team workers, cordial and respectful toward others, whether fellow employees or clients, suppliers, etc. They have a good record of achieving their work goals, completing assignments on time.


If you have respect for them in this regard, did you tell them? Commendation should be given directly to such a valuable employee. A sincere “Thank You”, “Well Done” or “You did a great job on (project)” will be appreciated.

When a person is appreciated, they are encouraged to give their best. They will be more likely to treat others in the same fine manner as has been set by management. Often that is all the reward that is needed to motivate a person to continue doing their best.

What about the second part of the definition, “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.”

Showing respect for our employee as a person is important. People are not machines. They may seem to be unemotional, thick skinned, or just unaffected by how they are treated. However that is seldom the case. A person may be hiding all his negative feelings until suddenly without warning, he reacts, either by some emotional, or worst case, physical outburst, resulting in harm to himself and others around him. In other cases, they may just not come to work, quietly quitting, while seething on the inside.

Lack of Respect

Lack of respect of this type can manifest itself in a number of ways. It could be the boss, manager or foreman, who tends to belittle others to make himself look better. They may feel that the employee isn’t good enough at his job and so puts him down, when in fact no one has taken the time to train him for his work. They might even tell him he is stupid, or irresponsible, or doesn’t care enough to do his job right.

A lack of respect can be based on something that actually has nothing to do with the job. Some are treated badly because of race, nationality, or even social status. This can degrade into actual bullying causing a person to quit just to escape some abusive situation.

Improving Relations

So what can be done? Before a person quits, have they shown any indication of what is bothering them? Don’t write them off as just being a complainer, or hard to get along with. Listen. Are their issues real? Is there something that can be done to improve the situation in order to improve employee retention?

You may need to listen as they explain that you are the problem. If so, there may be things you can change that will benefit not just this individual but others in the company.

There is a lot of training available to help those in positions of management to do their job in a way that improves employee retention. Showing respect is just one of the ways mangement can benefit their business.. We may find that we have personality flaws that especially manifest themselves at work. We can change these and improve the situation for all involved.

Check out our course Respect in the Workplace to learn how to improve workplace relations.


6 Tips for Building Confidence and Assertiveness


We all have the power to change our confidence levels. Ultimately, taking control of our self-confidence will help us to take control of our lives. Confidence and assertiveness are practices that are learned. Everyone has the ability to both acquire and improve these skills over time. Through mindful and reflective practices, we can gain courage and self-awareness. Growing in confidence is integral to business success, in that it can create a stronger reputation, increase happiness, and help in gaining resiliency to bounce back from any obstacles. There are many simple tools that we can implement into our daily lives to develop confidence and build resiliency.


There is no denying that confidence can help to improve results and advance careers. It affects how we communicate with those around us, as well as how others perceive who we are. There is great authority in being able to connect a powerful presentation to important ideas. Sounding confident will lead us towards success. By feeling and sounding confident, we are better able to connect to our audience and show certainty in the information that is being shared. It’s common to feel nervous when speaking in front of others. This nervousness is typically presented through fast-talking, passive words, and a quivering voice. Unfortunately, these nerves can hold us back from great opportunities. With good preparation and a powerful mindset, anyone can show confidence and assertiveness when communicating to others.

There are many ways to display confidence in our communication, including:

  • Have a strong knowledge of the subject: Prior to communicating any ideas, be prepared with valuable information and understand how it can be presented with authority.
  • Speak clearly and enunciate words: Avoid mumbling. A clear speech will help to avoid any misunderstandings, captivate the audience, and demonstrate confidence.
  • Avoid filler words: Words such as ‘um’, ‘like’, or ‘you know’ cause the speaker to lose credibility on their information. Instead, pausing in silence will help to gain clarity on our thoughts.
  • Speak with a smile: Smiling will convey confidence and allow the speaker to appear happier and more approachable.
  • Do not belittle yourself: Avoid saying things such as, “This may be wrong”, or “I’m new, so this may not make sense”. This can be damaging to displaying a confident image.


Our thoughts have a powerful effect on shaping our confidence. Positive words and affirmations can significantly improve one’s confidence by breaking down negative beliefs that may otherwise hold us back. Negative thinking creates limitations, whereas positivity helps to keep people motivated towards their goals. Shifting our thoughts into positive ones will allow us to focus on what we can do, rather than what we can’t do. By showing compassion to ourselves, we can create an optimistic outlook for both our personal and professional life.

Positive affirmations are messages that we can tell ourselves to motivate our lives. While it is often easier to affirm those around us, we have to be able to provide encouraging words to ourselves as well. Affirmations are simple and effective ways to remove the negative thoughts that prevent us from achieving our goals. They are written as if the aspiration has already been achieved, in present tense. It can be helpful to post these affirmations next to a computer screen, on the refrigerator, or any other visible location. Through reciting these positive statements, we can gain belief in the words said and put them into action.

Examples of positive affirmations may include:

  • I am powerful. I am in control.
  • I am a capable and competent person.
  • I am valuable and significant.
  • I am an example of motivation.
  • I am strong, confident, and successful.


Striving for goals is a fundamental part of strengthening one’s self-confidence. Goals give us drive and a sense of direction for our life path. When setting goals, it’s crucial that they are specific, measurable, and align with our personal values. Goals that are individually specific are what will set us up for success. Having a clear objective will make it easier to set boundaries and make decisions that follow the objective that we have set. By knowing the path that we are following, we will be more motivated and energized to head that direction. In turn, achieving these goals will boost our confidence, and further motivate us towards future successes. They allow us to reach important milestones that will influence future inspirations. Every team member can gain confidence through setting personal and professional goals.


Morning routines have a significant effect on shaping the rest of the day. Essentially, morning habits can either influence a productive and confident day, or one that is full of negativity and self-doubt. Successful people create a morning routine that allows them to start their day with confidence and good intentions for the day ahead. It’s important to start the day with habits that help us feel fueled and ready to conquer whatever challenges may arise. By simply making our beds in the morning, we are accomplishing one task on our list. Through implementing an effective morning routine and feeling confident about the day, we can achieve greater success, happiness, and fulfilment.

To start the day with confidence and optimism, consider the following:

  • Wake up early: This allows us to get a head start on the day, in which we can take time for ourselves, whether it is journaling, enjoying a coffee, or reading.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast: Food is necessary for the body and mind, and fuels us to be confident for the day. Some healthy breakfast ideas include eggs, fruit and yogurt, smoothies, or oatmeal.
  • Visualize goals and intentions for the day ahead: It’s important to decide what we want, and then work towards it. This helps to set us up for success.
  • Make a list of gratitude: Showing gratitude is known to have a positive impact on our overall wellness, and helps to improve sleep, happiness, confidence, and our relationships with others.
  • Start the day with stretches and exercise: Allowing our bodies to move is a great confidence builder, and makes us feel good and energized all day long.
  • Use affirmations to increase motivation: Our mindset has a significant impact on the outcome of our daily lives. A positive mindset will encourage us to do better, accomplish our tasks, and strive towards our goals.


Visualization is the practice of using one’s imagination to help picture success, which can be an excellent tool in building confidence. We can use visualization to constructively influence our goals, and shape how we feel about tackling challenging tasks. Visualization can be helpful for someone who is trying to get a promotion, preparing for a presentation, or applying to a new job. By seeing themselves become successful, they are more likely to make that happen. For example, if someone is interviewing for a position, they may envision themself sitting in the interview room and proficiently answering possible questions that could be asked. This is a great tool to help someone deal with a stressful situation, or one in which they are not feeling confident about. Visualizing success will build a strong mental image of our future goals, and encourage self-confidence.

Here are some steps to help visualize a future event:

  1. Determine what the goal is going to be.
  2. Envision the scene and what the environment might look like.
  3. Consider the steps that would make this moment successful, whether it is perfecting the answers to interview questions or how you can effectively engage an audience during a presentation.
  4. Continue to visualize this moment until it is time to make it happen.
  5. Approach the visualized situation with confidence.


Facing our fears can have life-changing results. Fear has a negative impact on confidence, self-esteem, and overall success. Whether it is public speaking, meeting new people, or starting a new position, it is natural to feel some level of fear. The best way to overcome these fears are to face them, and accept them. Strengthening one’s mindset about how fear is perceived will help us to build confidence to try new things and take on new challenges. It’s advantageous to visualize ourselves performing our fearful tasks with confidence, in order to instruct our minds on how to take action. The key is to challenge our fears, rather than ignore them.

To overcome fears, consider the following:

  • What exactly is the fear? Where did it stem from?
  • What would happen if I did not avoid this fear?
  • What are the pros and cons of taking this risk?
  • How can I overcome this fear?


Are you ready to set your trainees up for success with these skills? Sign them up today for our updated Building Confidence and Assertiveness Workshop today!

Human Skills – Communicate

What are human skills and how do they help us to communicate?

The ability to communicate well helps a person to get along well with others. Communication is important in the workplace.

Human skills are the characteristics of a person that helps him to communicate and get along well with others. Human skills, often referred to as soft skills,  include communication, empathy, reasonableness, self-awareness and others.


These are skills that we learn as we go through life. Just as no one is born with the skills to be an electrician, or a computer programmer, we are not born with the human skills we need to navigate through the challenges of life. We usually learn them from those around us, such as our parents. Have you ever heard someone speak with fondness about a grandparent because of the kind and gentle person they were? If we have been in the unfortunate situation where we did not grow up with such good influences, we can still learn the human skills that will help us be successful and pleasant to be around.

While Human Skills Development is oriented toward the workplace, the learning of human skills can benefit us in every day life, with our family and friends, and really anyone we come into contact with.

So let’s start with communication. There are a number of aspects to consider, such as

  • When to communicate.
  • What to say.
  • How to say it.

Let’s compare communicating to eating. We usually have some sort of schedule for when we eat. Based on our needs and preferences we decide what we will eat. And then the question of how it is prepared and presented. Those things all affect the experience of eating and the same goes for communication.

When to communicate.

  • At work, you may need to exchange ideas on a project that you are working on with a team.
  • You may need to talk to your boss about time off for an important personal function.
  • You may be the foreman who needs to talk to someone about their work habits.
  • You may be called on to deal with a customer complaint.
  • At home, there are always thing to talk about. Finances, caring for the home and family, dealing with relatives, choosing entertainment, future plans, preparing for retirement etc.

What to say.

As we decide what to say we need to be clear as to our goal in communicating. Are you providing information about accomplishing a task? If so you need to understand the information before you pass it along.

If we are telling a  person to make adjustments  in their attitude or work habits, can we start by commending them for something they do well? It will make it easier to point out what needs to be improved.

Take time to understand the person and their situation. What are they dealing with in their personal lives. Without prying you may be able to understand that their behavior was affected by something unrelated to work.

How to say it.

Think of the Golden Rule, to treat others as we would like to be treated. We like to be treated with respect. We like it when others “hear us out” when we need to explain something. We would like others make allowances for the challenges we face. We like to to be asked, rather than told what to do. We don’t like to be be yelled at.

So those are things that good communicators do.

Communicate well at work and home

Our goal in communicating should be to improve the situation for everyone involved.

Our course, Communication Strategies, will help you to communicate skillfully with anyone in any situation.