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It’s often the case that small businesses exist in a market that includes at least one, and often many other LARGE businesses or chains.

On the surface of it, it would seem that the small business is in competition with these giants, but that’s more of an illusion or a poor business strategy, rather than a reality.

Small businesses do not want to compete with the giants on the home field of the larger corporation.

Small businesses have unique capabilities, and can do things big business cannot, particularly when it comes to the experiences customers have.

The key is simple: Don’t go head to head on features or business elements where large firms hold an advantage.

Welcome to the fire of an unhealthy workplace. Leadership may be the cure

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Photo by Dark Labs on Unsplash

Summary: Some organizations have climates that are unhealthy for those that work in them. We call these organizations toxic organizations. Within toxic organizations conflict thrives like weeds. Read more about toxic companies.

Toxic Organizations

We can think of organizations as falling on a continuum. One end is anchored by organizations that function well. In the middle we find the average organization that is effective but could be better. Finally, we have the toxic organization, an organization that is largely ineffective, but is also destructive to its employees and leaders.

What Is A Toxic Organization?

A toxic organization shows two characteristics that distinguish it from healthier workplaces. First, it has a history of poor performance, and poor decision-making. …

…and it’s not about the future money

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Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

Take a look at the following list of jobs I’ve held during and after my stay in higher education institutions.

  1. Animator at half way house for those with mental problems (i.e. bipolar, schizophrenia)
  2. Research assistant on social psychology projects
  3. Teaching assistant — Psychology
  4. Teaching assistant — Faculty of Education
  5. Journal Board member — Educational Journal (peer-reviewed)
  6. Data analyst for professors and students doing quantitative research
  7. Clinical and counselling instructor (community college)
  8. Data analyst at school board
  9. Instructor Trainer and Educator (community college)
  10. Supervisor practice teaching (high school level)
  11. Instructional designer provincial government
  12. Organizational and staff development officer (government
  13. Business owner
  14. Book author (more books than I can…

Not every employee thrives when empowered to make decisions and act autonomously.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Managers, influenced by the “employee empowerment” buzz of the late ‘90’s sometimes place too much emphasis on insisting that ALL employees exercise more power, discretion and decision-making in their jobs. The result can be the appearance of indecisiveness on the part of managers, and a desire, on the part of employees, to be “left alone” to do their jobs within a more limited scope. Learn how to avoid this common error on employee empowerment.

As a result of the encouragement of management gurus in the late 1990’s empowerment became a state of affairs of value in and of itself. While having employees capable and willing to make decisions and act on their own is a good situation, some managers have taken the concept too far. …

Present your most persuasive speech or presentation ever with these ten principles

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Photo by Jennifer Bonauer on Unsplash

It doesn’t matter who you are speaking to. Whether to a group of a thousand, a radio or television audience, or one person in the privacy of your office, much depends on your ability to come across in a credible and honest fashion. Good intentions are not enough. Many the honest, open speaker has created an impression of shiftiness and dishonesty due to a lack of understanding about how to structure content, and how to use language and speaking style to come across in a credible manner. …

If it wasn’t for the managers, communication about employee performance could work very well. Here are common errors

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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Performance appraisals are probably the most misused, and goofed-up management tool in existence. Starting from misunderstanding the whole point of appraisals, right on through to use of poor communication with employees, managers make a fairly consistent set of mistakes about employee reviews, and performance appraisals. Here’s some of them in the fourth in our series of common managerial mistakes.

Since there are a fair number of errors made by managers in the performance appraisal and employee review process, we’ll approach this set in brief point form. Stay tuned since we’ll be dealing with a few more performance appraisal errors in a future article in this series. …

More strategies for dealing with a difficult boss in the last in this three part series.

In Part 1 of this series, we covered what to consider when deciding what to do if you have a toxic or “jackass boss. In Part 2, we looked at two harder core approaches: creating an exit plan (leaving), and putting forth an ultimatum.

In this part we consider more risky approaches, such as going over your boss’ head.

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Appeals To A “Higher Power”

It’s the old “go-over-the-head” approach to boss problems. There are actually two forms of this.

1. The first is the out-in-the-open attempt to involve the boss’s boss to fix a difficult situation. …

“We need to do more with less”, and doing rah-rah things to “motivate” doomed to failure and backlash

Work harder sign in neon
Work harder sign in neon
Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

It’s not surprising that managers try to improve productivity and employee effectiveness by exhorting staff to “try harder”, or to make more of an effort in their jobs. It’s a natural human tendency to assume that the simple act of trying harder will result in better results, but more times than not, the assumption is incorrect.

Learn more about this common managerial mistake, its pitfalls, and what to do about it.

In our often Western dominated organizational thinking, we attribute a lot of employee success (and our own success) to “trying harder”, or “working harder”. …

Your choice: Use language as a means of creating relationship harmony — or relationship conflict.

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

If you are interested in better relationships, at home and at work, you’ve no doubt come across a lot of the “advice” offered on how to create the relationships you want. After all it’s important for your personal life, and career to forge positive, peaceful and constructive relationships.

Unfortunately, much of the advice is vague. You’re told: Show the other person respect. Or listen carefully. Or, stay calm. It’s impossible to disagree with vague advice, because…well, it’s so vague, and so superficially sensible that no sane person would object. …

Imperfect Phrases Excerpt #17 of 101

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Would you get off my back. I’ll do it later.


Why do people say this kind of thing? Why do you say it? It’s because you’re upset, and you feel you are being nagged at. And maybe you are being nagged, but this isn’t the way to handle it.

When you say “Get off my back”, you aren’t saying anything specific enough to be of any use to either of you. You might as well say “F*** off”, for all the positive results it will create.

It’s not a factual statement, but a judgment you are making about the other person. As such you are making an accusation, and the result? You spend time and energy arguing about whether the other person is on your back, or not. …


Robert Bacal

Author, Trainer, customer service, management, performance appraisal,leadership,difficult customers

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