• AODA Deadline: Are You Compliant?
    AODA Deadline: Are You Compliant? AODA Deadline: Are You Compliant?

    AODA Deadline: Are You Compliant?

AODA Deadline: Are You Compliant?

As the New Year approaches we will all inevitably start putting together our resolutions for the coming year. Most of those resolutions will go out the door by February 1st, but there is one that needs to stick; creating an inclusive environment for people with disabilities. As of January 1st, 2015 the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires every workplace to have a concrete policy in place to make accessible customer service available to all Ontarians. When the AODA was passed in 2005 it ushered in a new era of inclusivity in Ontario but 10 years later, we are still seeing companies lag behind in its implementation. If there are 20 or more employees at your company you must be providing accessible customer service, which can be accomplished in 3 simple steps:

  • Step 1: Develop a policy that outlines how you will provide goods and services to people with disabilities.
  • Step 2: Provide training for yourself and your staff to understand how to best serve all customers with disabilities
  • Step 3: Using the customer service policy template, post your policy and training publicly and in a format accessible for everyone.

Moving forward after the AODA deadline, each company must also come up with a firm policy for dealing with accessibility moving forward, ensuring new workplaces, self-service kiosks and even websites can be used by anyone.

In theory, these policies and training should already be in place at all businesses across Ontario. While the government does its best to ensure this is the case, it can’t possibly police every single workplace in the Province. The onus is on us, the business owners, to ensure this legislation is carried out.

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the impact this legislation will […]

By |November 20th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on AODA Deadline: Are You Compliant?
  • The Curse of Faux Celebrity The Curse of Faux Celebrity

    The Curse of Faux Celebrity

The Curse of Faux Celebrity

Robert George Kardashian was an American attorney and business man. He earned national recognition as O. J. Simpson’s defence attorney in Simpson’s 1995 murder trial. Robert Kardashian came from humble beginnings. His parents were ethnic Armenians and immigrants who worked tirelessly in a rubbish collection family business. Robert earned his way through high school, college and law school. Long before the O. J. trial he paid his dues as a hard working junior lawyer, working his way up to his eventual celebrity.

He had four children: Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob. After his early death at age 59 from esophageal cancer his ex-wife Kris and their children leveraged his hard earned success to create their own faux celebrity status through the reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians. That the media informs us of, none of his children nor his ex-wife earned a degree, worked their way through hard work or contributed in any meaningful way to the world around them. They obsess over broken nails while people in their community are barely eking out an existence. They are faux “celebrities” merely because they were related to Robert Kardashian.

Faux Celebrity is a problem because it focuses on feeding one’s ego through Facebook postings and Insagram snapshots rather than through genuine accomplishments and contributions. Self esteem comes not through social media “celebrity” but from working hard, being a good person, contributing to one’s friends, families and communities and earning success through hard work.

The real celebrities of this world are often unacknowledged heroes. They are the people who care for others just because it is the right and honourable thing to do; because it is what makes us the highest versions of ourselves. It’s the people who […]

By |September 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Curse of Faux Celebrity
  • Live Every Day To The Fullest Live Every Day To The Fullest

    Live Every Day To The Fullest

Live Every Day To The Fullest

My Uncle Tom was quite the character.

My dad loved to regale us with stories of his older brother’s antics and influence on his life. Tom was born in 1914. Dad’s father, my grandfather, worked for CN Rail and was away most of the time, working hard at one of the few jobs available during the depression. So Tom became the “father” of the household because he was the oldest of the eight children.

My dad told the bitter story of coming home from school one day to find the tiny family home burning to the ground. Everyone was in a panic as water poured into the house from the few available hoses. Eventually the fire smouldered to nothing. When the smoke cleared the old family piano was the only thing still standing. Tom walked up to it, brushed off the ashes and sat down. He tested the sound and then started a rousing rendition of “Roll out the barrels, we’ll have a barrel of fun,” actually getting those in the gaping crowd to join in.

Later in life Tom and his wife, my aunt, bought a convenience store in a small town and lived upstairs. One night they heard noises and rustling downstairs. Tom crept into the shop and discovered two hooligans rifling through items and looking for cash in the register. He switched on the lights. The two guys were startled and one raised a gun at Uncle Tom threatening to shoot him if he didn’t back off. Tom sauntered over to where he stashed his scotch and told the guys to relax and have a drink. He assured them in an easy fashion that he wasn’t […]

By |July 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Live Every Day To The Fullest
  • Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

    Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

I have a dear friend who was just diagnosed with cancer – for the second time. Nine years ago she overcame breast cancer, married a wonderful man and built a lovely life with him after a painful divorce. I was so happy for her.

Three weeks ago she shared with me that she couldn’t move her fingers. I noticed her speech was somewhat impaired and I thought, “stroke” urging her to get to the hospital quickly. She arrived in emerg in the middle of the night. Within hours they diagnosed her with tumors on her brain and in her stomach.

Her husband was devastated. He had lost his first wife to cancer.

When I went to visit her the next day I was upset and prepared for the worst. She surprised me. Her sense of humor was intact, her optimism unaffected and her inner peace unsettling.

“How are you?” I asked. “I’m ok,” she said. Then she laughed. “Sam (not his real name) and I celebrated our 10th anniversary in emerg, drinking apple juice and eating hospital food.”

My friend is just an average everyday person – on the outside. But on the inside she is a hero: filled with courage and peace, rooted in belief, demonstrated in strength through the overcoming of adversity, and a resiliency of spirit.

Are you someone’s “hero?” If we strive always to be the best versions of ourselves possible, we have the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the lives of others in our everyday lives: friends, colleagues, children, grand children partners…even strangers.

Key Thought: Strive to leave a lasting impression of hope, courage and resilience in the people of your everyday life.

  • A bully in your life
    Got A Bully In Your Life? Got A Bully In Your Life?

    Got A Bully In Your Life?

Got A Bully In Your Life?

I remember standing in line at the airport a few years ago.  In front of me was the most ghastly woman I’ve ever come across.  Her husband was carrying all her bags along with his own.  She was relentless in making insulting, demeaning and abusive remarks to him like, “Are you an idiot?  Who dressed you today?  What good are you to anyone?” It went on and on.  I felt like leaning over to him and saying, “Why do you tolerate her?  Why don’t you leave her?  She’s horrible to you?”  But I didn’t.

I later wondered if he was staying out of guilt and believed he had to be tormented?  Did he lack so much self esteem that he didn’t feel he had the right to be treated respectfully?  Had he been bullied as a child and just accepted this as his lot in life?

Let me be clear.  No one deserves to be bullied.  It is an assault on a person’s dignity and is never ok.

Bullies are tough people to deal with. Here are some characteristics:

  • Punishes you, threatens you or hurts you (verbally, emotionally, physically) if you don’t do what they want you to do
  • Intimidates through their words, actions, tone
  • Is difficult to reason with
  • Uses manipulative tactics to get you to do what they want
  • Withholds affection, attention, children, money, help, kindness etc. if you don’t do what they want
  • Can leave people feeling demeaned, disrespected, intruded upon, abused, hurt, helpless, afraid, diminished and feeling like they’re walking on eggshells

If you have a bully in your life there are a few strategies you can employ.

First, look inside yourself.  How does that person make you feel?  Scared, terrified, guilty, powerless, angry, offended, helpless?  To deal effectively with a […]

By |July 21st, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Got A Bully In Your Life?
  • Would You Date You course slide
    Would You Date You? Would You Date You?

    Would You Date You?

Would You Date You?

Successful dating doesn’t come easily for most people. It ends up being a painful challenging experience when it could be light, fun and exciting. Why? We receive no education on how to choose a partner or be a partner.  Yet, we’re supposed to just know how to do it.

Most dating advice focuses on creating opportunities for dating as if it’s a numbers game. “Join a dating site.”  “Call a matchmaker.”  “Get out there and meet people.”

But what happens once you’re on that date? Only 20% of people who meet online develop ongoing successful relationships.  Think about it. If you go for a job interview without any skills or expertise you’re never going to get that job.  So how is it we think we can land the most important job in life, being a partner, without any training and expect to be successful at it?

The BizLife Institute has recently released an online dating series by Psychoanalyst Dr. Stephanie Bot that will transform the way people date.  Packed with new insights, valuable skills and tips along with wise advice that is usually reserved for her patients, this series will help you prevent dating nightmares, overcome obstacles and experience dating in a whole new way.

To attend Dr. Bot’s Dating Series click here.

By |July 19th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Would You Date You?
  • The Value Of Employee Health Programs The Value Of Employee Health Programs

    The Value Of Employee Health Programs

The Value Of Employee Health Programs

Dr. Rajiv Kumar recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “a growing body of research suggests that nurturing employee health and wellness has a significant impact on productivity — which, as we all know, has a direct bearing on company profitability.”

A Harvard study shows that for each dollar spent on wellness programs, large companies get back $3.27 in reduced health costs, and $2.73 in costs connected to absenteeism.

In Canada full time workers take nearly 10 days off per year due to illness, disability (physical or mental), personal and family issues.  That results in over $12 billion in losses to Canadian employers (Statistics Canada).

Towers Watson, a leading global consulting firm reports “Canadian employers increasingly realize that implementing a one-size-fits-all health program will not improve the health of their workforce.”  According to their 2013/2014 survey, Staying @ Work, organizations are focusing more carefully on creating cultures that support physical and mental health.

BizLife Solutions has known this all along.  That’s the reason we came into being: to give employers and employees the best tools available to solve their health, mental health, family, personal and workplace issues.

Our BizLife Institute library makes the knowledge, wisdom and expertise of top level professionals in all these fields available to employers and employees 24/7.  We call it “Transformation at your Fingertips.” www.bizlifeinstitute.com

Check out our new video to see how it works and why the BizLife Institute just makes sense!

Key Thought:  You can’t have productive high functioning employees if they are sick, depressed, conflicted, stressed, unhappy or absent from their jobs.  It makes no sense.

By |July 9th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Value Of Employee Health Programs
  • Relationships Are Precious Relationships Are Precious

    Relationships Are Precious

Relationships Are Precious

When I was tweenager, around 12 or 13, I learned a life lesson I’ve never forgotten.  A shy, insecure girl in my class, Mary Smith (not her real name) wanted to be my friend.  She followed me around, invited me over to her house after school, tried to please me…things like that.

One weekend I invited her over to play.  She was very excited about this, got all dressed up, was waiting for me to come by and get her.  For some reason I have no memory of, I decided I didn’t want to be with her that day so I called her up and said I couldn’t see her after all.

I found out later she was devastated because she didn’t have many friends and this was a big event for her.  The following week I tried to talk to her but she just turned away.  I called her and her parents said she wasn’t available.  I started to feel guilty and sick for my cavalier treatment of Mary Smith.

My father, who had quietly observed all this, took an opportunity to teach me a life lesson.  “You must always be careful about how you treat people.  Sometimes you can cause so much hurt and do so much damage to someone that they won’t be able to keep you in their lives.”

Here I am decades later and that lesson still remains a guiding principle in my life.  It also allows me to feel OK about accepting that some people may have hurt me or damaged me so badly that I can no longer have a relationship with them.

I’ve learned that everything we do in […]

By |July 7th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Relationships Are Precious
  • Dealing With Difficult People Dealing With Difficult People

    Dealing With Difficult People

Dealing With Difficult People

Got a difficult person in your life? We all do, unfortunately.
So who’s the most difficult person in your life?  Take a minute to think about exactly what makes them difficult for you?
  • Are they often sarcastic?
  • Is the relationship mostly about them and their needs?
  • Do they punish you emotionally if you don’t do what they want?
  • Do they blame you instead of taking personal responsibility?
  • Do they keep showing up late and keep you waiting?
These are just a few of the many behaviours that make some people difficult.  What to do?  This is where verbal and perhaps physical boundaries come into play.

Think about this:  

Is their behaviour OK with you?  If it’s not OK then you need to set up a boundary.  To do this you need to try and keep the emotion out of your communication.  So for the person who is often sarcastic you could say, “Are you being serious or sarcastic?  I’m just not sure I understand.”  Even if they don’t admit they’re being sarcastic they will be more careful the next time they communicate with you.

If a relationship is mostly about the other person’s needs then you first need to ask yourself why you are in relationships that diminish you?  You may get your sense of self esteem from being a pleaser and giver, but if you’re doing this all the time, at your own expense, then the issue is inside you. It would be helpful for you to examine why you do this.

People who punish us when we assert our needs, wants or rights are a serious problem. […]

By |July 4th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Dealing With Difficult People
  • Boundaries Make for Successful Relationships
    Boundaries Make for Successful Relationships Boundaries Make for Successful Relationships

    Boundaries Make for Successful Relationships

Boundaries Make for Successful Relationships

It might seem counterintuitive, but boundaries actually help build relationships and bring people closer together.  When you set up boundaries you let people know how to engage with you and ensure that your relationships are defined, safe and respectful.  Boundaries allow you to connect with others, while keeping your private stuff safe.

In a nutshell healthy boundaries mean we take 100% responsibility for our lives: our actions, attitudes, behaviors, health…and for the consequences of these choices, both positive and negative.

It also means that we let other adults assume 100% responsibility for their lives as well, and for the consequences of their choices, whether positive or negative.

A few boundary basics:

  • Don’t try to change others.  It’ll never work.  Stay focused on being the best version of yourself that you can be and allow the other person to do the same (or not, if they so choose).

  • Stay out of other people’s personal business and space and avoid negative gossip and unkindness.

  • Acknowledge how you’re contributing to the problems in your relationships and focus on fixing yourself instead of trying to get them to meet your expectations of how you want them to be.

Key Thought

Boundaries keep us safe and respected in relationships.

To learn more about how your actually set these and other boundaries watch our e-program Boundaries: The Secret to Successful Relationships

 

By |July 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Boundaries Make for Successful Relationships