New and Notable Blog Posts Did You know

Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute – a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Self-efficacy — impressive words with immense impact

Self-efficacy is your belief in your ability to complete tasks and achieve goals. So in other words, it's whether or not you believe you can succeed in specific situations. Extensively studied by noted psychologist Dr. Albert Bandura for almost 60 decades, self-efficacy has important implications for your role as a leader; after all, when your people are confident and believe in themselves, their ability to get things done increases significantly. So what can you do to increase your staff's confidence and belief in themselves? Dr. Bandura's pioneering research has identified four factors that affect people's self-efficacy.

  1. Experience. Past success raises self-efficacy, while failure lowers it. It is the most important of the four factors, so it's worth investing your energy in setting your employees up for success — put them in situations where you know they have the skills to do a good job. Don't inadvertently set them up to fail by assigning work that they are not trained for or not capable of doing.
  2. Modeling. People believe that "If someone else can do it, I can do it as well." When they see others succeeding, their self-efficacy expands. So publicly celebrate your team members' successes; it will inspire others to reach higher and further as well.
  3. Social persuasion. Direct encouragement or discouragement from another person affects self-efficacy. As a manager or supervisor, you are in a perfect position to boost or dishearten. Don't lose sight of your influence; wield your power well. And it's worth keeping in mind that a bat has more weight than a bouquet; research shows that discouragement is more effective at decreasing someone's self-efficacy than encouragement is at increasing it.
  4. Physiological Factors. In stressful situations, people commonly feel nervous, or nauseous, or develop 'butterflies in the stomach'. And how they perceive these responses can noticeably alter self-efficacy. So if they feel that nerves before a big presentation is a bad thing, then their confidence will waver; yet if they see it as normal and stimulating, their confidence will actually increase. As a leader then, educate your employees on the benefits and handicaps of positive and negative stress so that they can better manage their physiological responses.

With some conscious effort on your part, it is fairly easy for you to increase your employees' self-efficacy. I'd love to hear about your experiences in this regard. Please share online at my blog at:


Our new website is finally here ... and it's all about you!

No matter what leadership dilemma you are facing, our new website has been designed with you in mind. If you're a seasoned supervisor, a successful manager, or even just starting out in your first team-leader role, then we have resources and tools, most of them free, to help you become an even more exceptional leader than you already are!

Start with our Tools section. Collectively, our comprehensive article directory, Merge's Mega Minute archives, self-assessment library, and Merge's radio clips archive will answer just about ANY leadership question or issue you have. Then stop by the Turning Managers into Leaders blog and join the discussions. And if you still can't find the answer to your specific leadership challenge, then please let us know (because Merge will probably address it in a future blog post or article)!

Be sure to also peruse our five service offerings – speaking, training, consulting, mentoring, and facilitation; each of which is supported by real case studies, relevant articles, supplementary information, and testimonials from our satisfied clients. Our goal was to make it easier for you to find what you need so that Merge can help you turn managers into leaders, to turn your people power into results!

Merge's latest articles

How to manage change in the workplace

Resources are fewer, yet you and your staff are being asked to accomplish more tasks, give greater levels of customer service, and achieve improved results. All this while your workload escalates and your time dwindles. Yet not everyone responds in the same way to this rapid pace of change. You likely may have one or two staff who roll with the punches and quickly bounce back from even the biggest knockout. But you're just as likely to have employees who resist all change and struggle to keep up with even the smallest modifications. So what can you do to help yourself and your people successfully deal with this reality of today's rapid pace of change?

My latest article recently published in the BC Human Resources Management Association's online magazine — — offers a key insight: while negative change is often unpredictable, people's reactions to it tend to follow a classic model. And if you understand the model, there are two key things that you can use to your benefit to help make all workplace transitions smoother.

Managing Workplace Change

Take a read through the article, and then stop by my blog and share your experiences. Do you agree with this model? What are you doing to help your people navigate through workplace change?

Employee volunteer programs increase employee engagement

Research shows that volunteer projects taken on by groups of employees encourage teamwork, improve communication, promote leadership and other skill development, enhance employee loyalty and retention, increase job satisfaction and morale, and even improve productivity and on-job-performance. With all these positive outcomes, you’d expect that companies and departments would be clamoring to sign up. Not so. And that’s usually either because managers have bought into several myths about why such projects won’t work, or because they don’t know how to make it happen.

In my latest article in CGA Magazine, I address the three most common myths that stall such initiatives AND offer three specific things that you can do as a leader to maximize the value potential inherent in a team volunteer project.

If They Give, You Will Get Back: The case for employee volunteer programs

Well, what is your experience? Are you currently participating in team volunteer projects supported by your employer? Is it worth it? Or do you have a contrary opinion? Please share your thoughts on my blog.


Turning Managers into Leaders

That Merge can help you create the perfect team-building event?

You already know that motivating people is an ongoing process, and that one of the best ways to re-energize a team is to get them out of the office, even if it's just down the hall in the conference room, but away from the challenges and pressures of the day-to-day. A team that learns and laughs together is well on its way to being a high-performing team, and Merge can help you create the perfect experience! She'll work with you to identify what specific skills your people could benefit from, and then design and deliver a fun, exciting, and perfectly customized program to fit your people, your organization's culture, and your needs. You and your employees will return to work exhilarated, with a renewed passion for leadership and action, and a toolkit full of unbelievably useful ideas that will make an immediate impact on your leadership and productivity effectiveness.

For a first-hand look at what Merge can help you accomplish through your people, read through this case study: Teaching People & Teams How to Build More Productive Working Relationships – A fun team-building day at a credit union.


You are encouraged to distribute this issue of Merge's Monthly Mega Minute to friends, colleagues, and discussion groups, as long as the entire issue is included. Click here to Share with Others.

Are you receiving this Mega Minute from a friend or colleague? Sign up to receive your own copy, direct to your e-mailbox every month. Click here to Subscribe.

Do you want to read past Mega Minutes? Visit the Mega Minute Archives.

This e-mail is sent from mergespeaks Inc., the leadership and workplace communication training and development company founded by Merge Gupta-Sunderji. It is sent only to people who have opted-in to receive it. Rest assured that we respect your privacy, and will NEVER distribute your e-mail address to any other individual or company. EVER. PERIOD. If you no longer wish to receive e-mails from Merge, click unsubscribe.

Company address: 1110 - 5 Avenue NW, Suite 307, Calgary AB, T2N 0R6. Contact us at