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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.

The customer is NOT always right! 

Earlier this year, I was at a resort in BC’s Columbia Valley and a sign posted prominently in several locations around the property caught my attention.


Welcome to Copper Point Resort.

We, like many others, are short staffed.

Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.

Your words matter.  Your behaviours matter.  Our Teams matter.

Thank you.


Reading this was, for me, a refreshing and very positive change. 

I remember one of my first jobs in my teenage years at a fast-food establishment.  I made a small error in a customer’s order (I put cream in his coffee when he had requested it black) and was then verbally abused by said customer.  We’re not talking a roll of the eyes or raised eyebrows; he questioned my intelligence, suggested I should get more training, and even said a few things that would be considered racist today.  I was 16 and timid, so I apologized and immediately fixed the mistake, but he continued to shout and berate me until I was reduced to tears.  To appease him, my manager comp’d his entire meal (not just the coffee, but four hamburgers and sides).  And then, proceeded to publicly scold me for my error and for the cost of the free food he gave away. 

I recall I was devastated.  To my young mind, it felt like I had been betrayed.  Why didn’t my manager stop that nasty man from saying horrible uncalled-for things?  And why was he scolding me, in front of everyone, for a minor mistake that I had already fixed.  As for the cost of the food he gave away – I couldn’t understand why he comp’d the whole meal instead of just the coffee.

It turns out that I learned a very important lesson about leadership that day.  That leaders need to take ownership for creating an environment in which their employees can thrive and flourish.  The old adage – the customer is always right – isn’t.  Sometimes they’re not.  And when that happens, your staff need to know that you’ll support and defend them.  When your employees know that you have their backs, they are engaged and motivated.  And everyone, including your customers (at least the profitable ones), will reap the benefits.

I’d love to know what you think.   Are you working in an environment where your leaders support and back you up.  Or are you thrown to the wolves when things go awry?  Perhaps more importantly, what are you doing to create a workplace environment in which your staff feel valued and advocated for?  Tell us more by adding your comment directly on the blog at

Not one, but two!! 

Since our last Mega Minute, two of Merge’s regular columns have published in The Globe and Mail.  We told you that her first column got held up due to some unexpected challenges, but then the fire hose opened, and two got published within two weeks of each other! 

Turning Managers Into Leaders

That Merge can help you facilitate your next high-stakes or complex meeting?

Need to chair an in-person or virtual meeting that has large egos, high stakes, complexity, many participants at different levels, anxieties, low degrees of trust, or all of the above?! If so, count on  Merge to save you time, money and frustration! Merge is an experienced external facilitator who is adept at refocusing people with grace and humor. Whether it's a strategic planning session, a Board planning workshop, an association meeting, Executive team development, staff team-building, creative problem solving, or something else, Merge is skilled at creating a safe and productive meeting environment in which people are engaged, and more efficient in using their time, resulting in prudent decisions and a greater commitment to further action. While she promises to be positive and respectful, you can also count on her to deliver tough messages (even if you don't want to hear them) and keep your people focused and on task.  For more information, visit our Facilitation Services section at our website for more information, and take a look at our Facilitation case studies.

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New and Notable Blog Posts Did You Know