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.

Where do pearls come from?

Our work lives are filled with irritants — demanding or difficult people, unreasonable deadlines, overwhelming workloads — and it's exactly these moments when we have to reach deep within ourselves to find ways to cope with these aggravations. At times like these, it's worth thinking about how a pearl is formed.

A pearl begins life as an irritant that lodges inside an oyster's shell. This foreign object — whether a parasite, a small grain of grit, or something else — gets caught in the oyster's soft inner body, and to ease the irritation and frustration, the oyster begins to take defensive action. It secretes a smooth, hard nacre around the foreign object in order to protect itself and reduce the irritation. As long as the irritant remains within its shell, the oyster continues to secrete nacre, layer upon layer, until finally the source of frustration is completely coated and no longer aggravating. And the bonus final result — a silky crystalline shimmering pearl!

The truth is that dealing with a multitude of irritants is a reality of every leader's workday. But it's how leaders cope with these frustrations that separates the average from the exceptional. What if you were to view these daily irritants as future pearls? What if you could find ways to create your own nacre — mental approaches to coat these frustrations so that they are no longer aggravating? Could your change in method and attitude create pearls — more positive outcomes for yourself, and your team?

Do you have ideas or tips about mental approaches to create your own nacre? Please share them online at my blog at:

Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit – online event on October 8

We had such great feedback on our two online events earlier this year that we decided to do one more! Register and mark your calendar for October 8 for Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit!

Are your employees overloaded and overwhelmed? Sure, everyone wants greater productivity and improved responsiveness, but why is it that escalating workloads always seem to be accompanied by dwindling time and resources? It seems that everyone is trying to do more with less! No matter what the reason though, if you don't find ways to reduce the stress and alleviate the pressure for your team, then you will find yourself in a world of trouble. The unfortunate truth is that overworked or unhappy employees tend to be inefficient and unproductive. And left unaddressed, poor morale will result. Your staff are counting on you to help them cope and keep performance and productivity high. And this is exactly where Merge can help!

On October 8, Merge will lead a live online event in which she'll give you the tools you need to help your overextended employees meet their goals AND reduce their stress. In one jam-packed hour, you'll discover numerous concrete practical actions you can take, both now and in the long-term, to keep your employees satisfied and productive, even when things are stressful. You can support and guide your "stretched to the limit" employees; you just need to know how! What are you waiting for? Sign up now, your team will thank you! For more information, or to register, visit our detailed information page.

Merge's column for The Globe & Mail scores another home run!

How to inspire the close-to-retirement employee launched in cyberspace on August 20 and then went on to the print edition of The Globe's Report on Business section on August 29. Once again, this column's subject hit close to home (and struck a few nerves). In this latest column, Merge offered four specific ideas to answer a question that she is often asked in her leadership training programs — "How do I elicit high performance from someone who is close — and coasting — to retirement?" If you haven't read it yet, please do, and share your perspectives either directly on The Globe's site or on our blog:

The results of our 2014 Leadership Topics survey are in!

Hundreds of you participated in our survey soliciting your input for the topics we should cover in our upcoming Leadership Skills Series of online events. The survey finally closed at the end of August and the results are in. One topic was a clear front-runner and it's actually the topic of our live event on October 8. But three other subjects tied for second place! For all the results, read Merge's blog post:

Turning Managers into Leaders

That Merge designs custom leadership training delivered as a Series over a period of time?

Smart people know that the most effective training is a process, not an event. If you want leadership training that really "sticks" then let Merge help you develop a series of graduated learning programs to be delivered over a period of several months. The final design could involve face-to-face training, or online/distance-learning modules; it could contain audio or video components; it could incorporate the use of social media or "virtual study groups"; it could even include peer support or one-on-one mentoring. Whatever it is, it will build in learner accountability, guaranteed! It will be uniquely "you", and Merge will expertly craft and deliver what you need to turn your managers into leaders and your people power into results. We invite you to contact us to set up a time for a no-obligation conversation with Merge about your specific needs and challenges. Once we get the dialogue going, Merge can offer you more insights and advice on how to proceed.

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