Tuesday, December 29, 2009


By Jennifer Openshaw*

Now is the perfect time to talk with your spouse or significant other about finances. Waiting much longer could be too little, too late.

Still, talking about money with family is often awkward — no one really likes to bring it up. I recently wrote about having money conversations with parents. But with so much bad news about the economy and so much concern about jobs, income and spending, the time is right to talk with your significant other, regardless of whether it’s awkward or not.

A recent PayPal survey on the topic of love and money uncovered a startling fact: One in 10 families has seen the primary breadwinner change as a result of the ongoing financial difficulties.

Switch jobs, you think? No, an actual switch in the position of breadwinner between spouses! Maybe he earned more, and now suddenly she does, or vice versa. That can create complicated emotions for both husband and wife, and that means it’s time to be open and honest about how you feel.

Over 40% of couples surveyed said the ongoing financial crisis has caused them to argue more about money and finances. Personal-finance expert Lynette Khalfani-Cox shared a few ideas with me to help couples recession-proof their relationships:

1) Talk, talk, talk. In love and money, old stereotypes about men and women die hard. There’s a natural disconnect between what each “half? thinks they bring to the relationship. “It is very common for couples to squabble about the roles that each is playing and how that plays into the family finances,? Khalfani-Cox said.

More than one-third of the women in PayPal’s study say they share primary income responsibility with their partners, but only about a quarter of men say the same. What gives? Is he understating her contributions, or is she overstating her own? Talk to each other about the contributions you each make to the shared bottom line. Be clear and be honest. Make sure you’re on the same page in your financial planning, and always resist the urge to be competitive.

“Don’t reduce everything to a price tag or a paycheck,? Khalfani-Cox said. “What that does is create a counterproductive and unnecessary competition between you.?

2) Secret spending isn’t sexy. More than one in 10 of PayPal’s respondents admitted to hiding purchases from their partners. Sound like you? Even if you don’t always agree on each other’s spending habits, you can at least agree that any purchase over a certain amount ($200, for example) will be discussed in advance. Such easy relationship guidelines can go a long way.

3) Don’t stop giving gifts to each other, no matter your budget. When times are stressful and budgets are tight, it’s all the more important to be open and expressive in your relationship, and there are many gifts you can give to your loved ones that don’t cost a dime. Bring out some old movies or photo albums and make it a date night. Just keep one rule in force: no talking about money. “You don’t have to spend a fortune to show your partner you care about them,Khalfani-Cox said. “Don’t use the economic downturn as an excuse to cut back on loving gestures.?

Good advice. Remember, communication is always the key to a long and healthy relationship, with your spouse, your parents, your children. We are all in this economic boat together, and that means everyone needs to pitch in. Don’t bottle up your fears and feelings — it could leave you stranded and alone.

David Anderson - President - Okanagan Training Solutions
Priority Management - A Better Way to Work
250 762-5096 / 1-877-762-5096

Monday, December 28, 2009


By Dr. Peter Honey

Mistakes are inevitable and have the potential to be admirable learning opportunities. A mistake is likely to 'bounce' someone into learning mode in a bid to avoid repeating the same mistake in future. However, learning is by no means inevitable.

In the wake of a mistake people can react by:

- denying it happened
- concealing/covering up the mistake
- rationalizing/explaining the mistake away
- blaming factors outside their control
- attacking other people for their mistakes
- confessing/coming clean
- apologizing
- learning

Alas, the first five are far more prevalent than the last three.
The way to maximize learning and development from mistakes is to lean over backwards to be non-accusational.

The easiest way to do this is to concentrate on the only two things that really matter:

- agreeing what action to take to alleviate the effects of the mistake
- agreeing what action to take to prevent the mistake happening again.

The problem-solving, action-oriented approach is much too businesslike to indulge in unhelpful trivialities such as apportioning blame and finger pointing. Rebuking people when they make mistakes doesn't necessarily mean they will make fewer mistakes in future.

More probably it will encourage them to conceal their mistakes in order to avoid being rebuked. As every school child quickly learns, you don't get told off for making mistakes; only for being found out.

So, if mistakes, when they occur, are handled properly, development is the desirable outcome. This doesn't mean that mistakes are to be welcomed, or that efforts to prevent mistakes can be relaxed; merely that when they happen we might as well gain from them.

It is possible, indeed desirable, to learn from other people's mistakes rather than restricting it to the ones that happen in your sphere of influence. Analyzing accident reports or newspaper or magazine articles’ about other organizations, products or personalities can often be a useful exercise.

Important and relevant lessons can be extracted from case-study material of this kind without the pain of having made the mistake yourself. A good start to be would be the paperback published by Butterworth Heinemann called 'My Biggest Mistake' where captains of industry admit to a substantial mistake and describe the lessons they have learned from it.

Once people have got into the spirit of things, you can move the whole process closer to home by having your own equivalent.

Whether it is your mistake, our colleagues’ mistake or someone else's mistake, always remember 'inside every mistake are lessons waiting to get out'.

You won't make a mistake by checking out the NEW Priority Management website. Click here to learn more.
* This article is taken from Peter Honey's best selling paperback now in its fourth reprint, 101 Ways To Develop Your People, Without Really Trying!

David Anderson - President - Okanagan Training Solutions
Priority Management - A Better Way to Work
250 762-5096 / 1-877-762-5096


The most effective way to manage change successfully is to create it.

One cannot manage change.One can only be ahead of it.

In a period of upheavals, such as the one we are living in, change is the norm.

To be sure, it is painful and risky, and above all it requires a great deal of very hard work. But unless it is seen as the task of the organization to lead change, the organization will not survive.

In a period of rapid structural change, the only ones who survive are the change leaders. A change leader sees change as an opportunity.

A change leader looks for change, knows how to find the right changes, and knows how to make them effective both outside the organization and inside it.

To make the future is highly risky. It is less risky, however, than not to try to make it.

A goodly proportion of those attempting to will surely not succeed. But predictably, no one else will.

by, Dr. Peter Drucker

David Anderson - President - Okanagan Training Solutions
Priority Management - A Better Way to Work
250 762-5096 / 1-877-762-5096


Many years ago in a small village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a female village moneylender. The female moneylender, who was old, fat and ugly, fancied the farmer's handsome son, Cliff.

So she proposed a bargain. She said she would forego the farmer's debt if she could marry his son. Both the farmer and his son were horrified by the proposal.

So the cunning female moneylender suggested that they let Providence decide the matter. She told them that she would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty moneybag. Then the son would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

If he picked the black pebble, he would become her husband and her father's debt would be forgiven.

If he picked the white pebble he need not marry her and his father's debt would still be forgiven.

But if he refused to pick a pebble, his father would be thrown into Jail.

They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the farmer's field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As she picked them up, the sharp-eyed son noticed that she had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag.

She then asked the son to pick a pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the son? If you had to advise him, what would you have told him?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1) The son should refuse to take a pebble.

2) The son should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a lying, backstabbing female cheat.

3) The son should pick a black pebble and sacrifice himself in order to save his father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.

The son's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional
logical thinking. Think of the consequences if he chooses the above logical answers.

What would you recommend to the son to do?

Well, here is what he did....

The son put his hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, he fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

'Oh, how clumsy of me,' he said. 'But never
mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.'

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that he had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit her dishonesty, the son changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.


Most complex problems do have a solution.It is only that we don't attempt to think them through to the end.

David Anderson - President - Okanagan Training Solutions
Priority Management - A Better Way to Work
250 762-5096 / 1-877-762-5096

Wednesday, December 2, 2009



Daniel Stamp

It's probably about this time of the year when you (or your boss!) ask whether or not you accomplished your goals. Or, you may be planning your 2010 goals and budgets right now. Here are what I consider to be
the ten most common causes of failure. Avoid these and you'll likely do well next year:

1…Blaming other people for problems rather than accepting personal accountability.

2…Engaging in endless self-analysis and questioning your own worth.

3…Not having written goals with deadlines and a plan of action for them.

4…Choosing the wrong things to do first.

5…Not having enough energy-both physical and mental.

6…Not recognizing or celebrating your achievements along the way.

7…Quitting too soon.

8…Not setting blocks of uninterrupted time.

9…Repeating the same behavior and hoping for a different result.

10..Not getting others committed to the same agenda.

The key to achievement starts with you knowing yourself. And to know yourself starts with you asking yourself these 6 questions:

Who am I? What are my strengths? How do I achieve results? Are my goals in line with my values? Am I learning from experience? Am I measuring the actual results of my activities every few months?

David Anderson - President - Okanagan Training Solutions
Priority Management - A Better Way to Work
250 762-5096 / 1-877-762-5096