My Story

Trust and Let Go

Aris stands ready in goal

This is part of the series Lessons from the Backseat… My son Aris started soccer classes when he was five years old. His Dad would take him to the field on weekdays. On Saturdays, when I went to watch the games, I spent half the time cheering and the other half giggling. Have you ever watched little kids play soccer? They squabble with their own team members for the ball, chase halfway down the field before they realise they are heading to their own goal and they don’t know how to control the ball yet so it’s bouncing all over the field. I encouraged Aris to just enjoy the games and have a good time. 

But the first time he was goalie all that talk about ‘just have a good time’ went through the window. My heart was in my mouth as I watched the coach suit him up. All I could think was, ‘Oh no, that is too much responsibility, he’s not ready. If the other side scores – he is going to be crushed.’ And then I was driven by over-performing parent paranoia – I didn’t want my son to be the one to let down the team. 

I was standing on the sidelines consumed with worry. And then, my five-year-old son, who must have been receiving the most powerful psychic energy ever or, perhaps, just knows his Mom, looked over at me. He looked me straight in the eyes and gave me a settle-down hand signal as if to say, ‘I’ve got this’. I had to simply trust him to get the job done. He did a spectacular job as goalie and his team won that Saturday. 

This was like my lesson of giving people freedom to succeed but the difference here is the trust factor. Have you ever told someone “‘go ahead, you’re in charge of this” but you secretly didn’t trust them to do it well? Guess what? It wasn’t a secret. They could feel your lack of trust and it probably robbed them of much needed confidence. I’m so glad my son had the five-year-old presence of mind to call me on my lack of faith. 

When you assign a task, if you don’t trust your people to get the job done, or to do it right, then you might as well not let them do it. And if you have been on the other side of not being trusted, you know it’s not a great feeling and it can affect your performance.  

So, next time see if this works – back off, have faith, and let go. Trust your people to get the job done and free up your mind to focus on other things.  

Like a boss!

Thank you for stopping by. Please share your comments below and visit again soon. Don’t forget to subscribe and share. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Natalie Marshall Rose – Be open to putting yourself out there

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see

This second series of the Change Diaries podcast explores the ups and downs of changing locations. In this episode I speak with Natalie Marshall Rose, certified Global Mobility Expert, now based in the United States.

Natalie’s years of experience working with corporations in creating their own global programs comes to the fore in this conversation as she guides you on what to look for in a global relocation package from your employer, how to hit the ground running and what to do when it’s time to leave. Being a trailing spouse gives Natalie infinite wisdom and myriad interesting stories of ‘life on the move’. Whether you are moving or not, you’ll learn something new. So, tune in and share with anyone you know who is contemplating a change of location. Next week, I’ll dive back into my own personal family journey. Subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!

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Guest Bio

Natalie is a Jamaican born, US national who has been a trailing spouse in Canada. Not only has she worked in the Immigration space for approximately 15 years, but she has also lived it. Moving 13 times in the last 19 years, she truly understands what it means to be mobile!

A certified Global Mobility Specialist, Natalie’s experience spans from conducting case work early in her career to managing teams across the USA and Asia. 

Her focus is on helping corporations with their global programs. In collaboration with US Attorneys, she steers clients in maintaining compliance while moving their employees around the globe.

Natalie’s passion is to help and share. Her personal story provides a backdrop in immigration and sets the stage in her professional life where she is truly able to understand her clients’ needs. Her vast personal and corporate experience enables her to provide empathetic and realistic expert advice as corporations navigate the tides of global mobility.

Natalie attended the University of the West Indies and has received numerous certificates from Depaul, SMU and Cornell Universities.

Natalie’s Recommended Reading:

The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins

Grit by Angela Duckworth

Contact Natalie Marshall Rose:

LinkedIn: Natalie Marshall Rose

Instagram: @natsrose13

Clubhouse: @natsrose

Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast with the theme, ‘Changing your location – the ups and downs. Please comment below, follow my blog, and share with others.  Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Catch up on Apple or Spotify if you missed any of the first season ‘Changing your life – Do you need a life coach?

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week.

 The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Mary Mackinnon – Every time you move you are a different person

The Change Diaries podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change, or be the change we want to see.

This second series of the Change Diaries podcast explores the ups and downs of changing locations. In this episode I speak with Mary MacKinnon, a consultant in international adaptation and mobility, who is herself a veteran of moving.

Mary leads us through the ins and outs of managing a relocation – from figuring out if it’s the right timing for you, handling the logistics, embracing the inevitable culture shock, and then preparing to head back home for re-entry. It’s a conversation loaded with wisdom, experience and empathy from an expert who has made 14 international moves spanning every stage of her adult life. Tune in, absorb and share with anyone you know who is contemplating a move.  

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Guest Bio

Mary MacKinnon has worked as a consultant in international adaptation and mobility, both at home in Canada and abroad, since 1986. As such, she has worked in both the public and private sectors developing programs and delivering workshops for expatriates at many stages of international life.

She was, among other things, co-founder of the International Mobility Program at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna in 1996 and later a consultant to Ericsson in Cairo and the Department of Foreign Affairs (now called Global Affairs Canada).

Mary is the author of a book entitled The Global Staircase: a handbook for people relocating internationally.

A veteran of 35 years attached to foreign affairs as the wife of a career diplomat, Mary has moved at almost every stage of adult life – young adult, married and childless, with babies, with school-aged children, with teenagers and finally as an empty-nester. 

Her homes abroad included, England, France, Switzerland and Austria in Europe, Tunisia, Iran and Cairo in the Middle East, and South Korea in Asia.

Having made 14 international moves, seven of them back home to Canada, she feels strongly about re-entry preparation and building a sense of community.

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Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast with the theme, ‘Changing your location – the ups and downs. Please comment below, follow my blog, and share with others.  Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week.

 The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Changing your location – It wasn’t as hard as I expected

The Change Diaries podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this second series of the Change Diaries podcast, we explore the ups and downs of changing locations. It’s said that moving ranks as one of life’s biggest stressors, right up there with death and divorce. I’ll speak with the experts to lead us through the ins and outs of managing a relocation and I’ll get personal, diving into how my own family has experienced these different moves.

This short conversation with my twelve-year-old son Aris really brought home how he’s learning differently in each country and what he’s most grateful for now. Leaving Florida at age eight to head to London, U.K., was a big move for him and he started taking the public bus from Hammersmith on his own each day to head to school in Mortlake. Last year we moved to Toronto, Canada.

Ultimately each place has offered him something special and he’s forged new friendships. What has his journey been like? What’s been easy and what’s been more challenging? Listen in to find out and leave a comment after the show. Remember to subscribe!

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Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast under the theme, ‘Changing your location – the ups and downs. Please comment below, follow my blog and share with others. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Did you miss any of the first season ‘Changing your life – Do you need a life coach?

Catch up on Apple Podcasts

You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week. Follow my blog.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

A Teenager’s Take on Moving Countries – Turn your head towards the new things to discover

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

Moving Your Life is the focus of this new series of the Change Diaries podcast as we explore Changing your location – the ups and downs. Experts say that moving ranks as one of life’s biggest stressors, right up there with death and divorce. In this series I’ll speak with some experts to lead us through the ins and outs of managing a move and I’ll get personal, diving into how a family (my family) has experienced moving, including international relocation.

Kicking off the season is my teenage daughter Lauren. She was born in Florida, spent the first two years of her life in Jamaica before we made the permanent move to the US. Then we headed to London, UK, where she started high school. Now we are in Toronto, Canada. What’s that journey been like? What has she learnt along the way? And what’s her best advice for teens going through a move? Whether you are moving or not, if you have a teen in your life this is a must listen! Tune in and leave a comment after the show. By the way, have you subscribed yet?

Listen to the Episode

Thanks for being with me and joining this second season of the Change Diaries podcast. Please comment below, follow my blog and share with others.  Never miss an episode! Subscribe to get new episodes as they become available.

Catch up on Apple or Spotify if you missed any of the first season, ‘Changing your life – Do you need a life coach?

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Thank you for being here. I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Change Can Lead to a Beautiful Discovery

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this first season How to Change your life – do you need a Life Coach? I chatted with professional coaches based in the USA, Canada, the UK and Jamaica who shared their infinite wisdom on embracing change, harnessing your energy and finding deeper happiness.

There were so many rich takeaways from each of them that it’s hard to do any kind of summary that covers everything. In this short episode, I share a few things that resonated with me in these conversations and put it in perspective from my own life experience. Listen in and then get ready for next season! By the way, have you subscribed yet?

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Get the Booklist

Each Coach recommended a book or two and I’ve provided the full list of books below. Happy reading! Please remember to drop a comment. What did you think of this season? Share some of your big learnings or shifts in perspective.

If you missed any of the episodes, the links are below. Catch up before the next season starts!

Dr. Michael Mendribil

The Art of Impossible by Stephen Kotler

The Power of Awareness by Neville Goddard

Listen to the episode: Dr. Michael Mendribil – I am never who I think I am

Abbi Buszard

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Listen to the episode: Abbi Buszard – Making space for people to think for themselves

Lorraine Copes

Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

Listen to the episode: Lorraine Copes – You can program your mind

April Miranda

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Listen to the episode: April Miranda – With energy and intention you can heal

Jenny Ward

On Being Human by Jennifer Pastiloff

Listen to the episode: Jenny Ward – Know your worth

Lisa Soares Lewis

Energy Leadership by Bruce D. Schneider

No regrets, Just Lessons by Odetta Rockhead-Kerr

Listen to the episode: Lisa Soares Lewis – Be aware of your energy and manage it

Marguerite Orane

Books written by Marguerite Orane:

Free and Laughing: Spiritual Insights in Every Day Moments

Forget It! What’s the Point? Letting Go and Claiming Joy

Listen to the episode: Marguerite Orane – Lead, work and live with joy

I truly believe that change can lead to beautiful discovery. In doing the work of uncovering ourselves, we find that we are so much stronger than we think we are. Thanks for being with me and sharing in this first season of The Change Diaries Podcast. I really hope you’ve learned something new.

Never miss an episode! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Thank you for being here. Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Are you getting what you deserve?

Get more by asking for it  

I still remember the day I got the call from the internal recruiter delivering the news. The job was mine! I was pleased as punch. It was a role I wanted at a company I was eager to work for as they had a strong reputation and I had already met the team. But when the recruiter told me the offer over the phone, I was bitterly disappointed. Why was it so low?  The story gets worse – I accepted it.

It was one of my worst salary negotiations. I literally felt cheated. And not by the company but by myself. I later learned they were surprised that I had come on board at that pay. Ugh.

All I can say is that you live, and you learn. I’m glad I made that mistake early enough in my career to recover.

Recently, on The Change Diaries podcast, I chatted with Jenny Ward, a career and transition coach who specializes in supporting women. She wasted no time in highlighting some of the struggles that women face – from not knowing their worth, to not negotiating for better compensation or failing to talk about their accomplishments.

Honestly, I believe this is the result of socialization, and long-standing systems of oppression. Both of which have done a number on us, and I am including myself here. I’ve already shared the mess I made of my early salary negotiations. Later, I also realized I simply didn’t know how to brag about my accomplishments. In fact, I would downplay them.

I recall handling a big change communications project several years ago. Now, if you’ve done this, you know there are several moving parts and a lot to get right with your company’s most senior leaders. Weeks of adrenalin culminated in carefully crafted messaging, along with team calls, and then an all-hands session. My GM was happy and when everyone had left, he gathered up his papers to leave, but not before turning to tell me:

“Arlene, you did a great job. Everything went really well. Thank you.”

Before the last words left his lips, I cut him off.

“No, no it was nothing.”

He literally blew a mini gasket and flung his hands up in frustration.

“Why can’t you just accept a compliment?”

Was that my reputation? Someone who wouldn’t accept a compliment.

It was an aha-moment for me. I felt a little bit sick because he was right. I was always judging myself so harshly that if someone complimented me, I was sure they were wrong. I couldn’t accept the praise because sooner or later they would find me out for the imposter that I was.

I discovered it was a skill I had to develop – learning to accept praise. From then on, I found myself practicing some variation of these words: “I worked hard on that. Thank you for noticing. I appreciate the recognition.”

In Jenny’s experience, I am not unique in this struggle. To support women who tend to shy away from bragging, she recommends having a ‘things I got done list’ every day to remind yourself of your accomplishments. It is critical to know your worth and practice talking about awesome you are.

Coincidentally, I recently came across an article entitled “Savvy Self-promotion”. If this is your challenge, after you listen to Jenny’s episode on The Change Diaries, you might also wish to give it a read. Take it seriously because this is a change worth making in your professional life.

On the matter of getting paid more, Jenny noted that women find it difficult to negotiate a pay increase while men go in with the attitude of ‘give it to me’. Women, she finds, are schooled to be humble while men are comfortable outright asking for it.

An interesting thing happened the week that I taped that show with Jenny. We were having dinner one evening and I made the kids an offer. If they helped me with some work, I’d pay them $50 bucks each. My son, who is twelve, did not miss a beat. He immediately said, “Pay me $70.” I noticed that his sister who is three years older didn’t ask for more.

Credit: Aris Amitirigala, created using Pixar

I waited a day or two before bringing it up with her. Are there any reasons why you think you should earn more than your brother? She pointed out her age, experience, speed, and ability to focus. All great answers yet it hadn’t occurred to her to demand greater compensation.

It was a live example of someone being better qualified yet hesitant to request more. At the end of our conversation, I asked her to repeat this to herself daily for the following week:

I deserve more.

I am convinced that those three words are part of the reason why some people land amazing compensation packages every single time. Yes, they are well-qualified, and certainly they have a great track record but, above all else, they know their worth and they believe they deserve more. This is what makes them ask for it and get it too.

To make this happen for you, I suggest honing your negotiation skills. If you aren’t accustomed to doing this, it takes practice. Perhaps even some rehearsal. Gather your accomplishments, do your research, and then role play with a friend.

Lastly, I highly recommend that you listen to Jenny and all the wonderful coaches featured during my first season of The Change Diaries. They offer great advice for both men and women.

Thank you for stopping by! Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Listen to my new podcast now available on Apple: The Change Diaries Podcast or you can also listen on Spotify.

And don’t forget to follow and share my blog. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.   

Bridgerton Serves up 10 Lessons in Internal Communications

I rarely watch TV, so it was somewhat of a surprise to find myself binge-watching Bridgerton, the Netflix megahit from Shonda Rhimes. Frankly, it made a Covid New Year 2021 bearable. What’s there not to love when you have dazzling costumes, an entertaining storyline, and incredible eye-candy in the form of a smoldering, swaggerific Duke?

Speaking of the Duke of Hastings, I’m sure you’ve heard the news that Regé-Jean Page will not appear in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2. Don’t despair though, there will still be plenty of the drama that made this series a hit. Here is Everything You Need To Know About ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2.

But setting aside the thirst-trap, Bridgerton was a veritable masterclass in Communication, Inclusion and Change. Although each episode made me reflect on these three areas of my expertise, I’m itching to share my observations related to internal communications, particularly what we can learn from Lady Whistledown, the town’s anonymous gossip columnist. Don’t worry about spoilers below…there are hardly any. Really, though, who hasn’t watched Bridgerton yet?

Be Bold

As a masterful content creator, Lady Whistledown reminds us that, ‘she who holds the pen has the power’. Through tapping into high society’s insatiable desire to be in the know, she gains tremendous influence and a faithful readership. She seems quite unperturbed that her efforts also earn her the unwelcome envy of the Queen and a warrant for her arrest. Although it is generally unwise for communicators to draw ire from their most senior stakeholders, it does speak to the need to be bold with your ideas, content, and your approach. Being disruptive occasionally has its merits.

Content is King

Lady Whistledown provides breaking news, connects the dots, and asks provocative questions. The content is entertaining, and she weaves in suspense to leave her readers wanting for more. Your publication must have great content in an engaging style – the stories, the news and features should fill a need for employees to ensure that they keep coming back for more.

Improve your craft – pick up a copy of Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. It definitely lives up to its tagline, ‘your go-to guide to creating ridiculously good content’.

Write for your Reader

In creating her scandal sheet, Lady Whistledown doesn’t pander to the Queen or any of the powerful aristocrats, which is especially surprising when her identity is revealed.

There is a lesson in this: write for your reader – not the approver. Are you sharing what employees need to know versus what management wants to say? Your job isn’t about spinning stories or making leaders look good. Authenticity, transparency, and openness are all essential. Share information with the people who need it to do their jobs and in a way that they can understand it.

Be Relevant

In Regency-era London, aristocratic society thrived on gossip, and Lady Whistledown cleverly fills that gap. Each week she tells her readers:

  • What was happening in the Ton and When
  • Who was involved
  • Why these events were occurring
  • How people were being perceived as a result
  • Where they needed to be – obviously at the latest ball!

Do you have your 5Ws and H covered? What are the most important topics that you need to cover? As we saw last year when the pandemic hit, information needs shifted and there was much more focus on news related to Covid-19, workplace policies, benefits, and health and wellbeing. Ensure that you are keeping pace as needs evolve.

Feature your People

The gossip rag is all about the debutantes and the aspiring suitors and that’s what makes it sell. A winning ingredient for any internal publication is to highlight the people in your business – interesting feature stories or profile pieces. People love stories where they can see themselves. So, hero a team that delivered a breakthrough, share photos, or video clips of your people telling their own success stories. Featuring real people in your organization doing the right things in the right way can be a powerful way to influence change.

Choose your Language and Style

Lady Whistledown shows us a couple things – the value of writing in a way that mirrors how people speak, and the beauty of nurturing your own style and personality as a writer. Her words float off the page and into the reader’s ear as if it were a conversation.

Are you aligning to the brand voice of your company? What tone will you use? Formal or casual? Chatty or serious? Are you planning to use fun, feature stories or just the plain facts? Check whether your language is laden with leaders’ cliched phrases or ‘management speak’.

Pick your Channels

In 1813 London, the convenient tabloid format was popular. Lady Whistledown prints her gossip rag overnight and peddles it in the morning through newspaper boys making brisk sales.  

Well, it’s 2021 and there are a plethora of channels even for non-desk employees. Digital delivery through intranets, internal social media and company apps are growing in popularity. Take the time to research which channels work best for your audience. This is about them – go where they are!

Be Consistent

Week after week the entire Ton knows when to expect the next tabloid full of the juiciest tidbits. In fact, it is this level of reliability that enables the Queen to plot Lady Whistledown’s arrest – while she on her way to the printers.

Do you have a set day and time for publishing so that your audience can count on getting their news when they expect it? Is the format consistent so that they can navigate it easily? Also, even if you have different writers the tone should not vary wildly.

Measure and Evaluate

Roaring sales is one way that Lady Whistledown evaluates her success real time. But that’s not the only thing that matters. Thanks to her undercover status, our favourite scandalmonger readily discerns how her content is resonating. The Ton is all abuzz after each edition is released and it decidedly influences many an outcome in the feverish matchmaking season!

Likewise, internal communicators must evaluate whether their content is engaging readers and if it is influencing behavior.

What can you do? Run A/B tests for your publication. Analyze open rates, click rates, and drop off rates to see which content resonates most. Test reader knowledge by asking specific questions in an annual communication channel survey. Use shorter surveys at the end of a publication to find out what they valued the most. Analyze engagement, comments and follow-through actions. Use good metrics to help you make informed decisions about your publication.

Have a Purpose

Ultimately your publication exists to achieve an outcome. It shouldn’t simply be a nice to have or exist because you’ve always had it. It takes time and effort to produce so make it worth the investment.

Lady Whistledown not only satisfies her readers thirst for gossip, but she also uses the publication to advance her own interests and sometimes selfish motives – breaking up Colin’s relationship as a prime example.

Know what you are trying to achieve with each content piece and each edition of your publication. Set SMART objectives and use it as a valuable tool to help embed your strategy, inspire your people, and cause positive transformation that translates into business growth.  

Sure, it can come in many different formats, styles and be delivered via various channels. But whatever you decide, focus on what you want to achieve and let that guide your approach.  

Tell me, did you watch Bridgerton? What other lessons in communications would you add to this list? Please share your comments below.

Thank you for stopping by! Visit again soon, subscribe and share. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.    

Marguerite Orane – Lead, work and live with joy!

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

Introduction:

In this episode I talk with Marguerite Orane, Executive Coach, Speaker and Author. Marguerite’s life intention is to change the way you and your people work, so that you do so with joy and achieve amazing success.

Marguerite is an expert at helping leaders bring forth confidence, clarity and calm as they chart their way forward. In our conversation she uncovers your biggest blockers and reframes feedback. We also dive into what makes for a powerful morning routine and what you absolutely must do each day. Listen in and discover how you can change the way you lead.   

Listen to The Change Diaries with Marguerite Orane

Guest Bio

Marguerite Orane coaches leaders in realizing the value that joy and happiness at work bring to people and profits. With over 30 years in strategy consulting and general management, her commitment is to help leaders and their teams joyfully bring strategy to life to achieve their desired results. Marguerite is valued for her insights on leadership, strategy, entrepreneurship and personal growth delivered in her own energetic, joy-filled way as a coach, facilitator, speaking and her blogs. Her experience as an entrepreneur, a Harvard MBA and her curiosity about the mysteries and delights of the world are the foundation of this work.

Marguerite is an expert in Strategy articulation and Culture alignment, and the Balanced Scorecard. She has added value to organizations in the private, public, nongovernmental and educational sectors in the Caribbean and North America, including Cable and Wireless, TUI Marine, National Commercial Bank, City of Hamilton, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Government of the Netherlands.

Marguerite has served on the Boards of Directors of Red Stripe Jamaica Limited (formerly owned by Diageo), Jamaica Money Market Brokers, Workers Bank, Corporate Merchant Bank, Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance Society, Jamaica Manufacturer’s Association, Jamaica Exporter’s Association, and most recently, Grace Foods Canada.

Marguerite is a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader who knows that laughter releases creativity because she laughs … a lot! She has studied Improvisational Theatre at Second City Toronto and uses it to build teams that have each other’s backs!

Marguerite is the author of two books: “Free and Laughing: Spiritual Insights in Every Day Moments” and “Forget It! What’s the Point? Letting Go and Claiming Joy” and is an avid blogger on joyful leadership.

Find Marguerite at:

Website:  www.margueriteorane.com

LinkedIn: Marguerite Orane

Email: Marguerite@margueriteorane.com

Never miss an episode! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify

Thank you for being here. I’d love to hear your comments on this episode. What will you change? Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Lisa Soares Lewis – Be aware of your energy and manage it

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with Lisa Soares Lewis, Certified Professional Coach, Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, and designated Senior HR Professional. Lisa believes that all roads lead to leadership and that leaders are the first who need to change.

Lisa’s deep experience in coaching leaders comes to the fore as she discusses the triad of skills that underpin success in an unprecedented era of change. Listen to find out what they are and then get out of your own way and move forward.

Listen to the Change Diaries with Lisa Soares Lewis

Guest Bio

Lisa Soares Lewis is the Founder & CEO of Great People Solutions (G.P.S.) Ltd.

Based in Kingston, Jamaica, Lisa is a Certified Professional Coach, a Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, and a designated Senior HR Professional by the HR Certification Institute Society. Lisa has held several Executive and HR leadership positions at large companies including Diageo Red Stripe and Scotiabank and has led Executive workshops in C-suite roles.

She works seamlessly in the public, private and NGO sectors and is highly respected in the business community in Jamaica where she currently sits on several boards including JAMPRO (Jamaica’s investment & promotions agency), WISYNCO (Fast moving consumer goods), Sagicor Investments, UWI Mona School of Business & Management, the Pension Industry Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Stock Exchange e-Campus. Lisa is also a member of the International Women’s Forum and previous Director of SERHA (Public Regional Health Authority) and Sagicor Bank.

In February 2020, Lisa was awarded in the “101 Most Fabulous GLOBAL Coaching Leaders” Category – World at the HRD Congress in Mumbai, India.

Lisa has an MBA with Distinction in Finance and Marketing from UWI and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering.

Her company, Great People Solutions (GPS), offers the full suite of HR Consulting, Advisory and Leadership Coaching Services.

Find Lisa at:

Website: greatpeoplesolutions.com

LinkedIn: Lisa Soares Lewis

Never miss an episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

Bringing equity and inclusion to Public Relations and Communications – #Antiracismpr

I recently attended the National Summit on Antiracism in Public Relations and Communications organized by AntiracismPR and McMaster MCM in Canada.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect – so often these conversations end up being a dainty dance around difficult truths. I was pleasantly surprised from the get-go. Speakers were informative, data driven and authentic.

After two days of thought-provoking content, keynote speaker @Leo_Johnson gave a rousing rally cry – ‘act within your means’ and ‘do what you can.’

I suspect he knew that inevitably we would wander back to life as we know it now, in our homes, on marathon zoom calls, commitments fading into distant memory.

But the urgency remains, and we must find ways to take action.

My action today is amplify some of the key takeaways from the #antiracismpr summit that I tweeted last week. I hope it spurs you on to think a little harder about how you can make a difference, especially if you work in the field of communications.

There’s a short summary below and you can also see the full tweet thread on Wakelet.

Click here to see my tweet thread on the #AntiracismPR Summit https://wke.lt/w/s/lVoWTy via @wakelet

Tackle issues at the Board level

Boards need people with deep communications expertise. Comms is often overlooked as a skillset while areas such as legal, finance, marketing, engineering and strategy are favored. A communications strategist brings a unique lens – and can illuminate areas such as reputation, inclusive messaging, and ensuring that your first stakeholders (your people) understand the real value that a board brings to the company. Boards must tackle racism head-on and they need to be diverse. What does your company board look like?

Push for change and find allies

Agitating for change can be exhausting. It’s even more challenging in toxic environments. But allowing exclusion and systemic racism to slide through unchecked is not an option. You have the power to champion diversity, equity and inclusion daily, and demand leadership attention. Toxic environments don’t heal themselves. Have authentic conversations about the issues in a well-researched and respectful way. Are you confident that you can raise issues at your company especially when you see bias?

Use the DEI Continuum to measure progress

It’s worth looking up the DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) Continuum which takes a step-by-step approach towards equity and inclusion. This is the ultimate goal that organizations should strive towards.

Your company might have moved beyond level 0 which is complete denial. But hovering at level 1 – with ‘tick the box’ exercises and compliance at a minimum isn’t much progress. At level 2 companies move beyond compliance but there is no real pathway to progress and actions stop when interest fades.

Level 5 is the goal where the company achieves equity and inclusion for all and moves to influence this beyond its own boundaries. Where is your company on the continuum?

Change yourself

The close of the summit was particularly powerful. The keynote speaker was passionate and a doer, not a talker. I was struck by many of his messages, particularly when he said, “All I am asking is for you to change yourself.”

Somehow, it always lands here doesn’t it – with change? Sparking change, embracing change and being the change we want to see.

May we all be brave enough to be that change agent who helps to create a more just, equitable and inclusive world for all. What action will you take today?

Leave a comment below. Share your thoughts and let’s make change happen.

Thank you for stopping by. Listen to my new podcast now available on Apple: The Change Diaries Podcast. And don’t forget to follow and share my blog. I post new content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.