Friday, October 15, 2010

Well - You Can't Control That!

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Well - you can’t control THAT!

It seems that whenever I am scheduled to facilitate a Stress Busters program or focusing on the Stress Management aspect of my work, that things crop up to test my own ability in the area of stress and anger resolution. The last time I ran a Stress Busters course, I had a lot of speaking engagements booked back-to-back. With my schedule in mind, I planned my print/ship schedule for recent book orders in advance. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, I missed my ship time, and had to send materials out the next day. The items were picked up early in the a.m., so I expected all to go well. No worries - move on to something else... except - the next day, tracking showed that my boxes were stranded on a truck and would not make the delivery deadline. Instant stress.

Remember - stress is defined as a feeling that occurs when the current demands exceed the perceived resources available. So I started looking for resources in the hopes that my stress would be resolved along with the problem. I called my printer and arranged for them to do an emergency re-print of the materials. Then I hunted down another courier who claimed they could get my delivery in on time if I got it out before 5 p.m. OK - things were looking up. I got my reprints, ran across town to the courier and shipped it off. Then, I scooted back home again to deal with everything else that had been placed on the back burner while I managed this crisis.

I went off and facilitated my Stress Busters session and reminded myself that we can only deal with what we can control. Everything else is… well... a waste of time if we worry about it.
As it happens, when I checked the tracking number of my new shipment it turned out that an attempt had been made to deliver, but there was apparently no one there to sign for it - so they kept it, and would try again Monday. The problem is - they needed it NOW - Monday would be too late. That was the last straw.

So what are you gonna do? Absolutely nothing. I can't control the courier or what s/he does with my package. I can't control the recipient. I can't control what is happening on the other end where the package should be - but isn't. All I can control is this overwhelming urge to curl up in fetal position and cry.

Seriously - if this isn't a teachable moment, what is? If I can borrow from Oprah's favourite line, "What I know for sure" is that stuff happens. There is some stuff you can avoid or prevent, but sometimes despite your best efforts, things will just go horribly, horribly wrong. You can't explain it, and you can't control it. All you can do is control your own responses so that you can get to the best possible outcome.

Through this I have learned that trying to be accommodating on one end can cause huge inconveniences on another - and there must always be a balance between the two. I have learned that we must always factor in at least 20% more time than is ever needed to do ANYTHING - including delivering packages. I have learned that overnight delivery, can often mean 2-3 business days - thank you very much. And I have learned that I can never know enough about how to cope through crisis - because just when you think you've seen it all, God drops a new one in your lap.

Listen up… The last straw is falling. It may not have landed yet. In fact, you may not be feeling that stressed or overwhelmed at all right now. But life is just like that: just as we get used to living with a level of stress that is manageable, all of a sudden things can heat up without warning. The straw is falling. Somewhere, sometime, perhaps when you least expect it, it will land on you. Are you ready for it?

My new book, When the Last Straw Falls: 30 Ways to Keep Stress from Breaking Your Back, was written to equip you with everything you need to prevent the proverbial “last straw” from breaking you. It is available now from my website, Here are a few parting tips. When Stress Threatens to Overwhelm You:
• Breathe deeply – regulate your physical response
• Talk stressors through with others
• Check your attitudes & beliefs
• Laugh! It is the best medicine
• Change your perspectives
• Don’t allow the past to muddy the present

Lastly, when you are faced with circumstances that are completely beyond your power to change, shrug your shoulders, throw your hands up and say, “Well – You can’t control that!”
Written for The Anger Solutions Blog,

By Julie Christiansen, Author, International Speaker, Coach
President, Leverage U

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pick Your Battles

(Excerpted from Julie Christiansen's NEW book, When the Last Straw Falls: 30 Ways to Keep Stress from Breaking Your Back.)
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Picture if you will, a young girl from the islands, whose only experience with music is Gospel and R&B. Imagine her surprise when at the age of 9 she is given her first radio, and is introduced to Country music. Not just any kind of Country, mind you; we’re talking about the one, the only Kenny Rogers.

One would think that Country music would have no appeal for those who thrive on the soulful sounds of Motown hits; but even Maya Angelou, the great American poet found a universality and a sense of commonality in the lyrics of such songs as “The Gambler” and “Coward of the County”. They were songs about struggle, about doing the right thing, and about choosing your battles.

Kenny’s writing spoke to the hearts of millions who had been there; fighting for the things that really mattered. Not tangible things like money, valuables, houses or cars. They were fighting for the things that have true value: those intangibles – non-negotiables that are worth the battle. Love. Family. Faith. Freedom.

Yes, those intangibles are worth fighting for, right? You might be thinking, that’s all fine and good… everyone wants to fight the good fight. But right now I’m just struggling to get through my day!

This is exactly the point. For the most part, the majority of us are just trying to get through the day as we battle the day-to-day challenges of parenting, working, paying bills, figuring out relationships, and finding our place in the world.

How can you tell which battles are worth the fight? Begin with identifying the nature of each “battle scenario”.

1. What is happening? Identify exactly what is occurring in the moment. Take your time to look at the situation objectively, examining only the facts. By separating yourself from the emotionality of the moment, you will be able to see your stressors more clearly. Fighting battles is most difficult when you’re blind. Clear vision equals clear understanding, which will lead to better strategy. Sometimes the correct strategic choice will be to assertively engage; at other times, the best choice may be to walk away.

2. What does it mean? It has been said that nothing in life has any meaning except for the meaning you attach to it. Here are some examples:
a. Someone you love wants to drive drunk
b. You are faced with an ethical or moral dilemma
c. Your teenager wants to stay up late to watch a movie
d. Someone at work expresses romantic interest in you – the problem is, that someone is married
e. A stranger butts in line in front of you; he has three items, and you have 45
Which of these battles is worth fighting? Which might be best to let go? How would you define each of these events? What do they mean to you? The greater the meaning, the more likely you will have to do something about it. If it is just a minor annoyance, you may want to leave this battle for another day.

3. What is the lifetime value of this event? This is a question I ask myself every time I am faced with something that causes me stress, requires a decision, or demands that I take a stand. Deciding on how important this event will be within the context of your life will help clarify what steps might be necessary to ensure you get the best outcome for now and the future.

4. How do you feel about what is happening? Identifying and naming your emotional response is a vital step in deciding how to proceed in any conflict situation. It has already been noted that separating oneself from the heightened sensations of stress and charged emotions is useful when attempting to define the facts of a situation; however, at some point it is equally imperative that your feelings are acknowledged and placed into the context of the conflict. If you are feeling annoyed, you might respond differently than if you feel betrayed, rejected, alienated, or minimized. If you choose to engage in the conflict or stress-inducing situation, knowing how you feel and having the ability to assertively express your emotions will prove a great advantage.

5. What can you do to generate the best outcome? Always ask yourself what the best and worst possible outcomes might be for each problem-solving option you may be considering. By weighing out the pros and cons of each decision and following the path that will most likely lead to the best outcome for all concerned, your final choice of action is more likely to be the best one.

I was standing in line at the grocery store as the clerk, on automatic pilot, scanned my cart full of dry and canned goods, cleaning supplies, freezer items and fresh produce. It was a store that gave you the option to box your items rather than purchase plastic bags; whenever possible, I always tried to use boxes. Looking up, I noticed there were two empty boxes at the end of my checkout. I thought to myself, how gratuitous! Gratefully, I snatched them up – glad that I wouldn’t have to search through the bin at the front of the store for a couple of good sturdy boxes.

As I started loading my scanned items into the first box, I heard the man behind me in the line snarl to his female companion, “That figures – she stole our boxes!” Immediately, my frustration signal started going off – ding, ding, ding! The first though that went through my mind was, Since when do people OWN the grocery store’s discarded boxes? The next thought that went through my mind was that I should turn around and ask the man if he had something he needed to say to my face… It wasn’t my finest moment as the Anger Lady.

Then, I took a step back and evaluated the situation using the strategy map I just provided for you.

1. What is happening? Some guy – a stranger, someone I will never likely meet again, is upset because he thinks I took something that is important to him.
2. What does it mean? The boxes mean nothing to me – I just thought they were handy. But they obviously mean something to him. He thinks I stole his boxes on purpose. That he is feeling angry and agitated on account of something I did, is meaningful for me; and as such, will influence how I handle this situation.
3. What is the lifetime value of this event? On a scale of 1 to 10, about a ZERO. I have nothing invested in a relationship with this man and his companion. We are basically ships passing in the night – there is no relationship to salvage or to destroy. The boxes have no value to me either, so there is no need for this potential conflict to escalate.
4. How do I feel about what is happening? A bit annoyed by the man’s passive-aggressive approach, but otherwise unaffected. I don’t care about the boxes, so why should I feel upset?
5. What can I do to generate the best possible outcome? Give back the boxes, apologize for the misunderstanding, and move on.

Now, no word of a lie, this entire decision-making process took less than 15 seconds. Upon evaluating the situation, I immediately turned to the couple and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that you had set these boxes aside.” I then began to remove all of my carefully packed groceries from the first box.

The woman began to attempt a weak apology of her own (for her partner’s grumpy reaction), and I basically waved it off, reiterated that this was not a problem, and then set off in search of two equally suitable boxes from the bin. I paid for my groceries, packed them up and walked away from the store feeling nothing but a bit of residual energy that infuses the body whenever it is faced with any kind of real or perceived threat. When I arrived home, I told my spouse about it, and breathed a silent Thank You that the “box fiasco” had not escalated into something ugly in the checkout line of my favourite grocery store.

Can you do this too? I’m certain that you can! This is the “T” part of my TSA formula that is explained in full in my book, Anger Solutions. The full formula is this:

T = Think – what is happening, what does it mean, how do I feel, what is the lifetime value of this event, and what do I want to do about it?

S= Say – speak assertively about how you feel, what you want, etc. Explain why you believe this is a problem and present a possible solution.

A= Ask – ask for the other party’s input. Be sure they understood what you said, and ask how they feel about it. This is the beginning of dialogue and the first step towards resolution of the problem.

With practice, you too can carefully and speedily evaluate each challenge, problem, or conflict that comes your way, and make decisions about how to respond in a way that gets you the very best possible outcomes. Pick your battles!
To order your copy of When the Last Straw Falls, go to

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kids Need Help Resolving Anger and Conflict

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This just in from Naomi Drew, of the Philadelphia Examiner, National survey results: Kids want solutions to bullying and conflict
August 14th, 2010 5:07 pm

Eight to twelve year-olds across the country revealed, in a recently-released survey, that bullying, conflict, and meanness weighed heavy on their hearts and minds. 2171 kids throughout the US were asked to share their personal stories of bullying and conflict in a survey conducted by Naomi Drew in conjunction with Free Spirit Publishing. Across the board, what the children shared was surprisingly frank, sometimes heartbreakingly so. “I try to ignore conflicts, but if I can’t I just hurt,” said a 5th grade girl. A 6th grade boy who was cornered by a gang of kids in his school hallway wrote: “They ripped up my science book, took my hat, and laughed at me. I was so mad I went to my locker and sobbed.”

An overwhelming number of the students surveyed expressed their desire for positive change. 80% said they wanted to learn ways to end bullying, avoid fights, get along better with peers, and work out conflicts. Many felt overwhelmed by the meanness of their peers. An 11 year-old boy who was being bullied daily said, “It just makes me want to die.” With the spate of recent youth suicides that have been in the headlines, words like these can’t be ignored.

73% of the kids surveyed said other kids are somewhat to very mean. “I’ve been through a lot,” wrote a 4th grade boy. “Kids don’t like the way I look. They call me names and kick me. I am so sick of being picked on.”

Conflict is another major issue for kids. Almost 50% see conflicts happening often, every day, or all the time. 68% said being teased or made fun of is the number one source of their conflicts in their lives, and 64% listed name-calling as the cause of their conflicts. A 10 year old girl wrote, “Kids called me names every day. It got uncomfortable to be at school.” How about these break-your-heart words from a 9 year-old, “People call me names and make fun of me because I don’t have a mom.”

It’s clear from the survey that kids want and need change. Teachers want change too. A fourth grade teacher from New Jersey who responded to the survey wrote, “Anger and bullying are among the major issues I see as a teacher.” With character education programs being cut left and right, and No Child Left Behind turning our schools into testing machines, it’s time for priorities to shift. We need to stop focusing so much on test results, and do a lot more to help kids learn in an atmosphere of peace and emotional safety. In the words of a 10 year-old survey participant, “I wish there was a way to clean up this mess and find a way to make peace.”

Anger Solutions for Kids (AS4K) is a tool that was developed for precisely this purpose - to help teach school-aged children how to resolve anger and conflict, and to minimize the impact of bullying. Visit our website: to learn more about the program if you are already a Certified Anger Solutions Provider, or contact us at 1-866-754-6169 to learn how you can become an Anger Solutions for Kids Facilitator.

See the original version of this story at

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Five Brands of a Powerful Team

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Any team that produces and functions effectively has certain positive characteristics. Here are FIVE markers of a peak performing team:

1) A strong leader who both directs and empowers the team. S/he identifies the strengths in each team player, and encourages each player to utilize his or her strengths to help accomplish the team’s common mission.

2) A willingness to work together for the common good of the team. Let’s face it, in the world of business; much more can be accomplished when people work together towards the same goal. What good is it if one player gets ahead while the whole company suffers? In the end, all the players may lose (financial rewards, promotions, recognition, and perhaps even their jobs), including the one who was “top dog” for a moment.

3) Everyone has his or her own opportunity to shine. A true team understands that each player brings a unique strength or group of qualities to the table. At difficult meetings, the diplomatic player goes to work. In tough negotiations, the sharp negotiator has the opportunity to do what s/he does best. When making presentations, the fearless orator should be the one to take the stage. For planning events or breaking down tasks for goal completion, the most organized player has the chance to utilize his or her skills.

4) Praise is a common occurrence. Real team players notice other team members doing things right, and encourage one another. Can you imagine the Leafs at the Stanley Cup playoffs, yelling at their own players, and encouraging them to fail? Never! Team players stick together, knowing that they are working together to achieve an outcome that will be beneficial for ALL.

5) Communication flows in all directions. Not only is communication open, but it is appropriate. Team members use assertive language, share what needs to be shared, and trust the other players to do the same. Email, phone, MSN, and text are not abused. Behaviours and language that proves detrimental to the overall functioning of the team are discouraged by the leaders, and feedback is given frequently – both for areas that need improvement, as well as when team players are caught doing something right.

Here's to all the high performing, cohesive teams out there!

If you would like to know more about how to develop a high performing, powerful team, call 1-866-754-6169 and ask about our Extreme Team Building program!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What You See is What You Get

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Have you ever been in a near crash? I have. I have also gone all the way and totally smashed up my vehicle. There have been times driving in icy winter weather that all I could do was take my foot off the gas, and let go of the wheel, and HOPE that my car would set itself right. Sometimes the more you struggle, the more damage you cause. What you resist persists.

Long ago I heard a statement that totally resonated with me – and this was long before the “law of attraction” was a hip buzzword. The statement is this: “What you focus on is what you achieve”. The Rev. Beckwith of “The Secret” fame puts it this way, “Energy flows where the attention goes.” Let’s examine what that looks like in practice, sticking with the driving analogy.

Tony Robbins tells the tale of his adventures in learning how to drive race cars. As he was getting in to do a few practice runs, the instructor told him specifically NOT to look at the wall, especially if the car began to lose control. Sure enough, Tony recounts that as he began to circle the track, he lost control of the vehicle and saw the wall come spinning towards him – and although he could hear the instructor’s words in his mind, he could NOT take his eyes of the wall as it loomed dangerously closer and closer. Sure enough, he crashed into the wall.

Second try – again, as he took the corner, the car begin to spin. He could hear it… “Do not look at the wall…” Still, he could not shift his focus, and before you could say, “oops I’m going to crash”, he was once again, kissing the wall with his race car.

Third try – the mantra was rolling through his mind as he got behind the wheel. Better still, rather than telling himself NOT to look at the wall, Tony gave his mind new instructions: “Keep your eyes on the road!” So as he began his third practice run around the track and the car begin to feel like it was spinning out of control, rather than focusing his attention on the wall, he redirected it to the road. Surprisingly, he was able to maintain control of the vehicle, and keep it on the track!

Is this result really so surprising? I think not. Consider your bad days. What are you focused on? Are you thinking about how beautiful the world is or are you dwelling on all the things in your life that are going wrong? On good days, are you wandering around looking for reasons to complain, or are you setting your sights on all that is right in your world. Contrary to popular belief, happiness is not based on the things around you, but it is a state of mind. What you focus on is what you achieve. If you focus your thoughts on what is negative, you will achieve a state of negativity. Likewise, if you focus your thoughts on what is good, and feelings of positivity, that is what you will perpetuate in your life.

The same is true for anger. There are lots of things going on in the world that could contribute to feelings of anger – things beyond our comprehension or our control. Children being murdered by their parents and siblings; oil spilling into the ocean at rates so alarming we cannot fathom the ecological damage; David Beckham losing out on his opportunity to play in the World Cup… so much to be angry about!

Seriously folks: what you focus on is what you will achieve. If you focus on negativity, don’t be surprised when all you experience is a STATE of negativity! Rather than focusing on what gets your ire up, direct your attention to how you can generate solutions to those challenges in your life. And if the situation is completely out of your control, let go of the wheel, and relax. Things will straighten out on their own.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Anger Lady on CTS Television: Overcoming Obstacles

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Watch this most recent appearance of Julie Christiansen (a.k.a. The Anger Lady) on CTS TV's "On the Line" - this nationally broadcast call-in show always gets lots of calls and promises engaging conversation every time. Enjoy!
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Three Things I Couldn't Live Without

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OK so I admit, this isn't an original idea. I was listening to the CBC radio the other day and heard some folks talking about 3 things they couldn't live without and it made me wonder, what would I say if I were asked that question? "What 3 things would you not be able to live without?"

Hmmm... let me start by listing all the things I sometimes feel like I can't do without but I know for a fact are not essential:
  • sexy underwear
  • chocolate
  • my Blackberry
  • my car
  • modern methods of communication
  • CSI Miami, House, and The Mentalist
  • new shoes
  • manicures and pedicures
  • therapeutic hot stone massage
  • ahhh you get the message!
Of course, the essential three things we cannot live without are air, food, and water. But if I were to look at my life metaphorically in terms of really LIVING, there are certain things I could not live without:
1. My family - I love them - even when they make me crazy (and that is more often than not). It is like the kids know whenever I have money - and suddenly, they have all these NEEDS that just have to supersede mine. And of course, because I am Mom, I take care of what they need first. So very often that means I have to forgo the sexy underwear new shoes and the chocolate, because once the kids' NEEDS are taken care of, I'm left with barely enough sense, I mean cents to rub together. BUT I love them all the same. My spouse is another story. He can be a hard man to live with, but then again, I don't know a man who wouldn't be hard to live with. Men are just... DIFFERENT! I'm sure I am just as much a mystery to my spouse, so there you go. We make each other crazy, but we were meant to be together, and the fact is - I wouldn't want to live my life without him or our kids. My extended family falls into this category as well, along with those friends who are close enough for me to count them family. And let's be honest - there are some friends we could live without.
2. My faith - Hey: one of the basic tenets of Anger Solutions is that belief is the basis of action. My faith is one of my most fundamental beliefs. It makes me who I am. It drives me forward, and sometimes yanks me back. It is what keeps me grounded. When I am in distress, that is where I turn. When I am at the top of my game, that is what I credit. Could I LIVE without it? Absolutely not.
3. Money money money! Unfortunately, the way life goes - money has to be my third thing. Lets face it. Money makes the world go round (not literally, folks!). Seriously - without money, one cannot buy food, one cannot pay for one's clean water, and one can certainly not meet all of her children's NEEDS. Without money, there is no sexy underwear, no chocolate, no new shoes, no nice car, very often - there are no friends, no Blackberry... you see where this is going!

So there you have it. Family, Faith, & Money. Three things I could not live without. Now, if you would please excuse me, I hear my kids calling.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Give Yourself Permission to Stress Less

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At the many events at which I am invited to speak, I am often asked for “one simple tidbit” to help people manage their stress more effectively. In my book, Stress Less in 27 Days, I provide a toolkit equipping you with 26 simple and practical strategies to help you to cope with, decrease, or transform your consuming stress. However, if I were to produce just one tip for you, it would come in the form of this statement: managing your stress simply comes down to the permissions you give.

Think about it for a moment. If stress is a function of what happens when we perceive our demands to exceed our resources, then we are allowing our perceptions to generate stress inside us.

Consider this: we teach people (and circumstances) how to treat us. It’s true. Just let that sit for a moment. You teach people how to treat you. Look at how we allow this to happen.

When we feel hurt or disappointed, we brush it off and remain silent. Even though we know what we want, we defer to the decisions of others. When we need help, we don’t ask because of fear of rejection, pride, or not wanting to look stupid or helpless. When people ask us to take on more than we can handle, we hesitate to say no.

Listen: you are surrounded by people, places and things, all bombarding you with requests, needs, ideas, and problems. They are competing for whatever energy you have available, and they won’t take no for an answer. At least they won’t - until you learn how to educate them on who you are, what they can, and can’t do. When you define your negotiables and non-negotiables, then your universe will begin to respect you and your needs.

Here are some tips on how to begin educating your environment:

1. Start with defining your non-negotiables. Be clear about what your values are and your morals. Be clear about drawing the lines you will never cross.

2. Decide what is acceptable to you in terms of your own behavior and the behavior of others. By doing this before you are faced with questionable choices, decision making in the moment will be much easier.

3. Use proper phrasing to express your non-negotiables to others. Own up to what you feel, need, think, and want.

4. Try to keep yourself “Inventory-Free”. This means that you aim to leave every encounter with nothing unsaid, nothing stepped over, nothing un-requested, and nothing not acknowledged or appreciated. Doing this ensures that relationships stay healthy, and opportunities are grasped in the moment.

By defining what is negotiable and non-negotiable for you, you will be able to stand your ground about what you will permit, and what is not acceptable in your life. When you set clear boundaries, people will stop taking advantage of you, and your stress will decrease!

By Julie Christiansen, Author, International Speaker, Coach

President, Leverage U


International speaker, coach, and author, Julie Christiansen is President of Leverage U: helping individuals and teams to create positive, radical, lasting change.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Zero to 60: Shifting Gears

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Not that long ago I was spending most of my time in my office, hunched over my desk, writing furiously, dealing with paperwork, and wondering why the phone wasn't ringing. It always seems that way in the winter months, when speaking engagements are not so plentiful, the days are cold and short, and moods are low due to the lack of sunlight. I was like a ship with limp sails - no current, no wind; dead in the water. Suddenly though, as spring burst forth (thankfully early this year), my energy levels began to increase and I felt like going outside! With renewed zest and enthusiasm, I returned to more active marketing and "putting myself out there", and, "presto"! The tide began to turn.

Now as I am in the throes of my "busy season", I continually marvel at how easy it is to go from the speed of Zero to 60 in just a short matter of time. I'm learning that one can never get too comfortable behind the wheel of life, because when you least expect it, you may have to shift gears and adjust to keep up with traffic. Of course, there are times when we may have to stay in the passing lane and drive a little harder in order to get where we're going, but it's perfectly fine to slip over to the slow lane and let the other "drivers" pass you by. Every once in a while, it is also beneficial to take the scenic route so that you can enjoy the journey and make the trip from A to B less stressful.

I have learned that while life in the fast lane can be wildly exciting, we can't always stay there. Nor can we stay parked at the rest stop indefinitely - should we do that, we would never reach our destination. Just as it is required for real world driving, BALANCE is key as we travel the road of life.

Recently at the NATCON 2010 Conference, a presenter told of how the natives of the Polynesian Islands mapped out the world around them, "The HoKule'a (ship) never moves. It simply waits; the axis mundi of the world, as the islands rise out of the sea to greet her." (from The Way Finder) Every so often, it is wise to shift gears; to become like the HoKule'a and wait patiently as the objects of our desired destination rise out of the sea to greet us.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Kids for Change - Helping Tanzanian Orphans

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Today's show is dedicated to sharing the heart of Kids for Change - a cause which I am supporting, in the hopes of changing the futures of Tanzanian orphans. Listen, enjoy - and then come out and be a part of the change!

Why Businesses Need Coaches

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Thanks to Neil Thornton for his tremendous insights on the challenges faced by businesses today, and how coaching can make a difference. Listen right here!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Taking the Stress out of Financial Planning

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Many thanks to Al Filer of Lifetime Financial Fundex Investments of sharing some insights of how to avoid the DANGER associated with financial planning in today's economy.

Visit Al's website to learn more about his incredible expertise:

What if You Had No One?

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Have you ever asked yourself this question? What if you had NO ONE in the world - no living family - no relatives - no history that you knew of... how would you find your way? Who would show you how to be a man? How to be a woman? How to negotiate relationships? How to handle conflict?

There are so many aspects of having a family network that we take forgranted, and even wish we could live without. But for the over 2 million orphaned children in the nation of Tanzania, this is reality - not one living relative. No one.

Kids for Change: Tanzania is a fundraiser designed to help fill the gap that exists for these children. By teaching valuable life skills, communication, conflict resolution, and self esteem, we hope to assist the children in the daunting task of growing up in a world where they will be 100% responsible for determining their future outcomes. There are over 5 million Tanzanian children out of school due to a tremendous shortage of schools and poverty. The average adult wage in Tanzania is $1 per day - many children are forced into child labour because of dire need.

Our long term vision is to help provide sustainable education that will keep as many orphans in school until at least the completion of their secondary studies, and to build a scholarship fund so that as many of them as possible can attend post secondary school in order to guarantee a viable future.

Our first annual fundraiser takes place on April 15th - BE THERE! Held at White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa, this will be a celebration of African and African-Canadian culture, with silent auction, dessert auction, and a live auction of luxury items. Come on out and support this worthy cause! 100% of proceeds from the event will go directly to the needs of Day Spring Orphanage in Morogoro, Tanzania.

Sponsored by:
Leverage U
White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa
First Fridays (Toronto)

Event Planner: Spotlight Events 1-647-882-9497

Stay tuned for information on our great prizes and auction items to be won!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Life After Addictions Show Rescheduledl

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Ah... the world of scheduling conflicts! Our show on "Life after Addictions" on Blog Talk Radio will be airing on a different day due to conflicting schedules. As such, there will be no March 12th live interview on the Anger Solutions Radio Show. Please stop by the site anyway, and listen to our great interview with Rich Fettke from last week, or any of our other archived programs.

If you're watching the television tomorrow morning, and have access to Rogers TV, tune in at 10 a.m - I'll be appearing live with host Gwynn Chapman to talk about Anger Solutions and our efforts to bring this life changing program to other parts of the world! Also - anyone living in Durham region, Check out Channel 12, Lifestyles with Denise Marek. I had a great interview with her today - and it will be airing within the next few days - if you miss the show on Channel 12 - you'll see it on You Tube soon!

Would you like to know about the charity work we are doing? Visit to learn about Day Spring Orphanage in Tanzania, and how we are working to support the daily living and education of the young orphaned children of Morogoro, Tanzania.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Self Esteem and the Power of Momentum with Rich Fettke

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I cannot say enough what a pleasure it was to have Rich Fettke, author, coach, extreme athlete, and businessman on today's show. You will definitely want to listen to how he transformed from skinny teenager with failing grades and an assessment by his teachers that he was "not likely to succeed" to a high school and college graduate, independent business owner, and famous author and speaker. Listen right here!

Next week our show is about "Life After Addictions" with a special guest who will share her personal journey of recovery. Be sure to tune in!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Highs and Lows of Entrepreneurship

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Today we were joined by Lynn Beaudry of 2Brains Inc. and The FRONT to talk about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Thanks Lynn, for an insightful show! Be sure to visit their websites: and

To listen to the podcast I mentioned in today's rant, go to to listen to the 5 minute dialogue on coping with workplace bullies.

Listen in to the show right here...

Next week, stay tuned as I talk with Motivational Speaker, Author, and Extreme Athlete, Rich Fettke! Check out his website at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Your Body Under Stress

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Many thanks to Dr. Patrick Maddalena for being a guest on the Anger Solutions Radio Show, and for his informative take on how stress can impact the body. Listen to the interview here!

Be sure to visit Pat's website:

This week, listen in as Lynn Beaudry, Co-owner of The Front and 2Brains Inc. talks about the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Special Valentines Anger Solutions Show

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Many thanks to The Sales Dating Guy, Richard Elmes, ( for joining me on the Anger Solutions Radio Show today for an impromptu chat about anger in sport, and how the sales process is very much akin to dating. Listen in right here...

And be sure to email Rich at the coordinates he provided on the show, so you can get your very own copy of the 7 Plus Habits of Highly Effective Husbands.

Next week, Dr. Patrick Maddalena, professional lacrosse player and Doctor of Chiropractic talks about stress and back health.

Bryan Duncan Gets Real about Anger on BTR

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WOW! I'm so grateful to have had some time with Bryan Duncan, musician, singer, and author - last week on The Anger Solutions Radio Show. What a great interview with someone who is honest and forthright about his failings in the area of anger - but also good humoured, and willing to not take himself so seriously. Here is a copy of the interview:

Bryan was also kind enough to send me a preview copy of his new book, "Dear God: Really? Prayers You Won't Hear in Church". I read the whole thing from cover to cover and enjoyed it thoroughly. Be sure to get a copy when it comes out - go to to find out more. Visit Bryan's site: or follow him on twitter: @Bryan_Duncan.

Today's episode with Sales Dating Guy, Richard Elmes will be posted here shortly.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Resolving Conflict, Anger, and Negativity in the Workplace

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedInThis article is a re-post - originally written by Virginia Matthews and published in

If you would like to learn how to nip work rage in the bud, then sign up for our upcoming session of "Resolving Conflict, Anger, and Negativity in the Workplace". This 1/2 day session will expose the truth about conflict and negativity, and provide practical strategies that you can immediately begin using upon your return to work. The next workshop takes place Friday, February 12, 2010 at The FRONT, 283 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, from 8:30 to Noon. Register online today!

To register for the February 12th morning session, click here.

The traditionally curmudgeonly British character shouldn’t lead us to overlook the risks anger at work can pose to staff health and wellbeing, writes Virginia Matthews.

Victor Meldrew-style grumpiness may be a familiar part of British life, but according to author and critic AA Gill, writing in The Angry Island, the English are also "naturally, congenitally, collectively and singularly livid much of the time... incensed, incandescent, splenetic, prickly, touchy, and fractious... they're living on top of a keg of fulminating fury."

And the anger isn't restricted to road, shopping or Naomi Campbell-style air-rage either.

Work rage
According to recent research from employment law firm Peninsula, eight in 10 of us suffer from 'work rage' triggered by anything from lazy colleagues to ill-defined job roles. As many as seven in 10 report that verbal abuse and shouting is common in their place of work.
Seeing a colleague hurl their BlackBerry at the wall or square-up to an unpopular boss may be diverting at the time, but according to Dirk Hansen, director of clinical and service quality at Employee Advisory Resource, a persistently angry colleague can be highly disruptive in a team.
"Anger makes people say hurtful things and it triggers insecurity and lack of trust. Staff may become tentative in their approach to a colleague with anger problems, obstructing the work process and flow, and in the case of explosive anger, may become fearful of violence."

He advocates a zero-tolerance approach when the red mist comes down. "Line management should directly confront any individual who exhibits anger in the workplace and HR should not hesitate to deal with it in a disciplinary context."

Mike Fisher, founder of the British Association of Anger Management, says most organisations are in denial over work-rage, making it "the hot potato that nobody wants to touch".
He argues that while stress, anxiety or low self-esteem are already familiar territory to managers, the gnawing rage suffered inwardly by some staff tends to be hidden under a veneer of self-deprecation and sarcasm.

"While HR has come to embrace the problem of work-induced stress, the anger that invariably follows it is still the elephant in the room," says Fisher, a self-confessed 'passive-aggressive'.
"Yet this is a problem that will only continue to rise along with the country's current economic problems," he adds.

Although most flare-ups at work are minor – an oath, a phone banged down or a slammed desk drawer – work rage can, on occasions, be dramatic. Paul Dubois, senior anger management instructor at Reed Learning, talks of the two senior surgeons referred to him after they set upon one another with scalpels and knives in an operating theatre: Ivan Robertson of occupational psychologists Robertson Cooper, remembers seeing a colleague coolly smash every single window pane in his office with a metal waste basket.

Calculated subversion
In Fisher's view, though, the problem of "calculated subversion" is far more of a danger to most employers. "Although it is still deemed acceptable in our society for senior directors to blow their tops and bawl out colleagues, overt aggression is very rare among the lower ranks."
For those workers who feel they don't have a voice at work, undermining the organisation at every possible opportunity can be a far more subtle and deadly way of fighting back, he says.
"Spending extra time at lunch and on breaks is a favourite, as is lying on expenses forms. Angry staff will also spread malicious rumours, phone in sick when it's most inconvenient, be less caring towards customers and be downright obstreperous towards new members of staff," Fisher says.
"You won't even realise what they've been doing until there's a wave of resignations or you lose your biggest customers or contracts."

When it comes to figuring out why we are so angry in the first place – and the rage appears to affect teachers and doctors as much as call centre or sales staff – the consensus of opinion is that lack of autonomy and control, as well as ill-defined work roles, are the number-one suspects, along with mounting workloads and smaller staff numbers.

In the Metropolitan Police, which recently launched 'Shrinking Clouds', a toolkit that aims to combat absenteeism, it is stress, not anger, that receives the most attention.
"I've never yet seen a doctor's note that says: 'Mr So-and-So is off work due to anger problems'," says chief medical officer Dr Eileen Cahill-Canning.
"I consider stress to be a far less pejorative word than anger and far easier for people to talk about, even though the two are inextricably linked."

She adds: "Our officers are highly trained not to react emotionally or angrily when faced with highly stressful situations. While it is possible that repressing anger in this way could lead to severe problems later on, we believe our concentration on stress, together with our falling absenteeism levels, speak for themselves."

The right target
For many organisations, anger management only hits the radar when there's been 'an incident' – a shouting match in the middle of the accounts department, or wilful damage to company property. Yet the individual chosen to receive lessons in managing their anger is not always the right one, says Dubois. "In many cases, employers are happy to blame individual members of staff for the outburst against a manager, without examining either whether their treatment at work has been fair or finding out whether there's another reason – perhaps a deeply personal one – for their display of anger."

"Although our courses tend to be filled with staff, not their managers, in nine cases out of 10, I would argue that it is actually their bosses who need to manage their anger better too," he says. "Ultimately, we teach people how to say 'no' to their employer, but to do it in an assertive, rather than aggressive way that avoids both manipulating others and resorting to threats or violence."

Police stress
If you are a police officer walking the streets of somewhere like Peckham or Brixton, it is highly likely that you will need to take time out on a regular basis when the stress of the job gets too much, says chief medical officer Dr Eileen Cahill-Canning.

“We train our managers to pick up on any signs of their officers performing less well or being preoccupied – being different to their usual selves really – and whether they are referred to occupational health for assessment or choose to self-refer, all treatment is confidential and voluntary.

“If their stress levels – and this can of course include repressed anger – mean they are no longer fit for work, or are not coping, we encourage them to have a break from their front-line, operational duties. We call this being switched to a ‘recuperative role’, and it means they are treated, in effect, as back-office staff until they are fully recovered,” Cahill-Canning says.
“Life getting on top of you is a pretty common occurrence in the Met – whether caused by stress at work or problems in their private lives – and having invested so much time, energy and money in these men, we do all we can to help them recover from stress rather than see them walk out of the door.”

Virginia Matthews (About this Author)
Tuesday, 02 September 2008

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Coming up on Anger Solutions Radio

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedInThank you to everyone who in the early days of the launch of our new baby, the Anger Solutions Radio (hosted by Blog Talk Radio) have shown your support! Listenership is growing weekly, and I am so grateful to our past and future guests for sharing their time with all of us. We have some great programs lined up over the next several weeks - here's a snapshot of what's to come.

This Friday, listen in as we are joined by Shane Flannigan, President of Giant Life Solutions as he talks about "The Art of Reinvention". Shane is a master at re-defining life on his terms; an art he developed after a traumatic incident ended his career in law enforcement. If you have encountered workplace bullying, burnout, or any kind of trauma in the workplace, and are in the process of recovery, be sure to listen in on this interview. Shane will keep you laughing and feeling optimistic as he shares his story. Learn more about Shane at

Then, on a special day and time, Tuesday, February 2nd at 10 a.m. I'll be speaking with Christian musical legend, Bryan Duncan. Bryan started his career with the Sweet Comfort Band in the 70s and later launched a very successful solo career. With exceptional musical talent and an unmistakably smooth, soulful voice, Bryan's music has been a part of my life for over 20 years. He now is part of a new band, NehoSoul, and has launched into the world of writing blogs and authoring books. Bryan will be sharing some insights learned along the way throughout his career, as well as talking about his experiences and lessons learned from anger management classes. Bryan will also be telling us about his new book, “Dear God, Really?” Prayers You Won't Hear in Church, due out in a couple of months on line at

Also coming up in February, Richard Elmes, the Sales Dating Guy ( - to do a special Valentines episode with me, and chiropractor/professional lacrosse player, Pat Maddalena ( to discuss how a healthy spine can positively affect your mental health. As always, I'll be posting their interviews here on the blog site, and linking back to their sites so you can learn more about them.

In March, we have a special treat! Rich Fettke ( has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and salespeople improve their businesses and their lives. He is the author of Extreme Success and the audio programs, FOCUS and Momentum. Rich will be our guest on March 5th to talk about self-esteem, extreme stress, and the power of momentum. Don't miss this exciting show!

We have lots more that we're gearing up for as winter turns to spring. I hope you'll listen in - and remember that the shows are all archived, so even if you can't listen live, you can always check back here for the latest episode, or of course, go directly to and the most recent episode will be readily available, along with all the archived programs. Enjoy!

Personal Branding Guru, Paul Copcutt

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This was a great show with Paul - he is a real pro when it comes to matters of personal branding. If you are in transition, thinking about switching jobs, or moving into a new career - you MUST listen to this interview. Lots of great tidbits and worth the listen.

Check out Paul's website at :

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dr. Lisa Barrow Exposes Workplace Bullying

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Great interview with Dr. Lisa Barrow, author of In Darkness Light Dawn: Exposing Workplace Bullying. Listen in and enjoy!

Next week, listen LIVE at 10 a.m. when I talk with Paul Copcutt, Canada's leading brand strategist, as he discusses the Power of a Personal Brand.