BWB Business Member KAREN BOWEN (MKH) a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan

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You’re at the centre of it all. Your potential influence, that is. For Karen Bowen and her team at ManagerKnowHow (MKH), high leadership effectiveness begins with personal mastery and radiates outward to impact all aspects of life and work. It’s about harnessing self-awareness to maximum effect in all decisions and situations, and Karen has seen many of both. She has over 25 years of combined experience in leading teams, understanding organizations, and helping leaders to transform their cultures and improve their performance. 

Originally from Nova Scotia, Karen has a BA in English from St. Mary’s University, an MA in Leadership from Royal Roads University, and a Certification in Adult Continuing Education (CACE), in addition to myriad certifications in standardized tools for behavioural and workplace assessment. Her own leadership roles encompass many descriptions, including, among others, teacher, planner, designer, and coach. Always striving to live and lead holistically, Karen is also a fitness trainer and yoga instructor, and an outdoor enthusiast. She is a woman who knows the sphere and nature of her influence. 

So we were thrilled she took some time to share some wisdom from her work. 

Let’s jump right in at the MKH Model. In the centre of the circle is “Leading Self.” What, fundamentally, are managers looking to acquire when they come to MKH — in terms of self-awareness and skills — and what is often their ultimate goal?

Great question, and the importance of self-awareness is becoming more recognized as the absolutely essential first step in leadership. Leaders and teams that look for a deeper understanding of who they are express curiosity about how they show up, and what aspects of personality, emotional intelligence, values, biases (just to name a few) impact their interactions with both themselves and others. It is critical to recognize that understanding oneself does not mean judging or labelling any aspect of who we are as “good” or “bad.” Rather, it is an exploration in why and how we perceive our world around us, how that impacts our relationships, and the leverage points where we can increase our effectiveness. Astute managers, leaders, and teams show inquisitiveness, tolerance, and open-mindedness when exploring self-awareness.

Having worked in a variety of organizations myself, I am keenly aware of the vital role leaders play in setting and influencing the organizational culture. Another term about your brand stuck out for me: “Workplace Culture Partner.” What does that mean in terms of the collaborative exploration you undertake with leaders?

When I chose “workplace culture partner” as a descriptor, it came from experiences  where I was asked to “fix” things, or to “solve” issues commonly referred to as “dysfunction.” In our world of quick fixes, there can be a perception that I come in, deliver a workshop, and somehow make a culture better. While learning opportunities can be a powerful part of any team initiative, the work really happens on the ground, in the day-to-day interactions, communications, processes. For example, I can teach people communication skills, but I can’t teach them to be good communicators; that is a personal commitment individuals need to undertake. 

Positive culture is not a finite problem or endgame that can be solved and forgotten about; it is an ongoing challenge you keep working at every day. I often refer to “sticky issues,” a term I learned in my Human Systems Dynamics certification. Sticky Issues are those ones that will not stay solved, that are complex, and that can only be influenced by those directly involved in them. By this definition organizational culture is a sticky issue. 

I am a partner in the process of learning new skills, identifying the positive patterns that you want to foster, and then fanning and supporting change through dialogue and intervention. I help to leverage “pockets of positive deviance” and coach you through the inherent challenges of change, but I cannot “fix” your culture. That is up to you and everyone in your organization to recognize and get on board with. Pursuing excellence can be simple in premise but it is not easy to do, and it requires persistence. I offer support.

Having worked with a few leadership coaches in my career, I know this journey can be complex and challenging, but also highly rewarding. What drew you to this work? Can you point to events in your life, or did you have an innate desire to help others?

My journey was indirect, with many twists and turns, as most are. In my very first “real” job I was involved in supporting customers and training. The first eight years of my career were spent with a payroll company, and I travelled the Atlantic Provinces connecting with our customers, supporting them, and helping them to learn the system and manage the change. Then I shifted completely to managing internal training and on-boarding the company’s new employees for a few years. 

I have been heavily involved in technology, foreign exchange, and most recently healthcare. My industry background is a bit eclectic, but the thread was always helping others to succeed. Through my direct experience in managing and leading teams, I realized I have a passion not for being the manager, but in helping other leaders. I often joke that I tried to leave my career a few times, but it kept finding me, which is as close to a calling as I can imagine. And while my technical knowledge and my understanding of leadership in human systems allow me to design high-quality and powerful sessions, I feel it is my empathy, vulnerability, and compassion for those leading in complexity that keep me successful in this field. 

I am fulfilled by watching people grow, shift, and stretch into their effectiveness and potential. I learn every single time I interact with my clients, and the richness I receive from working with amazing people, teams, and leaders inspires me to continue to grow, fail, and stretch into my own personal leadership as well. I am so blessed to love what I do!

This is a short one. What do the terms balance and well-being mean to you? 

Can I “LOL” here? I think the answer to this could be very long. However, in short, and to me, balance is all about feeding your mind, your body, and your soul. If one is neglected, the others will suffer, and it is incredibility difficult to be optimistic and resilient if you are off-balance. I also think this is personal, so I would not define balance for anyone but myself. For example, what is the best work-life balance for me may not be the same for another. And I think the two are very closely linked: knowing what balance means you is, in my opinion, the foundation of well-being. 

There is a myriad of ways to support your own well-being. Reflecting on the areas and strategies that will support you is key. Well-being is honouring all aspects of health: physical, emotional, mental, and perhaps spiritual. This includes high-quality and positive relationships with yourself and others. As for myself, if I am unwell in any of these categories it directly impacts my sense of well-being. Being balanced feeds into my well-being. And if I find myself unhappy, I look to where I am lacking balance. 

While MKH operates mainly in the realm of business-to-business, you are offering a public course in March 2019 called “Essential Facilitation Skills.” Tell us a bit about this event. What sort of experience are people in for? 

I am very excited about bringing this course to the general public. During my sessions and workshops, clients often ask me where I learned to be “such a good facilitator” and if I know of a course that will help them to better manage groups, teams, and sometimes individuals, in various scenarios. It could be a team meeting, a larger training session, or something as simple as a project update or a workshop to gather ideas. 

The theme of the event is that many people “wing-it” without process and techniques that support good group management. I am looking forward to sharing what I have learned over the years on how to have a strong presence in a room and allow flexibility for exploration and structure/agenda management at the same time. Also how to create activities that have an element of fun, but are practical and effective for solving problems, identifying goals, or generating ideas. The biggest concern, not surprisingly, is how to manage the different personalities that show up, sometimes in a challenging way, and how to avoid “derailment” due to personality conflicts, power dynamics, or the context that each individual brings. 

As an aside and little sneak peek, the premise is to always find a way that allows individuals to retain their dignity; every interaction should be based on kindness and grace. We go through all of this, and more, in this course! I also have a passion for making BIG topics digestible and as simple as possible. Participants will walk away with templates, tools, and techniques they can use immediately, regardless of their experience. My hope is to help others become confident and effective in any type of scenario involving groups.

We are also looking to develop “sister” workshops to this event, including “Meeting Management” and “Presentation Skills,” to cover any type of organizational meeting and/or speaking engagement. Stay tuned! 

The link to Essential Facilitation Skills is here.

Our last question is always a playful one. Care to share a fun fact about yourself that most would not know? It can be a personal tidbit, a habit, or a story, etc. 

Hmm, this is hard, as I am a very transparent person and a bit quirky, so hopefully my sense of fun and humour is obvious. I love to laugh! I have a deep love for animals and can lose hours watching silly pet videos. And I have been known to make my own here and there with my two cats or my pug (he loves cameos in my desk yoga videos). 

As my company can be seen as very corporate focused, I would like to share my interest and curiosity around how we connect more deeply as human beings and how extremely powerful simple compassion and touch can be. Currently I am working on my certification in Thai Yoga Massage, and when I teach my fitness classes my participants are gracious enough to let me practice with them — so much so, I think the reason they show up for the tough classes is to enjoy the relaxing head massage at the end! 

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a bit more about what I do and who I am!

Contact Karen at Karen@managerknowhow.com, or learn more on the web via our  Website,  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer
I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297
oakwriter.com

 

BWB Business Member ANNETTE ADKIN a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan

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It is never too late to become the person you are capable of being. But what is getting in the way of you reaching your potential? That is exactly what Annette Adkin of Pure Insights Counselling can help you to explore, reveal, and ultimately move through.

For 28 years, Annette has been helping individuals, couples, families, and groups explore their stories and create safe places to understand themselves and how they show up in their lives. She knows that none of us gets through life unscathed and we are all trying to recover the parts of ourselves that did not get activated during childhood. We conceal our hurt by developing coping strategies to help us deal with painful experiences. However, life’s painful events are often the catalysts forcing us to get past our old patterns. Annette helps people identify those patterns, deal with their distress, and take steps to create what they truly want in their lives.

Annette is a Registered Professional Counsellor through the Professional Counselling Association. She has studied social work at UBCO and Canyon College, child and youth counselling at Douglas College, as has had training in addictions and trauma at the Justice Institute. She stays current in her field through yearly supervision, training, and workshops. Currently Annette does individual sessions, couples, families and workshops in the community.

We are thrilled she shared some of her insights with us.

First of all, I love your clear and inspiring website! One line that leapt off the screen for me was the “struggle to maintain authenticity, access our abilities and remember our strengths.” So often the our essential selves get lost along the way through life. What happens? Is it taken from us or do we give it away?

Seventy-five percent of our emotional mapping happens before we’re 6 years old. Factors such as how we were corrected, whether we received love and affection, whether both of our parents were available daily, whether we could communicate strong or vulnerable feelings directly to our parents when they upset us, whether we felt significant, and patterns of sameness (we watch our parents and get the download from their family of origin) — these all can play a role in coping strategies and communication patterns, etc.

We learn from our parents and life experiences. Perhaps we had a parent who over-corrected our behaviour, and so later on in our lives when our partner is angry and upset with our behaviour, we turn away from the situation or react to our partner without understanding our wound and how to communicate our emotional truth, or trying to understand each other’s needs based on our histories. While this allows us to avoid in the short term, these strategies get in the way of resolution and keep us from growing and healing in relationships.

If we stay in patterns, life will give us opportunities to grow, so it is helpful to understand our early style of attachment. Our model of early attachment influences how each of us reacts to our needs and how we go about getting them met. In a secure attachment, we are self-possessed and able to interact with others, meeting both our own and another’s needs. However, when there is an anxious or avoidant pattern from our childhood, we can project this onto a partner or we may seek to duplicate similar patterns which end up feeling painful. Counselling is a great place to understand our patterns and find new ways to show up in life.

To a layperson like myself, it may seem that trauma and addiction are different challenges than, say, the feeling of being stuck and sad without an obvious reason. From a counselling perspective, is it helpful to make categorical distinctions, or is each person’s pain and struggle a purely a one-of-a-kind journey?

When someone struggles with an addiction, they have experienced trauma. This term is fairly broad, as it encompasses responses to one-time accidents, natural disasters, crimes, and other violent events. It also includes responses to chronic or repetitive experiences such as ongoing conflicts, blocked communication, child abuse, neglect, battering relationships, and endured deprivation. When people are stuck and feeling sad, this can be related to trauma, but they may just need to explore their histories or current relationships to get some perspective or learn ways to face the difficulties they are going through.

How would you define balance and well-being — broadly or with respect to your work?

Balance and well-being for me is categorized in four areas. One is love and belonging: who loves and supports me, and who do I love and support. Another one is power and recognition, which for me means feeling significant, keeping boundaries, holding our power, following our purpose, and dealing with our feelings of unworthiness or shame. The third one is freedom of choice. We always have daily choices we can make. If there is no self-care, we will feel like a victim, discontented or frustrated. Finally we need to have fun, or what I call “soul care.” This includes exploring what we enjoy and learning how to play. Examples are adventure, friendship and family time, hobbies, etc. When someone struggles with addiction, they are often trying to feel peaceful and at ease, but they haven’t found healthier ways to meet this need for fun and soul care.

In your video, you allude to a story behind your decision to become a counsellor. Would it be fair to say it’s a calling for you? Where did the passion for this path come from?

I laugh because my decision to become a counsellor came from my own dysfunctional patterns from my history. I have had to work on my own family of origin in order to feel like I can be helpful to others. I truly believe that a good counsellor is willing to do their own work and practice what they are teaching. But I also know that I have always been a compassionate person and experience has taught me to be strong, to become a lifelong learner, to take care of my health (issues in the tissues), and, for the most part, to make daily choices that help me stay in a positive frame of mind. When I get off track, I know how to get back on track. The key is to take one day at a time and focus on our daily victories.

As you know, we finish each profile with a fun fact. Is there something personal you’d care to share?

A fun fact about my family history… My grandfather was from the Mauritius Islands. (I called him “Papa” because he was French.) He came from a large and interesting family. His father’s first wife died after having 10 children, so when her sister came over to help with the kids, my great-grandfather married her and together they had 9 more children. So there were 19 children in total, which is crazy! Needless to say, I am sure there were some attachment issues. Lol.

PHONE (250) 878-7035
LOCATION
Pure Insights Counselling Services is located in the Lower Mission, in beautiful Kelowna BC.

Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer 

I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297
oakwriter.com

 

BWB Business Member JOHN GLENNON a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan

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Selling happens by design, not by chance, and embracing this truth is essential in achieving desired success in business. Helping you to do that is John Glennon’s business. With ten years of experience as the president of Sandler Training, BC Interior, and as many years in a variety of sales and marketing roles, John knows not only the vital importance of reliable revenue to an organization but also how entrepreneurs can increase, master, and maintain their sales volumes.

There’s a system to it, which is what Sandler Training has perfected since it began in 1967. Now a global network with more than 250 offices, Sandler has distinguished itself as a leader in sales management, customer service, and leadership training through a simple but powerful approach: clear methods, experienced trainers, and continual support.

For John and Sandler, however, all the classes in the world won’t matter if improvement isn’t immediate, measurable, and sustainable. Whether you’re a small, medium, or large outfit, your future should not be gamble. Sandler gets results. They are also a partner in supporting Balance Well-being, so we are thrilled John shared his sales insights with us.

Thank you, John, for chatting today. Selling is crucial to the well-being of any business, and yet many of us have trouble getting a handle on it. And we often talk about the importance of network relationships, but there’s more. What are many missing?

You’re very welcome, Tom. It’s my pleasure. There are a few reasons why many struggle with sales and sales management. Firstly, there is a gap in our education. We prepare for our chosen professions, learning all the necessary aspects to perform at our best, and yet the one thing we overlook is how to properly sell. There’s no formal education for this, which astounds me, as it’s absolutely critical for success.

Well-meaning people will have dreams and aspirations, and even develop marketing plans. That gets them to hello. Sales is about everything that happens after that. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t want a relationship. But the difference with an effective sales professional is that they know what should happen next. Most do not. They lack a system and process to follow.

Also, people are often in denial about the fact that they need help at all. Even when they’re not achieving the revenues they need, many don’t realize that selling, like all facets of life, requires correct and repeatable skills. Some will talk about quotes and coffee visits, for example. Unfortunately, the bank doesn’t care about quotes. People need to be honest with themselves when they’re not getting the sales results they need to be viable, and then look at what’s not working. That’s where we at Sandler come in. We have a proven system that can be customized to the needs of your organization, guiding you from a place of not doing the right things to turning them into habits that deliver.

That is great news! Why is the Sandler approach more effective than other methods?

First of all, our approach is clear and simple, not convoluted and over-engineered, as some are. People have to understand it before they can do it. Yet there is science behind our techniques, like muscle memory; it can be developed.

Secondly, we understand that adults learn through repetition and reinforcement. Most other approaches treat sales training as a one-off or add-on. The problem with that is very little of the material is either learned or implemented. We continually follow up with you to track and measure your progress, like providing a gymnasium for the mind. We believe in ongoing reinforcement.

Thirdly, our team knows what works. Many sales consultation services lack the wealth of real-life know-how our trainers bring to the room. Sandler is rich with experienced sales managers who get the Sandler approach and can easily teach it to others. They also understand the absolute necessity of ongoing sales in building and maintaining a healthy, successful company.

Balance Well-being is all about building connections and community, to help everyone reach greater success together. We see Sandler’s partnering with us as a perfect example of values alignment in action. What drew you to BWB?

For us it’s about giving back. We’ve been serving the BC Interior for 10 years now, with great success. When Shawna approached me, I liked the spirit of what she and Balance Well-being envisioned for business in the region. When you see someone trying to do good and make the community a better place to live and work, and you can be a part of it, then why not?

For me, the most powerful underpinning of Balance Well-being’s vision is that our four pillars can be flexibly interpreted and applied to many aspects of our lives. The terms balance and well-being can mean different things to different people. What do they mean to you?

Here at Sandler Training, we refer to the Balanced Wheel of Life, which encompasses eight main areas — financial, work, emotional, physical, social, et cetera — we see as necessary in creating lasting well-being, at least in the life of a business or entrepreneur. Our founder, David Sandler, understood this back in the late sixties, which was groundbreaking at the time. Business success is only one aspect of balanced success.

Today we continue to see the importance of taking inventory of specific goals on a regular basis, to ensure you have financial freedom through your sales efforts, not only to sustain a thriving enterprise, but also to enjoy all aspects of life in a way that matters to you.

We like to finish our profiles with an invitation to reveal something personal — a fun fact, a quirky hobby, or even a credo — to connect further with the reader.

I like these lines by Sun Tzu, from the Art of War: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

One without the other is dangerous ground for a business or entrepreneur. These words still apply after more than two thousand years.

We invite BWB members and anyone who wants to learn more to come and “crash a class,” to see what we do. Simply contact us and we’ll be happy to show you how Sandler can help you and your team achieve victory.

Contact info is

John Glennon
Sandler Training
109B-3677 Highway 97 N
Kelowna, British Columbia, V1X 5C3
Phone: 250-765-2047
Email: jglennon@sandler.com
www.glennon.sandler.com

Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer 

I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297
oakwriter.com