They say that pictures are more than a thousand words….take a look at this picture that was sent to my wife, Basia from my father-in-law in Poland who documents a day in the life of my mother-in-law ( Stasia)who invest her time in birthing little puppies!   I can only report that this was a “Wow” moment for me!   How about you?

     “ This is one example or definition of  the meaning of  ” Finding Your Zenith.”


Curt Canada  is the founder of  FindingYourZenith a Life,Career, and Leadership development Coaching practice in Washington,DC. Visit Curt at



I pride myself in being very creative and organized most of the time, but lately I have accumulated about 175+ business cards. Believe me, it’s quite easy to carry out such a fete if you’re in the nation’s capital and you’re involved in networking your services and products.

 It’s no secret that Washington DC is steeped with a vast amount of historical memorials, monuments, gardens, landmarks, museums, governmental bodies, and parks which would take you weeks to visit.

Just think for a moment the amount of paper products produced on a daily basis (an embarrassing realization if you’re an environmentalist or a Save the Trees advocate).  However, my task at hand is to figure out what I am going to do with the business cards I have collected over the past year and not how to reduce the amount of paper used by the federal government.

 I will admit that I have a sundry of items on my desk i.e. family photos, laptop/desk top monitor, a mini wood sculpture of a man holding his head in his hand, a collection of daily vitamin bottles, phone, pair of glasses, a couple of articles ,and a book  that I’m reading. My desk could use a little organizing and cleaning.

  No, I’m not a hoarder. I intended to contact most of the people I met at past networking events and if nothing else email them. I’m beginning to question whether they remember me at all.

 Networking is powerful but something is speaking to me loud and clear …Son, “those cards have sat there on your desk to long…three- fourths of those persons you met at those conferences and networking events have either thrown away your card or have found a related service. 

 You might ask, “What’s the worst thing that would happen if I sent them an email and as an incentive, offer them a product or service of value?”

 OMG, a card just caught my eye…would you believe I recognize this business card …the date and time and the person.  “Holy Moly Kids!”  I recall how difficult it was to hear the person speaking next to you…the conference area was absolutely overcrowded. I noticed this woman with her seemingly new-born baby. I spoke with her momentarily and asked for her card although her business had to do with children’s clothing. I suppose I could drop her an email…that’s exactly the benefit of networking. If I receive a response then I’ll add this contact to my database, if not then I can consider tossing the card!

 I still want to know what suggestions and comments you may have …

 Curt Canada practices Personal Development, Career, and Executive Coaching in Washington DC.  Curt holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Teacher Education from The America University. Curt has Postgraduate training from the Institute for Life Coach Training. Email Curt at for more information about his services.

How much is conflict costing your organization, department, team, relationship, and family? What happens when conflict isn’t resolved?

Unresolved conflict in the workplace results in….Loss in sleep, absenteeism, loss of productivity, strained relationships, stress and frustration and anxiety, sick leave, and sometimes workplace violence.

Like taxes, conflict in the workplace is inevitable. This isn’t all bad. Handled well, conflict can strengthen communication, spark new ideas and generate new levels of performance. Handled poorly, however, workplace conflict can damage important relationships and drag down productivity. In fact, many agree that the ability to manage conflicts can make or break a career. Take this Self-Quiz to discover how well you handle conflict in the workplace.

 True or False

1. If the conflict is escalating, I offer to set the subject aside and address it later, possibly in a separate meeting.

2. Defining the problem—and making sure that everyone agrees on this definition—sets me well on the way to solving the problem.

 3. I avoid attacking or criticizing, and I control my language. It doesn’t help any situation to be offensive or raise people’s defenses.

 4. Because good decisions are sometimes reached when everyone gives a little, I keep myself flexible and open to compromise.

 5. I do all I can to NOT get defensive. I listen to what others have to say and honestly evaluate whether their opinions might be valid.

 6. In any conflict, I keep my focus on a positive, solution-based outcome in which all can win.

 7. Even if it feels uncomfortable, I look the other person in the eye, showing respect for that person and for myself.

 8. I try to listen to and understand the feelings and needs beneath the spoken statements of others.

 9. My attention and activities are focused on what I can influence and control, and how I can make a difference.

 10. I explore with myself how my actions might have contributed to the conflict situation.

 11. Taking a bigger view is often all it takes to resolve for myself the smaller problems and irritations.

 12. I recognize that not everyone will live up to my expectations all the time.

 13. Maintaining a sense of humor is an important “tool” in my conflict toolbox.

 14. I work to establish ground rules for how to resolve the conflict.

 15. In conflicts, I take the time to deal with people face-to-face rather than by email. 

 16. I challenge myself and others to be creative about the possibilities for conflict resolution available to us.

 17. I try to deal with regularly occurring conflicts and those that negatively impact my productivity before they escalate to a bigger conflict.

 If you answered true to fewer than 10 questions, you might benefit from learning new communications skills. Please don’t hesitate if you would like to work together to develop these.

Remember, when confronting office conflicts, it’s best to keep the focus on work-related issues, not personality. Doing so can help you keep a cool head—and your career on track. 

 Email me at  What’s your story?… Let’s find your Strengths…..Conflict doesn’t have be negative and painful….Take the TKI Conflict Assessment  and a 45 Minute Coaching Feedback session.

 Curt Canada is an Executive, Career, and Leadership Development Coach at FindingYourZenith in Washington DC.    Visit our website at

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications