• Home
  • Author: admin

The Value of Trust

July 2, 2021

I learned the value of trust at a young age. When I was 13 years old, I lost my mother’s trust in me, over what else, a boy. It took a long time for her to trust me again (plus all the regular challenges of raising a 13-year old girl).

Often when I post on social media about my work events I use the phrase, “Thank you to my client for trusting me with their project/initiative/event…” or “Thank you to my client for putting their faith in me…”. (What is faith, if not trust?) Somehow instinctively I know that trust is important and I do honestly feel that trust from my clients when they hire me. Earlier this month I was talking with a potential client. She said, “If I think I should do X, and you tell me I should do Y, I will. I trust you.” It reminded of a call I had many, many years ago in a call centre. I was working for a telecommunications company setting up phone lines and services for businesses. One client told me that she trusted my opinion and would buy whatever I suggested. It was humbling! If I was unethical, I could have sold her anything. She trusted me that much.

Trust is Power

In one of my workshops I teach about Power and Influence. Why do people do what others tell them to do? Some reasons are out of fear (coercive power), for something in return (reward power), because it is the boss (legitimate power), or because someone in the know tells you to do something (expert power). Think of when you call an IT helpdesk. They tell you to click here, type this, enter this, click on that, etc. and you do it because they are the experts.

Another type of power is Reverent Power. Reverent power is based on trust. It means that I will do something you tell me to do because I trust you. I believe you will not hurt me so I will follow your suggestions. This is the type of power that I believe I have with my clients. They trust me. They believe that I will not hurt them. You know what? They are right. This conversation along with my conversation with another person about Carole Magic (see earlier blog post), have really sparked some heavy thinking over the past couple of weeks.

Know Your Why

Simon Sinek talks a lot in his work about knowing your Why. People will buy your product or service if they know WHY you are in business, and not focus so much on the WHAT you are selling. As a business owner, I have been working on articulating what it is I do. What is my pitch story? What is my value proposition? Can I explain my WHY? In one week, two respected people in my network have inadvertently helped me figure that out. I am in business to help others be successful. When I created the tagline on my website, “Making it easy for you to be successful.”, I was thinking of the play on facilitate which is to make easy. I did not really focus on the last part of the phrase. Turns out my instincts were bang on again.

I do not believe trust has to be earned

Maybe it is naïve of me to think this, however, I do not believe you have to earn my trust in you. I make the positive assumption that you are trustworthy and unless you break that trust with me, I will always have faith in you. Consequently, my relationships with my clients are the same. I have to believe that they already trust me or why would they have hired me? I work hard to ensure that they maintain their trust in me. It is not helpful if I feel I have to earn their trust. Consciously or unconsciously, if I have to manipulate my behaviour to earn trust, the relationship just may not be in our best interests.

The value of trust

A picture of a woman in a kayak
Value of trust in a kayak partner
Mom and I kayaking on Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador

Mom and I are good! As shown in this photo, mom trusts me enough to go out in kayak with her! Seriously, the lesson I learned at a young age is an important one. Trust is a gift. It is one I treasure in my personal life, and what drives me in my professional life. If you feel I can help you or your organization be successful, please reach out and let’s explore the value of trust together. ~ Carole

Carole Magic in St. John’s, NL

June 25, 2021

“Look at you spreading Carole Magic wherever you go!” Recently I had the opportunity to facilitate an event with a client in-person in St. John’s, NL. It was both exciting and challenging as it was only my second in-person event since March 2020. Following the session, I connected with Jess Chapman, owner of ethree Consulting and Online Learning. Jess and I met in my early days of starting my business. She is in the similar space as I am, yet I have never viewed her as a competitor. We each have our strengths and have carved out our own unique niches. She was genuinely interested in my event and wanted to know how it went. After I told her about it, and the challenges we experienced in the session, she said those opening words to me.

Carole Magic

A week later, those words are still with me. I have been thinking about Carole Magic. What is it? Why do clients hire me? Do they know something I do not know? Another close friend of mine in St. John’s (who I also connected with last week) told me my aura was glowing bright and positive on the day we saw each other. She often senses my energy when we are together.

Carole Magic on the Irish Loop
Picture of Carole overlooking Tors Cove
Exploring the Irish Loop! Tors Cove, NL

In my business, I am the brand. When you hire Spicer Facilitation & Learning, you get me. As a result, I think this is why Jess’ words resonate with me. I love the idea of spreading my magic wherever I go. When my clients hire me, my focus is solely on their success. My services are hard to describe. It is not like buying a product that you can touch, feel or sense. Consequently, my product is me. Know that I put my everything in to serving you in the best way possible to meet your needs. My energy, magic, and aura all support the facilitation skills I have developed over my career.

If you think I can be of help to you or your organization, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to share some Carole Magic with you! ~ Carole

Is the handshake dead?

June 1, 2021

With restrictions easing and people gathering, I am wondering, “Is the handshake dead?” Navigating pandemic etiquette is ever-changing.

Shaking Hands

I have been taught that shaking hands with someone when you meet them is a sign of respect. Many years ago, a previous employer brought in a professional to take me and my colleagues through business etiquette. We were all seated in a room in a horseshoe layout. The facilitator came up to each of us to shake our hands. I was so nervous! Would my handshake be firm enough? Were my hands clammy?

I automatically stood up when she got to me and stuck out my hand and hoped for the best. After she went around the room, she pointed out that I was the only person to stand when greeting her. Everyone else remained seated while she stood shaking their hands. Turns out my instincts were correct! She taught us to shake hands by connecting firmly but not too much pressure, shake 1-2, then release by gently pulling back our hand keeping it at a level height.

Pitches and Pints Competition June 2019 Pre-COVID days!

Over the past 16 months, I have not shaken hands with anyone outside of my bubble. I am craving hugs. I long for the comfort felt when connecting by touch with another person. Obviously, the handshake is not coming back very quickly. As we move to higher levels of vaccination, and restrictions are easing, the way we greet people will continue to evolve.

Vaccine Etiquette

Speaking of vaccinations, how do you handle the question of “Are you vaccinated?” Do you have the right to ask someone that? Do you have to disclose if you are, or are not, vaccinated? CBC published an article last month on how to navigate this tricky situation. Until the majority of people are vaccinated, it might make someone uncomfortable if you ask them if they have received their shot, especially if they are in a higher priority group due to medical health conditions, or other circumstances. They might feel you are judging them or questioning how they received their shot before you. We must trust that people are following the guidelines on the honour system and not circumventing the process. As gathering sizes increase, it is natural to wonder if people in attendance are vaccinated. You may find your host asking you that question.

Is the handshake dead? Maybe, maybe not. Be sure to watch the video in the CBC article on this topic. Later this month I have a business trip and I am looking forward to facilitating an in-person event, following all health guidelines. I will be respectful of others and their comfort level. I have my first vaccine and will disclose that if asked. If the other person is showing signs of discomfort connecting with a handshake, I will not offer my hand. While it is tricky navigating etiquette in a pandemic, the basics stay the same. Be kind. Show respect. Be genuine in your connections. ~ Carole

My Agriculture Gigs

May 18, 2021

My agriculture gigs tour of Newfoundland and Labrador started off four summers ago. My very first independent consultant project was with the NL Federation of Agriculture (NLFA). I was hired to facilitate public engagement sessions on their Agri-Risk project. It was my first foray into the world of agriculture in this province. Today I completed my 11th project with my 4th organization in the industry!

Public Engagement and Stakeholder Meetings

As mentioned, my first agriculture project was touring the province talking to farmers about risks to the industry. I facilitated 10 sessions with a diverse group of farmers, academics, government employees, and supporters of agriculture.

Consequently, after the initial round of engagement, a follow-up meeting was held in St. John’s to discuss distribution challenges with farmers, grocers, and logistics organizations on behalf of NLFA. Additionally, they hired me to facilitate discussions with cranberry producers and beekeepers in Gander.

As a result of the Gander session, the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association (NLBKA) hired me to facilitate stakeholder engagement sessions to discuss the Varroa Mite and their proposed Action Plan to government to continue to protect our bees in this province. Sessions were held in St. John’s and Deer Lake.

This past year, I worked with the climate change coordinator of NLFA to facilitate virtual stakeholder engagement sessions to discuss both negative and positive impacts climate change is having on the industry.

Strategic Planning

Image of agriculture strategic plan
Draft Strategic Plan for SPANL

I have facilitated strategic planning sessions with 4 organizations in the agriculture industry! First up was the aforementioned NLBKA with a session in Corner Brook. Next was Agriculture in the Classroom – NL with a session in Gander. That was the last in-person session prior to March 2020. Virtually, I facilitated 12 stakeholder engagement sessions for the development of the NLFA’s strategic plan. Lastly, just today I sent off the draft plan for the Sheep Producers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. Once again, virtual was the way to go.

Just for fun!

Being the Emcee of the Agriculture Expo held in Corner Brook is one of my agriculture gigs that makes me smile the most. NLFA hired me twice to basically talk all weekend long on a microphone! I also introduced the dignitaries at the opening ceremony.

Carole interviewing a exhibitor at the AgExpo
On the microphone at Ag Expo – Corner Brook

Who’s Next?

I have met some incredible people working with agriculture organizations since starting my business. Certainly, I consider many of them friends. They are passionate about making a difference in our province. As a result, we are in a better place in our economy, and food security. I love my agriculture gigs! I wonder which organization will hire me next? ~ Carole

How available funding helped my clients

May 10, 2021

Are you aware of what available funding is out there to hire a facilitator for your organization or take part in professional development workshops? Read on to see how easily you can hire me!

Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador Job Grant (CNLJG)

CNLJG provides funding to eligible businesses and organizations to help offset the cost of training for their existing and future employees. This funding program is administered by the Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills at the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Funding is available to:

  • A private sector employer, not-for-profit organization, industry association, employer consortia, unions, or an Indigenous government or organization
  • Incorporated or a sole proprietor

Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP)

CAP provides financial support for producers, for-profit, and not-for-profit organizations in the agriculture industry. This funding program is administered by the Department of Fisheries, Forest and Agriculture at the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Under Business Development, eligible activities include:

  • Business Planning
  • Succession Planning
  • Strategic Plans: Planning and development of industry or sector strategies; studies and industry analysis

Community Capacity Building (CCB)

CCB provides financial support to not-for-profit economic development organizations including regional economic development associations, municipalities, industry/sector groups, educational institutions, and any other community-based organizations involved in economic development.  This funding program is administered by the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology at the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Support is provided in a non-repayable contribution. Eligible activities include:

  • Strategy and Planning
    • Strategic Planning
    • Proposal Writing
    • Project Management
    • Opportunity Identification
    • Opportunity Management
  • Relationship Building
    • Public Participation
    • Conflict Management
    • Group Dynamics
  • Organizational Skills and Management
    • Organizational Governance
    • Board Orientation
    • Meeting Management
    • Leadership and Motivation
    • Interpersonal Communications
    • Communications Planning
    • Risk Management
    • Financial Management

Consultant Advisory Services (CAS)

CAS provides financial support to avail of Consultant Advisory Services to small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations in Atlantic Canada. Funding is offered by ACOA with CBDCs handling the administration and counselling involved. Eligible activities include:

  • Diagnostic assessments
  • Business Management Development Practices
  • Access to Capital
  • Market Readiness/Export Potential
  • Specific Studies/Business Plan Mentoring
  • Business Coaching
  • Business Valuation
  • Aftercare/Mentoring and Follow-Up

Industry Organizations and Agencies

Other organizations often provide funding to their clients for various initiatives. These include, but are not limited to:

My Clients

Several of my clients (see below) have availed of one or more of these programs to subsidize the cost of hiring me as a professional facilitator, or to subsidize training costs to attend one of my workshops. I personally have used the Canada-NL Job Grant funding program to access some professional development for myself. If you are interested in attending one of my workshops visit the Calendar of Events to see what is upcoming. To discuss your facilitation needs, drop me an email or give me a call. ~ Carole

Upcoming Events