Archive for October, 2013

Remember to Keep Learning and Developing

Posted on: October 29th, 2013 by Michael Lepage No Comments

Author: Maaike Ammerlaan, Conference Sales and Services Manager, University of  British Columbia, Okanagan campus

It is that time of year again where we look back at our summer season and make plans for the next year. And sometimes it is hard to come up with new ideas and initiatives to grow our business. Hard to stay fresh, motivated and focussed.

We had the privilege of hosting Chris Hadfield, the Canadian “singing astronaut” through our Distinguished Speakers Series at UBC Okanagan campus. The event (which was free to attend) sold out within an hour and live feeds were set-up to lecture theaters around campus to accommodate all the people that would like to see and hear him speak, even if they could not be in the same room with him.

Being so interesting, having so much accomplished and still being so humble and personable was what most people took away from the event. He had to train hard (25 years in total and 5 years just to be able to be in space for 6 months), but he told the kids that were present that when you have a dream, to stick with it and work hard to get there. Find your passion and go for it.

Interesting people, like Chris Hadfield, inspire you, make you think about what you are doing, make you focus again on what you are passionate about and give you the courage to make changes if needed.   As we reflect on our conference season, about what went well and where we can improve, we should maybe reflect on ourselves as well. What is it I am good at, what do I do best? Where can I improve in my work and as a person? Am I using my energy in the right way or should I take the time to regroup and refocus?  

We are working in an environment where learning and development are key, and that is what makes our jobs so interesting. Let’s not forget to check in with our selves once in a while and make sure we keep learning and developing. Try to be that interesting person that is focussed and passionate about what he/she is doing and go for it.

Maaike Ammerlaan, Conference Sales and Services Manager, University of  British Columbia, Okanagan campus
Telephone: 250-807-9804

Killing with Kindness

Posted on: October 21st, 2013 by Michael Lepage No Comments

Author: Rebecca Eyers, Manager, Residence Life & Conference Services, Nipissing University, Muskoka Residence Complex

A phrase we use around our office often is “kill them with kindness”, although I feel blessed that we have many incredible clients, staff, as well as campus and community partners, I think we can all agree that we have days or people that can make our jobs a little more challenging.

Although I have accepted that we can’t please everyone (although we still try), it is important that we always have that warm, inviting, can-do attitude. In a customer service role it is tough sometimes to stay positive as we deal with the good, the bad and the ugly.  Every so often one of my staff will come to me about something a client said or a campus partner did that is really bothering them. After we talk out the situation, I always like to think of the situation from the other person’s point of view so we can learn something from the situation. I always understand how my staff is feeling but I remind them of the nature of our job, the importance of letting things go and encourage them to continue to “kill them with kindness”.

Some of you reading this may be thinking, it’s not the simple or straight forward, but I say why not? I am a firm believer that “what goes around comes around” and one thing I pride myself in doing and challenge my staff to embrace is to “kill them with kindness”. Now I ask you, what is it that you do or say to help get yourself or your staff back on a positive note?

Rebecca Eyers, Manager, Residence Life & Conference Services, Nipissing University, Muskoka Residence Complex
P: 705-645-6999 ext. 7299

Busy, Busy, Busy

Posted on: October 3rd, 2013 by Michael Lepage No Comments

Author: Susan Labentsoff, Director, Marketing & Communications, Meeting, Event and Conference Services (MECS) & Ancillary Services, Simon Fraser University

I read an interesting article the other day that was posted on LinkedIn and was published by the Harvard Business Review.  The article was entitled “Please Stop Complaining about How Busy You Are” by Meredith Fineman.

It got me thinking about what being ‘busy’ really means. It seems nowadays whenever you ask someone how they are, one of the most common responses is “Busy!”  Are we really that much busier than we were before?  Are there more expectations?  Are we forced to do more with less?  I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I do know that it seems that we’re all on this treadmill of being so busy – and to what end?

I’ve always had the philosophy that if you’re too busy on a regular basis, either your workload is unbalanced or your time management skills need some work.  Sure, we all have times in our work life that are busier that others – different seasons, budget time, special projects, etc. but overall if you find yourself working long hours and never seeming to get caught up, there is something out of whack.

 I recently hear a commercial on the radio for a bank promoting being “good busy” not just busy and it struck me as something we should really take a closer look at.  What does “good busy” mean?  To me it means prioritizing tasks and responsibilities, doing the important things first and not getting caught up in things that don’t matter.  Probably easier said than done, but I think the first step is to at least acknowledge there is a difference between being busy and being good busy. 

In my role at SFU Meeting, Events and Conferences my main responsibility is to generate revenue for the organization.  To be good busy, everything I do should be related to that end goal.  Everything the sales managers do should be related to that goal.  What is your main responsibility? What is your goal?  Is everything you do related to achieving that goal?  If not, perhaps you have to ask yourself, am what I’m doing right now going to help me in realizing what I’m meant to do?

I’m not saying this is easy, especially when it seems like we’ve been programmed to be so busy all the time.  But give it try, you might surprise yourself on how much time you spend on things that just aren’t good busy!

Susan Labentsoff, Director, Marketing & Communications, Meeting, Event and Conference Services (MECS) & Ancillary Services, Simon Fraser University
Telephone: 778-782-7903

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