Two elements of leadership: Both are essential in a crisis

In this article, I discuss the importance of both task-focused and relationship-focused leadership in helping the people being led during a crisis. When I was in graduate school, one of the most fascinating projects I worked on was a class presentation on different styles of leadership. Research led me to conclude that there are two main styles of leadership. One is task-focused leadership which entails guiding the group you are leading toward the accomplishment of tasks. The second is relationship-focused leadership which concentrates of fostering good working relationships among the group members as well as between them and the leader...[more]

2020-05-10T22:44:31-06:00By |Categories: Psychology, Sport & Performance|

Rising to the occasion: How to shine through during a crisis

In this article, I discuss things you can do in order to stand out in a positive way during a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. At one of his daily coronavirus pandemic news briefings, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo related a personal story which struck a chord with me. He said that one time when he was younger he told his grandmother about “a guy and a girl” he encountered who he thought were nice. His grandmother advised the young future Governor not to judge whether someone is nice when things are ‘nice’. She said that he should make this decision based on how the person behaves when things are hard. The story led to Governor Cuomo sharing examples of people he’s observed who have risen to the occasion through their impressive behaviour during the difficult time of the pandemic. That sparked the idea for this article...[more]

2020-04-26T23:00:00-06:00By |Categories: Psychology, Sport & Performance, Stress|

Counselling during the coronavirus pandemic: Alternatives to in-person sessions

In this article, I discuss how you can receive counselling during the COVID-19 pandemic while adhering to best practices regarding social distancing. In my last article, I discussed strategies you can use to cope with your anxiety as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, at a time when it is especially helpful to meet with a psychologist to help you learn and practice these strategies, recommended and in some cases mandatory social distancing practices preclude the usual option of having sessions at your psychologist’s office. Fortunately, there are ways to having counselling sessions other than by meeting your psychologist at their office...[more]

2020-03-29T21:34:38-06:00By |Categories: Psychology, Stress|

But I don’t want to give that up! How to make it easier to form a new habit

In this article, I discuss ways you can be OK with giving up benefits of a current habit when you are trying to change to a new habit. I recently made several changes to my diet in order to be healthier, lose weight and enhance my performance in a 12-k swim event in which I will be competing this August. Among the changes was what I put in my two cups of coffee each day. For years, my habit would entail adding milk and two teaspoons of sugar to each cup of coffee. Then a few years ago my sweet morning indulgence became even sweeter when I began adding four tablespoons of vanilla syrup to the sugar I was already stirring into each cup. This sugary Xanadu became a thing of the past for me when I recently stopped putting sugar and vanilla syrup in my coffee...[more]

2020-03-01T20:36:37-07:00By |Categories: Addictions, Psychology|

Struggling in making progress toward a goal? Start by forming keystone habits

In this article, I discuss how achieving small successes by forming particular habits can lead you to make significant progress toward your goals. In my last article, I discussed how to form good habits and eliminate bad habits. I defined habits as behaviours or sequences of behaviours which a person performs regularly by focusing on the three components of a habit--cue, routine and reward. In this article, I focus on the value of forming keystone habits. These are habits which have the additional value of spurring you to form additional habits which can lead you to make significant progress toward your goals in different areas of life...[more]

2020-02-02T21:32:37-07:00By |Categories: Addictions, Psychology, Relationships|

Habits: How to form good ones and break bad ones

In this article, I discuss how you can focus on three components to help you initiate positive habits and eliminate negative habits. Although psychologists help clients address a multitude of issues and achieve a myriad of goals, success in most instances entails a focus on habits. These are behaviours or sequences of behaviours which a person performs regularly. The good habits we engage in have positive effects while the bad habits have negative effects. Therefore, a goal most people share is to add to their positive habits and eliminate their negative habits...[more]

2020-01-19T21:50:55-07:00By |Categories: Addictions, Psychology|

More on the Law of Attraction: How to change your vibrations from negative to positive

In this article, I discuss ways you can use the Law of Attraction’s concept of changing vibrations to experience positive emotions more frequently. In my last article, I discussed how you can use the Law of Attraction to enhance your life. I indicated that you can do so by striving to emit positive vibrations as often as possible and that this can be done by trying to think positive thoughts to generate positive emotions regularly. According to the law, doing so will result in your attracting more positivity as other people match your positive vibrations by experiencing positive emotions and thinking positive thoughts when they are around you. A challenge you will encounter in your attempt to emit positive vibrations regularly is that there will be many people and events you encounter which will inevitably result in your experiencing negative thoughts and emotions, thereby causing you to give off negative vibrations...[more]

2019-11-17T22:11:22-07:00By |Categories: Psychology|

The Law of Attraction: How to use it to your benefit

In this article, I discuss how you can use the principles of ‘like attracts like’ and ‘matching vibrations’ to enhance your well-being and achieve your goals. The law of attraction is a concept featured in the best-selling books The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The Law of Attraction by Michael Losier. In both books, the authors focus on how a person’s thoughts and emotions can play a major role in their enjoyment of life in general and in whether they achieve their goals in areas such as work and relationships. Because this law is based on psychological principles and has key elements of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as part of it, I find it fascinating. In particular, I enjoy the easily understandable ways people are told in both books how to apply the law to their benefit...[more}

2019-11-03T21:26:33-07:00By |Categories: Psychology|

The importance of attributions: A political example

In this article, I discuss how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent troubles illustrate the emotional and behavioural consequences of the attributions we make for our own and other people’s behaviours. The 2019 Canadian federal election campaign was rocked recently by online publication of photos and a video showing Liberal party leader and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appearing in brown-face and black-face. Some of the photos dated back to a 2001 ‘Arabian Nights’ costume party at a school where the then 29-year old was a teacher. Other photos and the video dated back to Mr. Trudeau’s high school days and shortly thereafter. Although reaction to the images from the public was understandably negative across the board (including from the apologetic Mr. Trudeau), the degree of negativity varied markedly ranging from those who were disappointed but forgiving to others who were irate and said that his actions would cost him their votes. How the same behaviour can generate different emotional and behavioural reactions from observers is the focus of attribution theory...[more}

2019-09-22T22:00:50-06:00By |Categories: Psychology|

Lessons from an historic tennis match: Strategies you can use in your life

In this article, I discuss psychological skills used in the 2019 US Women’s Open tennis final which can help you succeed in many endeavours. I was riveted watching the historic 2019 US Women’s Open tennis final between Canadian Bianca Andreescu and American Serena Williams. Ms. Andreescu was seeking to make history by becoming the first Canadian of either gender to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament while Ms. Williams was vying to win her 24th Grand Slam title to tie the all-time women’s record. As much as I respect Ms. Williams for her talent and accomplishments, I proudly admit that I was cheering for my fellow Canadian to beat her. The 19 year old did so in impressive fashion, toppling in her first US Open a tennis legend who had the home-court advantage with the crowds squarely behind her. Although Ms. Andreescu won in straight sets 6-3, 7-5, the match was very entertaining and full of dramatic twists. As a psychologist, I found the match particularly intriguing because...[more]

2019-09-08T21:37:39-06:00By |Categories: Psychology, Sport & Performance|
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