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I want to share a story about how one Tweet can make a difference. A difference in the words used, the respect given to people with developmental disabilities and how families are treated by large organizations.

I recently was asked to complete an intake form in advance of an assessment at a healthcare centre. I printed off the form, made a cup of coffee and sat down to fill out this lengthy document. As I came to the section related to family medical history, my eyes popped out of my head.

Sitting on my couch in 2021, the R word…


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I remember a time when online meetings were a rarity, used infrequently or by a few trendy organizations. My how times have changed. Yet, despite all the time we spend online, many people continue to struggle with how to host engaging online meetings.

This was the topic of a presentation I recently gave to a group of leaders looking for ways to increase participation, with less people having their cameras turned off.

Many of these tips are lessons I’ve learned along the way — either as a meeting facilitator or an attendee.

1. Conversational opening

Think back to in-person meetings. People would wander…


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Uggh. Just reading the title of this article weighs me down. Yet as a mom of a child with special needs, I feel it’s a topic we don’t talk about enough — the emotional load parents carry.

Every time I give a workshop on How to Advocate for Kids with Special Needs , parents and caregivers talk about how they’re emotionally and physically drained. They share how exhausting it is managing appointments, going for assessments or therapies, advocating at school, dealing with their child’s emotional challenges, food sensitivities or sleeping patterns. The list goes on with no break in sight.


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As an entrepreneur, I’m often asked for career advice from clients and friends. This can be as simple as listening to someone who’s struggling with a work task or diving in and helping a friend figure out the next step on their career path. While I give this advice freely, I recently had a friend ask why I’m so willing to help.

I help because I know I’ve gotten to where I am in my career as a result of the support of other women. …


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A friend recently called me to get advice on a project that had gone sideways. Although she felt she had done what was asked of her, the submitted project was not received well. The client lambasted her for missing the mark. In dissecting what went wrong, it came down to miscommunications.

I expect miscommunications is at the root of many conflicts in the workplace — and even in our personal lives. Add the fact there are now limited opportunities for face-to-face meetings, miscommunications will likely raise its head more often.

Talking through the project and what went wrong with my…


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Every year I take time to pause and evaluate how and where I spend my time — as a professional, volunteer, community member and mom. I feel it’s important to treat your time as a precious resource, being intentional on where it’s spent.

After taking a closer look at all the various volunteer roles I hold, I realized it was time to cut ties with an organization I had been a part of for 3 years.

I thought I would share some of my reasons for stepping away from this role to help you as you reflect on how you…


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I’ve been working from home long before the pandemic. As a consultant, speaker and writer, I work with organizations that are spread across the country. Sometimes I’m part of a virtual team, other times I partner with other consultants, and occasionally I work independently on my own projects.

Being self-employed and not having a consistent work team, I’ve learned how to get the most of my collaborations. I admit, some of the lessons have come out of challenging situations.

Whether you’re self-employed or work in an organization, many of these tips will help you not only get the most out…


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I recently had a friend ask me for advice on how she can better share her thoughts when she is frustrated or overwhelmed. She noticed I tend to have good relationships with people and wondered how I don’t lose my cool.

First of all, I have definitely lost my cool. Multiple times. Each time this has happened, while it was a release of energy on my end, it never accomplished much in terms of moving the situation forward. At times it has made matters worse — by closing doors or damaging relationships.

As I listened to my friend tell me…


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As a writer, I know the power of words. I choose my words based on the emotions I want to convey or reactions I want to stir in my reader. While I recognize not everyone places as much value on words, it’s important to remember the words we use or don’t use say a lot about who we are and what we stand for.

In Chilliwack, BC, a school board trustee recently made national news in Canada for his (apparent) lack of awareness of a word he used. …


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We want to provide support, but our budget is limited. It’s the (insert ministry or level of government) that you need to talk to, not us. Our hands are tied, we are doing what we can with the resources we have. There are just more kids with special needs than resources available. It’s a complicated situation. We know you’ve been waiting (insert time) for an assessment/therapy — please be patient, your child is on our list. No, we don’t know when your child will be seen, but we’ll let you know when their name comes up.

Any of these statements…

Cynthia Lockrey

Writer, communications professional, speaker and patient advocate. Visit www.howtocommunications.com for free communications tools to help share your stories.

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