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Team building is a winning proposition

Vera and Habitat Drill, Sept. 18, 2013

Vera Held not only participated in the September 18, 2013 Habitat build, but, with the generous participation of 248 sponsors, she was Women Build’s top 2013 fundraiser, raising $9,683.
Photo by Lisa MacIntosh Photography.

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January 1, 2014

In this Q and A column, communications coach Vera Held explores with Good News Toronto readers important aspects of courage that surface in our personal and professional lives.

Q: Our managers, supervisors and their teams badly need to bond. Do you have any good strategies for team building?

A: Involve your company with an organization like Habitat for Humanity (  and in Toronto One thousand women from the ages of 16 to 88 built six new townhomes in Toronto’s west end for Women Build: September 18 to 28, 2013. These homes will go to six low-income families in the spring of 2014 and help 35 men, women and children. Company teams from Telus, Clorox, Go Transit, Aecon Construction, Toronto Police and others participated in the 11-day build. Teammates worked as a group, simultaneously bonding and learning new technical skills like drilling, electric sawing, staircase building and more. Throughout the year, Habitat Toronto offers build opportunities for company teams in exchange for sponsorship. Check Habitat’s Facebook page for some stellar team photos.

Q: Our primary business is focused on the fax, which is limited to the medical and pharmaceutical industries. But in the next decade, this confidential referral fax that doctors and pharmacists currently rely on will die out. Our business will evolve, but most likely also die out. What can my colleagues and I do to better accept this harsh reality?

A: Change is the one constant we have in business and in life. To survive in the business world, companies and their employees need to adapt. Change is abundant in multiple business sectors: journalism, accounting, printing, research, manufacturing, photography, food, automotive and more. The traditional newspaper business, for example, has been in decline for a decade. Creativity, perspective and acceptance are key to adaptation and survival—and the less hungry you are the better. Explore your options to best prepare for a safe emotional and financial journey as you transition to either a new business model or to an altogether new business.

Q: My business partner who works at another location is being difficult about a $20 courier charge. Disbursements fall under his domain in our Letter of Agreement. As I don’t need the item, I refuse to pay for the courier. Nor will I go to his place to pick it up. Should this battle of  wills be happening over $20?

A: Don’t let him derail you with his petty and cheap attitude. This is a red flag, so carefully evaluate and watch for this behaviour in other business areas. Immaturity is detrimental to a respectful, long-term relationship. And what does it say about his integrity and ability to stick to the contract?  It’s been my experience that folks who try to take advantage in one business area rarely hesitate to apply their own set of rules to other business situations. Be vigilant and protect all that you’ve worked for.

About the Author(s)

Vera Held

Vera Held is a coach, facilitator, speaker, writer, PR consultant, and the author of business best-seller How Not to Take it Personally. Send your tough workplace questions to Vera at

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