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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute - a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Pain serves a purpose

Congenital analgesia is a rare condition in which a person cannot feel physical pain. While at first glance one may think that this might be a good thing, very quickly you’d realize otherwise. Pain is the body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. It is what makes you pull your hand away from an open flame; it is what lets you know that you need to seek medical attention. It causes you to pause and re-evaluate before you continue. Pain’s most important function is to protect you from serious, and possibly fatal, harm.

Which is not a bad analogy to carry into the workplace. Very often, the best-laid plans go awry. Things don’t work out quite the way you’d expected or hoped. And that results in pain – a rebuke from the boss, embarrassment in front of your colleagues, or just disappointment in yourself because you didn’t anticipate the damage. No matter which, our natural tendency is to perceive the outcome as negative.

But what if we shifted our perspective to ask the question: could this “pain” actually be positive? Just as pain is the body’s warning system, it could also be warning system for you at work. Your manager’s displeasure might be a strong indicator that your current approach won’t get his or her support as you move forward. The roadblocks you are facing could be cautionary signals that you don’t have sufficient stakeholder agreement. The current malfunction may well be a forewarning that there are physical or emotional constraints in your organization that will only lead to failure. Pain may, in fact, be a good thing. But only if you stop what you’re doing, and pause and re-evaluate before you continue.

Are you facing organizational “pain”? Can this analogy apply? Would it be helpful to stop, pause and re-evaluate before you continue? I’d love to hear about your experiences, and whether (or not) this analogy resonates with you. Please share your perspectives directly on the blog at

The compelling case for "good enough" in The Globe and Mail

  • "Good enough" often carries a negative connotation. But perhaps it's time to celebrate its biggest advantage - adaptability. Merge's latest column in The Globe and Mail makes a compelling case.

Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global publishes Merge's profile story

Turning Managers into Leaders

That Merge is one of only 61 Canadians to have earned the Certified Speaking Professional credential?

The CSP designation is an international measure of speaking and platform excellence and is awarded only to those accomplished speakers who meet strict criteria and have a proven record of delivering client satisfaction. It is granted under the auspices of the Global Speakers Federation, and less than 12 percent of the 5,000+ members in 27 countries currently hold this professional designation.  Merge is proud to have been recognized for her top-notch speaking ability, and her track record of professionalism and success.  Learn more about the CSP designation here

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