Key performance behaviors

An old friend of mine has accepted to act as my coach at work. In the first session, on Friday, we talked about how important it is to improve listening skills. One interesting take-away that I had from this session was WAIT, which stands for:





So the next time I am talking with somebody, I will keep asking this question in my mind through the course of the conversation. This will help my extreme Extrovert self to keep in mind that an effective conversation is a two way street, and is combined of both listening and talking. Also, it will keep me focused on what the focal point of the conversation is.

The second topic we talked about was using the Questioning attitude. Instead of making statements, ask questions. This way, the person you are conversing with, will be engaged in the conversation, and will find the answer from within, as compared to being told what that should be. I believe I already do this to a great degree; but that doesn’t mean I cannot improve this skill.

My third take-away was to try making more face-to-face interactions with my co-workers, when I need them to get something done; and send a follow up email to summarize our conversation and action-items. This will improve the communication between the two parties, and will also keep things written and formal for future references.

8th and 9th

1- My beautiful friends are what I am grateful the most this two nights. I spent an awesome time with my lovely friends at Cora’s this morning for breakfast. Not everybody is up for being at Cora’s for 8:00 am on a Saturday morning. It was an awesome breakfast with lovely company. I also had a ton of fun watching movies with Dani. She treated me like a baby, fed me dinner, made me hot chocolate, and made me feel so comfortable I felt asleep watching Suits!

2- I’m glad I have a very good roommate. She is nice, polite, clean, and quiet. It’s very hard to find good roommate these days. I’m happy to have one who is willing to take the garbage out, broom the kitchen once in a while, and help me with shoveling snow! At the same time, it’s nice to come home and talk to her. Beautiful.

3- I’m thankful to technology, specifically telecommunication technology, which has made it so much easy for me to keep in touch with my loved ones. I Facetime Jamie multiple times a day; this makes it feel almost like we are together most of the time. I also Skype with my parents and fill them in with almost anything that has happened in my life. I’m lucky to be born in a century of rapid technology enhancement.

7th day of the Marathon

Today was an amazing day. The highlight of the day is our spontaneous decision to book a trip to Vegas for Halloween weekend. I’m very excited to finally get the chance of seeing Vegas, for the first time in my life.

I’m also grateful for having such awesome coworkers around me. They are always my go-to when I’m stuck solving a problem at work. Discussing the matter with them helps me understand the problem itself in more depth, and come up with solutions for it.

Cliche … but I’m so thankful for having such awesome “Love” in my life. He is all I could have asked for, with some minor imperfections, of course! We were extremely lucky that we found each other <3

Nighty Nighty

4th, 5th, and 6th day of Marathon

Confession … I forgot to do this again on the 4th night.

Last night, I remembered I need to journal when I was in bed; so I decided to write it down on just a piece of paper and make the post here today.

To sum up the positive points about the past three days:

1- I finally received my Canadian passport. Woohoo … I’ve been waiting for this moment for almost three years now. This is going to have a huge impact on my personal life. So thankful for that.

2- I’m happy I’m finally able to get rid of some of the extra stuff I had stored in my closet. I feel so light after getting rid of a bunch of Halloween decorations that I wouldn’t use. It feels even better that I could sell them and make some extra cash to spend on Timmy’s!

3- I am grateful for the beautiful night sky I see each morning when I am heading to the bus stop. Today, it was conjunction of Jupiter and Venus (I believe). Such a beauty.

4- I don’t mean to pat myself on the shoulder; but I’m really thankful for the intuition that I have. Helps me with finding ways to solve problems, which are creative. Helps me look outside of the box, and come up with different ways of dealing with issues. Also, it’s helpful to predict some humans’ behaviours, and prepare for them!

5- I’m glad that Highway 63, the highway that connects Fort McMurray to the nearest metropolitan (Edmonton), is almost 100% twin now. This highway is known as the highway of death. too many head to head collisions have happened on this highway, and that has taken away people’s lives. This is an amazing news for this community.

6- I like the team I’m working with. I’m grateful for having such friendly and helpful team.

3rd day of marathon

So I slipped and totally forgot about journaling last night; So, today, I will be covering all the positive points of this weekend here.

1- I’m glad I got to have a good chat with my parents on Skype.

2- I’m grateful for having smart friends around me. Friends who think and question, and keep having awesome political debates with me. Now if they were supporting the right party, I would be even more grateful!!! 😛

3- I’m grateful that I managed getting back on the habit of going to the gym after being away from it for almost 3 months.

4- I am thankful for the soreness I feel in my muscles. It means I got a very good workout yesterday!

5- I’m grateful to live in Canada, the beautiful country of Maple Leafs.

6- I’m happy that Denver Bronco won their game today, despite the number of mistakes they made.

7- I loved watching “Big Hero 6” with Jamie on Skype. The movie was great on its own; but watching it with Jamie and feeling his presence made it even greater.

2nd day of the marathon

Today’s appreciation goes for:

1- The beautiful morning sky. Seeing the glare of Venus and Jupiter next to the faint Mars brought a big smile to my face.

2- I am also grateful for the nice October weather, so far. It’s been significantly warm, and there is no snow on the ground yet. Life is just beautiful!

3- I am thankful for the awesome coworkers that I have; Supportive and encouraging. I asked a bunch of them to fill up third-party feedback forms on me. All of them kindly accepted to do so.

4- I am very lucky to live in a point of human’s life that technology has advanced this much. You can use internet to learn almost anything. I have made a habit of spending one of my coffee breaks each day on reading and learning something scientific. The nerd inside me is pretty happy these days.

5- I am grateful for his smile and happiness. For the simplicity of bringing a big smile to his face

21 days of “What I’m grateful for” Marathon

As of today, I have decided to focus on training my brain to scan for positive in life rather than negative. This decision is mainly an outcome to reading “Happiness Advantage”, written by Shawn Achor, and watching his impressive Ted Talk.

For 21 consecutive nights, I would like to scan my past 24 hours, and write about two new things that I am grateful about, during those 24 hours.

So for today:

1- I’m grateful for my interaction and contribution during our Communication meeting. I asked meaningful questions, and provided constructive comments.
2- I’m grateful for the tone of the voice of the receptionist at my family Dr’s office. For the fact that she recognized me and that brought a smile to her face. Recognizing me made her tone of voice happier and nicer, as compared to how grumpy she usually is. I’m thankful for the fact that I am associated with happiness in her mind.
3- I’m happy about delivering a presentation that was assigned to me today, successfully.
4- I love the bus ride home, sitting next to one of my best friends, Daniell; I love the conversations we make on the way back home, no matter how short and simple they are.
5- I’m glad that my roommate’s vehicle didn’t get ticketed, even though she had parked in street cleaning zone.
6- I’m happy that my mum started her English class, and she likes it.

Nighty Nighty.

Canadian Citizenship (How Canadians govern themselves)

Canada is is a federal state, a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy

There are federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments in Canada.

The British North America Act or the Constituational Act in 1867 defined the responsibilites of the provincial and federal government.

Federal government takes responsibilities for the matters of national and international concerns. These include defence, foreign policy, interprovincial trade and communications, currency, navigation, criminal law and citizenship.

The provinces are responsible for municipal government, education, health, natural resources, property and civil rights, and highways.

The federal government and the provinces share jurisdiction over agriculture and immigration.

Every province has its own elected Legislative Assembly, like the House of Commons in Ottawa. We have 3 territories that are too small to be called Province.

Parliamentary Demcracy: People elect members to the house of common in Ottawa and provincial and territorial legislatures.

These representatives are responsible for passing laws, approving and monitoring expenditures, and keeping the government accountable

Cabinet ministers are responsible to the elected representatives, which means they must retain the “confidence of the House” and have to resign if they are defeated in a non-confidence vote.

Openning of the parliment 1957.

Three parts of the parliment: the Sovereign (Queen or King), the Senate and the House of Commons.

Provincial legislatures comprise the Lieutenant Governor and the elected Assembly.

In the federal government, the Prime Minister selects the Cabinet ministers and is responsible for the operations and policy of the government.

The House of Commons is the representative chamber, made up of members of Parliament elected by the people, traditionally every four years.

Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister and serve until age 75.

Bills are proposal for new laws and they get reviewd by the house of commons and senate. For bills to become laws they need to pass both chambers and get royal approval granted by the governor general.

Canada’s Head of State is a Sovereign. The head of the government is the prime minister.

David Johnston, 28th Governor General since Confederation. Governor General represents the Sovereign in Canada and is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the prime minister. Usually for 5 years. In each of the ten provinces, the Sovereign is represented by the Lieutenant Governor, who is appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister, also normally for five years.

Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories.

Three branches of government: the Executive, Legislative and Judicial.

Each provincial and territorial government has an elected legislature where provincial and territorial laws are passed. The members of the legislature are called members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), members of the National Assembly (MNAs), members of the Provincial Parliament (MPPs) or members of the House of Assembly (MHAs), depending on the province or territory.

In each province, the Premier has a role similar to that of the Prime Minister in the federal government, just as the Lieutenant Governor has a role similar to that of the Governor General. In the three territories, the Commissioner represents the federal government and plays a ceremonial role.

Supreme Court of Canada: 9 judges appointed by the Governor General.


Canadian Citizenship preparation (Who we are)

Canada has inherited the oldest continuous. constitutional tradition in the world

Canada is the only constitutional monarchy in North America

Our institutions uphold a commitment to Peace, Order, and Good Government, a key phrase in Canada’s original constitutional document in 18677, the British North America Act.

“Great Dominion.”

Canada has three founding peoples—Aboriginal, French and British.

From the 1800s until the 1980s, the federal government placed many Aboriginal children in residential schools to educate and assimilate them into mainstream Canadian culture. The schools were poorly funded and inflicted hardship on the students; some were physically abused. Aboriginal languages and cultural practices were mostly prohibited. In 2008, Ottawa formally apologized to the former students.

Today, the term Aboriginal peoples refers to three distinct groups:

Indian refers to all Aboriginal people who are not Inuit or Métis. In the 1970s, the term First Nations began to be used. Today, about half of First Nations people live on reserve land in about 600 communities while the other half live off-reserve, mainly in urban centres.

The Inuit, which means “the people” in the Inuktitut language, live in small, scattered communities across the Arctic. Their knowledge of the land, sea and wildlife enabled them to adapt to one of the harshest environments on earth.

The Métis mixed Aboriginal and European ancestry, the majority of whom live in the Prairie provinces. They come from both French- and English-speaking backgrounds and speak their own dialect, Michif.

About 65% of the Aboriginal people are First Nations, while 30% are Métis and 4% Inuit.

the majority of Francophones live in the province of Quebec, one million Francophones live in Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba, with a smaller presence in other provinces.

New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province.

During the war between Britain and France, more than two-thirds of the Acadians were deported from their homeland. , known as the “Great Upheaval”.

British style: English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish

Getting ready for Canadian Citizenship Test (Rights and Responsibilities)

One of the important topics covered in the book “Discover Canada” is the rights and responsibilities of a Canadian Citizen. Here are my notes on this section:

Rights and Responsibilities of a Canadian Citizen

Canadian law has several sources, including laws passed by Parliament and the provincial legislatures, English common law, the civil code of France and the unwritten constitution that we have inherited from Great Britain.

Canadians have 800- year old tradition of ordered liberty, which dates back to the signing of Magna Carta in 1215 in England (also known as the Great Charter of Freedoms), including:

  • Freedom of conscience and religion;

  • Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of speech and of the press;

  • Freedom of peaceful assembly; and

  • Freedom of association

Habeas corpus, the right to challenge unlawful detention by the state, comes from English common law.

The Constitution of Canada was amended in 1982

  • Mobility Rights — Canadians can live and work anywhere they choose in Canada, enter and leave the country freely, and apply for a passport.

  • Aboriginal Peoples’ Rights — The rights guaranteed in the Charter will not adversely affect any treaty or other rights or freedoms of Aboriginal peoples.

  • Official Language Rights and Minority Language Educational Rights — French and English have equal status in Parliament and throughout the government.

  • Multiculturalism — A fundamental characteristic of the Canadian heritage and identity. Canadians celebrate the gift of one another’s presence and work hard to respect pluralism and live in harmony.

Citizenship Responsibilities

  • Obeying the law
  • Taking responsibility for oneself and one’s family
  • Serving on a jury
  • Voting in elections
  • Helping others in the community
  • Protecting and enjoying our heritage and environment

There is no compulsory military services.