My friend called me on a Saturday to ask for advice. She was at the gym and the person sitting next to her felt she was too close and threw a weight at her. He had threatened her in the past. She had decided to go to the police after talking to the gym with no results except for, ‘You need to work this out amongst yourself.’ Wrong answer.

She had a bruise, a minor injury and although there was a video recording, the police did not want to get involved.

My thought went to how poorly the gym handled the situation. It did rise to negligence- the gym owes a duty to its members to provide a safe work out environment, and that duty was breached. However, the gym was as, Jessica Nagle of Nagle Law called it, ‘ethically challenged.’

Conflict is a growth industry. Because of that business need to have systems in place on how to deal conflict whether that is among employees, vendors or customers.

My suggestion is to have a written policy about how you will deal with conflict. Amongst employees, for example, this may be an anonymous hotline to report issues or for customers there may be a formal complaint process.

These small ideas would create an ethical business and also one less likely to have negligence claims.

I am snow weary. Usually this condition does not hit me until the end of February, but with two storms the feeling started early.

“The snow brings out the worse in people,” said a plow driver.

This is true- patience is lost.   Here are some other issues that the snow brings:

  1. Timing. If you have contracts or due dates on projects then be advised to make sure you have an understanding about date flexibility. The postal services are not running on time, in fact a form I sent to the court was delayed. I called until I was told it was received and recorded. If date and time is important, then you may want to consider a courier service.


  1. Liability. Yes, sidewalks, parking lots and common areas should be clean, but please recognize that in many locations there are 30+ inches of snow with no place for the snow. Think about using technology to avoid driving or at least to be understanding.


  1. Prepare. I do have the ability to work from home, but this means in order to do so I must back up my computer files. This is important for not only security reasons, but so that you can complete your work as seamlessly as possible, especially if due dates are immovable.  As an adjust professor, I have noticed that my students have not kept up with the reading on missed classes, but the classes will continue and with online classes they will be made up with many students behind.  No need to get behind if you keep up with the work and remain prepared.


Most importantly, it is a time to be able to use collaborative negotiation in order to solve issues, looking past positions to find out what truly are the issues, keeping in mind it is usually timing, liability and preparedness. Do not be stuck in your way (in ice or snow), but collaborate to find a solution. It will not melt the snow faster, but it will make it bearable.



A snowstorm is a good reason to stay in and I can always find something to do.  This time though I caught back to back episodes of the Property Brothers.  If you have not seen this show on HGTV then you are missing out on Jonathan and Drew, twins that help find and remodel homes (in Canada).  In each episode there is doubt by the buyers that the house can be remodeled to the way they want it—they cannot see what Jonathan sees.


It is the same with mediation.  Unless you have been involved in a mediation, then it is difficult to understand and see what is going on.  Most people are familiar with courtroom dramas and judges making a decision.  Most cases settle using mediation or negotiation where you are part of the decision, have more of a say and can usually keep the business relationship intact.


For the new year why not try a new perspective?  Think about using mediation for your disputes or before entering a contract negotiate and get negotiation coaching from True North Business Consulting.  I understand that you know your business, but I frequently see that people do not know the legalities of their business. Take the time to take a new look and avoid problems later. I also offer a UDEMY class for those who want more information on alternative dispute resolution, which is the opposite of litigation.


If you’ve done some flying, then you’ve heard the request, “Is there a doctor on board?”

I always think they should be more specific because they are looking for someone with medical training, not a Phd.

It really is all in the title.

As a business professional you need to be concerned with your credentials. Many professions have licenses.

  • Attorneys
  • Acupuncturists
  • CPA
  • Massage Therapist

These licenses usually involve requirements of education and examination. But, there are many professions that do not require licenses or have any requirements. So what is that business person supposed to do?

Get involved in your local and national organization. Life Coaches have the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Organizers have the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). These organizations are working on creating standards in these industries for coaches and organizers to meet and exceed. Plus there are opportunities to network and share information.

Pursue educational opportunities to certify your actions. There are many online programs where with an investment of time and money you can be recognized as a leader in your profession.

In working with many of my clients this is a topic that comes up frequently and True North helps them understand the need to provide honest and clear wording in all their materials to protect themselves and educate consumers.

Contact True North Business Consulting at 781-729-0481 today and comment below.

A best practice is a process that a business uses to effectively deliver a service or product to the public, consumer, or other business. It is efficient because there is a pattern that will be followed so that a good experience is produced.

It is used in education, insurance and nursing, to name a few industries, but the idea can be applied to any business no matter the size.

For example, my friend went to a yoga class at a local gym. She had attended that particular class for over a year- Intermediate Vinyasa. On this day there were the ten regular people and two newcomers. The instructor changed the class to benefit the two newcomers. However, her other clients were left with a workout they did not want.

This is where having a published Best Practices would be beneficial. Perhaps something like:

1. Classes will start on time.
2. If the instructor is not present, and the class cannot continue then the students will receive a certificate for a free class.
3. Classes are marked at certain levels; please choose the level that is right for you. Modifications will be announced, but the classes will continue at the published level.
4. Our location will always be clean and safe.

The benefits of having Best Practices can be used in marketing to show consistency in your product, plus you will gain word of mouth clients because of your standards. You are also setting a legal benchmark for your business, because of this you want to make sure that you can meet your best practices.

If you have a business to business model, then Best Practices can still be used. Your focus may be on:

• We believe in alternative dispute resolution and will use mediation if a conflict arises. We want long term relationships
• We always use Delaware law in our contracts.
• We will answer your request within 24 hours
• We work with the following charitable organizations and hope you will help.

It is a gain for employees too. They will gain an understanding of what is expected of them, and what level of service they need to provide.

Taking some time to create a Best Practices will allow you to put your best foot forward.