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Le blogue de Solutions & Co.

Le blogue de Solutions & Co.

Career Progression: Ladder or Lattice?

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What is the best way to advance in a career?

The most common answer: get a promotion… For many, this is the only way!

Our concept of “promotion” is quite ancestral. It translates into increased responsibility, prestige and remuneration.

But career progression is not just about the legendary “promotion”. We have a choice of vertical or horizontal advancement.

Which path do you choose to take: climb the ladder or explore the lattice?

Let me explain…

Climb the ladder ?

Vertical advancement is what many call “climbing the organizational ladder”. It’s a promotion in its most traditional sense.

The advantages of following the vertical path

The benefits of vertical careers are widely known. This assignment comes with.... Higher hierarchical status…. Greater responsibility and…. A salary increase.

This approach has its place when you are on a specialized track, when job options are clear and when you know what role you would like to have. Indeed, each role throughout the journey will build on and deepen experience and knowledge, and it is natural to be motivated to acquire promotions and progress.

The disadvantages of following the vertical path

This type of career path sometimes creates a domino effect. Its sequence begins when the best performing individuals reach their peak: this is the famous Peter’s principle… This empirical law on hierarchical organizations. According to this principle, “in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence,” with the result that “over time, any position will be filled by an employee who is unable to take responsibility for it.”

We insist on promoting the best performing (or most loyal) employees without realizing that more skills, abilities and knowledge are needed to fully assume this new role! A new role needs preparation.... And it’s a process that sometimes takes place over several years.

When this is not done upstream, these individuals may find themselves without the necessary skills... What comes next is that their teams become suspicious, demotivated and disengaged.

Unfortunately, it is only once they are already full of bumps and bruises that we tend to help them acquire these skills. But sometimes it’s too late – the damage is done and is irreversible!

Not to mention that not everyone, even the best performers, is supposed to “climb the ladder” … And some just don’t want to! These high-performing employees can be advanced without putting them in a position of tension that can be unsatisfactory and detrimental to all in the long run.

Explore the lattice ? 

Horizontal advancement is when you move sideways within your organization, rather than upwards. Imagine your career path not as a ladder, which forces you to climb predefined levels up to your destination, but rather as a lattice… Which allows you to change your trajectory whenever you want, offers you several new positions in your organization and opens up a multitude of new possibilities.

Can you sense my enthusiasm? 😊

The disadvantages of following the horizontal path

Unlike the vertical path that comes with a rank, a status and a salary increase, horizontal advancement occurs when you move between different departments within an organization, generally at a similar level of status and with comparable responsibilities.

It only involves a change of designation and may look more like a transfer than a promotion. This is also why these types of “promotions” are less desirable than vertical promotions. However, just because you don’t climb the ladder doesn’t mean you don’t progress in your career.

Sometimes these side moves can be perceived negatively by recruiters, or even random, especially if you don’t explain the context in which you made these decisions.

Some side movements, however rich in challenges, satisfaction and skills acquisition, may be accompanied by a wage reduction. You will therefore have to assess the benefit of developing these skills against a potential loss of salary.

So what are the benefits of a horizontal career path?

Benefits to the employee

The main advantage is that you are exposed to new knowledge, skills and responsibilities. It’s a great way to prepare for challenges and to be agile when changes occur... Individuals who master a variety of disciplines are sought after by innovative and proactive organizations.

The horizontal shift also allows you to sample the work environment in different departments to see where you prefer working, which allows you to find your own niche and build relationships with the people you prefer to work with.

This approach is also useful for anyone who is considering a career change, who increasingly needs to balance work and personal demands, who is returning to the workforce or who is looking to add a few tools to their toolbox.

Benefits to the employer

Horizontal movement is an excellent management technique for improving productivity and effectiveness within an organization. It is a means to create value; in many organizations, the concept of the ladder is replaced by the lattice approach.

As job descriptions become more fluid, employees who are able to master a variety of disciplines, adapt, and be agile are invaluable to any organization that wants to perform.

The horizontal promotion of career choice helps to place staff in more challenging positions and can help reduce frustrations due to lack of vertical promotions during periods of uncertainty or slow growth.

What do you really want ? 

The best choice for career advancement depends above all on you, your reality, your ambitions and your interests. Only you can make an informed decision based on what is best for you in the short and long term.

But before you decide…… Have you:

… Taken the time to identify what you are passionate about, what makes you thrive?

… Explored what you like and don’t like doing?

… Identified how to get from where you are today to where you finally want to be?

Are you going to go up the ladder or exploring the lattice?

Vertical advances are undeniably good indicators that you are progressing in your career, but so are horizontal ones. The two are not mutually exclusive – in fact, they can be complementary.

As long as organizations are organized hierarchically, there will always be vertical careers. What makes me happy is… They are no longer the only choice!

  32 lectures
32 lectures

Hiring criteria: Experience or potential?

Expérience ou Potentiel English

Findings :  

  1. Highly skilled job seekers blame employers of not being interested in hiring unemployed people.
  2. Students with new knowledge protest about not being able to meet market demands (even for junior positions) after their studies.
  3. Workers wishing to change careers deplore the difficulty ofreorienting.
  4. Those who perform work that devalues their knowledge feel underutilized and neglected.
  5. On the other hand, we’ve heard employers complain about lack of skill” for years.

🤔 Ummmmm…..

What is wrong with the current hiring processes? 

It seems as though the priority of organizations is simply to fill the vacant position as quickly as possible, since time is money.

When the key word is "Fast", the best way is to rely on elements of exclusion such as years of experience.

When employers insist on hiring someone with experience, they create a vicious cycle…… 

Our efforts are focused on finding the ideal candidate quickly… The quickest way to find these employees is to recruit workers already hired by other companies.… 

We continue to steal the same people from each other, without understanding that we continue to lose our employees through the back door, all while increasing their salaries without any increased value.

Regardless of whether our recruitment and hiring process gives us better candidates… And without realizing that, by hiring only people with experience, there will be no one to hire at the end!

And that’s the beginning of the end….

We miss out on good candidates, we are constantly recruiting, we increase the cost of labour, while undermining the financial profitability of the organization and reducing the talent pipeline.

🤔 Ummmmm….

Yet there are so many high-potential individuals— 

Why hire based only on their experience or academic training?

What about candidates who might have the "knowledge" required, but did not have the opportunity to apply it in a workplace?

Or those who have acquired skills in a non-traditional way?

Those with an atypical background?

The ones with different work backgrounds?

Years of experience or academic training do not guarantee effectiveness. They do not predict a successful functioning of the corporate culture, nor do they ensure that the individual can successfully fulfill his or her role and responsibilities.

When hiring processes measure and engage based solely on exclusion criteria, organizations miss out on an incredible amount of talent.

An idea… A different approach 

What if we stopped evaluating candidates only on the basis of years of experience or their academic training?

How about looking beyond current hiring practices, reframing our criteria to broaden access to career opportunities?

What if we approached hiring in a holistic and inclusive way?

Why not let the candidates prove they have the right skills?

Why not allow candidates to communicate their way of being and thinking?

Why not evaluate them according to their soft skills and potential?

Potential is the willingness and possibility of the person to evolve or project themselves to solve new problems and/or increasingly complex and ambiguous situations.

It is the capacity of an individual to know how to intentionally arrange and combine their intellectual, practical, emotional and social skills. 

The question is not whether people have the right skills, but rather whether they have the potential to learn new skills. to adopt and adapt appropriate behaviours and skills according to the objectives.

When we talk about potential, people are massively underestimated and underutilized.

Bet on the “Potential”! The rest can be learned !

  56 lectures
Mots-clés :
56 lectures

The perfect moment for awareness…

Slowly, but surely, the ashes return to the ground… Once we have dusted ourselves off and our bruises disappear slowly… Before projecting ourselves into the future, it would be wise to take a moment to see ourselves clearly and objectively through introspection, reflection and feedback. Isn’t this a perfect moment for awareness?


What is self-awareness…?

It is the ability to look into oneself and accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts and values.

It’s the ability to recognize their influence on behaviour.

It is the ability to accurately assess one’s personality, individuality, character, feelings, motivations, desires, strengths, and limitations.

What this means…

Self-awareness is your ability to accurately perceive our own inner states and emotions, to remain aware of them when they occur, and to recognize their impact on your life.

In short: it is the ability to know ourselves, to know what we feel and why.

Tasha Eurich’s (2017) research found that “if 95% of people think they are self-aware, the actual figure is closer to 10-15%”. She said, “Not only are our assessments often wrong, but we are usually terrible judges of our own performance and ability.”

She describes two specific types of self awareness :

  • Internal self-awareness – The way in which we know ourselves : an inner understanding of our passions and aspirations, our strengths and weaknesses, our values, etc.
  • External self-awareness – Understanding how others perceive us within these same aspects and understanding from an outside view.

Why this is important…

Travis Bradberry, author of the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, describes self-awareness as one of the main components of emotional intelligence. Self-awareness is “empowering” because it empowers you with knowledge and allows you to make better choices – to change or grow.

Daniel Goleman, the author of the book Emotional Intelligence, identified it as the first of the five skills that make up emotional intelligence. Without awareness and understanding of ourselves, and without a sense of self rooted in our own values, it is difficult, if not impossible, to be conscious of and to react to the emotions of others.

Self-awareness helps…

  • Identify gaps in our professional skills, which helps for their development
  • Find the situations in which we will be most effective
  • Make decisions
  • Facilitate stress management and motivation of self and others

Self-awareness is important: by having a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to identify and assert ourselves as unique and distinct individuals. We are then able to make changes, leverage our strengths, and identify areas where we would like to improve.

Are you as self-aware as you think you are (or hope to be) ?

To develop self-awareness, you must know how to ask the important questions ... With truth comes power. So ask yourself:

  • Have I clearly defined the values that express what is most important to me ?
  • Do I know what I want out of life ?
  • Can I describe my ideal work environment ?
  • What is most gratifying to me ?
  • In which types of situations do I feel most satisfied ?
  • Do my values determine my approach to the world ?
  • Which activities give me the most joy ?
  • Can I usually predict how I behave in a given situation ?
  • Are my personal and professional objectives clear ?
  • When I fail at something, can I generally understand where I have failed ?
  • In a given situations, am I capable of evaluating myself and my performances in an objective manner ?
  • Do I know the impact of my actions on the people around me ?
  • When I interact with people, do I examine the way they respond to me ?

This skill (because it is a skill) is probably the most difficult to master and certainly the most laborious to develop. Being intangible, and a bit mysterious, people tend to want to go over it to arrive at more practical skills. They see no need for it, and even think it’s a real waste of time.

But 20 years as a trainer have taught me that anyone who does not invest in getting to know themselves, discovering themselves, making a thorough introspection, identifying their strengths and weaknesses breaking paradigms, and adopting the behaviors necessary for long-term fulfillment, does not succeed! By resisting this stage, we are only building a house on weak foundations… And at the first storm… Everything flies away! As soon as there is an obstacle to achieving our objectives, as soon as something unexpected happens.... Everything falls apart.

Before projecting ourselves into the future, it would be wise to take a moment to see ourselves clearly and objectively through introspection, reflection and feedback.

It is probably at this stage that we can distinguish people who take the means to thrive and increase their chances of success from those who cross their fingers and hope to succeed.

One thing is certain: YOU are the determining factor of your success! Understanding yourself is therefore crucial.

  120 lectures
120 lectures

Navigate difficult conversations with empathy during a period of tension

Difficult conversations… You dread them, you postpone them sometimes, but you have to have them at some point. Difficult discussions are part of everyday life, especially in times of crisis.

When tensions are high, it’s easy for a conversation to slide in a direction you didn’t want. You may end up trying to prove that you’re right, rather than listening and trying to understand the situation from another angle. You may find yourself talking too loosely to avoid offending, leading to confusion and passive-aggressive attitudes. You could also make your points hurtfully because you haven’t given yourself the time to refocus.

Because they often involve major issues and are emotionally charged, these discussions could put your trust and influence to the test. But they are also an opportunity to showcase some of your skills such as listening, empathy and openness.

It is possible to transform a difficult conversation into a relationship-building opportunity. Here are some suggestions…

Work on yourself first

Before starting the conversation, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you hope to achieve during this conversation? What is the expected result?
  • What are your assumptions about this person’s intentions?
  • Are you more emotional than the situation warrants?
  • How does your attitude influence your perception of the conversation?
  • What are your needs and fears?Do you have any common concerns?
  • How did you contribute to the problem?How did the other person contribute?

After thinking about these issues, it is time to take action.

Start the conversation

Introduce the topic in a neutral way. Do not go directly to solving the problem... The most important thing to keep in mind is creating a safe environment for the other person to be expressive and not defensive.
Make it clear to them that you want to hear their opinion and that you do not intend to lecture them. We don’t want the person to close at the beginning of the conversation.
How to get started?

  • I would like to discuss something that I think will help us work together more effectively.
  • I want to talk about _____ but I would like to get your opinion first.
  • I think we have different views on ____ . Do you have time to talk about it?
  • I would like to see if we can come to a better understanding of _________. I really want to hear your feelings on this and also share my point of view.


Go in with a curious mindset. Cultivate an attitude of discovery and curiosity. Imagine that you know nothing and try to learn as much as possible about your interlocutor and his point of view. Ask open-ended questions to understand the situation from all perspectives. Learn your speaker’s priorities and don’t rush to the part of the conversation where you can talk.


  • What do you think?
  • Your behaviour towards your colleagues has changed.What’s going on?
  • I wonder what you think about what happened.Do you want to share?


Listening helps to calm any conflict or difficult conversation. When we are influenced by negative emotions, we tend to stop listening. But any conversation in which both parties listen to each other can streamline the flow of communication.

Let the speaker speak until he is finished. Do not interrupt, except to validate understanding. Try to learn as much as possible in this phase of the conversation. Resist the urge to correct or defend yourself. Let them finish speaking first. Wait your turn.

Listening to each other is not so easy. Let them speak, without interrupting. To fully understand their point of view, ask open-ended questions, put yourself in their place, invite them to summarize your exchanges and rephrase their words by asking them for their assent. You will avoid the dialogue of the deaf and the empathy you show will allow you to find a lasting, shared and satisfactory solution for both parties.


Recognition means that you have heard and understood what the other person is communicating. Recognition can be difficult if we associate it with being in agreement. Signal that you recognize (or at least are trying to) their point of view, even if you don’t necessarily agree.

Empathize - Remember that you don’t have to agree with what the other person is saying. You just acknowledge that you understand what they said. Saying "it seems really important to you", does not mean that you agree with the interlocutor’s decision.

Paraphrase - This does not mean to reproduce verbatim what the person has communicated. Instead, try to summarize in fewer words what they have shared, including the emotion they expressed. Paraphrase what the person has said and ask them to validate your understanding.

Be assertive

When you feel that your interlocutor has finished expressing their opinion on the subject, it is your turn. Clarify your position without minimizing theirs. Remember to turn “you” statements into “I” statements. You are the expert on your own feelings. You are not the expert on their feelings, intentions or lives. Share what you know about yourself, such as the impact of the other person’s behaviour or situation.

Example: Turn “you are insulting” into “I feel hurt”.

Take a break if necessary

If you feel that emotions are increasing, you can take a break!

Example: “I just heard a lot of things that surprised me, I would like a little time to sit down and calm down a bit. Do you mind if we take a break and come back in half an hour (or tomorrow)?”

Problem solving

Now that you have both had your turn, you are ready to work together to find solutions to improve the situation. Ask the other person for advice and take the time to recognize what you like in their suggestions. When making suggestions, keep their priorities in mind and try to take advantage of their proposals.

Ask them what they think might work. No matter what they say, find something you like within it and build on it. If the conversation becomes contradictory, return to the investigation. Asking the other person’s point of view usually creates security and encourages them to engage.

This is to assess the feasibility of the options, to discuss. Sometimes that leads to looking for other options because the first one is not realistic. It is necessary to remain calm, in active listening mode, and to pay attention to the other to be sure that they are also in active listening mode. Then agree on a solution and decide together on a sensible next step. Give yourself a time to review the situation together. Follow up and document as required.

In conclusion…

Even if you can’t dictate the outcome of a difficult conversation, you can control how you navigate the process. When we are stressed, we are not always at our best. But, like any acquired skill, you can prepare yourself for a stressful situation and be ready to present yourself as you carefully planned.

Good luck!

  193 lectures
193 lectures

Managing your emotions in time of uncertainty and chaos

Circumstances of great uncertainty - like the current crisis - can make us feel destabilized and anxious. Our emotions and thoughts can get in the way of us feeling in control and we suffer by spending a lot of energy trying to manage these emotions.

Fortunately, we all have the capacity to strengthen ourselves against external circumstances by strengthening our own internal resources. Emotional regulation allows us to harness those feelings and thoughts to our advantage.

Regulating your emotions means working with whatever emotions you might be feeling in order to do your best work. The more emotionally stable we are, the better equipped we are to remain calm when challenges arise.

Emotional regulation is not about putting on a fake happy face while you suppress any negative feelings. Instead, it’s about acknowledging what’s happening for you emotionally and working with those feelings, so that you are free to choose your response to a situation, without the emotions controlling you.

Here where to begin:

Understand the biochemistry

The opposite of remaining calm is the state of "fight or flight", a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.

The reaction starts when the amygdala (an almond-shaped structure where your brain processes memory and interprets emotions) sees a situation as a threat. This perception causes your brain to secrete hormones that tell your nervous system to prepare your body to take drastic action. Your breath gets short, your body floods your muscles with blood, your peripheral vision goes away, and so forth.

Since neither fight nor flight are appropriate in everyday situations, your body never gets a release. The tension in your body tells your brain that there is a threat, your brain responds, you end up with your brain and body in a feedback loop… And you get exhausted!

Be aware of your triggers

We can’t run from everything that bothers us, but we can increase our awareness of situations that trigger unwanted emotions. The more aware we are of our triggers, the better we can control them!

Don’t suppress your emotions

Research shows that in the long run, suppressing negative emotions doesn’t work nearly as well as transforming them by acknowledging and expressing them.

Label the emotions

To calm yourself and remain calm, you need to interrupt that feedback loop. You can reduce the reaction of our amygdala if you assign names or labels to the emotions that you're experiencing at the time. Reflecting on your feelings and labeling them may assist in calming the amygdala, allowing you to move out of the fight-or-flight mode and free up energy allowing you to think more clearly about the issue at hand, rather than worrying.

Stop thoughts

Did you know that research says you can disrupt a negative train of thought by saying “Stop!”? Next time you notice your thoughts going down a down-spiral path, try it!

Re-label your emotions

At this point, you've interrupted the feedback loop. In this step, you eliminate the emotional impetus that created the fight-or-flight response.

Go through the list of emotions that you identified in the previous step and assign them labels that are positive rather than negative. For example: Fear | Anticipation, Worry | Concern, Alarmed | Curious, etc.

When you re-label your emotions, you are using controllable parts of your brain to convince your amygdala that this is not a fight-or-flight situation but instead a "stay aware and watchful" situation, or even a "sit back and enjoy" situation.

As you continue holding the relabeled emotions in your mind, notice the speed at which your heart is beating. You will find that it gradually returns to a normal pace. You've regained calmness.

Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion involves offering compassion to ourselves: confronting our own suffering with an attitude of warmth and kindness, without judgment. Learning how to practice self-compassion can be as easy as looking at how compassionately you act toward others. Try to remember a time when one of your close friends was really struggling through a difficult time. How did you respond to him/her?  Now think about a time when you were in a similar situation. In contrast, how did you respond to yourself? When facing a crisis in the future, try treating yourself the way you would treat a friend. How do you think things might change if this were the case?

While it’s true that controlling our emotions isn’t always easy, remember that your viewpoint all comes down to their explanatory style—the story we tell ourselves when things don’t go our way.

Challenge your assumptions!

Don’t worry if all these techniques feel difficult or elusive at the moment, the more you practice them, the more easily it will come to you. Over time, your practice will shift so that emotional regulation becomes your automatic, go-to response when times get tough.

Good work!

  141 lectures
141 lectures

Les participants le disent…

« Vraiment une formation extraordinaire, et habituellement, je suis très critique! Tout le personnel devrait suivre cette formation, il y aurait un gain d’efficacité! »

Ville de Québec

Témoignages des participants

…et nos clients aussi!

« C’est avec un grand professionnalisme que l’entreprise a offert une formation attrayante et de qualité à nos employés. Nous sommes particulièrement satisfaits des résultats obtenus grâce à cette intervention et il nous fera plaisir de retravailler avec Solutions & Co. dans l’avenir. »

Xavier Aymé, Chef des opérations | Mercator Canada Inc.

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