August 2021 - ICBA

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY #10: The ‘Selfies’ of Emotional Intelligence 

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out for details. 

After two weeks off, I arrived at our new office to find some ICBA Wellness swag put together by our Wellness champions Mina, Kerry and Jenny — including a towel, water bottle and (best of all!) some dark chocolate. It was a nice touch as we moved into our third month in the program, looking at emotional intelligence. 

There are five elements of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. 

I recently ran across this quote from Mr. Rogers, and it really stuck out to me: 

“Part of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.” 

Isn’t this the core need for emotional intelligence? 

Today, I’m pondering the two “selfies” in how we define emotional intelligence – self-awareness and self-regulation. Self-aware people know how they feel, and know how their emotions and actions affect the people around them. I think we are all growing in this; how many times have you been upset with someone and then later traced it back to emotion you had about something else? A bad day at work spills over at home?  

That leads into self-regulation. Being aware of what you’re feeling and then governing yourself appropriately. Self-regulating people rarely verbally attack others, make rushed or emotional decisions, stereotype people, or compromise their values. 

In other words, they’re a little like Mr. Rogers! Extending grace to themselves and others, because they are connected to the emotions that are driving them. (Side note: if you’ve never seen the Tom Hanks film It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, find it and watch it. It’s outstanding, and you’ll see why so many people have affection for Mr. Rogers.) 

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see 


IN THE NEWS: ICBA’s Chris Gardner on the 2021 Federal Election

The following first appeared in the Journal of Commerce on August 18, 2021:

Canadians are going to the polls this fall to choose who will lead the country. Parties have five weeks to lay out their vision.

Leaders in Western Canada’s construction sector explained the issues that matter to them and what they hope is addressed by the candidates.

Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association in B.C., wants to know how candidates are going to ensure Canada is able to compete internationally.

“Our competitiveness has been slipping,” said Gardner, noting Canada ranks 63rd globally in processing construction permits.

He explained this is one of the root causes of why many major urban centres across the country are facing housing affordability issues.

“In Vancouver it can take up to four years to approve a project. In many cases that is longer than it even takes to build it,” he said, adding candidates must explain how they intend to adjust the regulatory or tax systems to improve economic competitiveness.

Gardner said worker shortages are impacting the country’s entire construction sector and action must be taken.

“We are going over a demographic cliff,” said Gardner. “The only relief valve is immigration. We simply don’t have enough people entering the workforce and it is a threat to our long-term competitiveness.”

Gardner explained even if Canadians began entering the trades at higher levels, the educational infrastructure isn’t there to train them. He said some trades in B.C., like glaziers or ironworkers, only have one place to train.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Understanding Anger Webinar and Negotiation Skills Workshop

Kerry and Jordan discuss two upcoming ICBA Training courses–Understanding Anger, and Negotiation Skills: You don’t get what you want, need or deserve (You get what you negotiate).

Understanding Anger (Live Online Training)
Thursday, August 26th, 2021 11AM – 1PM

Anger is a universal experience. You don’t have to be a psychologist to know that managing anger productively is something few individuals, organizations, and societies do well. Yet research tells us that those who do manage their anger at work are much more successful than those who don’t. The co-worker who can productively confront his teammate about his negative attitude increases his team’s chance of success as well as minimizes destructive conflicts. The customer service agent who can defuse the angry customer not only keeps her customers loyal but makes her own day less troublesome. This webinar is designed to help give you and your organization that edge.

What Will Participants Learn?

  • Recognize how anger affects your body, your mind, and your behaviour.
  • Use the five-step method to break old patterns and replace them with a model for assertive anger.
  • Control your own emotions when faced with other peoples’ anger.
  • Identify ways to help other people safely manage some of their repressed or expressed anger.
  • Communicate with others in a constructive, assertive manner.

What Topics are Covered?

  • What is anger?
  • Costs and pay-offs
  • The anger process
  • How does anger affect our thinking?
  • Understanding behaviour types
  • Managing anger
  • Communication tips and tricks

Presenter: Pamela Bragg – Sarkany Management Inc.
Pamela Bragg is the owner of Sarkany Management Inc., a Human Resources Consulting firm, which offers a broad range of HR services. Pamela has a comprehensive background in executive level human resources and holds a Masters Certificate in Strategic Human Resources & Organizational Change.
or see all ICBA courses at


Negotiation Skills Workshop: You don’t get what you want, need or deserve – you get what you negotiate. (Live Online Training)
Thursday, September 9th and Friday, September 10th, 2021 8:30AM to 12:30PM both days

Set up in 2 – 1/2-day live instructor lead online training sessions (8:30am – 12:30pm each day) this seminar will cover the same content as the in-person seminar. There is no opportunity to re-schedule or request for a partial refund if a student cannot attend both sessions. Please plan to be fully engaged in the class and clear your work schedule just as you would for the in-class program.

The truth is that in our professional lives we don’t get what we deserve – we get what we negotiate. Are you finding your customers, clients, employees or boss or employers increasingly demanding, wanting more for less? Do you ever feel that you are being taken advantage of?

Many individuals often fail in negotiation not because they are unable to get an agreement, but because they walk away from the table when they could have done much better. In this seminar you will learn a proven, practical step-by-step approach to win-win negotiations and how to protect yourself from “hardball” negotiators.

Topics to be covered:

  • The most common negotiating mistakes people make and how to avoid them
  • Understanding the difference between Collaborative “win-win” and Competitive “hardball” negotiations and how to know what game you are playing
  • The characteristics of highly effective negotiators
  • Understanding the different sources of negotiating power
  • How to strengthen your bargaining position
  • How to create an open communication flow that allows you to deeply understand the other party
  • The 5 steps process to quickly and effectively plan and prepare for your negotiations
  • How to determine your “walk-away point”
  • How to defend yourself against “hardball’ negotiators
  • How to counter the 5 common manipulative strategies being used against you
  • How to create win – win outcomes that ensure the other party lives up to their end of the bargain

Instructor Greg Campeau has delivered over 2400 presentations and workshops throughout North America providing strategies and solutions that support both personal and organizational success. He has established a client list that includes organizations like Finning, Lafarge, NHL Coaches Association, BC Hydro, Rogers Wireless, APEG BC, SNC Lavalin, Klohn Crippen Berger and many more.

What previous participants said:

  • “Found it productive and informative.”
  • “A great course for personal and business relationships.”
  • “Very informative. I learned a lot about my current habits and weaknesses to overcome.”
  • “Great catalyst for a lot more than negotiating.”
All courses at

ICBA IN THE NEWS: Chris Gardner on Need for More Training Options

The following is an excerpt of a piece that ran in Building Magazine on August 23, 2021:

The key will be to get more of these immigrants into the skilled trades, like construction, which is facing a shortage of more than 300,000 workers by 2030 due to retirements and increased demand, according to a BuildForce Canada report.

“There’s no magic bullet here,” said Chris Gardner, president of the Surrey, B.C.-based Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA), which represents more than 3,300 members in the construction sector. “Immigration is a fundamental part of the long-term solution to this challenge.”

Gardner believes the big infrastructure projects will still get built, but the worker shortage is having other ancillary effects such as scheduling issues, with contractors turning down smaller projects as well as soaring wages.

“In B.C., the average construction trade worker (salary) outpaced the rate of inflation two times in the last five years,” confessed Gardner, who added that even during the pandemic wages merely flatlined instead of declining due to the demand for workers.

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY #11: The MESS of Emotional Intelligence

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out for details.

Last week, we looked at the ‘selfies’ of emotional intelligence – self-awareness and self-regulation. This week, our theme is the MESS (Motivation, Empathy, Social Skills) – the three other main elements of emotional intelligence. This MESS will help us avoid a lot of relational mess!

Finding whatever it is that motivates you is important. Is it satisfaction in your work? The ability to provide a good lifestyle for yourself and the people you love? Is it an intrinsic work ethic?

But that motivation isn’t enough on its own. We need to be empathetic to others – supporting our teammates, challenging others who are acting unfairly, and genuinely listening to people. There’s an old saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason: we should listen twice as much as we talk. Good advice!

Finally, working on our social skills is key to personal success. If this is a struggle, start small – ask open-ended questions (and listen carefully to their response) and offer genuine compliments freely (almost everyone loves a compliment!). These little steps can help build your confidence and skillset.

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see