Jean talking about how to stop burnout at the Caribbean Insurance Conference in the Bahamas.
   Staff Development

If you had a well-defined job, or if your job didn't shift thte minute you thought you'd gotten your work done, life would be fairly easy. But when you're cataloging books, handling reference requests, managing acquisitions, etc. plus dealing with the challanges of the pandemic, including customers/patrons who are especially needy, you find yourself mutitasking and it's exhasuting. In this fun and interactive sessions, learn how to : *Single task, *Minimize disruptions, *Give yourself breaks, *Bundle non-essential tasks, *Ask for help. Designed for library staff, this workshop can be adapted to any industry; these critical steops will help you wear many hats without losing your head.

  1. Thank you again for speaking at our conference. We had received amazing reviews and so many people loved your presentation and continued to talk about their many responsibilities. Even throughout that day we saw so many of our colleagues proudly wearing their hats. I personally loved your presentation and think often of what I learned. I actively try to step away from my desk more often to eat lunch or just get outside for a break. My next step is to focus more on prioritizing my work by urgency but that may take some time. : - )
    Shannon Angelone, CLA Conference Committee Co-Chair, 2022

Burnout is real and affects all industries and employees at every level from CEO's to administrative assistants. In some professions, like medicine, it's rampant and has dangerous consequences. Learn what burnout is and isn't, why it's dangerous, and strategies and tools for addressing it. In this interactive workshop, you'll explore how to: recognize burnout and share best practices and you'll examine 8 customer service tools: Patience, Empathy, Negotiation skills, Listening/Communications, Self-Control, Depersonalization, Humor and Flexibility. Tailored to the specific needs of your organization, Jean interviews several of your participants as part of her preparation to ensure she understands how burnout is affecting your corporate culture and customer service.


You're faced with customers all day long. On the phone or in person, some have quick questions, while others may need someone to talk with and take up your time. Still others could have health issues or behavioral problems that are difficult to solve. And you're expected to provide excellent customer service while staying within your organization's guidelines. How can you do this without ending each day with a headache?

In this interactive session, learn specific strategies to help you provide excellent customer service while maintaining a healthy balance of service and self-care. With ten tools, and a creative way to identify types of customers, you’ll discover how to protect yourself while meeting the needs of your customers. Working in pairs and small teams, you’ll share your own best practices and learn from each other. This workshop is offered in three-hour and one-hour versions to make it easy to fit into your busy schedule.


What happens when we have to make a presentation--whether to our staff, the board or a room full of strangers? We get nervous and our message gets lost. In this keynote address or three-hour, interactive workshop, learn the fundamentals of effective presentation skills. Find out how solid eye contact is an anchor, learn about posture and gestures and how to use your voice effectively, and tips on crowd control. You'll also see how good talks are organized and how to use visuals without them upstaging you. And you'll leave with a video of yourself in action. Don't miss the chance to stand out every time you talk!

   Dog Talks

Jean has worked as a therapy dog handler for ten years--first with Bella, and now with Rudy. She is amazed by the ways these well-trained dogs know exactly what each person needs. Her book about Bella: "Joy Unleashed: The Story of Bella, the Unlikely Therapy Dog," reveals these everyday miracles that took place as Bella and Jean visited nursing and hospital patients, and special needs students in the schools. Bella died in early January, 2018, just shy of her 11th birthday. Rudy, who was certified by Pet Partners as a therapy dog in March of 2018, is also really good at his job. Jean initiated a new program at the local courthouse and Rudy now comforts victims before before they testify in court.

Jean's talk incorporates personal experience as well as the results of scientific studies that prove how therapy dogs make a difference. But the best is Rudy himself. He gives audiences a first-hand experience of his grace, humor and power to make us feel connected and comforted. He also does some really neat tricks. Invite Jean and Rudy to your next event if you want an uplifting presentation that illustrates first hand the many gifts of therapy dogs.


Jean and Rudy enthralled a room of about 40 at the Connecticut Library Association Conference in their presentation " Going to the Dogs" on Monday, April 29, 2019. This was Rudy's first conference and he worked as if he'd been doing this all his life. The group loved meeting Jean and Rudy, as she explained all the ways therapy dogs make a difference. Her stories about working in hospitals, schools and libraries inspired and amazed the attendees. Most left ready to explore having therapy dogs come to their libraries to improve customer service and share wonderful animals like Rudy with their communities. Shelley Holley MLS, Head of Circulation Services, Southington Public Library. Rudy also gave a similar presentation at the NELA conference in October, 2019.


Designed for organizations that want a fun way to reinforce the excellent work of their staff, Jean and Rudy created eight tips. Just having a therapy dog attend a staff meeting is a wonderful way to set the tone for fun and celebration, and Rudy helped Jean come up with some cool ways to build morale and take care of yourselves as you serve others.


"Thank you so very much for hosting such a powerful breakout session at last week’s Future Prevention Leaders Conference!  “The Magic of Therapy Dogs: What Makes Then So Special”, was one of the stand-out favorite sessions of the day!  Participants absolutely fell in love with Rudy and found your presentation to be interactive, thought provoking, informative and insightful. One participant even remarked, 'This is the happiest I have ever been'"! Wendy Mill and Jessica White. The Governor’s Prevention Partnership builds statewide capacity to prevent underage drinking and substance use and builds strategic alliances to promote the overall well-being of Connecticut’s future workforce.

Jean with her therapy dog. Rudy. at the Govenor's Prevention Partnersip conference, East Hartford, CT, June 23, 2022. Photo courtesy of J. Fiereck.

   Sample Testimonials
  1. Excellent talk!
  2. Being both personable and professional, Jean created an environment where people felt comfortable participating. Through her presentation, which included role playing and discussion, Jean provided us with a variety of tools to assess our own responses, diffuse possibly contentious situations, and provide an experience that satisfies both the patron and staff member. Jean also helped us recognize the symptoms leading to burnout and identify personally specific ways to get back on track.
  3. Her presentation was well prepared and a good way to start the morning! I would recommend the speaker – it was a good reminder of how important it is as a leader to stay re-energized.
  4. Good pieces to take back and share on a regular basis with my team and other leadership to help them thrive professionally and personally.
  5. Jean was very engaging and spoke on a topic that we all deal with typically on a daily basis, internally and from our team. I'm eager to put this to use with my team in the near future.
  6. Yes! I wish she could come do a one-on-one with my management team.
  7. Great speaker! She knows her stuff and was able to get the audience involved and told real life stories
  8. Very energetic.
  9. Testimonial from "Customer Service in the Trenches" presentation, Mystic-Noank Library:
    "I wanted to thank you for joining us at the Mystic & Noank Library this morning. Your presentation was timely, informative and fun and we all genuinely had a great time. Thanks so much! I hope we are able to do something similar next year. Best, Roberta" Roberta Donahue, Assistant Director, Mystic-Noank Library


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