What Teapot Are You Focused On?

I recently went on a small hike to a local hill – Teapot Hill.

The name comes after a logger found a teapot on top of the hill in the 1940’s. In recent years, other hikers have begun leaving teapots in inconspicuous places along the trail for others to find. A dozen years ago I hiked Teapot Hill, but I can’t tell you if there were any teapots hidden at that time. I definitely didn’t see any!

Who Can Spot the Teapot?

This time was different because I knew there were teapots hidden. I also started a competition with my son as to who could spot the most teapots (first to spot gets the point!) Have I ever mentioned I’m competitive? Love to win? Initially, I couldn’t see any teapots and quickly decided there weren’t any there. To prove me wrong, my son spotted 5 teapots within 3 minutes!

As he pointed them out to me I began to hone my focus and then I started spotting teapots . . . sometimes even before he did! Some teapots were right in the open, others in hollowed out logs, stuck between branches or under leaves. Now it’s entirely possible, and likely very common, that some people who hike the trail don’t see one teapot (just like I didn’t 12 years ago)! But if you know there are teapots hidden, it’s certainly fun to see if you can find them.

We Spotted 27 Teapots!

It doesn’t really matter who won the competition, does it? Searching for teapots on Teapot Hill is a lot like searching for hidden qualities in an employee, colleague or peer you are struggling with. If you don’t look, you certainly won’t find any good qualities, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there! The entire hike up Teapot Hill reinforced to me . .  .

You Get What You Focus On.

So the question becomes:

Who’s teapot (hidden quality) do you need to focus on and find?

Make It An Amazing Day!


PS For a little fun, I’ve attached pictures from the hike.
Can you spot the teapots?












In the photo above (left), a dark green teapot sits close to the centre of the picture, slightly hidden by a leaf
In the photo above (right), the teapot is in the hollow of the tree.  


Sign Up for FREE Valuable Communication Insights That Produce Results.


  • Our workshop participants found Barb’s approach to teaching at the Centre for Professional Development to be dynamic and engaging.  Barb not only taught effective communication and presentation skills, but also role modelled techniques throughout the day. Participants were excited to be able to apply learning’s directly into their day to day roles

    Leasa Knechtel

    Associate Director at the Centre for Professional Development, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto.

  • Your plenary session was a real asset and a great contribution to the success of our National IPAC Conference. From beginning to end participants were energized and actively engaged.


    Gwyneth Meyers BSc, MSc, PhD

    Scientific Committee Chair

  • “The workshop was wonderful!! Barb walked the talk by continuously demonstrating the tips and skills she was teaching! It was amazing to see it all come together. I would recommend the workshop to anyone who has to present.”

    Bev Waite, Education Lead-Nursing,

    Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

  • I told one of the nurse educators that it was the best 3 hours I have spent in a training session as the content was clear, relevant, exactly enough to be able to incorporate into presentations, and you demonstrated each point which was great. It was watching an expert at work.

    Aideen Carroll, Advanced Practice Nurse Educator

    Toronto General Hospital

  • Your workshop was also a big hit. It was interesting to hear people talk about it as not good, but great.

    Debbie Ross

    CMP Manager of Governance and Events CNA

  • After working with Barb, our team returned to work energized, enthused and inspired to utilize tools that increase our communication, clarity and relationship with not only each other, but also with the residents and families that we serve. I would highly recommend Barb if you want to bring out the best in your team.

    Dale Clements, Administrator

    Columbus Residence

  • Barb Langlois led a wonderful one day workshop for 45 Clinical Nurse Educators in Saskatoon Health Region. She worked with us in advance to really understand our learning needs, Six months later, I see CNEs using Barb’s techniques to engage learners and I use them myself in my own presentations. I strongly recommend Barb – she is a very skilled facilitator who connects with learners in a very meaningful and effective way.

    Margot Hawke RN, BSN, MCEd, Nursing Professional Practice Lead

    Saskatoon Health Region


Seriously? Me, too! covers 10 Power Strategies that seriously work. It takes everyday situations that you can relate to, sprinkles in a bit of humour (you can’t be serious all the time) and demonstrates how you can achieve personal success — one simple step at a time. Learn More »


Simplify Your Smarts

What’s the point of being smart if nobody understands what you have to say? Have you interacted with someone who is really smart but w