Seniors Care – Speaking & workshops


Need a speaker for your upcoming leadership meeting or conference?

An internationally acclaimed professional speaker, Mary Ellen Sanajko is an expert at helping leaders and teams in Seniors Care elevate their skills and culture in order to catapult growth and provide a wonderful experience for residents and families.

Her keynotes and workshops engage audiences with enthusiasm and excitement for what’s possible, and gives them specific tips and techniques to take their work to the next level.
Her style is interactive, thoughtful, lively, and … well … a little irreverent.

If you think we might be a fit, please reach out to discuss your needs.


My work is constantly evolving, and the following topic summaries are snapshots of recent offerings. Please consider these as starting points for the perfect workshop or keynote. Click on the links below to find out more.

Compassionate Leadership for Compassionate Care

A recent poll found more than 80% of recently hospitalized patients said compassionate care can make a life-or-death difference. I don’t think Seniors Care residents are any different from hospital patients.

Compassionate leadership is about creating a compassionate culture … for staff and residents.

Except when researchers surveyed more than 1,000 leaders from 800 organizations, 91% of them said compassion is very important for their leadership and 80% said they would like to enhance their compassion but don’t know how.

Feel the same way? 

Getting a handle on the how-to’s of Compassionate Leadership is our focus for this interactive and thought-provoking workshop. We’ll tackle:

  • How do you lead compassionately … especially when there’s so much to do? And where does Compassionate Leadership make the biggest difference in Seniors Care?
  • Is there room for being a Compassionate Leader when you need to discipline staff?
  • What are the 3 vital skills to Compassionate Leadership so you create and nurture a compassionate work environment … where staff provide person-centered care?

Peaceful Mind, Happy Heart

The Emotionally Intelligent path to Mindful Leadership in Seniors Care. An excerpt from the Search Inside Yourself program.

Do you think about what makes somebody a great leader in Seniors Care? I think about it all the time.

I see managers moving at mach-5 with their hair on fire, trying to super-efficient or a master “do-er” … and frequently missing the boat. Because great leaders are more about who they’re being, versus all that they do.

They manage their minds and emotions to inspire and influence others … even in the face of change, complexity, and a seemingly endless task list.

This keynote is an introduction to the highly acclaimed Search Inside Yourself program that was born at Google, based on neuroscience, and been proven to reduce stress, improve focus, raise peak performance, and improve interpersonal relationships.

This 60- or 90-minute event integrates individual and hands-on exercises to focus attention, calm the mind, and enhance connection and compassion … all vital skills for being one of those great Seniors Care leaders.

But when do I sleep? 4 Workable Steps to Time Management Success in Seniors Care

In the last 72 hours at work you’ve likely had more priority-shifting inputs than our parents would’ve had in a year. What’s new is the volume and frequency of change, especially in your work as a Seniors Care leader.

Crises occur, conflicting priorities crop up, families and staff need support, reports need to be completed – the question is, are you able to engage with things as quickly as they’re coming in, determine what they mean, trust your intuitive decision on how they fit with your other commitments, and get them done?

To be as successful as we know we can be, we need new tools to be able to navigate the speed and complexity of Seniors Care.

In this highly experiential and interactive workshop, participants learn 4 workable steps to time management success in Seniors Care and leave the session with 3 efficiency engines that will make a dent right away.

Most importantly though? You’ll commit to one action that excites and inspires you … and gets you closer to being the kind of leader you want to be, more consistently.

Viva Retirement Communities

Previously we’d had disappointing experiences with external trainers. They were really motivational speakers—entertaining, but not very hands-on. And they didn’t really understand our unique culture or the Seniors Care sector.

But Mary Ellen got it! She was in tune with our culture and our language. And she translated our needs into a practical and thought-provoking 2-day leadership conference that engaged everyone from the start.

Mary Ellen’s training has moved our communities to a new level of accountability and transparency. Issues are dealt with quickly; once-avoided conversations are actually happening; and discussions leaders struggled with are done in 10-15 minute conversations. Our communities are so pumped. They’re doing amazing! I couldn’t ask for more. Mary Ellen’s training achieved exactly what I wanted.

I would highly recommend Mary Ellen and Conduit Coaching to Seniors Care organizations with a strong culture who want to take their accountability and strategic mindset to the next level.

Michelle Chisholm

Director of Operations, V!VA Retirement Communities


604 873 0350


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