Mad Tea Party (with examples)

Mad Tea Party is a Liberating Structure I’ve recently learned and have already come to love. In the past two weeks, I’ve incorporated this activity into a training class and a working meeting with great results. At the end of this blog I’ll share with you how I adapted this structure for these two groups including the questions I used: …

Coaching Questions for Each Phase of the Change Cycle

It’s human nature to resist change because we are wired to protect ourselves for survival and our bodies experience change as a threat.  Leaders and teams must often respond to changes that are “inflicted” upon them.  It’s the nature of our world which is changing faster and faster each year. Too often, we expect teams to just “buck up” and …

Wouldn’t It Be Cool If…?

Sometimes the best ideas are generated in casual conversations.  Let’s say you are pulling your team together and you want to talk about the culture and environment.  You could use this engagement to check-in at a monthly meeting or to warm them up for a deeper conversation about team strategy. OPTION 1: Simplify and establish a topic/scenario and ask each …

Quiz: Am I as Reliable as I Think I Am?

Often people who are very committed to serving others and have the best of intentions are surprisingly unreliable.  Take that in for a minute… yes, I am saying the sometimes the most hard-working, well-meaning, and committed people are NOT consistently reliable. Could this be true of you?  Take this simple quiz and see what you learn about yourself: How often …

Activity: Laughable Moments

The evidence is in! We need more laughter in the workplace.  Science shows us that laughter has many benefits.  Here are a few benefits of laughter from the Mayo clinic: Enhancing your intake of oxygen-rich air stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles. It also increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. Activating and then relieving your stress response …

Prioritize Ideas with a PICK Chart

After an ideation session where your team has come up with numerous ideas, you need a process to help them choose the best idea(s).  The PICK chart below is Lean Six Sigma tool that is used to sort ideas in order to determine which one(s) are likely to have the greatest Return on Investment (ROI).  After the ideas have been …

3 Lessons Leaders Can Learn from Coach Dabo Swinney

There is something powerful about learning via sports metaphors because our brains are wired to make connections. Metaphors engage and help us understand concepts quickly. The world of sports is ripe with stories that exemplify leadership and teamwork. Dabo Swinney provides an excellent example of a coach who demonstrates leadership skills relevant to a leader in any field.   In case …

360 Assessment for Leaders

360° Feedback for Leaders: Why, What & How

Imagine this scenario: You are working with a senior leader who has been very “successful” in their role, meeting their goals, and objectives.  This leader is driven to make a difference, really cares about their team, the business, and the customer, but something is off.  Their team or peers are really struggling to work with him, and this misalignment is …

3 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Discretionary Effort from Your Team

GUEST BLOGGER: Karla Brandau, Founder of Discretionary Effort Leadership, CEO of Workplace Power Institute On Monday morning, Dana, a team lead, was very excited about the week and what she hoped the team could finish. She walked through the office doors and hurried over to her team’s section of the floor. She noticed only one person working at a desk. …

How to Plan an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

How to Plan an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Looking for an interesting outside adventure to do with your team?  Try this Scavenger Hunt designed by Kathleen Kerr, the Director of Organizational Development & Training with MEMIC (Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company).  This will be ideal if your team is meeting for several days and you want to re-energize them outside.  It will also be a great standalone activity …