A Glorious Disaster

My recent Glorious Disaster I walked into a leadership team workout for a Fortune 100 company this week and was absolutely shocked with the mindset of the people in the room. I knew that these were very smart people in a successful company with each of them responsible for departments with budgets into the tens of millions. Yet, the attitude was clear as I began, “Go ahead, lets’ see if you can teach me something.”  As we covered guidelines and expectations, arms were folded and a snide comment emerged, “So, are we going to fall into each others arms today?”[…]Read More…

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What if…. someone dominates the debrief?

  What you will See: One person answering most of the questions One person talking excessively. Most participants remaining silent. Likely Causes: The person wanted to show that he or she has the correct answers. Other participants are afraid to differ with the dominant person. The person may dominate the work environment and this is simply reflective of the work environment. How to Prevent it: After the dominant person answers, ask ‘What else?’  This will signal you are looking for alternative possibilities to create discussion. Be patient and wait for additional responses. If you expect one person to dominate, consider[…]Read More…

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What if…. someone gets overly competitive?

  What you will See: Taking the activity too seriously. Bending the rules or cheating. Extreme efforts to win or do better than others. Overly discussing the activity afterward with a focus on strategies and missed opportunities rather than on learning opportunities. Likely Causes: A naturally competitive environment in the workplace like a sales force. Naturally competitive people. Too much focus on the activity from the facilitator. Work environment filled with silos and butt-covering How to Prevent it: Focus the group’s attention on the activity’s purpose and learning goals when introducing it by front-loading the activity. For a naturally competitive[…]Read More…

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Maintenance Techniques to Get People Back on Track

  Facilitative behaviors used during a discussion to help people get back on track: Throw-Back: Team Member: “It is not possible get through this obstacle!” Facilitator: “If it was possible, what would need to happen?” [hr] Share Observations: Facilitator: “It is very quiet.  What does the silence mean?” [hr] Review Group Agreements: Facilitator: “Remember the ground rules we discussed as we begin to talk about this event.” (If there were any established.) [hr] Check-In: If a group is really struggling or people are becoming very frustrated, interrupt the activity and ask: “So what are you doing right now that is[…]Read More…

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Help or Hinder?

Helping or Hindering what? The answer to this question is something that you need to answer in every area of your life.  Once you have determined what it is you would like to create, you can then begin to see how what you are doing is contributing to or taking away from that dream. This works for your work groups, each member of your ‘team’ or group and even your family members. Understanding what the desired outcome is, and recognizing that every action taken will contribute to or take away from that outcome, is a powerful realization and an awesome[…]Read More…

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What if…. the debrief gets out of hand?

What you will see:  A gripe session Arguing or fighting Discussion moving off the topic Side bar discussions Likely Causes: Poor questioning from the facilitator Unresolved team issues How to Prevent it: Be careful of using activities when therapy is a more useful and honest solution. Do not use activities when you are seeking to change the behavior of one or two individuals Avoid questions that will put any single person on the spot. Avoid questions (and activities) that pit one individual against another. What to Do… Step in and stop the discussion before more damage is done by asking[…]Read More…

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What if…. participants don’t join the debrief?

  What you will see: Lack of eye contact with you, especially after you ask a question. Minimal one-word responses to your questions Shoulders shrugging Silence Likely Causes: They did not understand your question You haven’t given them enough time to formulate an answer. They fear embarrassment of a ‘wrong’ answer in front of you or your peers. They are angry about something – may be unrelated to the activity. How to Prevent it: Ask questions slowly and with patience. Pause after each question.  This pause may feel like an eternity to you, but it will give participants the time[…]Read More…

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What if… someone does not want to participate?

  What you will see: Rolling eyes: Lack of eye contact with you, or used negative body language Negative comments about the activity or the experience Direct comments they do not want to participate Likely causes: Past experiences that were unproductive or unpleasant Not understanding the purpose or value of what you are doing How to prevent it: Be clear about the purpose Be sure the purpose of the activity is relevant to the group and the challenges of the group What to do: Unless it is critical, don’t make a big deal of it. Remind them this is a[…]Read More…

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Join or Judge

This a powerful technique to check in with people and help them make better decisions. Join or Judge is similar to Help or Hinder, but is *just* different enough to merit providing this for you and this is better used by pulling a person aside for a moment. Many people would rather sit back and criticize – judge – instead of joining in and stepping ‘outside their comfort zone’ and ‘Join’. Do not be upset by this.  It is completely natural and normal because we have been taught that judging is perfectly acceptable behavior while joining is mocked, “Looks like[…]Read More…

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