Category Archives: teamwork

The Law of Thirds

The law of thirds works with teams, but also with just about anything you choose to spend your time on. How can you reduce the time you spend on the negative, and spend more time, effort, and energy on the positive?


Which Way Loyalty?

Which team is more important to you – the team you lead (your loyalty is downwards), or the team you belong to (your loyalty is upwards)? Think of your answer, then watch this Patrick Lencionni video:


The Cost of Not Saying Anything

As a leader, no matter what your position, you need to find a way to speak up when needed. There is a huge cost to not speaking up:


Three Keys to Getting Along

Consider awareness, amiability, and acceptance in terms of being persuasive and influential, as told by a former FBI counter-intelligence officer and interrogator.

A Caring Mindset

Straightforwardness, thoughtfulness, accountability, and resolve.

…the elements of a caring mindset. Do you think this would help you professionally and why?


Thanks Jeff for the recommendation

How to Spot a Great Team

Some leaders of teams that don’t regularly succeed will still insist that they have a great team because team members care about one other and no one ever leaves the team. A more accurate description of their situation would be to say that they have a mediocre team that enjoys being together and isn’t terribly bothered by failure. See, no matter how good a leadership team feels about itself, and how noble its mission might be, if the organization it leads rarely achieves its goals, then, by definition, it’s simply not a good team.

The Advantage – Patrick Lencioni

The Customer Experience

Last week I had the pleasure of experiencing a CEO Summit sponsored by Results Canada and led by John Spence. A couple of the gems I captured in my workbook:

“The customer experience with never exceed the employee experience”, and

“Picture your lowest performing employee. Now realize they set the standard of excellence for your entire company.” (This one scared me a little.)

5 Signs That You Should Quit Your Job Today

Making the decision is hard, especially if it feels like we’re giving up or failing. Sometimes things won’t change no matter what you do.

5 Signs That You Should Quit Your Job Today

What Not To Do At Your Company Christmas Party

Timely and funny. “Don’t dance like nobody’s watching. Because they are.” is my favourite:

Company Christmas Party

Mean Girls in the Workplace

I tripped across another little gem in my blog reading this week, published in the Harvard Business Review. While they publish much which is good, I choked on this paragraph:

“2. Co-Create New Rules of Engagement. When managers share the process of defining new expectations, they create foster both individual and collective ownership of the problem. “Organizations function best when committed people work in cooperative relationships based on respect,” as Henry Mintzberg has written. “Commitment becomes contagious when people realize its immense benefits not only to the organization but to themselves.””

I really have no idea what this means, or what I’m supposed to do with it. If I step back and think about it, I’m not even sure what the author means by “mean girls”. “Mean” is a judgment, not a behaviour. We can give feedback on behaviours, but the judgement is ours to own.

When we tell one of our staff that they’re mean, or a jerk, or gossiping, what’s their reaction going to be?

“No I’m not.”

. . . and they’re right. Them being a jerk is your conclusion after observing their behaviour. You can go back and forth all day playing the “Yes you did – no I didn’t game” if you want. Not the best use of your time though.

My recommendation is to focus on the behaviour when giving feedback. The things that people do is behaviour. Behaviour is the stuff you can see, hear, and feel. It’s the words we use, the tone of voice, our facial expression, our body language, and our work product. What you saw is fact, not a conclusion that you drew from observed behaviour. It can’t be argued with. What does being a bully, a jerk, or a gossip look like? Describe that behaviour in concrete terms.

We can then describe the consequences, and then get a commitment  to behave differently in the future. Consequences is where the judgment comes in if needed. For example: “Jeff, when we’re in a customer meeting and you roll your eyes, put your hands behind your head, lean back in your chair, and exclaim in a loud voice “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”, it makes you look like a jerk. Can you stop doing that? “

**many thanks to the Manager Tools Podcast for setting my feet on the path of righteousness on this issue.