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A Few Notes From Cheryl

August teleclass:   Please join us for this month’s teleclass on August 26 at 12:00 Pacific / 3:00 Eastern time for “Give ‘em Something to Talk About: 4 Steps to Improve your Team’s Communication for Better Results!”  See full details and registration below or on our  Speaking page.  Be sure to mark your calendars for the 4th Wednesday of every month (through October) at 12:00 Pacific / 3:00 Eastern time for the rest of the teleclass series.

Upcoming San Francisco Workshops:   Since many of you in Northern California often ask about upcoming workshops / presentations, I wanted to let you know that I will be speaking at two events soon - be sure to check out the “Upcoming Workshops” information below.

Feature Article:  In the spirit of this month’s teleclass on team communication, this month’s feature article is designed to give you an opportunity to invite your team into an important conversation they may not have had until now. Enjoy!

Warmest regards,


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Feature Article:  Are You Giving Your Team Something to Talk About?

We recently received a call from a client who said “Overall, my team is doing really well – we’re high performing and we get great results. But, we need some help – I want to create greater awareness of how each team member is impacting our team dynamics. We have some members of our team who are more talkative than others, and I’d really like to see our team ensure that everyone participates and says what’s on their minds, not just those who are more outgoing. Can you help us?”

Does this sound familiar? Many teams tell us that “not all of their team voices are being heard” is holding them back from more effective meetings as well as other communications.

If this describes your team, there are a few things you might consider:

  1. Create an opportunity for your team to talk about what’s really going on

Many teams don’t take the time to talk about the important aspects of their communications, so you might want to schedule a meeting to talk about what’s working and not working with your team’s communications. Help your team get REAL with each other – invite them to have a very open and honest conversation, with the intention of creating a solution moving forward for any areas of desired improvement.

Remember, too, the importance of a concept called “deep democracy” – i.e., it is critical that all voices and perspectives of a team are heard, especially the “less popular” ones. So, when you’re inviting your team to get real with each other, be sure to elicit diverse opinions from team members, even if those ideas might create conflict (healthy conflict is important to a team’s effectiveness!).

  1. Help your team see the impact of their communications on each other

For many teams, this means slowing down the communications so that they don’t just move from one topic to the next, but actively listen to each other and then check in to ensure they heard the message correctly. This is an important aspect of communication in today’s work environments, especially when teams are moving so quickly from one project to the next.

It’s also important for your team to notice if the team dynamics are out of balance – in other words, are some team members dominating the conversation, thereby leaving little time or space for the more quiet members? Or, are a few team members talking right over their colleagues, perhaps without even noticing? Help your team talk about the impact that their communications are having on each other – help them see when not all voices of the team are being heard, and help your team invite their colleagues to participate in the discussion.

When I’m working with a team, I will sometimes stop the communication and help the team hit the “pause button” so that they can see the impact of the communication that just occurred. We “rewind” by reviewing what was just said, how the message was interpreted, and then ask each of the involved team members what it was like to observe the interaction. This can be a very enlightening exercise, as most team members don’t typically take time to stop and really notice the impact of their communications, or the impact on the other team members who weren’t even talking (remember the non-verbal aspects, too!).

  1. Reach out for support if needed

In order for these types of discussions to be most beneficial for your team, you and your team must create a safe space and some agreements / ground rules about how they’ll hold the conversations. It’s also important to help your team effectively navigate these courageous discussions when obstacles, heated emotions and/or unpredictable twists and turns in the conversations arise.

If this process sounds difficult or complicated, remember - as a leader, you don’t have to do it all yourself! If facilitating these types of team conversations is not an area of strength for you, or if it is too difficult to lead as well as participate in these types of discussions, you may want to bring in help to support your team in these conversations. Perhaps your organization has an Organizational Development department that you can request facilitation help from. Or, you’re welcome to contact us to see how we might help support your efforts. We receive many calls from leaders who want to be able to fully participate in the discussions with their team and not have to worry about trying to effectively facilitate the discussions as well.

Accountability and Possibilities:

There is always something that we can do to help our teams become more skilled in communication! It begins with personal accountability – knowing that in every moment, we have the power to impact team dynamics in a positive or negative way. The choice is yours (and your team’s) – so give your team something to talk about this Fall!

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Upcoming Workshops

“Give ‘em Something to Talk About: 4 Steps to Improve Your Team’s Communication for Better Results" - 2009 Teleclass Series

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

12:00 noon - 1:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Eastern

During this teleclass, you will learn how to:

  1. Create better communication awareness with your team by making the connection to improved camaraderie and performance
  2. Provide your team with communication tools they need to improve their effectiveness
  3. Learn the secret of the most effective communication tool of all

For complete details with all dates in this series and to register click HERE


“Who Moved My Stress? Transform Project Team Pressure Into Peace & Productivity!"

Project Management Institute – Silicon Valley

Saturday, October 3, 2009

8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Sunnyvale Community Center – Sunnyvale, CA

If you’re ready to help your project team be more productive, less stressed, and have more fun while getting better results, this workshop is for YOU!

By attending this workshop, project professionals will be able to:

  1. Realize the connection between relaxation, camaraderie and high performing teams
  2. Learn to utilize the “every reaction is a choice” tool to decrease stress when under pressure
  3. Measure your current level of stress / pressure
  4. Create a team vision of less stressed, more relaxed team interactions that yield better team results
  5. Learn to help team members set priorities and say “no” to requests that fall outside of the project team’s “peaceful productivity plan”
  6. Recognize that project team members are your greatest resources
  7. Identify a method to check in on team member stress as well as productivity
  8. Create a support structure so everyone can invest in their own self care: work-life balance, nutrition, rest, exercise and FUN!
  9. Schedule time every day to integrate relaxation and peacefulness into your team’s work
  10. Hold each other accountable to maintaining a highly-productive, more fun/less stressed environment
  11. Create a “peaceful productivity action plan” with specific “next steps” and accountability

For more information and to register:   Project Management Institute – Silicon Valley


"Turn it up During a Downturn – How to Lead Your Team to Increased Productivity Despite Budget Cuts"

Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association – National Leadership Conference

Thursday, November 19, 2009

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Westin St. Francis, San Francisco, CA

Current economic times present opportunities for healthcare leaders to stretch their capacity to new levels, requiring skill mastery and tapping into deeper levels of intuition far beyond the status quo in order to thrive.

This workshop will provide insights and tools participants need to reveal their hidden capacity to not just become better leaders, but to lead more productive teams, even with limited resources. It IS possible to improve productivity, even during budget cuts.

During this seminar, participants will learn how to:

  • Improve productivity by recognizing the crucial connection to optimized team relationships -- and learning techniques to improve those relationships
  • Discover how stress is often a hidden block to team productivity and learn stress reduction techniques that shift mindsets from fear, pressure and survival mode to long term success mode
  • Develop skills to teach and lead your team to “do more with less” with newly discovered leadership capabilities

Complete details and registration information:  Click Here


Team Building Events and Off-Site Meetings:

Could your team use some help to be more cohesive?
Is it time to enhance your team's relationships and productivity?

Some teams know that something isn't working, but they don't know exactly what that is or how to improve it. Some organizations hold team building seminars and employee retreats because they know it's time to enhance their teams' productivity and relationships. Do either of those statements describe you/your team? If so, and if you haven't already contacted us to discuss your needs, feel free to give us a call to see if we can help you.

We offer a variety of programs to enhance the performance of your teams as well as improve the ways in which your teams interact, so we invite you to visit our Training and Seminar page.   This is a great way to show appreciation for your team and enhance their productivity, thereby improving the bottom line for your organization!

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About Goals InSight, Inc.

Goals InSight helps organizations achieve their desired results in the following ways - click on any of the links for details:

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