Goals Insight - Insights E-zine

May 2010

Volume VIII, Number 5

 
In this E-Zine:
  A Few Notes From Cheryl
  Feature Article
  Upcoming Workshops and Teleclasses
  About Cheryl and Goals InSight
 

Insights Archives

 

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Additional Resources:
  Goals InSight website
  2010 Workshop Schedule
  Client Successes
 

Contact Information:

Cheryl Mann, MBA, CPCC
President / Certified Coach
Goals InSight
Team/Department Coaching, Group Facilitation and Workshops
www.goalsinsight.com
Contact us

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A Few Notes From Cheryl

This Month’s Feature Article:  I hope you enjoy this month’s feature article, which is related to our upcoming teleclass!

May 26 Teleclass:  “Communication, Communication, Communication: Break Through Your Team’s Barriers to Success!”   Is your team’s communication contributing positively or negatively to your team’s effectiveness? If your team could be communicating more effectively, mindfully and consistently, you are welcome to join us for this month’s teleclass to learn how to help your team’s communications improve productivity for your organization’s bottom line. See information below or on our Speaking page for details and to register for this f-r-e-e teleclass to help you and your team be more successful!

Thank You for Your Referrals:   A heartfelt thanks to many of you who have recently referred your work colleagues and friends to us. We very much appreciate your telling others about the work that we do and how they could benefit. Referrals from people like you are what allow us to continue making a difference with the work we do with teams and organizations, and your referrals help us continue to grow. Thank you so much for continuing to spread the word!

With heartfelt appreciation,


Cheryl

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Feature Article:  How Are Your Team’s Communications Adapting to the Changing Weather?

Here in the U.S. the weather has been uncharacteristically unpredictable. Yesterday in the San Francisco Bay Area, it was pouring rain, cold and extremely windy one hour, and the next hour the sun was shining and the temperature had warmed up. In other places across the country some areas have been hit hard by rainstorms, tornadoes and other forces of nature, reminding us all of the unpredictability of every moment.

These recent weather patterns remind me of a trek I went on in Thailand several years ago. My partner and I were in Chiang Mai (northern Thailand) on a two-day trek through the mountains, streams and remote villages. Although the sun was starting to come out in some places, it had recently rained, so the already very hilly trails were also extremely muddy. Some of the areas in which we were hiking were shaded from the sun, so the weather there was cool and moist. The terrain as well as the weather changed frequently, keeping us on our toes!

Toward the end of day one, I was ready to be finished (although we were still two hours from camp), as I was exhausted from trying to keep myself upright on all of the very muddy, hilly trails, where sometimes it was misting and other times it was hot and humid! I looked at our guide (a former Buddhist monk) and felt like a five-year old child when I asked him, with a hopeful look, “Are we there yet?” He smiled, understanding that I was tired and gave me some very useful advice “The hills are like life – you have to go up the hills so that you can appreciate the easier, joyful times when you go down the hills, yes?” I smiled back and agreed…yes, indeed…we would not know how to appreciate the good times in life if we did not have the challenging ones as well. At that moment, I realized that my key to success (or just finishing the trek!) would be my ability to be present in each moment, in order to navigate the ever-changing weather and hiking conditions.

With all of the changing weather lately, and in reflecting upon my Thailand experience, I’ve realized that the same is true for teams. One moment a team might be communicating well (easily going “down a hill” in sunny weather), and the next moment a team’s communication might experience a “muddy hill” to climb up, in the midst of a torrential downpour, which requires additional communication, camaraderie and support to get through it successfully. Or, perhaps you’ve been on a team where the communication was going well, but then a “tornado” of communication came through, temporarily destroying all the trust and camaraderie on the team in its path. That team might be left wondering “what just happened?” and may not have the tools to get back on track together.

Because organizational conditions are changing all the time, I encourage teams to periodically check in with each other – to get the latest “conditions” update. When was the last time your team checked in with each other on the team’s communications? If it has been more than a month, NOW might be a great time!

Here are some questions you and your team can explore together, using one of today’s metaphors on weather:

  1. How would we characterize the “weather” in our team’s communications right now?
    Sunny? Stormy? Sunny with clouds on the horizon?

  2. What is contributing to our team’s current “weather” status?
    Is stress about upcoming project deadlines contributing to a cloudy day in your team’s communications? Or, is everyone communicating really well (e.g. communicating with respect, using non-toxic behavior, bringing up “elephants in the room” without fear of conflict, etc.), so that it is a sunny day?

  3. What “weather” does our team want to create moving forward?
    Knowing that things can change in a moment and that we can sometimes influence those moments, what “weather” do we choose for today? The rest of this week? This project?

  4. How will we BE differently as a team, to change the “weather” climate?
    Perhaps this is an opportunity for your team to show up differently with each other – more present, in the moment (without multi-tasking – no blackberries, cell phones, etc.!), so that you can be reminded as a team what it’s like to really listen and communicate with each other without distractions. What else comes to mind that would help your team BE different with each other, to make a positive impact on your team’s communication environment?

  5. What will we DO differently as a team to change the “weather”?
    Making an intentional change in a team’s “weather” or environment might require learning some new communication tools, or perhaps more consistently utilizing the communication tools that your team already has. Perhaps it’s time for the team to create a team contract, or team agreements, so that the team’s communication moving forward will be more intentional and team members will know what to expect from each other.

Just like the Chiang Mai trek, and the changing weather these days, teams typically have ups and downs with how they communicate with each other. I invite you to help your team notice and acknowledge when the team is communicating smoothly – celebrate those times! And, when the “weather” turns to rain, or the path becomes a bit muddier than your team had hoped, help your team learn from their struggles and find new ways to communicate so that you can get the best results possible in your work together.


If your team’s communications could use some fine tuning, feel free to join us for this month’s teleclass! See details below or on our Speaking page

We’re Here to Help


We always appreciate your feedback and love to hear how you implement these tips, so feel free to let me know. If your team needs some help with their “weather patterns” or you’re not sure how team development could make a difference for your team, we’d be happy to set up a complimentary consultation to discuss your team’s specific needs. We’re here to help you and your team be successful!

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Upcoming Workshops

"Communication, Communication, Communication: Break Through Your Team’s Barriers to Success"

2010 Teleclass Series


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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

During this teleclass, you will learn how to:

  • Understand the top 3 reasons why team communications break down
  • Utilize the 3 most critical tools to help your team break through their communication barriers
  • Calculate the bottom-line results of a team’s communication: is your team’s communication costing or contributing to your organization’s bottom line?

For more details and to register click HERE

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"Who Moved My Stress? Transform Stress/Pressure Into Peace and Productivity"

Project Management Institute – Central Valley Forumr
Thursday, May 20, 2010

5:00 to 7:00 pm

Fresno, CA

Do any of the following describe you?

  • Your project team achieves results, but often at the expense of team members burning out from long hours and stressful, pressure-filled work environments
  • Your project team simply can’t perform anywhere near their capacity due to the continual daily stress and pressure
  • You are in transition between projects or jobs, and are feeling the stress and pressure of searching for your next position
  • You want to maintain a positive attitude but find it challenging in today’s environment

By attending this interactive and experiential session, you’ll learn 9 steps, practical tools and tips to help you and your project team move from stress and pressure into peace and productivity, so that you can start achieving more of the results you want to produce.

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

For more details and to register click HERE

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"Reduce Project Stress and Complications:
Critical Communication Factors Beyond the Project Plan"

Project Management Institute – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

5:30 to 9:00 pm

Sir Francis Drake Hotel – 450 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

In order to successfully execute on project deliverables, project management professionals must rely on their teams to function at full capacity to achieve needed results - high-performing teams which have achieved highly-effective modes of communicating are critical! Special tools such as team agreements, understanding how to avoid non-toxic behaviors and many other communication tools for success create these effective communication dynamics.

For more details and to register click HERE

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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 Team Building, 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

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

If you know someone who could benefit from our offerings, would you please forward this e-newsletter with your recommendation?  We appreciate your referrals, as this is how we continue to grow and evolve – thank you in advance!

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