Thursday, May 22, 2008

Teams on Thursdays: Leverage Your Team's Strengths

The Gallup organization and researchers such as Marcus Buckingham and Tom Rath have been leaders in the field of strengths based leadership. Many of you will have probably read, or heard of books such as Now, Discover Your Strengths (Buckingham), Go Put Your Strengths to Work (Buckingham) and Rath's StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Here are 3 conclusions from Gallup’s research on conversation, engagement, and strengths:
If your manager primarily ignores you, your chances of being actively disengaged are 40%
If your manager focuses on your weaknesses, your chances of being actively disengaged are 22%
If you manager focuses on your strengths your chances of being actively disengaged are only 1%

What a difference when you look at strengths!

I saw Tom Rath speak last year in Atlanta and was really struck by one of the business metrics that he shared about how important employee engagement, and a strengths based approach can be:

An engaged workforce has 2.6 x the Earnings Per Share (EPS) than a disengaged workforce. That's a pretty significant figure.

What are the strengths present in your team? As individual team members? As a whole team or system?

How easy was it to answer these questions?

There are some fantastic leading edge assessments available to measure and map your team strengths. One that I stand fully behind, and use with teams that I work with, is the Team Diagnostic Assessment. The Team Diagnostic Assessment has also used in companies including Johnson and Johnson, McDonalds, ING, Unilever, Hilton, Bank of America. The Team Diagnostic Assessment provides a mapping of 14 key strengths of a team. Part of the uniqueness of this tool is that it looks at the team as a system (rather than a collection of individuals). As we all know, any change affects the system -- how often do you take a look at your team as a system? The tool was developed by Team Coaching International.

If you would like to learn more about the Team Diagnostic Assessment, I would invite you to contact me.

Let's discuss how this assessment can provide invaluable insights about your team as a system, its strengths and how these can be leveraged to create, or sustain, a high perfomance culture and results. The assessment also includes a one to two day offsite retreat process with the team, grounded in team coaching. I am presently booking presentations (virtual/webinar or onsite) with corporations who are looking for cutting edge tools and processes to support their teams and results later this year.

Global team? No problem -- the assessment can be delivered in 12 languages, and the retreat can be held virtually. Multiple global (intact) teams? I work with a global network of practionners who can also deliver the program in your languge and culture.

Contact me by email or toll free (1-866-217-1960) to learn more about the Team Diagnostic Assessment and how it could support your team(s). I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer{AT}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Teams on Thursday: Creating Quality Communication

I led a seminar yesterday on time management strategies and was reminded of the importance of taking time to reflect on the quality of our communication within teams. Communication is not just about the frequency, it's really all about the quality.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being really, really terrible and 10 being exceptional), how would you rate your communication with team members overall?

  • How frequently do you communicate with your team members face to face or by phone (rather than text or email)?

  • What's the impact of face to face or voice to voice communication over your email communication?

Overutlization of email continues to be a huge barrier to performance within teams. The time that a series of back and forth emails takes, can often be resolved in a five minute phone call.


Over the next week observe what patterns of communicaton are present in your team.

Which communication patterns or activities support the team, its' results and purpose? Which ones aren't effective?

What is one specific action step you can take this month to create quality communication within your team.

Have a great week!


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT

Potentials Realized
Team Coaching
Coaching, Training and Assessments for Team Peformance and Results

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Teams on Thursday: Synergy

Teams on Thursday: Synergy

"Synergy is the highest activity of life; it creates new untapped alternatives; it values and exploits the mental, emotional, and psychological differences between people."
- Stephen Covey

What synergies exist within your team?
How does synergy support you team?
What are the new alternatives which are created from synergizing with others on your team?

Teams allow the principle of "the whole is great than the sum of its parts" to exist in part because of the synergistic nature of the relationship between individuals.

Take note this week of how your team is working together. Is it synergistic or something else?

Have a great week.

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Team Coaching
Toll free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Solid Foundations for Mentoring Relationships

The Art of Relationship : Mentoring
Copyright 2008 - Jennifer Britton. All Rights Reserved

Great Mentoring is all about building strong relationships

Studies have shown that mentoring fails because:

1.Lack of commitment to the relationship
2.Unclear expectations
3.Lack of trust

"For a Mentoring relationship to be effective, both parties must commit the time and energy to work with each other” – Murphy and Ensher

What energy (time and focus) have you invested to your mentoring partnership?

Whether you are a mentor or protege/mentee, create a solid foundation for your mentoring relationship, by holding a first meeting to discuss your expectations, groundrules etc, and consciously shaping your relationship.

Some of the questions you may want to consider discussing include:

  • What are your goals for this relationship?
  • What role do you want me to play?
  • What do you expect from our relationships (for mentor, for protege)?
  • What are our boundaries?
  • How frequently will we meet?
  • If there are milestones or success measures for the protege - what do these look like?
  • What are we committed to?

Even if you've been working together for a while it's never too late to discuss these questions. The stronger your relationship, the more powerful your mentoring experience will be.

Warm wishes,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT

Potentials Realized

Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Would you like to reproduce this article? Please do with our contact details and copyright intact along with the bio below. We would ask for a link to our site and that you provide us a link or copy of where it is published.

Jennifer Britton supports organizations on teamwork and performance issues as a coach, trainer and consultant. She also helps professionals build stronger relationships for enhanced results in the areas of teamwork, leadership and mentoring. She regularly delivers talks, workshops and gruop coaching on these topics to professional associations and organizations. Visit her online at the BizToolkit blog for more tips on mentoring or at her website: Potentials Realized.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Teams on Thursday: Essential Team Reads

Here are a few of my favorite books on teamwork and team issues:

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team -Patrick Lencioni

The Speed of Trust - Stephen Covey

The Wisdom of Teams - Kazenbach and Smith

Mastering VIRTUAL Teams - Duarte and Snyder

The Leadership Challenge - Kouzes and Posner (more about leadership in a team envrionment)

You can pick up several of these at the bookstore I've set up with Amazon here.

A couple of these I am particularly biased about (The Leadership Challenge and the Five Dysfunctions of a Team) as I deliver workshop programs from these models to teams, AND I also know how powerful the models can be for teams.

What are some of your favorite team reads right now?

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960