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How To Build And Manage Remote Teams

How to build and manage remote teams during the COVID19 pandemic? Start with a reality check: this is the new normal! Time to make a fresh start!

No more rush hour traffic, lower gas prices, no more office-attire constraints. No more trying to look busy while watching the clock! Woohoo! Yippee-NOT!

For millions of people, the luxury of not having to go to the office is actually a misery. Being on lockdown and working from home is causing as much stress as pressing through gridlocked traffic and shlepping to work did back in the pre-CCOVID19 days.

Many are clamoring to get out and get their old lives back—jogging, partying, beachcombing, bar-hopping, barber shopping, theater-going, gym-jamming, mani-pedicuring—living life on their own terms without fear!

And the billions in lost revenue to companies large and small makes it really tempting to break free in order for people to recover their sanity and for businesses to recoup lost profits.

Unfortunately for those of us who are holding our breaths waiting for the good old days to return, we’ll probably turn blue and blackout before that happens. According to medical experts, social distancing saves lives. So remote entrepreneurship and team building are the new normal—at least for now.

How to build and manage remote teams—own the new normal

So instead of “waiting to exhale,” let’s take a deep breath and regroup.

Decentralized, office-less work-life is not new to everyone. Before COVID19 nearly 4 million workers telecommuted at least half of the time each week. As of 2017,  as many as 8 million employees worked remotely fulltime.

The fact is that from boutique companies to behemoth corporations, telecommuting saves corporate America billions of dollars every year, to the tune of  $11,000 per worker. How? By reducing or eliminating costs from absenteeism, electricity, water, building maintenance, janitorial services, on-site security, furniture, parking, office supplies, and other expenses. In many ways, telecommuting is better for the environment and the economy. 

Nevertheless, getting used to it is still going to be a challenge for newcomers to the scheme. After all, most of us don’t have to think about, equipment availability and liability, or internet bandwidth, and cybersecurity—in our homes!

How to build and manage remote teams—reboot your leadership style

The great irony of this conflagration is that social distancing and sheltering in place are driving leaders to reboot their leadership styles.

Communication and collaboration look and feel differently now. Assessing employee productivity must be measured differently as well. Remote team building and management will require leaders to focus more on employees as people than as cogs in a company machine.

DiSC personality training may be the most powerful tool you can have in your arsenal as you help each of your team members navigate through this strange season.

DiSC stands for the 4 basic personality types: Dominant, Influential, Steadfast/Supportive, and Conscientious. Understanding these personality types can help you recalibrate your leadership approach based on the temperaments of your staff. Each has a dominant personality profile and DiSC personality training will teach you how to recognize it.

How to build and manage remote teams—humanize your leadership style

Developing “soft skills” is a hard concept for some Type-A managers to embrace, but they’re crucial to leading remote teams.

For some workers, the solitude will be paradise because they like working alone more than on teams. For others, the solitude will be numbing and the silence will be deafening. They need the noise and social contact to stimulate their grey cells—so for them being on lockdown will feel like a cell-a jail cell!

DiSC training will help you assess each employee’s work environment, and any needs for support—technical, workflow, emotional, or otherwise.

And DiSC can heighten your own level of self-awareness by identifying your personality profile. This insight can help you determine which of your personal attributes to draw on as you deal with individual staff members. And indeed, you will have to individualize your leadership in order to maintain team culture—yet another irony in the COVID19 era.

DiSC training will help you learn how to listen and actually hear more fully what each staffer is saying…as well as what they’re not saying. You’ll learn how to recognize grief and loneliness in some of your workers, and most importantly, you’ll be able to encourage them.

Remote team building and management require compassion, sensitivity, and patience. These are foreign concepts in the traditional workplace. But the pandemic has turned tradition on its head. DiSC personality profile training will help everyone adjust to this brave new world.


Charitable Team Building In A Crisis

Charitable team building in a crisis can help your community at its greatest hour of need and develop stronger bonds among your workers than ever before.

“Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.”-Henry Ford

How has the pandemic affected your ability to serve your clients? Don’t try to fake it, with a bogus “marketing spin” because, in this current chaotic climate, you won’t make it!

Be as honest as you can be and own the new normal of COVID19 along with them. Explore how their needs for your goods or services may have changed. Then look for ways that you can partner with your customers to weather the storm together.

One way to facilitate this kind of brainstorming is to launch a full-on campaign to better learn how to adjust your leadership style during this crisis. Your business model may have to change, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if your relationships with customers grow stronger.

“In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path – the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love.” -Amit Ray

Ironically, charitable team building in a crisis is a golden opportunity to ramp up your commitment to corporate social responsibility. Now is the time to increase the company’s goodwill throughout your city!

First of all, look at how COVID19 is impacting your town and identify ways you can help. Next, conduct a marathon of online charitable team building workshops that literally blanket your whole community.

For example, local first responders need all the support they can get. One way you can help is to provide toys for distribution to sick, injured, or abused children. Working remotely from home, your colleagues can send a batch of Rescue Buddies to police officers and other emergency care heroes to give to kids they encounter during fires, domestic violence incidents, and other traumas. These so-called Rescue Buddies are stuffed bears, birds, and other BFF-beasties made for cuddling by kids who need something wonderful to cling to. 

Next up: through the magic of online technology, your team can conduct a Bike-A-Thon arranging for the delivery of brand new bikes to a local charity like the Boys and Girls Club for distribution to needy kids. They may not be able to go far, for the sake of social distancing, but they can ride in their yards and enjoy a bit of fresh air. 

From coast to coast, the ranks of the unemployed have exploded and so have the number of hungry mouths to feed! Millions of these people have never had to confront the trauma of unemployment and hunger and most never been to a food bank in their lives!

You can help ease their anguish and boost your employees’ morale at the same time. No doubt the food banks in your area will welcome any available help to serve this increasing need. So why not donate a dinner or two or more so that some newly cash-strapped families can have a healthy meal. 

And in some cities, teachers are joining forces to provide food for kids who are on lockdown at home. Why? Because for millions of poor children the only meals they received came from the school itself. Here again, is an opportunity for charitable team building in a crisis to save the day and fill some hungry bellies.

“A leader leads, and a boss drives.”–Theodore Roosevelt

Your “boss” instincts, notwithstanding, your leadership skills have never been more desperately needed or sorely tested than they are right now. 

Magic Johnson said, “When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are.” Step up and show your community that your company is a true friend who’s willing to stay the course with them throughout this calamity.


How To Lead During a State of Emergency

How to lead during a state of emergency—depends on your point of view.

Glass half-empty view: The current pandemic has bombarded us all with more information than we can filter. Social media hysteria, conspiracy theories, and news updates—some legitimate; some “fake”— they leave our heads reeling and our hearts pounding. 

Fear is spreading so thickly you can cut it with a  knife. And when fear escalates it also paralyzes. According to this worldview, the answer to the question of how to lead during a state of emergency is probably “To heck with leading;  just try to keep the company from sinking!”

Glass half-full view: The national mandate to shelter-in-place has provided millions of us with solitude for self-reflection. At home, we have the luxury of hitting the remote and silencing the cacophony of voices spewing facts and stats at us 24/7.

According to this worldview, the answer to the question of how to lead during a state of emergency is probably “What a golden opportunity to embrace innovation!”

How to lead during a state of emergency—Dream big!

COVID19 is a complete game changer! If as a company, you try to hold your breath until it goes away, you’ll implode! Business-as-usual is almost a distant memory. 

But that can be a good thingif you’re open to it. The great American workplace is reinventing itself daily, which means we’re no longer trapped by the business protocols or traditions of the past! 

True, we are trapped in our homes, but again, that can be a good thingif you’re open to it. Getting used to the solitude can be daunting for those of us who can’t think without some kind of hustle-and-bustle around us. But if you embrace it, you may find yourself in the midst of some pretty constructive daydreams. 

“If only I could____.” How would you fill in that blank? Have you had a few ideas you’ve wanted to pitch to the higher-ups? Well now may be the time to polish them off and shoot them upline.

Remember how many times you yearned for a better work-life balance? Well voila here’s your chance as a leader, to give yourself and your staff the flexible hours you’ve dreamed of for ages.

Of course, the expression that “the grass is always greener,” is true, so neither you nor your staff should be surprised if it actually takes more time management skills and discipline now that you’re at home. 

Brainstorming vs. commiserating

Instead of holding online meetings during which you commiserate and pine for the good “old” days, use this time to brainstorm innovative ideas.

For example, your company has been successful up to now. Celebrate that fact and think about what did you did right and how you can keep on doing it? No doubt, there’s an app for that! And if there ain’t one, well create one! Dare to be great! Innovate!

Let your team go wild tossing ideas about! Provide the freedom to throw caution to the wind by empowering them to take risks. That is, make it safe for them to share ideas—even the wonky ones. And reward the failures! Yes, that’s right! Reward everyone who’s willing to risk the “stigma” of failure by congratulating them for thinking outside the box or even by reshaping the box!  

Regroup and reset for better team building

Way back in 2019 during the typical daily grind, your familiarity with each member of your team was probably project-deadline-driven. This is the perfect time to reassess your talent pool and identify some skills and talents that may not have been obvious in the board room.

A company-wide DiSC personality training campaign would be an ideal way to start. DiSC means Dominant, Influential, Steadfast, and Conscientious— the 4 basic personality types we all share in some measure.

DiSC training sessions are safe places to explore the inner workings of a person’s character without their feeling defensive, self-protective, or guarded.

The more people understand each other—what makes them behave the way they do; why they communicate the way they do—the easier it is to work with them. When you know what makes a person tick, you know what to expect from them—and what not to expect. 

How to lead during a state of emergencydon’t let the crisis define you.

One of the benefits of the DiSC personality profile training is that you’ll become more self-aware. You will recognize weaknesses and learn ways to strengthen them. But most importantly, you will begin to appreciate your strengths and how to maximize them when they’re needed most!

You were a great leader before COVID19 and you still are. Own that fact and enjoy the journey of discovering just how much greater you can be!


The Benefits of Combining DiSC and Charity Workshops

One of the benefits of combining DiSC and charity workshops is that together they can help turn a toxic environment into a healthy one.

Take Candy, for example. She is a district manager at a midsize company on the East Coast. But don’t let her name fool you. She had mastered the art of sweet and compliant behavior in front of her superiors, but with subordinates, her disposition soured quickly.

She was ruthlessly demanding to everyone under her supervision—even those who busted their humps every day to please her. Rumors about her caustic demeanor abounded, but the big chiefs were loathed to rebuke her because she got results.

Mercifully, one of her peers observed her behavior and suggested to the CEO that they conduct an intervention. Miraculously, he agreed. That’s where our team came in. He invited Magnovo to conduct both DiSC personality discovery training and a charitable team building workshop with a dozen of the company’s other district managers, of which, ironically Candy was the best.

DiSC: the magic mirror

Another of the benefits of combining DiSC and charity workshops is that they reveal what makes people tick and then provide hands-on activities for colleagues to practice learning how to work together better.

DiSC is a small acronym for a big tool. It stands for Dominant, Influential, Steadfast, and Conscientious. These four profile descriptions are the building blocks of every personality on earth. Most of us have a least one main personality type and understanding the characteristics of each one makes it easier to understand the people we have to deal with every day.   

For example, a coworker with a Conscientious personality profile may prefer to work alone instead of in a group. Quick decision-making probably won’t be one of his strengths, but he’ll likely be a champion when it comes to data analysis and strategies based on the intel he gleans.

Candy was a textbook D: Dominating, demanding,  deal maker! Yup! Dominants rarely win congeniality contests, but they are lauded for rallying the troops and getting the job done on budget and on time. That was Candy’s forte and her bosses loved her for it. 

Candy’s DiSC session was small and intimate. She met off-site with the CEO, her supervisor, and our facilitator in a quiet comfortable suite—an environment that was both welcoming and relaxing. 

And that mattered because DiSC personality discovery is designed to be non-threatening and non-judgmental. Self-awareness can be a scary proposition, triggering fear and defensiveness. Our goal is always to make our participants feel safe lowering their guard so that we can help open their eyes. 

DiSC: the open door

And of course, in the process, her bosses’ eyes were open as well. For example, it turned out that her mother was gravely ill, and as the primary caregiver, Candy was stretched beyond her limits. This accounted for the escalation of tension in her department. 

She wasn’t simply being a monster—she just had a monstrously heavy load on her back. And as a typical Dominant, she was determined to handle it on her own, confiding in no one because she figured her shoulders were made to handle it.

Candy was genuinely touched by her company’s willingness to invest in her by conducting this session. She was relieved to finally talk about her mom and was surprised at how sympathetic her bosses were to her plight. 

Gradually she began to recognize how what she regarded as her most positive attributes could actually cause problems among her coworkers and subordinates. And when we trained her in some self-awareness exercises and interpersonal skills she could adopt, she was eager to comply. But she needed a chance to start applying everything she’d learned.

Practicing charity makes perfect

And that’s another one of the benefits of combining DiSC and charity workshops: you get to put new skills into practice in a safe setting.  Shortly after our DiSC personality training session, we conducted one of our favorite charitable team building workshops with Candy and the other district managers, as well as some of her subordinates.

During Hospital Helpers workshops, participants collect items to help hospital patients pass the time more easily.  Toiletries like lotion, hand sanitizer, and toothpaste. Doctor-approved munchies like crackers, candy, cookies, and gum. Novels, magazines, crossword and puzzle books, even miniature boardgames can provide hours of comfort.

This kind of event is inspiring because colleagues get to pull together when it matters most. For Candy, it was a poignant experience because of her mother’s situation. And when the team found out, they sympathized with her and she was actually able to receive their compassion graciously and gratefully.

We learned some months later that as quickly as all of the rancor about Candy had spread, so too did the news about her being a good person with a lot on her plate. And she learned to temper her “drive” to succeed without driving everyone crazy!

The benefits of combining DiSC and charity workshops can be pretty sweet. Just ask Candy.


The Power of Communication

The world is collectively walking through an unprecedented health crisis with the arrival of Covid-19. With mounting restrictions and prolonged separation, the rising question among many companies and organizations is this: how do we elevate morale and encourage team unity in the midst of this pandemic? You will surely hear many tips and tricks to keep your productivity high, but we believe there’s one principle that rises above the rest. Communication is key.

Author and former presidential speech writer James Humes once said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” Clear, effective, and consistent communication is crucial, now more than ever.  

Clear communication is comforting.

Lack of clarity can lead to anxiety, decreasing trust and productivity. You have the power to ease tension and increase team loyalty by giving clear details about goals, priorities, and best practices. Clarity today will produce camaraderie tomorrow. 

Effective communication is empowering.

You know how your team members receive and process information, which means you have the ability to communicate in a way that mobilizes them. Call out the strengths and skills of your team as you provide them with an empathetic approach to the clients and customers you serve. Purposeful communication today will produce powerful teamwork tomorrow.

Consistent communication is kind.

Many of you are no longer working in the same physical space, which has limited the amount of casual interactions that make your team feel seen and valued. During this time of separation, increase your touch points. Doing so will show your team that you care, and compassion is contagious. Consistency today will produce compassion tomorrow.

There’s no denying it — communication will carry you through this crisis. How can you carry these principles into your new reality?


How To Build Trust in a Leadership Team

During crises like the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of businesses are struggling to stay afloat and find answers to how to build trust in a leadership team. One ideal way is to spring into action and help someone in your community. 

The impact of the pandemic on animals could be almost as devastating to animals as to humans. Before the coronavirus struck, as many as 7.5 million animals wound up in shelters each year. That staggering number is expected to skyrocket unless homes can be found for these innocent, homeless animals.

Why pets end up in shelters

Most pet parents don’t stop loving their pets. The problem is that sometimes life itself can get in the way: a new job in a new town; a new baby; or adapting to a new lifestyle as a widower or divorcee. Each of these milestones—good and bad—can be so overwhelming that there’s no room for a pet in the home or the daily routine of the pet owner.

How to build trust in a leadership team—be a hero!

These and other circumstances compel millions of pet owners to surrender their fur-babies to local shelters. The current pandemic is forcing thousands of animal shelters to close their doors. This means they’re all scrambling to find foster parents or forever homes for their animals. 

Many shelter managers are even waiving medical and adoption fees to assure the animals are safe and sound before they close their doors. And because there is no medical evidence that domestic animals can transmit the COVID19 virus, it is deemed safe for these animals to be adopted.

Many shelter animals are already house-trained, socialized, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. Most wound up in the shelter through no fault of their own. They just need a chance to be safe and loved.

Coming to the rescue of helpless shelter animals in your community may be a golden opportunity for you to be the hero in a neighbor’s time of need. And you can do it safely without putting your staff in harm’s way.

How to build trust in a leadership team—charity!

Charitable workshop events are the best team bonding exercises because bonding exercises build relationships and trust is based on relationships. 

For many animal lovers, pet ownership is a dream they can’t afford to make come true right now. The costs for medical care, food, and basic upkeep are beyond the limits of many family budgets. Participants in our Happy Tails Charity Team Building Workshop provide the financial relief many families need to “unleash” their pet-passions and make that commitment.

Workshop team members collect and donate leashes, food and water bowls, scratching posts, beds, blankets, pillows, flea collars, chew toys, stuffed animals, and other essentials to prospective dog and cat parents.

The process of assembling these petcare kits as a team will hone your staff’s communication and collaborative skills. And this is exactly the kind of  bonding exercise that can strengthen their “heart muscles.” Partnering with a local animal shelter can bolster your sense of civic and corporate social responsibility. Go online and reach out to a shelter in your community that is desperate to place their animals in safe, loving homes.

April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. Plan now to help some pets find homes. Your acts of kindness during our  Happy Tails Charity Team Building Workshop will transform your staff and strengthen the bonds among your team members like you would never imagine! You’ll have many happy tales to tell.


How Does The Manager Build Trust In Their Teams?

Recently,  we received a frantic query from a newly minted manager at a small but thriving business in the midwest. His question: how does the manager build trust in their teams? Our answer was a simple one—take a look at yourself using DiSC personality profile training as your mirror!

Our team came to the rescue and saw first hand just what an eye-opener DiSC can be particularly for ambitious executives who lack self-awareness. 

DiSC is an acronym for Dominant, Influential, Steadfast, and Conscientious. These 4 personality types are universal and apply to virtually every human being on the planet. Most of us lean more toward 1 or 2 types; but in the main, we possess a little bit of each.

Trembling on the ladder of success

We’ll call this manager Jake. He was relatively new to the job of manager and it showed. A Gen-Xer, he’s been with the company for 20 years. It had been a hard slog, but he gradually moved up the ladder; when his boss retired he landed the job of his dreams. He was a hard worker, and pretty ambitious, but his managerial skills needed to be honed. 

Jake’s was a solid “C” or Conscientious personality type. Translation: he was more comfortable working solo on projects.  He loved meeting goals, so just give him a directive and leave him alone! And his decisions were always based on objective facts instead of emotions. 

Ironically, he was more task-driven than people-driven, but he could smell insincerity from a mile away. He wasn’t exactly a killjoy, but he wasn’t the life of the party either. His demeanor was usually serious and thoughtful.

Several of his top people were Millennials many of whom were babies when he started with the company. In fact, he had a couple of kids who were older than some of his staffers.

 The previous boss, a Baby Boomer, was a high “I” on the DiSC spectrum. He had an outgoing personality and, unlike Jake, he absolutely loved working with the Millennials!

Boss, know thyself!

When it came to understanding their new boss, Jake’s subordinates had an awkward learning curve. First off they noted that he liked every “I” dotted and every “T” crossed, and the more info the better.

What they struggled with the most was how slowly and cautiously he made decisions. He was overly cautious and overly self-critical. And sadly, his perfectionism could sometimes spill over, run amuck, and frustrate the heck out of his staff. In a situation like this, how does the manager build trust in their teams?

In Jake’s case, his DiSC personality profile made him more self-aware and opened his eyes to his own work style. Because DiSC is non-judgmental, it’s also not threatening. So instead of being defensive, Jake felt safe exploring his own quirks and seemed eager to learn how to be a better person and a more successful professional.

Exposing the man behind the curtain

Jake was a wizard when it came to data management and analysis. People management and analysis was another matter. Ironically, Jake had coveted his old boss’s job, and in his mind, he’d been in training for it his whole career. 

But now he realized—and had to admit—that he liked to work alone more than on a team. Yikes! Fortunately, he was willing to learn his way out of his comfort zone and embrace the leadership skills he’d need to do the job well.

He was cordial, but to his colleagues, his social skills weren’t great. During our personality training session, we discovered that he wasn’t aloof. He was just shy.

The good thing was that like most “C” personalities, he processed other people’s ideas pretty quickly and he was now willing to help them accomplish goals as a team.

How does the manager build trust in their teams?–Find everyone’s passion!

After the DiSC training session, our facilitators conducted a charitable team building workshop where all of their new insights about personality types and quirks got put to practical use. One of our favorite charitable events is the Happy Tails Workshop

Pet ownership can be expensive. Our workshop helps ease some of the financial pain by donating a “starter kit” to prospective pet parents who really want to give a kitten or puppy a forever home.

During the workshop, the group divides into small teams who “compete” for leashes, food bowls, chew toys, scratching posts, blankets, and beds. The bounty is donated to a charity that happily delivers it to a local family.

Jake is an avid pet lover, so his predisposition to keep to himself was overshadowed by his genuine concern for shelter animals at risk of being euthanized. He was eager to do all he could to help to rescue as many animals as possible.

So he didn’t just come out of his shell. He literally burst free from his usual “office mode” with an enthusiasm and warmth none of his colleagues had ever seen before!

The DiSC personality profile training opened everyone’s eyes to their own strengths and weaknesses and the charity workshop showed them how to translate all of this knowledge into more effective communication, collaboration, and relationship-building. The future looks pretty bright for the newly self-aware manager and his Millennial team.


How To Build a Healthy Team Culture: DiSC

How to build a healthy team culture—know what’s unhealthy!

Paradoxically, the first step toward building a healthy team culture may be recognizing toxic team culture. Unfortunately, that’s not hard to do. The American workplace is sick and it shows. Morale is low, stress is high. Millennials, Gen-Xers, and Baby Boomers clash.

Demands for diversity and gender equality are rife. And then there’s the runaway train of technological development—all of these issues have transformed many offices into seething cauldrons of conflict and strife. 

And when the lid blows, many workers bailout.  It is estimated that as many as 100,000 workers quit their jobs every day and it costs 20 percent of their salary for the boss to find a replacement. Recruitment, training, and orientation can add up to more than 1 billion dollars a year for small businesses. 

For all of corporate America that figure balloons to as much as 550 billion bucks—every year!! The domino effect: employee turnovers delay order fulfillment, decrease productivity, drain morale, and corporations hemorrhage profits and potential.

How to build a healthy team culture—out with the silo! 

Management underpins all employee engagement—for good or ill. Often a toxic corporate culture stems from poor management. For example, many companies have developed what’s called a “silo culture.”

 In agriculture, silos store grain, coal, woodchips, sawdust, food products, even cement. In some offices, managers silo information—tools, strategies—storing it up for their use.

To them, information is power and they don’t want to share it. So they leave workers in the dark about certain goals, processes, tools, and the like—making it available to their allies on a need-to-know-basis only.

Those at the bottom of the food chain feel left out, alienated, vulnerable, and hopeless. This kind of management undermines the mental health of employees and the overall stability of the workforce.

How to build a healthy team culture—DiSC it!

Silos are for farms, not offices. Healthy team culture is open, inclusive, and accepting. Managing a healthy corporate environment means being more people-driven than process-driven because, at the end of the day, it’s the people that make the process work, right?

In a healthy team culture, diversity is recognized as an asset instead of being dreaded or resented as a liability. That’s because sharp managers know that variety really is the spice of life! It’s our different backgrounds and points of view that help our workplaces become more well rounded and vibrant.

But that “variety”  works best if you know how to work it, and fortunately, there’s an “app” for that. It’s called DiSC, which represents the 4 personality profiles we all exhibit. Some of us are Dominant; others Influential; Steady; Conscientious. Understanding these personality types is invaluable in understanding yourself and your employees.

Relationship building is the foundation of team building and you can only build a relationship with another person if you understand them—who they are; how they think. After all, it’s easier to humanize your workplace and create a humane corporate culture when you know how your “humans” think—what gets them motivated.

DiSC creates a safe way for you to examine another person without making them feel threatened or intimidated. And it can be a humbling process for you as well if you’re a boss, because you may learn a lot about yourself throughout the whole process. 

How to build a healthy team culture—listen up! 

You get to ask questions and learn how to “listen” to the answers and translate what you hear into an action plan that will make it easier to communicate and collaborate with that person.

Associations built around projects are temporary, hierarchical, and therefore fragile. DiSC personality profile training helps build relationships built around your common humanity. And these relationships, along with your work assignment, can be fruitful, enlightening, and lasting.

The psychological and emotional bonds of a relationship are the glue that binds groups of employees into teams and fosters loyalty to the company. DiSC is an invaluable tool in developing those psychological and emotional bonds.

 

 


How can managers build empathy on their teams?

How can managers build empathy on their teams? Well, you may not need to walk a mile in your employee’s shoes, but you should at least understand the person filling those shoes. And one of the most important things all managers need to recognize today is the level of stress workers are under and its impact on their mental health.

The silent killers

Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder—these conditions were taboos in the post World War II workplace. The social stigma was too oppressive and the risk of unemployment too severe, so people suffered in silent agony. 

Of course, that kind of lost productivity can take a heavy toll on the economy. It did back then and it still does today. Recently Mental Health America [MHA] estimated that “workplace mental health problems result in as much as 500 billion dollars of lost productivity annually.”

Desperate times 

A recent report in Time Magazine shared the alarming news that depression is the fastest growing health condition among Millennials who were born between 1981 and 1995. And in a recent survey, 75 percent of Gen-Zers [born between 1996 and 2012] claimed mental health problems compelled them to leave their jobs.

Higher living costs, crippling student loan debts, terrorism, the states of both the national and the global economies, and the devastation caused by dramatic climate changes. These are psychological burdens Millennials and Gen-Zers struggle with at a much higher level than any other generation in America.

Desperate measures

And at work, they’re faced with multigenerational cultural clashes that compound the stress.  Because they are now the biggest demographic groups in the American workplace, employers have been forced to face these mental health issues head-on.

According to the Time article: “In the competition for valued employees, companies now see mental-health fluency as crucial. Beyond baseline coverage, global firms like Bank of America, KKR, Booz Allen Hamilton and Unilever are offering innovative solutions, from training employees to spot signs of depression in one another to fostering a less hierarchical vibe. ‘Workplace culture has really changed from the baby-boomer generation,’ says Kelly Greenwood, CEO of Mind Share Partners, which she founded after a leave of absence from a past job because of anxiety. ‘You’re supposed to be ‘on’ 24/7 and responsive to your company in a way that never existed in previous generations. The experience of being in a junior role now is much different from what it used to be.’”

An invaluable tool

How can managers build empathy on their teams? One important step is to help build relationships among team members and DiSC personality profile training can make taking that first step a lot easier.

Empathy means having the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings. It’s hard to empathize with someone when you just don’t get how they tick—which can eventually tick you off!

DiSC is an acronym for the 4 personality types we all exhibit in some measure—Dominance. Influential. Supportive or Steadiness. Conscientious.

Understanding the underpinning personality type of a colleague can make their behavior easier to understand and accept—and that’s the first step toward empathy. You may not like their behavior, but you can finally understand why they act the way they do. 

When the buck stops here

They say that it’s lonely at the top, but today’s managers can’t afford isolation. They’ve got to wear too many hats for that. Facilitator. Mentor. Profit maker. Motivator. Peacemaker. Building empathy requires building relationships with employees.

DiSC personality training is both a doorway and a bridge. It can open the door to understanding a worker better and bridge the gap in relationship building. DiSC can help managers select the leadership style and behavioral approach to fit a worker’s personality type.

Time Magazine reports some very encouraging news: “More than 200 companies—including Unilever, Starbucks and Zappos—have used Mental Health First Aid at Work, a four to eight-hour in-person course that teaches people how to talk to struggling colleagues and where to refer them.” Imagine how successful these peer-counselors would be if their efforts were undergirded by DiSC personality training.

How can managers build empathy on their teams? DiSC!

Today the stigma and shame of emotional and mental illness have been discarded. And people can reach out for help without fear of rejection or termination at work. Tools like DiSC can accelerate healing, improve production, and make the workplace culture healthy, vibrant, and profitable.


How To Build a Positive Team Culture

The best answer to how to build a positive team culture is understanding the dynamics of positivity, negativity, and their impact on our psyche.

How To Build a Positive Team Culture? Nix the negativity!

You’ve got to accentuate the negative…Eliminate the positive…And latch on to the negative…Don’t mess with Mister In-Between…. 

Yikes! Thank goodness American lyricist Johnny Mercer NEVER sang that! If he had, his career probably would’ve gone belly up pretty quickly!

At the risk of citing the obvious, negative leadership is well, negative. It’s toxic. It thrives on and generates fear, intimidation, and demoralization. Negative leadership demeans, devalues, discourages. It’s draining. Damaging. But for a lot of executives with their eyes on the prize, they see their underlings as “obstacles” which translates to “obstructions to tackle, subdue, and get out of their way.”

Managers who are more aware of where they want to go than they are of their “present moment behavior” can practice negative leadership without realizing it. And, of course, in a climate of fear where no one dares speak up, the manager can continue this poisonous leadership style unchallenged.

How To Build a Positive Team Culture? Embrace mistakes!

In his book The Light in the Heart,  inspirational author Roy T. Bennett encourages us to “Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.”

Failure should not be fatal. Recognizing a mistake as a teachable moment benefits both the manager and the employee. The manager can learn more about his employee and how to bolster his professional development. Better yet—both of them can become more self-aware!

How To Build a Positive Team Culture? Become more self-aware!

Forgive me for stating the obvious again, but you can’t fix what’s wrong if you’re not aware of what you’re doing in the first place. In a positive team culture, the goal is to identify your faults and turn them into growth opportunities. Shame, blame, and persecution magnify flaws. Acceptance, support, and encouragement magnify improvements! 

One of the safest journeys to self-awareness is DiSC. The acronym stands for Dominant, Influential, Steadiness, and Conscientious—4 personality types we all share. DiSC is an invaluable personality discovery tool that can make you understand who you really are and why you do what you do.

It can help you accept yourself just as you are [DiSC is a shame-free zone]! Pretty soon, you’ll begin to recognize your strengths and celebrate them and you’ll identify your weaknesses and learn how to become your best self.

How To Build a Positive Team Culture? Practice what you preach!

Toxic leaders bark orders, kick butts, and take names! They carry a big stick and throw their weight around to throw everyone else off balance. Their mantra: “Do what I tell you to do; what I do is none of your business!”

A hallmark of positive leadership is vision-casting and participation. That is, once the vision of the mission is shared with the team, the leader participates in its fulfillment. He doesn’t just lead the team, he becomes a committed member of the team. Positive leaders are not too insecure to get their hands dirty in order to get the job done.

Why? Because modeling is one of the keys to success in positive leadership. This leadership style models the steps needed to fulfill the vision they’ve cast. These managers don’t just tell, they show! Followers don’t have to stumble around blindly trying to figure out what the boss wants and how to do it. Their leaders become the change they want to see and staffers are happy to follow in their footsteps.

How To Build a Positive Team Culture? Build relationships!

In 1921, a Norwegian zoologist watched chickens establish and maintain their dominance among the flock by pecking the others into submission. Ruffled feathers and bloody feet dictated who ruled the roost. Hence the term “pecking order.” 

In many corporate offices around the country, establishing the pecking order involves equally foul play—forgive the pun—but it doesn’t have to be so horrific. Hierarchies should not be caste systems!

According to Frank P. Saladis, who is an internationally recognized expert in project management and leadership, “Positive leadership is about establishing relationships, understanding other points of view, not always having the answer (or pretending to have the right answer), and creating an environment of creativity and innovation. The truly effective and positive leader is an observer, a mentor, a change agent, and someone who enables others to succeed.”

Managers who model a positive leadership style get to know their employees as people. They don’t fight to maintain their place on the corporate ladder. These executives know how to set healthy professional boundaries without building up psychological or emotional walls to “keep others in their place.”  

Positive leaders are comfortable in their own skin, secure in their jobs, and aren’t threatened by ambitious subordinates. On the contrary, they support each employee’s desire to rise as far as they want to. These leaders understand that when their subordinates look good it reflects on their leadership as well.


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