Posts Tagged ‘Team Building’

You may have heard recently about a Texas-based attorney who ended up doing an entire Zoom call as an adorable kitten.  The Zoom call was actually a court hearing with a judge.  The attorney accidentally signed onto the call with a cat filter and could not figure out how to turn the filter off.  He eventually proclaimed “I am not a cat” to the judge, who replied “I can see that.”  The video went viral and the attorney was mortified at first, but then realized that we could all use something to laugh at during these stressful times.

The point here is, like it or not, technology is now playing a huge role in the way we relate to each other.  It is important to keep growing and learning these different ways to connect. 

Video calls have taken the place of door to door and telephone sales, meetings with a co-worker and our team, and even building stronger ties to family and loved ones who are not geographically close.  It was on the horizon, many of us avoided it, procrastinated, or even used excuses, but the pandemic, like a wave brought it to our front door.  So, where are you in all of this?

Were you an early adopter or a laggard? If you are in business, believing things will go back to the way they once were, time to wake up and realize “we’re not in Kansas anymore”.  Virtual technology is here to stay. Do not be left behind just because things seem intimidating to use or you feel it will not be the same as in person.  

I have to admit, I surprised myself. Turning our in-person training to virtual seemed like it would not produce the same results and I would use statements like, “I can’t feel the energy of the group”, “I will look horrible on the camera”, “They’ll never participate the way they would in a live session”. Well, I have been proven wrong. VERY WRONG! While it took extra effort learning how to create engagement and interaction, and learning the formula for balancing chats, polls, discussions and activities, I can honestly say, for our typical training, it is the way to go. 

Do not get me wrong, leadership or team retreats, off-site sales meetings, team building interventions will still be more impactful in-person because you cannot make up the conversations that take place on the breaks, the restaurant or even the bar.  For the most part, if done right, virtual training is the new reality as will be team meetings versus conference calls, many sales meeting and even family connections.  We encourage you to educate yourself as much as you can so that you can keep up with these new and exciting ways to communicate, build relationships and increase productivity.

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Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” 2017 survey showed only 30% of employees are engaged, 52% are disengaged, and 18% are actively disengaged.  In most organizations, that means less than a third of their employees are actively engaged in the job they do. Signs of an employee who is disengaged include:  lack motivation, does not take part even in fun company activities or celebrations, often silent, not enthusiastic about learning new things, or growing their career within the company. How can you motivate your employees and increase engagement?

Employee experience drives engagement and productivity.  Yours and their good intentions have to be transferred into behavior which leads to action.  To change behavior and close the engagement gap, it is important to understand the five conditions that lead to stronger employee experiences in these turbulent economic times.  Managers must provide employees with the following:

  1. Meaningful work: First, make sure you have a good talent and skills fit for their current role. Give them the independence and necessary tools to do their work. Share opportunities for individual empowerment and working in teams.  Allow time for creativity and necessary rest.  You may also want to review How PXT Select Can Help Managers Close the Engagement Gap.
  2. Hands-on management: Set clear goals and guidelines for activities. Acknowledge their accomplishments and offer coaching as needed. For ideas, see 5 Tips for Managing a Multi-generational Workforce and 5 Simple Tips to Managing a Successful Team.
  3. Positive work environment: Leverage their strengths and consider flexibility on their work schedule and place. The work culture should be inclusive and diverse.
  4. Growth opportunities: Have various training and support options available (this is especially key during work-from-home situations) that increases: skills, job flexibility, and career mobility.
  5. Trust in their leadership: Create mission and purpose for company and staff. Embrace leadership development; proved inspiration and motivation through positive and transparent communication. You may also review 10 Tips for Preventing Isolation in Your Remote Workforce.

For more about the issue of employee disengagement and the five conditions to engagement, read case studies in Mending the Engagement Gap: Driving Organizational Success through Employee Engagement.

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Roy Davis and Mary Anne Wihbey Davis

Mary Anne and Roy Davis celebrating award

Wiley announced that Dallas-based business Davis Success Solutions is a 2019 Diamond Award winning partner for Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team®. This achievement is in recognition of the company’s continued commitment to improving organizational culture and teamwork.  Typically, this award is announced and given during the April MindLab Conference.  Due to current circumstances, the conference is rescheduled for October 2020 and award winners were notified in advance.


“We are proud to partner with Davis Success Solutions in their mission to enrich people’s lives by building better workplaces and high-functioning, cohesive teams,” says Susie Kukkonen, Vice President of Channels at Wiley. “We are honored to have them as an Authorized Partner.”


This is the fifth time the Davis Success Solutions has won the Diamond-level award.  The Diamond designation recognizes the Roy Davis’ commitment to building better workplaces with the help of Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team® proven workplace assessment-driven solutions from Wiley.


Davis Success SolutionsAbout Davis Success Solutions
Davis Success Solutions (DavisSuccessSolutions.com) is committed to providing professional training solutions and resources with outstanding support. The company focus is delivering workplace performance improvements that align with the professional development goals of organizations and individuals. It has been that way since the beginning of Davis Success Solutions in 2004.  With his extensive management and training experience in various industries and professions, Roy Davis has a proven track record of helping organizations improve communication, processes, productivity and ultimately their profitability and efficiency.  Owner and president of Davis Success Solutions, Roy has almost fifteen years of experience using DiSC®-based tools. Roy Davis, in collaboration with his wife Mary Anne (Wihbey) Davis of Peak Performance Solutions, deliver client-focused solutions and engaging training to their customers throughout the United States and internationally.  Both are certified Everything DiSC® training facilitators and accredited facilitators for The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team®.


Roy Davis says, “I find my partnership with Wiley is an increasing factor in my business success.  Offering Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team® training programs and profiles has been of great benefit to my customers as well. I look forward to similar success with the PXT Select® hiring and placement tool. I am proud to receive the Diamond award for three years straight [2017-2019] and for a total of five times.”


Peak Performance SolutionsAbout Peak Performance Solutions

Peak Performance Solutions (PeakPerformanceSolutions.com) is committed to “moving individuals to action” through training and advanced learning. Mary Anne (Wihbey) Davis is president and owner of Peak Performance Solutions.  She is an internationally recognized sales and management consultant and trainer.  Her company provides multiple business training and coaching options for her clients, including customized workshops.  Mary Anne is also the author of “The Sales Messenger: 10 Lessons for Sales Success in Your Business and Personal Lives,” which went into a third printing in 2018.


Mary Anne added, “Coordinating with Davis Success Solutions on Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team® has allowed me to offer even more options to my client base.  Participating with Roy in the MindLab conferences and associated awards program, along with receiving Wiley certifications, have taken my company to a different level from when it was started in 1994.”


About Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors®

Everything DiscEverything DiSC is the leading suite of DiSC®-based workplace training and assessment solutions. These advanced applications combine online assessment, classroom facilitation, and post-training follow-up to create powerful, personalized workplace development experiences. With a global network of independent Partners, Everything DiSC solutions are used in thousands of organizations, including major government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.


The Five Behaviors of a TeamThe Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is the result of the partnership between Wiley Workplace Learning Solutions and Patrick Lencioni, author of The New York Times best-selling book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. This team development program improves team effectiveness and productivity through the understanding and application of The Five Behaviors: Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results. This unique learning experience helps individuals and teams build effective work culture through communication and collaboration.

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Telecommuting Remote Worker Working from home and telecommuting has a whole new meaning today.  Leaders need to be aware of the issues their employees face when working alone.  These issues are more than which technologies are the best to use.  There are feelings of isolation and loss in belonging to a group or a purpose.  Below are ten tips for leadership to prevent feelings of isolation in your workforce that is working remotely from home or others locations.

10 Tips for Preventing Isolation for Your Remote Workforce:

  1. Set Them Up for Remote Success.  While you may have sent your employee home with a laptop, camera and microphone, some people are more hesitant of new technologies. Have some “dry runs” or create a fun interaction and let the team members play with the tools.  Take the lead with your IT Department or application provider and get some tips and tricks for keeping information safe.  Show them how to: access/store documents on your secure server or cloud storage for shared or team documents.  Encourage them to reach out to team members using text, chat, instant message, phone, or electronic meeting tools for communication.   Leverage some of the many tools and technologies that are available like the various forms of virtual meeting for sharing ideas.
  1. Communicate with your Remote Employees on a Regular Basis.  You can simply call or email team members, but if you are looking to maintain engagement, take the time to do web-based video sessions. It is only a couple of extra steps to have one-on-one individual meetings or virtual meetings for your intact team members.  Encourage all your team members to make the extra effort to connect by phone and video. Working remotely can be quite isolating and all team members need to feel part of something.  Real-time phone and video captures what the chat, IM and texting cannot. Even the most extreme introverts will begin to feel isolated an lonely without the human interactions for too long.
  1. Manage with Realistic Goals and Timelines.  Being extra specific on what your expectations and timelines are will pay off in a big way for all involved. Be sure you agree on how to “urgent” items and provide true deadlines with milestones to reach along the way.  Consider color coding tasks and priorities assigned to reflect those things you need now versus later. The more they understand the expectations of tasks and timelines, the more successful they will be at meeting them. You need to realize that many have their hands full with the challenges of managing a family and a job.
  1. Provide Performance Coaching and Feedback.  While we are all busy scrambling to get our business in order along with managing competing priorities, do not forget to regularly coach your employees and give them constant feedback. This means employees need clear expectations. Find out what is keeping them from meeting their targets and see how you can provide guidance or resources to help them.  If providing critical feedback, be sure they are in a place to actively listen without others overhearing or interruptions. When it comes to your employees meeting targets, use PTC when they: exceed them – Praise them, meet them – Thank them sincerely, miss them – Coach them on their performance.
  1. Create Opportunities for Team Engagement.  As the team’s leader, you need to schedule time for you and your team members to connect with each other. Even though they are not physically seeing each other every day, there is no reason you cannot create a feeling of comradery. Consider doing a short lunch and learn, or a team building activity or even a group break using a virtual platform. Let them have a forum to share what is making them smile and also their challenges and fears. Some organizations are doing virtual events like: interactive happy hours, virtual cooking classes, and Everything DiSC learning sessions.   You might consider seeing if you could find a local charity or outreach to sponsor.
  1. Be Results-Focused – No Micro-Managing.  Assuming you have communicated expectations clearly, then the focus can shift to looking for accomplishments and results. Being overly concerned about every task being done and how every hour of the day is spent will make everyone more than a little crazy. Trust them to do what is needed to achieve the goals and if they are not, then a different conversation can take place. It is a new world and you will see many have to manage tasks on their own timeline, meaning, they may be having to spend more time with children in the day, but will give you a 150% in the evening or early morning.
  1. Strategically Communicate with the Individual.  While you lead and manage your remote team members, create a strategy and guidelines for when and how you will connect with them for reports, updates, etc. Remember, your team members have different communication styles and preferences. Adapt to their style as much as possible for the best results.
  1. Encourage Stepping up to the Plate.  As a leader, it is important to ask team members who are in a position to help, to step up to the plate to help their fellow co-workers who are struggling to manage family issues at home while trying to work.  Challenges will arise for your remote employees, so fell free to ask team members, who may not have as much personal responsibility, to reach out to co-workers and see if there are any tasks they can take off their plate to relieve stress and reduce feeling of isolation.
  1. Provide Management Consistency.  Although as a leader may want to let the employee decide how to work, you might provide guidelines as to use of company technology for personal use, work-time policy, and confidentiality.  Your HR department or consultant can provide you some best practices that you could share. This will avoid confusion between team members who have their own ideas as to what they should and should not be doing while working remotely.  Some may need time management tips for telecommuting as well as the technology training.
  1. Support Their Needs, Professional and Personal.  When we work in a physical space daily, we get to know those on the team beyond a professional level. We learn about their families, personal values and beliefs, as well as their own personal history. Take the time to be intentional about deepening the relationships you have with your employees as well, to help create a sense of belonging and community for them.  Simply said, make them feel valued by checking in on them.  Be prepared, many will have more on their plate than you knew, listen – really listen.  If necessary, give them the guidance or the employee assistance they may need.

Using the ten tips make it easier for leaders help their employees overcome the feeling of isolation when working alone at home or other remote locations.  Knowing that their leadership cares, about both the professional and personal issues of telecommuting, will encourage a sense of belonging and instill more purpose into their work done from home.

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It’s here! Since 2015 our team leaders have been asking for a way to drive the Cohesive Behaviors through their organizations.  Well, it’s finally here. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Teams now comes in the original team version whereby, the Team scores how they feel the interactions are collectively as compared to the behavior.  Now, we have the  new Personal Development option allowing the team member to rate themselves and learn in a team setting how to foster the cohesive behaviors together.  Both versions include behavior profiles, reports, and training.  Below are an image and a brief list of the gains from the team and personal development options.

Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Models

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Models

Team Development is for organizations trying to change team behavior in specific new or intact work teams.  In other words, you want to move the needle on objective data.

Personal Development helps identify tendencies and preferences related to each construct.  It is used to overcome barriers related to each construct so individuals can be more successful on teams.

  • Increase awareness of individual role and effect on dynamics of cohesive team model
  • Expand desired behaviors throughout the organization, whether or not utilizing teams
  • Empower an organizational culture of teamwork and collaboration


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The Director of Clinical Operations at Acelity was looking for a way to increase productivity, improve team effectiveness, and decrease turnover in the cross-functional teams under her supervision.  After researching options with the HR manager and consulting with team-building professionals , they decided to try The Five Behaviors of A Cohesive Team.  This team training program is based on Patrick Lencioni’s bestselling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.  The 5-point (Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results ) program would fulfill their need to help their multi-cultural/multi-generational employees communicate better, engage in healthy conflict, and hold each other accountable for results.

“We’re doing four times the amount of studies now that we’d done in the past, and yet our group is not much larger than it was before. So, without question our productivity is higher. People are happy to be here.” – Anthony Tate

For more information, review the 2-page PDF document titled Permission to Hit Reset with Peak Performance Solutions trainers and Acelity client history and comments.  Or you may watch the below video for their testimonials about the training program.

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Everything DiSC

Everything DiSC Styles

We now have five generations in the workplace!  In a culture where diversity and inclusion are expected in the workplace, it is important to remember that each generation is diverse.  Age-diversity can benefit corporate culture and improve work performance too.

You may already know that Everything DiSC (and MyEverythingDiSC.com) may help bridge the gap between different working styles, but did you realize it may help connect people across “generation gaps?”  DiSC serves as a roadmap to connect people regardless of age. With DiSC as a roadmap, your organization can foster a work environment that enables everyone to learn from each other.

How does DiSC do that?  Consider that a team of two Millennials, a Gen-Xer and a Baby Boomer may struggle to communicate.  They may blame this on the differences in their ages and experiences. After they learn their DiSC styles, they start to see each other from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on generational difference, they could discover they are an S-style, a CD-style, and two D-styles!  DiSC provides a way for them to connect across workstyles.  This helps the entire team to utilize a more effective way to work together.

For more on the multigenerational workforce, please read the post 5 Tips for Managing a Multi-generational Workforce.

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Lunch & Learn, Learn at Lunch

Lunch and Learn Topic Ideas

A Lunch and Learn is an easy way to encourage continuous leaning in your organization. These short informational sessions can provide quick training opportunities for your staff.  If you are thinking about adding Lunch & Learns to the list of educational options you offer in-house, consider the 10 questions below to get ideas for possible training topics.

  1. Have your teams been trained, yet still seemed to fall short in some areas of team-building and collaboration?
  2. Do you already have topics you would like to introduce to the team?
  3. Is it important to reinforce your company values and business ethic policies?
  4. What new products or additional services could you introduce to sales and service staff?  
  5. Is there a new management strategy you want to educate staff on and gain buy-in for?
  6. Did you do a big training event last year that you should do quick refresher for on one or more key components?
  7. Is there a new technology tool in the company that several people need a basic introduction to instead of actual hands-on training? 
  8. Are there advanced topics your technical staff members can learn as small snippets of information?
  9. Does your leadership team want to learn new skills, however they do not feel they have the time to go to long training workshops?
  10. Are your employees feeling stressed or burnt out and in need of solutions?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then a lunch and learn session may be the answer to getting the training out there quickly.  With all the new virtual meeting options out there, you can include remote attendees as well.  Just be sure you test the presentation and technology options before the lunch and learn starts.

For more tips on delivering Lunch & Learn training, see Learn At Lunch: A Great Team, Sales, and Management Training Option.

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Wiley announced the winners of their product sales awards at the April 24-26, 2019 MindLab Conference in Denver, Colorado (more photos from event).  Among the Diamond-level winners were Roy Davis (owner of Davis Success Solutions) and wife, Mary Anne (owner of Peak Performance Solutions).  Since both Davis’ are certified/accredited facilitators for Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team training options, their separate training companies are able to collaborate on delivering training workshops and seminars to their various customers.  Both Roy and Mary Anne Davis are also asked to speak on DiSC, leadership, and team-building topics at many association luncheons or dinners.  Additionally, Mary Anne is sought out as a sales/marketing speaker.  Roy Davis is also a popular speaker for career development topics.

Everything DiSC Authorized Partner

All award levels are based on sales of Everything DiSC and  The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Wiley products lines.  The two highest awards Wiley gives are Diamond ($125K+ sales) and Emerald ($75K+ sales), which are celebrated at a special Authorized Partner evening of the MindLab event.  The Davis couple has won Diamond in 2018, 2017, 2015, and 2013.  They have won Emerald in 2016, 2014, and 2011.  Other Wiley awards levels include:  Ruby, Sapphire, Topaz (new for 2019), and Opal.  Many of the other awards have been won by Davis Success Solutions each year since Roy began his authorized partnership for the variety of DiSC profiles in 2005, shortly after staring his business in 2004.  The selection of Everything DiSC behavior profiles and associated reports includes:  363 for Leaders, , Management, Productive Conflict, Sales, Work of Leaders, and Workplace which can be for both personal and professional communication use.  The Davis’ began offering  The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team products and training in 2014 and PXT Select assessments and reports in 2017.

The Five Behaviors of a Team Authorized Partner

Working with Wiley to increase the training offerings of Davis Success Solutions and Peak Performance Solutions has been successful for both companies.  It has also been extremely beneficial to their clients as well.  Customer success stories have been published in Training and Development Magazine (an ATD publication) and as examples published by Wiley.  The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team success stories include AmerisourceBergen and City of Schertz.  Working with Southwest Business Corporation is an Everything DiSC success story (see also testimonial video).

PXT Select Authorized Partner

Peak Performance Solutions has been in the training business since 1994.  Roy Davis and Mary Anne (Wihbey) Davis’ companies have been co- facilitating workshops since 2004 for synergistic success, before the two independent company owners married in 2010.  Each company has other training offerings, besides those based on Wiley products, which are unique based on their individual expertise.  As well as their standard course offerings, both companies also offer customized training in each of their areas of expertise designed to meet their varied client needs.  For training outside their scope of knowledge, each training company may contract with other experts that they collaborate with, in order to insure customers get the best options to fill specific skill gaps within the client’s organization.

Davis Success Solutions

Peak Performance Soltuions

Check out their company websites or contact Roy Davis at Davis Success Solutions or Mary Anne Davis at Peak Performance Solutions to find out how they may help you with your training needs.

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Everything DiSC - Workplace

Everything DiSC Workplace map

For years now, Peak Performance Solutions has been offering DiSC training for our client companies directly to their employees.  Some of our clients have expressed an interest in having their own people trained to be Everything DiSC Workplace facilitators.  For that reason, for the past few years, we have offered training on-line or in in the Wiley-Minneapolis Office to our clients.  Now we can bring the training directly to your location!  Below are short descriptions of the three different options for Everything DiSC Workplace Facilitator Certification.

The on-line training is designed with busy schedules in mind.   Everything DiSC Workplace Certification on-line offers the flexibility of self-paced learning, paired with live webinar sessions led by expert trainers.   You can find out more about this option from our on-line flyer.  To check out the schedule for on-line training, visit our website

The new 2-day Everything DiSC Workplace Certification facilitated learning option of live in-person at your location is a by request only.  You can review the on-site flyer for a little information and check out the agenda too.  Then contact us to find out more and plan dates if you are interested.  Training Includes:

  • Personalized Everything DiSC Workplace profile
  • Certificate of Completion upon completion of course and practical exam
  • Everything DiSC facilitation kit of your choice
  • Learning portal for pre-work, post-exam and reinforcement tips as you begin your training.

If you prefer to combine on-line with travel plus spend at least 2-days in Minneapolis, then the live in-person Everything DiSC Workplace Certification training at the Wiley-Minneapolis Office may fit this desire.   This training agenda is the same as the “at your location” training above. The schedule for this off-site training is also on our website under the on-line dates.

Everything DiSC Workplace

Everything DiSC Workplace Facil Kit

All Everything DiSC Workplace Certification training options should help facilitators:

  • Gain foundational knowledge about Everything DiSC and the research behind it
  • Experience the Everything DiSC Workplace assessment and apply the personalized profile results to real-world scenarios
  • Increase confidence and competence in delivering Everything DiSC Workplace sessions
  • Develop experience using the Everything DiSC Workplace Facilitation Kit with small groups
  • Learn to keep Everything DiSC alive within the organization by creating a culture of DiSC with MyEverythingDiSC.com

Other facilitator accreditation we currently have available is on The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.  You can find the training schedule and links to flyer on the Peak Performance Solutions website.  If you do not know what this program is, visit our blog for an overview of the program, a 2-part outline of the 5 behaviors, and a list of available reports.

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