Posts Tagged ‘Team Building’

Team LeaderIn a zone post a few months ago, I shared a few tips from the book Monday Morning Leadership to help leaders improve.  This time I want to share a little on how to make sure the teams you lead are the best they can be.  Below are some paraphrased tips from that same author along with thoughts shared in our Leadership Excellence and Team-building workshops.  Three Things the Best Leaders Must Do For Their Teams

  1. Hire good employees. Do not just fill open positions quickly the easy way, instead hire tough.  If you hire tough, you can manage easy.  If you hire easy, you are forced to manage tough.  Good employees will do their best for you.  Words of wisdom quoted from the book: “The most important thing you can do as a leader is to hire the right people.” And “The most important asset in your company is having the RIGHT PEOPLE on your team.  If you have the right people on your team you have a great chance to succeed.” Check out PXT Select to see if it can help your improve this process.
  2. Coach every member of the team to become better. Everyone can improve, so give your team (as a group and individually) feedback on what they need to do.  Be open to ideas of training and mentoring inside and outside the team.  Continuous learning can eliminate holes when someone has to have time-off or be out-of-the-office for meetings, vacation, or illnesses. Check out The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team to see if it can help you improve the team-building, performance, and feedback processes.
  3. Dehire the people who aren’t carrying their share of the load. Your other team members see their bad performance and wonder why you are not taking action. Others could begin to feel like they should do less too.  So get with HR on what you should do to begin tracking performance issues to begin the dehiring or internal transfer/placement process.   Words of wisdom quoted from the book:  “Never lower your standards just to fill a position!  You will pay for it later.” And “The greatest liability in your company could be having the WRONG PEOPLE on your team.

To help with the first thing above, the author presented the interview tips below later in the book.

Three Rules of Three for Interviewing

  1. For each position, interview at least 3 qualified candidates. Hold out for the best fit, whether it is a new hire position or a transfer within the organization.  If you are in a hurry and just take the first one that looks good, you could end up with a bad fit for the team.
  2. Interview the most qualified candidates 3 times. Do this at different times of the day each time they come in.  Changing the time will help you and your team to evaluate how each candidate may be at different times during a work day.
  3. Have 3 different people evaluate the candidates for best job fit. Hiring manager and/or HR representative could be first two people.  One or two other people to finish the three should be from the team the position is for.  Team members know the work the best and the team dynamics, so they can help determine if the candidate fits the need.

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The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Pyramid

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive team program includes reports to help the team improve along the Five Behaviors model (Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results).  Below is a list of the reports.  Feel free to contact us for a sample report or to get you team started on this model.

  • Team Comparison Report is the initial report after all team members complete their profiles.  This report shows the team where they are on the Five Behaviors model on a scale of low, medium, high colored like a traffic light (Green=Go/Good, Yellow=Caution/Review to Improve, Red=Stop!/Work on It is Necessary) based on summarizing the individual member’s overall scoring on profiles.  The summary is followed by information in each area that includes:  averages, details and how personal DiSC style may affect the team’s progress, discussion questions for the team, and action worksheets for the team’s use to create improvement plans as needed.
  • Team Progress Report is an optional follow-up report that teams, leaders, or facilitators may use quarterly or semi-annually to see how team is improving along the Five Behaviors model.  It is a great way for teams to see how they are getting better and what they need to do to continue to grow as a team.  Find out more in previous post introducing this feature.
  • Annotated Team Report is used by a team-building session facilitator.  This report is a copy of the team profile/comparison report that includes additional aids for facilitation.  The extras include: expanded explanation of profile content, scoring interpretation, resources for additional information, and indicators of personalized/tailored content.  In addition, an appendix includes a ranking of all assessment items by team average and the team’s percentile for each of the Five Behaviors. Find out about facilitator accreditation in flyer on our website.

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The Ideal Team Player Model

The Ideal Team Player Model

In other posts, I have talked about the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team based on the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.  This time I want to share three key characteristics to make sure you are hiring great team members from his book The Ideal Team Player.  You might ask “Why does Lencioni have two different books to deliver a full message on team building?”  It is fairly simple, if you want cohesive teams that have trust, show commitment, work through conflict, understand accountability, and deliver resultsyou need to hire and keep the right people.

To hire the right people for your teams, you need to look for people who are humble, hungry, and smart.  To keep the right people on your teams, you need to continually monitor existing employees against  those three team player characteristics to make sure they still fit into your team culture.  We need to take a closer look at what Lencioni means by humble, hungry, and smart to better understand why we need to hire for and monitor against these traits.

Humble should be a requirement of any team player!  These people like working in a team, sharing credit with others, and defining success as group accomplishment.  Self-centered, ego-driven, or politics-playing individuals will not fit into a team well.  So look for “we” instead of “I” when they talk.

Hungry people are always looking to do more, take on responsibilities, or learn more.  These people are self-motivated, diligent, and require little supervision.  Ask questions about projects they have been on and how they have handled problems,  you should be able to gauge hunger by the way they have handled situations in the past.

Smart is not mental intelligence or skill sets (IQ), it is about people (more along the lines of EQ) and social skills.   This is not touchy-feely stuff.  It is about using common sense when working with and talking to other people.  Ask questions about how they work with others and you should see enthusiasm in their responses.

In Lencioni’s model, you can see that it is easy to be fooled when looking at any one characteristic too strongly.  Lencioni examples are Humble=Pawn, Hungry=Bulldozer, or Smart=Charmer.  Even settling for a combination of two characteristics can be bad.  Lencioni examples are Humble+Hungry=Accidental Mess-maker,  Hungry+Smart=Skillful Politician, or Smart +Humble=Lovable Slacker.  You want is someone that falls in the middle of the model.  This way they truly will have all three characteristics: humble, hungry, and smart.

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Teamwork DiSCIn the last post, we covered the first two team building tips on culture and communication.  Below are final three team management tips related to trust, accountability, and recognition.

Tip #3 – Build trust among team members. Success will always be limited if trust is lacking. The job of a good team leader is to cultivate a safe environment, where members feel comfortable being open and honest with the group about their weaknesses, fears and limitations.  Teambuilding activities can be incredibly effective.

The idea of activities has gotten somewhat of a bad rap, because most people hear “team-building exercise” and immediately assume they are going to be crammed in a room, thrown in an awkward and unrealistic scenario, and asked to share their deepest fear with a group of people they are forced to spend the afternoon with. However, when these exercises are done correctly and in a healthy environment, the positive results are astonishing. We have successfully been helping teams build vulnerability based trust using our program, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, based on Patrick Lencioni’s best-selling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

Tip #4 – Encourage accountability. In addition to frequently checking in with your team, give them permission to check-in among themselves and hold each other accountable. This can only work when concrete expectations and timelines are set. Not only will this reinforce communication and trust between team members, it will also help to avoid pitfalls, remove obstacles and assure constant progress. This seems to be one of the most difficult tasks and when issues and timelines are not addressed, it later becomes a personal issue.  There are a lot of activities that can help team members practice accountability, including have everyone go around the room and share what they believe is their strength and their weakness as it relates to the team. Then, let the peers share their candid feedback.

Tip #5 – Recognize achievements and give sincere praise. It is a widely known fact that when you positively reinforce a desired behavior, a person is far more likely to continue repeating that behavior. Leading your team from a posture of praise for good outcomes, achievements and behaviors is far more effective than teaching them to fear negative consequences. They will feel valued by you and strive to exceed expectations. A few tips to ensure your comments are perceived as sincere. Never make a statement of praise, thanks or appreciation unless you can tell them why. Try dropping hand-written notes to your co-workers and team members.

When we ask, in many of our training sessions, if anyone has received a hand-written note from a co-worker or a boss to raise their hand, we follow it up with the question, “where is that note now?” Only about 3 in 300 have ever said they do not know or they threw it away. The rest of them say they, treasure the notes and keep them in a safe or visible place. By taking just a few moments of your time to acknowledge a person on your team and show them how much you appreciate the job they do, you will not only make their day but also reinforce the desired behavior.

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Teamwork DiSC“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”  This simple statement from the classic movie Cool Hand Luke is truer in our workplace than we want to admit.

We live in a culture where employee engagement and productivity are rapidly decreasing, while business competition, customer expectations, and new technology are on the rise. While there is no quick-fix or easy-button to transform your company, I have found that the simple solution is still the right one. A successful company or business team must have effective leadership. Now more than ever, being able to manage an effective team is vital to the success of an organization.

This post and the next will cover 5 simple tips to keep in mind when you are building and managing your team.  The first two tips contained here will be on culture and communication.  The final three tips will follow in the next post and they will be on trust, accountability, and recognition.

Tip #1 – Create a culture that celebrates individuality. Your job as a leader is to help identify each person’s unique skill set and how they can best utilize it to contribute to the success of the whole team.   The fastest way to demotivate your team is by trying to force them to fit in to an environment that does not allow them to operate in the manner most effective for them. Great leadership is not about bossing people around. It is about inspiring them and guiding them towards a common goal. You will pull leaders forward when you encourage them to believe in themselves and what they bring to the table.

Tip #2 – Communicate effectively. In order for your team to maintain a result oriented mindset, there must be an open dialogue for their ideas. People want to feel valued, heard and respected, not just prioritized.  As a leader you must be intentional with your words. If you want your team to be in alignment with your vision, you should adequately articulate information, priorities and long-term goals.  Do not shy away from the difficult conversations just because they are uncomfortable. Even when the content is unfavorable, people tend to be open and receptive when you create a safe space, speak with grace and ask for their input.

The golden rule, while well intended, does not apply to a cross cultural, cross gender, and cross generational workplace. Today it is about invoking the Platinum Rule:  Treat people and communicate with people the way they want to be communicated with.  We use Everything DiSC Workplace to change cultures. This generational tool helps bridge the gap between learning style, communication, and personality differences that can cause petty annoyances.

Please come back for tips three thru five next week.


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PXT Select ReportsWhat are the ways companies try to predict success in their hiring?  From an applicant’s resume they may learn: career history, job experience, technical knowledge, and potential references.  From the interview process, they hope to understand the applicant’s: thinking style, extent of technical skills, true job knowledge, problem solving skills, and typical behavior traits.  Following this, they hope for a good selection process to match the right candidate to the correct job.

What is the company had a better way of doing interviews that could insure a better selection process?  In a previous post, you learned that PXT Select assessment could be required by each candidate for the job position.  Once multiple candidate assessments are complete, management and human resources gain access to a range of reports that can used for the selection process, as well as other purposes after the hiring is complete.  Below is a list of the PXT Select reports and what is contained in each.

PXT Select Position and Single Candidate Reports

Report Name Results Summary or Definition Performance Model Interview Questions or Ideal Candidate


Comprehensive Selection


Candidate’s Results from the assessment compared to the Performance Model Range of scores typical for success in the position, with scale and job fit interpretations Series of personalized Questions based on the candidate’s fit to the Performance Model


Performance Model (for position) Definition of each of the styles and traits Range of scores typical for success in the position Statement describing the Ideal Candidate for this position will appear for each style and trait


 PXT Select Single Employee Reports

Report Name Definitions Feedback or Results


Individual’s Feedback Each of the styles, traits, and interests that were measured by the assessment will be defined


Personalized Feedback based on results and how they should be interpreted
Individual’s Graph Each of the styles, traits, and interests that were measured by the assessment will be defined after Results Results will be summarized on scales for Thinking Style, continua for Behavioral Traits, and a ranked-order list for Interests

PXT Select – Multiple Placement Comparison Reports

Report Name Performance Models Candidate Fit Comparison or %Fit


Multiple Positions

(1 Candidate to Many)

Range of scores typical for success in each position Candidate’s results from the assessment compared to the Performance Models


The candidate’s Overall Fit for each of the positions
Multiple Candidates

(Many to 1 Position)

Range of scores on each scale typical for success in the position Each candidate’s results from the assessment compared to the Performance Models


Candidates  results for each scale are placed together for easy Comparison

PXT Select – Misc. Management Reports

Report Name Results Feedback Definitions, Reflection, or Action



(1 to 1)

Assessment results are compared to the Performance Model, which show the range of score typical for success in the position


Feedback personalized for the individual based on the results and how they should be interpreted Thinking Style and Behavioral Traits will be Defined following the results summary

(1 to 1)

Manager’s assessment results are compared to the employee’s on 9 different scales Personalized feedback based on how manager‘s results compare to employee’s


Reflection includes quick review, questions to answer, and an action plan
Team Each team member’s assessment results placed together on 9 behavioral scales Feedback for each scale based on personal and team’s responses


Team averages and personalized tips for Action planning


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PXT Select Assessments

Did you know that companies report that 1 in 5 of their hires was a bad hire?   That means 20% of the people hired were not a good fit for the job where they were placed.  Another survey showed that just one bad hire in a position can cost a company $17K and another says for the 6-digit annual income level, a bad hire can lose a company as much as $250K.

Is there a better way to hire the right people for the position you have open?  According to a Fast Company article it primarily comes down to pre-hire assessments and proper onboarding.  So let us start to help you with hiring by introducing a new assessment tool called PXT Select by Wiley (the company that brought us DiSC and Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team). Wiley assessment solutions empower organizations by providing them with actionable data about the people they employ now and in the future.

What is PXT Select? PXT Select™ is an online hiring assessment designed to help you select the best candidates for your organization.  It contains selection and employee assessment tools to help organizations make smarter hiring decisions.  Simply put, PXT Select can make selecting the right candidate for a job both simpler and smarter. Having the right people in the right jobs fosters a culture of happier, more engaged, and more productive employees.

PXT Select allows your organization to:

  • Fill in the gaps between a resume and interview with actionable objective data
  • Identify the most suitable candidates, streamlining an effective hiring process
  • Match candidates with jobs that fit their inherent capabilities
  • Identify opportunities to enhance performance and maximize an individual’s contribution to an organization
  • Produce several reports for management and HR use, powered by the latest in assessment technology

PXT Select will help your organization:

  • Dramatically streamline your hiring process
  • Minimize the risk of bad hires
  • Reduce turnover
  • Lower your hiring and training costs
  • Add objective, data-driven metrics to your hiring process
  • Drive noticeable improvements in your hiring results
  • Boost employee engagement

Get the most out of this hiring solution with the custom, interactive online learning platform that will provide you with fun, essential learning. If you want to experience PXT Select, you will need to contact an Authorized Partner who can help you fit the assessment power to your unique needs.

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