Category Archives: Uncategorized

TeamBuild January 2020: Turn down the heat

When groups face challenges in which there are disagreements, high stakes, and/or resource constraints, conversations can get heated. In times as these, it may happen that emotions run high, language becomes loaded, and individuals present as verbally and even physically … Continue reading

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TeamBuild October 2019: Go to the balcony with an organizational scan

In a previous blog (BlueSagePartners.com, January 2017), I talked about the technique of stepping back or “going to the balcony” to get perspective on a group. When I start work with a new group I often conduct what I call … Continue reading

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TeamBuild September 2019: Finding your voice

There’s an exercise I’ve used with teams that on the surface is about public speaking – but it is also a lovely metaphor for presence and influence. Ronnie Heifetz developed it for his class at Harvard Kennedy School many decades … Continue reading

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TeamBuild August 2019: Changing hearts and minds

In working with teams, I think it’s important to understand that some challenges take time and require buy-in to resolve. The leadership gurus I worked with at Harvard, Ronnie Heifetz and Marty Linsky,[i] call these adaptive challenges. They define technical … Continue reading

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TeamBuild July 2019: Why it works to not work

July seems like an appropriate month to talk about when and how to “not work.” Some of the best work that teams get done is accomplished together, but not in a meeting. Give teams relaxed time One time I drove … Continue reading

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TeamBuild June 2019: The power of virtual agendas

In February, I talked about the power of working online with teams. This month I want to zero in on one online tool – a shared agenda that also is used to take meeting notes in real time. In three … Continue reading

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TeamBuild May 2019: Visual voting

This past weekend I used a tool I call “visual voting” and it proved surprisingly effective in moving us forward. For visual voting, options being discussed are written on flip charts and participants walk up to the flip chart and … Continue reading

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TeamBuild April 2019: Share the conversational pie

Don’t you hate when you get stuck in a conversation with someone who hogs the “conversational pie”? Similarly with groups, members disengage when one person, or a few people, take up most of the air time. If some people don’t … Continue reading

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TeamBuild March 2019: Remember to be surprised

In a graduate school course I taught this fall (strategic planning for nonprofits), I ended each class by having my students list a facilitation technique used in class and then writing it up. A few of my students gave a … Continue reading

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TeamBuild February 2019: Google Doc as team builder

As some of you know, I often work with groups on big pieces of flip chart paper. How archaic. BUT, I have also stepped into the 21st century and use Google documents (“docs”) – an online document that multiple people … Continue reading

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