Team Building Exercises – Video Guide
Now that we've recovered from the holidays and we've got a few weeks of 2016 under our belt, it's time to start thinking about some ways that we can make our team stronger, better and faster over the coming year. One of the ways we can make these kind of improvements is through team building exercises. While these kinds of activities can take away from the time we have to get work done they often pay significant benefits in helping us assess our team's strengths and capabilities as well as giving us an idea of what areas we might want to help our team members improve upon. Taking a little bit of time at the beginning of the year to do this kind of assessment can help give us an idea of what specific capabilities we'd like to have each of our team members work on for their next evaluation period.

Team Building Exercises – Video Guide

Now that we’ve recovered from the holidays and we’ve got a few weeks of 2016 under our belt, it’s time to start thinking about some ways that we can make our team stronger, better and faster over the coming year. One of the ways we can make these kind of improvements is through team building exercises. While these kinds of activities can take away from the time we have to get work done they often pay significant benefits in helping us assess our team’s strengths and capabilities as well as giving us an idea of what areas we might want to help our team members improve upon. Taking a little bit of time at the beginning of the year to do this kind of assessment can help give us an idea of what specific capabilities we’d like to have each of our team members work on for their next evaluation period.

Team Building Exercises You Can Do

Team building exercises don’t need to be elaborate or time consuming to be effective. What we want to do is find an activity that will help challenge and develop the communication, problem solving and leadership skills of our team members. There are a lot of team building exercises out there but one that is very effective at developing the kind of skills we talked about is the Marshmallow Challenge. This exercise requires only a little preparation using inexpensive items you can get from your local supermarket and should take less than an hour to complete, including discussion after the exercise. If executed properly, the Marshmallow Challenge should challenge all of your team members’ critical skills without taking away too much time from their regular activities.

Give this exercise a try and let us know how it goes for you. If all of your team members get through this exercise without being challenged, it might be time to consider an even more challenging exercise for them next time!

Just as we talked about getting in the right mindset to give feedback to others, it's important to prepare ourselves and set our frame of mind for receiving feedback. Before we start to solicit feedback from others it's important to understand the purpose of feedback. Jason explains in this video why we ask for feedback, who we should ask for feedback from and how we should begin to implement feedback. He also addresses the challenges that come with receiving feedback from our team, our peers and our superiors as well as the difference between formal and informal feedback and why we should be implementing both types into how we evaluate ourselves as leaders.

Receiving Feedback – Video Guide

Just as we talked about getting in the right mindset to give feedback to others, it’s important to prepare ourselves and set our frame of mind for receiving feedback. Before we start to solicit feedback from others it’s important to understand the purpose of feedback. Jason explains in this video why we ask for feedback, who we should ask for feedback from and how we should begin to implement feedback. He also addresses the challenges that come with receiving feedback from our team, our peers and our superiors as well as the difference between formal and informal feedback and why we should be implementing both types into how we evaluate ourselves as leaders.

Tips for Receiving Feedback

  • It’s important to be in the right mindset to receive feedback. Don’t ask the question if you can’t handle the answer.
  • Be open-minded, listen and accept the feedback as it comes.
  • Don’t be reactive or defensive. Except in very urgent situations there’s no need to act right away
  • If someone is offensive or abusive that does need to be addressed, but address that behavior not the feedback itself
  • As you continue to get feedback from others, consider it all in the big picture and act from that perspective.

The most important thing to take away from all of this is that receiving feedback is important to evaluating ourselves and our team and if we don’t ask for it, we’ll never get an accurate picture of how well we’re achieving our goals.

Providing effective feedback to everyone we encounter at appropriate times can go a long way to helping everyone on our team and others that we work with advance towards meeting goals. In addition, providing regular and timely feedback to others will help us out when it comes to annual performance review time in our organization. When it comes to giving feedback, we want to avoid only giving feedback when something has gone wrong. Effective feedback is more than just corrective action when someone has made a mistake or disciplinary action when someone has behaved outside of established boundaries. Ideally we are providing feedback to others well before these negative situations arise. The time, place and method that we provide feedback often makes a big difference in how the feedback is received and implemented by the person we're giving it to. In this week's video, Jason talks about why we give feedback, who we should be giving feedback to and provides tips for giving feedback in both positive and negative situations.

Giving Feedback – 4 Tips to Start 2016 Effectively

Most of us agree that giving feedback is one of the key duties of leaders, but it is just as important to give feedback to our peers or as followers. Providing effective feedback to everyone we encounter at appropriate times can go a long way to helping everyone on our team and others that we work with advance towards meeting goals. In addition, providing regular and timely feedback to others will help us out when it comes to annual performance review time in our organization. When it comes to giving feedback, we want to avoid only giving feedback when something has gone wrong. Effective feedback is more than just corrective action when someone has made a mistake or disciplinary action when someone has behaved outside of established boundaries. Ideally we are providing feedback to others well before these negative situations arise. The time, place and method that we provide feedback often makes a big difference in how the feedback is received and implemented by the person we’re giving it to. In this week’s video, Jason talks about why we give feedback, who we should be giving feedback to and provides tips for giving feedback in both positive and negative situations.

4 Tips for Giving Feedback

Jason goes into more detail in the video about how to use each of these 4 tips to provide feedback to someone, especially if the feedback may be negative:

  • Give feedback in the context of previously set expectations
  • Show compassion and listen
  • Choose the right environment for giving feedback
  • Don’t make it personal

These tips can also be flipped around for giving feedback in positive situations where you want to praise an individual or team and highlight their accomplishments or hold them up as an example of great role models in the workplace. We always want to remember that our focus when we give feedback should be to encourage others when they do a great job and help them out when they could be doing a little better.

We took a little break from posting content over the holidays, but we're back now and our first video of 2016 is all about the importance of investing in ourselves. As we all start to set our improvement goals for the upcoming year it's important to assess if we are investing our energy and resources effectively to achieve them. Worthwhile goals don't just happen overnight or come about on their own. In order to really see the gains that we desire in our personal and professional lives, we need to apply our energy and resources in the right areas with sufficient intensity.

Investing in Ourselves

We took a little break from posting content over the holidays, but we’re back now and our first video of 2016 is all about the importance of investing in ourselves. As we all start to set our improvement goals for the upcoming year it’s important to assess if we are investing our energy and resources effectively to achieve them. Worthwhile goals don’t just happen overnight or come about on their own. In order to really see the gains that we desire in our personal and professional lives, we need to apply our energy and resources in the right areas with sufficient intensity.

4 Areas for Investing in Ourselves

  1. Time – The most important resource we have is our time and where we choose to spend our time says a lot about our priorities. Planning ahead to determine how much time we need to dedicate to achieving a goal can help us invest our time wisely and keep us from getting frustrated if our progress is slow. Investing in ourselves by prioritizing and budgeting our time to spend on the areas we most want to improve will provide us the greatest gains.
  2. Money – There are many free resources, both online and offline, that we can use to begin our quest to improve in a certain area, but at some point in order to achieve true mastery, we often need to spend some money. Asking ourselves if we can spend some of our hard-earned money in a smart way can help accelerate our development to get to the next level.
  3. Relationships – Developing a solid support structure made up of people who support us and provide honest and candid feedback is key for personal and professional development. Investing in ourselves by building strong relationships with people who believe in us and support our goals is essential to achieving those goals.
  4. Tools and Systems – Creating processes and procedures that help us follow through on our goals can help us make regular and continuous progress and keep us from having to rely on willpower to keep us moving forward.

Try taking a look at these 4 areas as you start turning your goals for 2016 into actionable steps and see if you’re investing appropriately in all 4 areas. If progress is slower than you’d like see if you can up your investment in one or more areas to accelerate your gains!