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Posts Tagged ‘Teambuilding’

If you think the rules do not apply to you . . .

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

. . . then they probably do.  That is a coaching phrase that I have used for years in conjunction with a good old standard teamwork game:  Broken Squares.  It’s an activity that requires teams to work together to achieve results and generally brings out both the best and worst behaviors on a team.  Some of the best behaviors are collaboration, innovation, creative thinking, sharing, supporting, and celebrating.  Some of the worst include competitiveness, control, self-absorption, hoarding, judging, and quitting.  It’s a fascinating insight to what makes people tick.

There are lots of rules for the game, and it doesn’t take long before someone breaks one or more of them.  As the teams work in silence (one of the rules), I observe them gesturing and making faces to try to communicate to another team member (against the rules).  And, I say: “If you think the rules do not apply to you, they probably do.”   I never just say it once, because in spite of making the rules really clear, someone always seems to think it’s okay to break them.  Generally, when I facilitate the game, I say the phrase a lot.  I think it is one of the most profound coaching phrases I ever use, with others and with myself.  I don’t just use it when I facilitate Broken Squares.  I use it when talking about accountability because we often look at everyone else to see if they’re being accountable and tend not to look at what we’re doing.  We think accountability isn’t an issue for us and that the rules about accountability don’t apply.  I also use it when talking about collaboration.  We often think of ourselves as the easiest people to work with.  We’re open, we’re honest, we share.  Certainly the collaboration rules don’t apply.

I notice that when I am positively convinced that the rules do not apply to me, it’s likely that I’m working really hard to rationalize, deflect, and avoid taking responsibility for my own actions.  Unfortunately, I mostly notice this after the fact . . . when I’ve already been stubborn and a bit full of myself.  I’m doing my best to shift the trend.  I think if we all looked at how well we are living by the rules instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing, things might go a lot more smoothly in our work and personal lives.

Just a thought:  “If you think the rules do not apply to you, they probably do.”

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Posted In: Leadership
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Preparing for MBTI Certification

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

I’m preparing for my MBTI certification seminar the week of February 15th in San Francisco.  This is fascinating stuff.  For those of you who might not know, MBTI is the acronym for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, an questionnaire developed to make Carl Jung’s threory of psychological types understandable and useful in everyday life.  Simply put, the results of the MBTI provide you with a multi-faceted picture of your unique psychological preferences.  Click here if you’d like to read a little bit more about the instrument and the research behind it.

The assessment identifies four different preferences: Extroversion – Introversion, Sensing-INtuition, Thinking-Feeling, and Judging-Perceiving.  The first scale, E – I, identifies where you prefer to focus your attention: outward or inward.  The second, S – N, identifies how you prefer to take in information.  The third, T – F identifies how you make decisions.  Finally, the fourth, J-P, identifies how you deal with the outer world.

What I appreciate about this work is that it sheds light on the different gifts we bring to a group.  Each of us has unique behavioral styles that when matched with other styles makes our world dynamic and interesting.

Those of you who know me well, already know that my preferences are ENFP.  I  prefer to focus on people and activity (E), take in information by seeing the big picture (N), use my feelings in decision making (F), and live in a flexible, spontaneous way (P).  People with ENFP preferences are generally believed to “see life as full of possibilities”.  That’s me!  And, that’s how BWR Consulting approaches work with clients.  We look for what is possible instead of what is wrong.

There’s a lot to learn before my certification.  And, I’m really excited about how, once certified, I can help clients understand their preferences in order to achieve even better results.  I’ll keep you posted on the process, and let you know what I learn.

With appreciation,


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Posted In: Behavioral Styles
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New Blog, New Perspectives

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Organizational Development Outcomes

I’m excited about communicating with you via BWR’s blog, PRISM.  I got the idea to call the blog PRISM while traveling through Europe recently.  There, I was reminded of the beauty of diversity and how a single idea can be viewed from several different perspectives.  Like looking at a light through a prism and seeing it reflected differently, we’ll use this blog to present ideas and view them from varying points of view.  After all, there is no one way to solve a problem, make a decision, build a culture or lead a team.  That’s what inspires me about organizational development and drives BWR Consulting to collaborate with clients to help them achieve great results.

Going forward, you can count on this blog as a source for issues that are important to me, but most important, are important to clients:  employee engagement, leading through change, building respectful cultures, cultural intelligence, effective teams, and much more.  From time to time, I’ll interview clients, colleagues and industry experts to gather varying perspectives about current organizational challenges and to share ideas for improving people, processes and systems.

For starters, I’ll refer you to the BWR Consulting website for a list of some of my favorite resources.  Click here to see my favorite books, websites and professional associations for organizational and leadership development.

With gratitude,


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Posted In: Consulting, Uncategorized
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