Previous month:
May 2007
Next month:
July 2007

Teambuilding Game: Hidden Numbers

Hiddennumbers_1Here's an easy to lead teamwork exercise for a group of 5 to 30 people that creates an opening for a powerful discussion on being able to see what's really going on.

Oftentimes in life the solution to a problem is right in front of us but we don’t see it because we allow ourselves to become distracted by extraneous information.  In this case, the shoestring acts as a distraction. 

Barry Rellaford uses this activity to help teams experience what he calls the "hidden variable of trust".  You can hear Barry talk about how he uses this game HERE.

Would you like to lead this teambuilding game with your group?


I'll send you the complete teambuilding game write-up!  Just subscribe to my free TeachMeTeamwork.com teamwork ideas e-newsletter (see the form in the right hand column).  In addition to receiving a free teambuilding games e-book, I'll regularly send you complete and detailed lead-it-yourself instructions to teambuilding games like the one above.  The lead-it-yourself instructions include:  

  • Setup & Preparation directions
  • Rules
  • Comments and insights about the teambuilding game
  • Debriefing suggestions
  • Variations
  • Detailed "how to make it" if props are involved
  • Video clips and photos

Over time you'll receive over 100 new and different lead-it-yourself teambuilding game write-ups for FREE.

CLICK HERE for a sample teambuilding game write-up.

Do you need immediate access to my growing online archive of lead-it-yourself teambuilding games?  When you purchase my popular Multimedia 3-CD Training Bundle, I'll immediately send you the password to my online archive of teambuilding game write-ups.  Learn more HERE.

>> Learn how to build a high-performing team. CLICK HERE


Master Trainer Barry Rellaford -- mini training session on Trust Accounts, your "Trust Tax" and the hidden variable of trust

Barryrellaford Barry Rellaford is a master trainer who works with CoveyLink, the organization behind Stephen M.R. Covey (listen to the audio interview I did with Covey HERE).

This mini training session (audio interview) is part of a series I'm doing with Barry about the work he does with leaders and organizations on trust.

Barry is the lead trainer of the Speed Of Trust organization which is headed up by Stephen M.R. Covey.  Barry's experience is enormous and I'm amazed and what he can share in a short amount of time.

In this 20 minute training session you'll hear Barry describe the "Hidden Variable" of success.  You can see this hidden variable in the following equation:

"Traditional" Success formula states:

Strategy x Execution = Results

However, this equation is anything but accurate.  The equation is missing the hidden variable of Trust.  To reflect the power of trust the equation must be rewritten as:

(Strategy x Execution) Trust = Results

Listen to the audio interview to learn how Barry helps people understand the hidden variable of trust through a simple teambuilding exercise called "Hidden Numbers".

This recorded training session is archived in the IATF Members Only Area.  Members CLICK HERE to access the recording.


Teamwork Ideas Newsletter: June 18, 2007

Tomheck100It's Tom Heck with your June 18, 2007 edition of the TeachMeTeamwork.com Teamwork Ideas e-Newsletter.

One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to speak with wonderful people who are passionate about teaching team and leadership skills.  I recently became friends with such a person - - his name is Jack Zufelt and he wrote the best seller "The DNA of Success" and I convinced Jack to lead two training programs for FREE for the TeachMeTeamwork.com community on Tuesday! (see below)

And a bit of an accomplishment this week - - we just passed the 27,000 subscriber mark!  It's great knowing so many people (in 103 countries!) are interested in teaching team skills.  With so many people working to build teams I feel certain we can shift the consciousness of the planet to win-win. 

Tom Heck
Teamwork Coach
email me

Continue reading "Teamwork Ideas Newsletter: June 18, 2007" »


Teamwork Activity: Willow In The Wind trust building game

What does trust feel like?  This teambuilding game provides the answer.

I consider this an advanced activity because there is so much physical contact required.  This activity is not for all groups because many people have issues with being touched to the degree required in this game. 

This is another "no-prop" teamwork exercise.

Would you like to lead this teambuilding game with your group?

I'll send you the complete teambuilding game write-up!  Just subscribe to my free TeachMeTeamwork.com teamwork ideas e-newsletter (see the form in the right hand column).  In addition to receiving a free teambuilding games e-book, I'll regularly send you complete and detailed lead-it-yourself instructions to teambuilding games like the one above.  The lead-it-yourself instructions include: 

  • Setup & Preparation directions
  • Rules
  • Comments and insights about the teambuilding game
  • Debriefing suggestions
  • Variations
  • Detailed "how to make it" if props are involved
  • Video clips and photos

Over time you'll receive over 100 new and different lead-it-yourself teambuilding game write-ups for FREE. 

CLICK HERE for a sample teambuilding game write-up.

Do you need immediate access to my growing online archive of lead-it-yourself teambuilding games?  When you purchase my popular Multimedia 3-CD Training Bundle, I'll immediately send you the password to my online archive of teambuilding game write-ups.  Learn more HERE.

>> Lead consciously.  Learn how HERE


Teambuilding Game: Welded Feet

Are you looking for a no-prop teambuilding exercise that requires a high degree of focus and integrity on the part of the group?  You've found it in this activity.

The group lines up shoulder to shoulder and walks from point A to point B.  While walking, you must keep your foot connected to (touching) your partner's foot.  It sounds easy but it's not.

Would you like to lead this teambuilding game with your group?

I'll send you the complete teambuilding game write-up!  Just subscribe to my free TeachMeTeamwork.com teamwork ideas e-newsletter (see the form in the right hand column).  In addition to receiving a free teambuilding games e-book, I'll regularly send you complete and detailed lead-it-yourself instructions to teambuilding games like the one above.  The lead-it-yourself instructions include: 

  • Setup & Preparation directions
  • Rules
  • Comments and insights about the teambuilding game
  • Debriefing suggestions
  • Variations
  • Detailed "how to make it" if props are involved
  • Video clips and photos

Over time you'll receive over 100 new and different lead-it-yourself teambuilding game write-ups for FREE. 

CLICK HERE for a sample teambuilding game write-up.

Do you need immediate access to my growing online archive of lead-it-yourself teambuilding games?  When you purchase my popular Multimedia 3-CD Training Bundle, I'll immediately send you the password to my online archive of teambuilding game write-ups.  Learn more HERE.

>> Lead consciously.  Learn how HERE


Ron Clark, award winning teacher, Oprah guest, author shares his "Excellent 11"

8114_web Ron Clark was a classroom teacher who ended up on Oprah - - not just once but a couple of times. 

How does a classroom teacher get on Oprah?

It wasn't because he had a great PR team.

It is because he is a masterful teacher of children who achieved remarkable results in what many would consider to be less than an optimal learning environment.

And now he has something to tell YOU.

You're a teacher (of team skills) and this teacher knows a thing or two about what it takes to get people learning.  You probably won't be surprised to learn that Ron believes in creating a strong sense of family (community) among his team (students).

In this audio interview we discuss Ron's book entitled:

The Excellent 11: Qualitites Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children

What are the "Excellent 11"?

  • Enthusiasm
  • Adventure
  • Creativity
  • Reflection
  • Balance
  • and...

Excellent11cov2 Even if you work with adults you'll want to listen to this interview.

CLICK HERE to listen to this audio interview.  You will be taken to a password protected "Members Only Area".  Membership is free with your subscription to the free TeachMeTeamwork.com e-newsletter. 

Details about the Members Only Area HERE.


Ask The Teamwork Coach: Should a manager new to the team lead an icebreaker in an attempt to address the low trust?

Here's a question I received via my "Ask The Teamwork Coach" service:

Hi Tom, I have a new internal client who has asked me to work with him on restructuring his management team. The manager's been in the position 2 months and his take on the team of managers who report to him is there is a lack of trust. He'd like to do an icebreaker to kick off the day's meeting/work with something leading to trust -- my concern is:

1. I like to use ice breaker that will build into the material and theme of the day;
2. I'm concerned that any ice breaker with trust could go into a negative direction and I'd like the day to start upbeat.

And here's my response...

Hi Nancy,

Based on the information you've supplied I would not advise this manager lead an icebreaker. 

If he is sensing trust is low then he needs your help designing a system to address this issue. 

Leading an icebreaker could actually diminish the level of trust the team has in him especially if the manager is not skilled at leading and debriefing/processing the experience.

Do you know the book "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni?  CLICK HERE

The book has a simple and easy to administer team assessment.  Start with that. 

Have the team read the book and decide if they want to build a high performing team using the principles/model outlined in the book.

All meetings led by the manager should follow the guidelines presented in Lencioni's book entitled "Death By MeetingCLICK HERE

The experiential activities (icebreakers, team activities, etc.) need to be in alignment with where the team is going.  The disjointed, whimsical use of experiential activities will hurt the team.

CLICK HERE for an example of how you can use experiential activities that are in harmony with the program design:

And her response...

Oh my gosh—this is perfect! Thank you, so much! I so appreciate your help and your very speedy reply!

What advice do YOU have for Nancy?  Place your comments below.

Do you have a question for Tom Heck the Teamwork Coach?  If yes, send it to tom@teachmeteamwork.com

NOTE:  Names have been changed to protect privacy.


Teamwork Exercise: Key Punch

I like to use the Key Punch Teambuilding Game to address issues of continuous improvement.

In this activity the group is charged with touching all 30 numbered spots as fast as they can.  The team is given five attempts and must complete all attempts within a 30 minute window.  The team is penalized when a number is touched out of order and if the team sends more than one person inside the rope boundary.

I knew of this activity for many years but never led it because I didn't get it.  One day I witnessed a facilitator friend lead this and I've loved this teamwork exercise ever since.  I hope the video helps you get it.




Would you like to lead this teambuilding game with your group?

Get instant access to the growing online archive of lead-it-yourself teambuilding game directions which include: 

  • Setup & Preparation directions
  • Rules
  • Comments and insights about the teambuilding game
  • Debriefing suggestions
  • Variations
  • Detailed "how to make it" if props are involved
  • Video clips and photos

Over 100 new and different lead-it-yourself teambuilding game write-ups and growing!

All this and MORE when you become a member of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators.  CLICK HERE to explore the list of member benefits.

CLICK HERE for a sample teambuilding game write-up.


Presentation Tools, Tips, and Techniques

I was recently asked if I could help design the PowerPoint slides for a medical device presentation.  I asked my client to send the slides he had created thus far and upon review I saw he had violated nearly every rule of effective PowerPoint slide creation.

Here are some great resources to help you create a great PowerPoint presentation AND deliver it with impact:

Really Bad Power Point

A must read e-book from Seth Godin
Download really_bad_ppt.pdf

Pamela Slim provides a list of What To Do Before the Presentation HERE

Speaking as a Performing Art HERE

Presentation Zen - - Garr Reynolds blog on issues related to professional presentation design

  • Some of my favorite posts:
    • Garr has a great post comparing Bill Gates and Steve Jobs presentation style HERE
    • Where to get good images HERE
    • Tom Peters management guru on presentation excellence HERE
    • What is good PowerPoint design HERE

Watch some fantastic and fascinating presentations from TED HERE


Icebreakers: When, Why and How to Use Them by master facilitator Michael Goldman

My friend Michael Goldman of FacilitationFirst.com recently published a newsletter containing guidelines for using icebreakers:

  • When to use icebreakers
  • When NOT to use icebreakers
  • Debriefing an icebreaker

And he even provides an example of an icebreaker.

CLICK HERE to read his newsletter.

Michael and I are leading a LIVE Teams In Trouble train-the-trainer event October 11 - 12, 2007 in Boston.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend because this is going to be great.  More information coming soon!


Tom Heck, President & Founder of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators, offers a free group coaching session -- Recorded June 8, 2007

Tom Heck, President & Founder of the IATF, offered a "Free Coaching Friday" on June 8, 2007.  Professional trainers, facilitators, and coaches called in from all over the world for this 55 minute conference call where Tom Heck answered teambuilding and leadership questions and the callers offered up their tips and suggestions - - all for FREE!

In this particular call you'll hear Iris, a trainer in Alaska, ask how to engage a group of volunteers who head up a safety process team.  You'll also hear Corine ask for ideas on how to coach workers who feel under appreciated. 

During one of the coaching segments we discuss Appreciative Inquiry and Caroline Blackwell (of usn.org) mentions a book entitled "Encyclopedia of Positive Questions Volume 1 - Using Appreciative Inquiry to Bring Out the Best in Your Organization."

The call was recorded and you can listen to it by clicking on the link below:

Download Free_Coaching_Friday_060807_sm.mp3


High school graduates receive applause for high grade point averages -- how to fool an entire community

High_school_graduation Last week I witnessed mass hypnosis at a high school graduation.  I wondered how it was that so many people could be fooled.

Here's the scoop...

A neighbor's son was graduating and I wanted to show my support by attending the graduation ceremony.  This young man is an exceptional person - - smart, considerate, friendly and he had a grade point average of 5.0 (grade inflation is for another post).

Early on in the ceremony the principal addressed the 276 students and the parents, relatives, and friends of the graduates (several thousand people!).  The principal went on and on about how this graduating class has the highest grade point average, the highest test scores, the highest number of college applicants, etc, etc. 

The audience applauded.  The audience cheered.

My wife and I rolled our eyes.

How is it that so many people can be in a fog?  Fooled into believing that high grades and high test scores equates to success in real life.

I guess there are very few of us who know the world is flat, otherwise the principal's focus on left brain strengths would fall flat.  Did you know the world is flat?  If not, read Thomas Friedman's NY Times best seller HERE.

Friedman will tell you that India is pumping out Harvard MBA equivalents like there is no tomorrow - - and they'll work for a fraction of the cost.  And because of technology (high speed internet, etc.) you can now hire one of these Harvard MBA equivalents from India for between $5 - $15/hour.  Today's high school graduates are now competing with these Harvard MBA equivalents.

What is the answer?

Focus on building RIGHT BRAIN skills.  That's what Dan Pink says in his powerful book entitled "A Whole New Mind - Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future".  Watch a video of Dan Pink HERE

So here's a question for you...

What would a principal say about a graduating class if the school focused on building right brain strengths among the students?

Some possible answers might be:

  • 100% of our students are able to define their personal mission (life purpose) and they have a clear direction on how to express their mission for the greatest possible good.
  • Each student is connected to and understands their personal values.
  • Our students understand how they learn best through their unique learning style.
  • The creative process has been fully explored by each and every student.  Expressing their creativity comes easily and naturally.

And the audience applauds wildly.

Will this ever happen?  It's unlikely.  Especially with the current fixation on test scores and No Child Left Behind.

I wish all parents were required to read John Taylor Gatto's book entitled "The Underground History of American Education".  Perhaps the cultural hypnosis about the importance of high test scores would vanish.  You can listen to this audio interview I did with Gatto HERE.

What kind of hypnosis is your team operating under?

Post Update:

Dan Pink (mentioned above) just sent me an email after he read this post and said he once interviewed John Taylor Gatto (also mentioned above).  The interview appeared in the October 2000 issue of Fast Company Magazine.  You can read Dan's interview of John HERE. (it's really good)


Toobeez Teambuilding Game: Toxic Gas Leak

This is a Toobeez Teambuilding Game that requires focused individual effort AND team effort.  Before the activity starts the facilitator builds a structure using the Toobeez.  The team is then challenged to replicate this structure using the pieces inside the roped off area (circle).  Each team member is allowed inside the roped off area ONE time and can only stay in for as long as they can hold their breath AND they can't open their eyes while inside the roped off area.

Would you like to lead this teambuilding game with your group?

Follow the link below to read detailed directions on how to lead this teamwork exercise which include:

  • Setup & Preparation
  • Rules
  • Comments and insights about the teambuilding game
  • Debriefing suggestions
  • Variations
  • Detailed "how to make it" if props are involved

CLICK HERE to read complete lead-it-yourself instructions.  You will be taken to a password protected "Member Only Area".  Membership is free with your subscription to the free TeachMeTeamwork.com e-newsletter. 

Details about the Member Only Area HERE.


Teamwork Ideas Newsletter: June 4, 2007

Tomheck100 It's Tom Heck with your June 4, 2007 edition of the TeachMeTeamwork.com Teamwork Ideas e-Newsletter.

Lots to enjoy in this newsletter - - 4 new teambuilding games, an audio interview, a recorded training session, free coaching, and more!

The growth in the number of subscribers is fantastic.  640 people have subscribed since the last newsletter (May 15).  Welcome to all the new subscribers!

I'll be announcing a new series of TeleSeminars soon so keep an eye out for those.  If you have topics for the TeleSeminars please send me an email and I'll see what I can do.  tom@teachmeteamwork.com

 

Tom Heck
Teamwork Coach

New Teambuilding Games

New Audio Interview 

Emotional Intelligence, Teams & Leadership - a primer from a PhD who trains on this subject weekly.  His name is Dr. Haydn Hasty and I've seen him in action as he masterfully leads workshops for managers and CEOs.  Dr. Hasty teaches people how to become exceptional leaders by understanding Emotional Intelligence.  Dr. Hasty uses experiential learning activities in all his work.  CLICK HERE to listen to the audio and learn from a master.

Mini (Recorded) Training Session on How To Talk About Trust

This is the first in a series of exclusive short audio training programs with Barry Rellaford.  Barry is a friend of mine who happens to be an expert trainer in the area of TRUST.  Barry travels nearly every week of the year teaching the principles found in the best selling leadership book entitled "The Speed of Trust" by Stephen M.R. Covey.  How do you start a conversation with your client about buildig trust when your client thinks trust is not the issue?  CLICK HERE to learn how in this free audio program.

Free Coaching Friday

It happens this week on Friday June 8, 2007 from 3 pm to 3:55 pm EST (New York time zone).  Call in with your teamwork and leadership questions and I'll do my best to answer them.  It's a conference line so depending on how many people show up you may or may not get a chance to ask your question.  My answers will be brief and "laser" like.  The phone number to call is:  218-486-1300 and when prompted enter the following "bridge number": 737837. This call will be recorded.  My normal coaching fee is $400/hour so come get the free version while you can.

New Teamwork T-Shirt

Tshirt_blue_2 Are you looking for a way to communicate the benefits of teamwork in a fun and unique way? Take a look at our NEW t-shirt design.  These shirts are hot off the printing press and ready to ship.  CLICK HERE

Other Posts of Interest

Use Your Teambuilding Skills to Become Financially Free

You already posses the number one skill needed to become financially free (you're a teambuilder!).  Now all you need is the right "vehicle".  CLICK HERE to learn more.

Statistics for TeachMeTeamwork.com


My May sailing and camping trip with my 8 year old son and brother

I took my 8 year old son Joseph on a big sailing and camping adventure to the Outer Banks of North Carolina May 16 - 20. 

On the drive to the coast we stopped at the airport in Raleigh, NC to pick up my brother Brian who flew in from Colorado.

It was a long drive (12 hours) but it was worth it.  We had great camping weather (other than the driving rain one night) and great sailing weather.

We pulled our Hobie Wave down on the trailer and as always, that little sail boat performed great (see photo below).

We did have one day of super strong winds - - blowing 20 knots and gusting to 26 knots.  The windsurfers and kiteboarders were loving it but that was too much wind for us so we went for a hike up the famous Cape Haterras light house  and road the ferry to Ocracoke.

Our longest sail was 4 hours and we found "bird island" 5 miles out into the Pamlico Sound. There were large gulls nesting on this island, most of the nests had 1-3 eggs but a couple had some small chicks (see photo below).

I'm really grateful for fun adventures with my family. 

My newest focus -- teambuilding wealth -- has provided me this. 

It's the perfect vehicle for teambuilders, like you, to create financial freedom.  Learn more HERE.

Photos of our trip.  Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge:

Camp Hobie_wave Eggs_in_nest Brian_and_tom Lighthouse Sunset