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August 2005
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October 2005

Stephen M.R. Covey -- The Speed of Trust

Trust is soft.
Trust is slow.
Trust is for wimps.
Trusting people is too risky.
Trust can't be taught.

These are common myths about trust.

Covey_smrBut what is the truth about trust?  Find out in this audio interview with Stephen M.R. Covey who will soon publish a book entitled "The Speed of Trust".

Stephen MR  (pictured) is the eldest son of Dr. Stephen  R. Covey who authored "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People".  Stephen MR is the former CEO of Covey Leadership Center which, under his stewardship, became the largest leadership development company in the world.  He is now the co-founder and CEO of his own firm CoveyLink which is a learning and consulting practice focused on enabling leaders and organizations to increase and leverage trust to achieve superior performance. 

As a teacher of team and leadership skills, there is no doubt that you seek to build trust among team members.  But how best to do it?

Speed_of_trust_1In this interview Stephen MR Covey shares strategies, tactics and tools to help you establish, grow, extend, and restore  trust with all stakeholders (customers, suppliers, investors,  and co-workers). 

Click on the link below to listen to the interview.

Download stephen_mr_covey_mp3_sm.mp3

Trust is THE critical leadership competency in the new global economy. Trust is more important than vision, strategy, skills, systems and structure and... the list goes on.  Trust is what will make your team outstanding.

Teams In Trouble 4 -- An Issue of Trust

Trust1Trust.  It’s the foundation for all valuable relationships and is at the core of all high performing teams.

But what happens when a team lacks trust?

My colleague Michael Goldman of relates this TRUE STORY of a team in trouble that he was called into work with...

A new product is developed and feedback is needed from within the company to make some critical decisions on how to proceed. 

A diverse group of staff is formed to provide the needed feedback - - only there is a problem.  There is “history” between some of the staff members. 

It’s a trust issue. 

There is reluctance within the group to speak their mind.  It will be a waste of time and energy to bring the group together unless the feedback is honest and unfiltered.  But that’s not going to happen because the staff doesn’t trust each other.

What would you do?

On Wednesday September 28, 2005 Michael and I held a TeleSeminar for over 80 people from around the world to share strategies, tactics and tools for helping a team with trust issues. 

Michael shared a proven tool to help teams  build trust and move forward with speed and grace. 

I shared one of my favorite teambuilding activities that helps teams EXPERIENCE trust.  The activity creates an opening for the group to discuss what trust is and how they want to experience it on a day-to-day basis within the team.

There were some good questions and comments at the end of the call.

Access to the free recording of the teleclass and the written material has expired. 

Teams In Trouble # 3: A Training Nightmare And What To Do About It

Training nightmares.  They can happen.

Here's a true story of one that happened to me...

A couple of years ago I was contacted by the principal of a public school and asked to deliver a daylong teambuilding games workshop.  The idea was to help his teaching staff learn how to lead teambuilding games in the classroom with their students. 

I regularly lead this type of workshop for educators so I expected the “normal” program. Silly me.

It was just after lunch, half way through the program, when suddenly two teachers started to cry, accusations were made and two staff members became so angry they jumped in their cars and sped off with gravel flying!

The workshop came to a standstill.  What should I do?  Do I continue on with the workshop?  Do I cancel the workshop and send everyone home?  Do I address what just happened and if so how?

What would YOU do?

I led a lively TeleSeminar with my colleague Michael Goldman of to answer these questions. 

As in previous Teams In Trouble TeleSeminars Michael shared a thought provoking facilitation model that he has successfully used in situations just like the one described.  When you hear the strategy Michael shares you’ll be ready to professionally handle a situation where you’re called into deliver “X” facilitation only to discover at the event that the group needs “Y” and you must change mid-stream. 

I described a teambuilding exercise called "Hidden Numbers" I led with the group that created an opening for them to address the conflict consciously. 

We wrapped it all up with a question and answer period. 

To our amazement and joy we had callers from arond the world including Malaysia and Ghana.

This is an exciting collaboration between Michael and myself as we bring you the best of both worlds:  teambuilding games and facilitation skills.

Access to the free recording of the teleclass and the written material has expired. 

Is This Teamwork?

It's teamwork if you think in terms of having fun and building community!

My six year old son loves to hit a pinata but why should he have all the fun?  I decided to make the adult version and invented "Full Contact Pinata".

I bought a large pinata and filled it with apples, oranges and other heavy semi-rotting fruit.  I then built a large medieval looking contraption to swing the pinata (it's important to get the pinata swinging wildly).  Finally, you've got to find a volunteer willing to put on helmet and mask and take on the pinata.

Whenever I watch the video clip (see below) I always laugh. 

If you're wondering, I have invented some more practical games.  You can see them here.

Pain and Pleasure -- What creates change?

What does it take to motivate someone (manager, team member) to change their behavior back in the office AFTER the teambuilding workshop?

I'd like to believe that a one day (once a year) teambuilding workshop will create long term change in a person but it usually doesn't.

The teambuilding workshop can create an "opening" - - a place for someone to create the initial shift.  The workshop will not sustain the change.  And some who attend the workshop will refuse to change their behavior (during or after the workshop).

What is it then that keeps a person "stuck" in old disruptive behavior?

Pain_pleasureThe reason people don't change is that they associate pain to changing.  Change requires moving into the unknown and many people associate pain to the unknown.  The pain they experience now as a result of not changing is (they believe) LESS painful than going through all the effort of changing. 

People are motivated by two factors:
1. The need to avoid pain
2. The need to gain pleasure
The brain is setup to do these two things on a moment to moment basis.  It helps us survive.  The  brain is asking "Will doing this thing help me avoid pain?  Will doing this thing help me gain pleasure?"

My dad was a near chain smoker for many years and had made feeble attempts at quitting UNTIL he had a heart attack.  Prior to the heart attack he had associated more pain to quitting than not.  After the heart attack he linked the intense pain he was experiencing to the smoking and he never picked up again.  The pain of quitting became LESS painful than the pain he associated to remaining a smoker.  When presented with two painful choices we will choose the less painful of the two.

The key here is what the person ASSOCIATES the pain to.  Did my dad have to have a heart attack to stop smoking?  No.  He could have used his imagination to clearly associate intense (intense!) pain to smoking and he would have dropped the habit just as fast.

To get someone (a team member) to change their behavior long term they must associate massive pain to the existing old negative behavior and intense pleasure to the new (higher conscioussness) positive behavior.

When comparing pain and pleasure as motivators, pain is the greater motivator - - short term.

Long term, pleasure is the greater motivator.

How then to bring in the pleasure component?

Many people (many teams) are very clear about what they don't want.  By helping someone become clear about what they do want in their life (the pleasure) I help them create a clear and powerfully articulated VISION that absolutely inspires and uplifts them.  A powerfully articulated vision helps a person (a team) be drawn toward that which they desire.  A powerfully articulated vision will help people have the courage and discipline to stay the course.

Are you ready to receive the benefits of a clearly and powerfully articulated vision for your team?  Contact me