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December 2011
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February 2012

The Spiritual Nature of Team Building -- New TeleSeminar Series


When I first began team building in 1987, I was drawn to the work because I felt good doing it.  My initial inexperience made it very challenging at first, and yet I knew I was doing the right thing.  These feelings were an indication I was following a spiritual path - - though I wouldn’t recognize it until much later.  I simply knew I was happy doing the work regardless of the circumstances.

As President & Founder of the IATF I've had many conversations with teamwork facilitators (trainers, coaches, educators) around the world and have discovered many of us share a spiritual grounding in our work building teams.

Many of us feel a "calling" (as Gregg Levoy says) to do this work.  It's not a job; it's our JOY to help groups have a direct experience of what it means to become a "high performing team".

One of the big goals I've set for 2012 is to explore this intangible we call "spirit" (or "spiritual") when it comes to team building.

Many in our industry are comfortable using the phrase "Team Spirit" which hints at this intangible.

Now I propose a series of live and interactive TeleSeminars where we directly explore and address the spiritual nature of team building.

I plan to invite leaders in the field of spiritual studies to be our guest on these TeleSeminars in an effort to more fully understand what it means to build and lead teams as a path of spiritual development.

Here are some of the people I plan to invite as speakers...

Who would you like to hear on this TeleSeminar series?  What speakers, authors and luminaries would you most enjoy learning from? Who would inspire and enlighten you?  Leave your thoughts in the comments area below.

Can you help me connect with anyone on the above list?  If yes, I'd love to hear from you.  Please call or email.

Please share your thoughts below.

Tom Heck
President & Founder
International Association of Teamwork Facilitators

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Today is we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. here in the United States.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Dr. King.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broad conerns of all humanity.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the one hand, we are called to play the good smaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.  True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar.  It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sit down lectures - - Is there a better way to learn teamwork?

Photo from Andrew Scott on Flickr

Remember college classes?  Sitting in a lectures taking notes?  Remember how engaging these lectures were? 

"Sage on the stage" is how this method of instruction is known.

If you're like most people, a good portion of college lectures were terribly boring and did not fully engage you.

Fast forward to - now - you're a teamwork facilitator (coach, trainer, manager, educator, etc.).  How often do you talk at your audience (lecture at them)?

If you to are applying the "sage on the stage" method of teaching then it's likely your audience is walking away from the experience with much less than you think.

Research shows that your students will learn more if they are actively (as in out of their chair) learning.

"According to the best-evidence synthesis, we found strong evidence of a significant positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance."

LESSON:  To be a more effective teamwork facilitator and fully engage your audience learn how to get people up and moving and learning at the same time. 

The Power of Self Leadership -- interview with Ed Manning


We can’t truly lead others until we know how to lead ourselves.

In this live and interactive TeleSeminar you'll learn an innovative tool for mapping key internal influences of your behavior, communication, and decision making.

Once we know why we’re doing what we’re doing, we can make informed choices rather than simply react to people and events around us.

Practicing self leadership allows us to engage our day-to-day lives and professional roles with more clarity and effectiveness.

Please join us for this free and interactive TeleSeminar with special guest Ed Manning of Alchemy for Leaders where we'll explore The Power of Self Leadership.

This is the perfect training event for trainers, educators, coaches, and leaders.

Ed_manningOur guest Ed Manning owns Alchemy For Leaders and is an accomplished management consultant who brings a proven record of client success. Ed’s passion is guiding individuals and organizations in discerning what they truly value so they can unleash their potential. He has more than 20 years of facilitation experience with organizations such as ING Bank, Lend Lease, Delta Air Lines, and Center for Disease Control. Ed has led programs on leadership development, strategic planning, project management and effective communication.



About the telephone conference technology used during this class

This TeleSeminar will utilize new state of the art telephone conferencing technology from Maestro Conference that enables you to participate like never before.  All you need is a regular telephone (land line or cell) BUT be ready for a totally new experience.


Live TeleSeminar entitled "The Power of Self Leadership" with special guest Ed Manning of Alchemy For Leaders

Wednesday, January 25, 2011
Starts at 1 pm Eastern (NY City time zone)
(12 Central / 11 am Mountain / 10 am Pacific)
runs 60 minutes

FREE!  But space is limited.  Register early!

This call was recorded and is archived in the IATF Members Only Area.  Only IATF members have access to the Members Only Area. Membership is FREE.  CLICK HERE to learn more about IATF member benefits. 

Download the slide deck as a PDF using the link below:

Download Self Leadership slides 1-25-12


Breakthrough Leadership with Brian Biro -- Amazing Live Workshop on January 24, 2012


I'm so excited to announce the 5th Annual Lessons In Leadership main event! 

The date is Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at the magnificent, brand new Kimmel Arena at UNCA.  Registration and Networking is from 5:00 to 6:00 with the program from 6:15 to 8:45. 

The speaker for this special 5th anniversary event is America's Breakthrough Coach, Brian Biro delivering BREAKTHROUGH LEADERSHIP! 

Brian is an amazing teacher of team and leadership skills and is on the faculty here at the IATF.

When we hear…we forget.  When we SEE…we're more likely to remember.  But when we DO, we UNDERSTAND! 

This will be a one-of-a-kind event that will move you out of the stands and into the game!

It is unlike any seminar or presentation anywhere for the unequaled engagement, energy, focus, and value.

Brian has delivered more than 1,250 events around the world to companies like Lockheed Martin, Starbucks, Staples, Microsoft, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Verizon, AT&T, Southwest Airlines, the University of Notre Dame, UCLA, TIAA-CREF, AFLAC, Allstate, and hundreds of others reaching  more than half a million participants. He was also recently named one of the 100 Most Inspirational Graduates of the UCLA Graduate School of Business in honor of their 75th Anniversary. He has has written nine books including bestseller Beyond Success.

Brian's presentation on Breakthrough Leadership will leave you six-feet off the ground ready to create lasting breakthroughs in your life, health, business, and spirit!  AND, because he speaks exclusively for organizations, businesses, and educational institutions, this  is the only PUBLIC event Brian will do in 2012!


Cost is only $20/person

Every cent goes to charities including MANNA Food Bank, the YMCA of WNC Healthier Communities Campaign, and the UNCA Scholarship fund.

This event will be held at the brand new Kimmel Arena on the campus of the University of North Carolina Asheville. It is truly state-of-the-art! During the networking time from 5:00 to 6:00 the concession stands will be open, so you can enjoy a delicious and easy dinner right there PLUS there is plenty of easy parking!

When companies bring Brian Biro in to speak they invest upwards of $20,000 for facility, speakers fees, and AV.  This same quality of experience is yours for $20 on January 24th.

We encourage you to make the most of this opportunity and BRING YOUR ENTIRE TEAM!!  This year's event will have enormous value for you personally and professionally.  By the time you leave the arena that night you will understand that no matter your job title or position, you are a leader…the CEO of your own life…and will be inspired and crystal clear that you have the potential to elevate you and those around you every single day.  


Cost is only $20/person

IATF President Tom Heck will be there and would love to connect with you at the event.

GO Team Workshops -- LEVEL 3 (modules 13-18)

See you at the top!

Ready for high performance? These topics aren’t only for mature teams; they’re for any team that wishes to unleash the “group genius” that is a unique product of teams.


13   Building Team Trust

Trust is the bedrock of everything else. If the team doesn’t have trust, then it is experiencing crushing drains of efficiency, quality, and energy. In this module, the team will create its own “trust model” and identify the behaviors that can kill or enhance trust. They will conclude with a shared understanding of what trust looks like in this team, and a plan of action for increasing it.

Your team will:

  • Examine the importance of trust in successful teams.
  • Identify the key elements of team trust.
  • Assess this team’s level of trust.
  • Discuss how the team will increase trust.

14   Giving and Receiving Feedback

“How are you doing?” In a team, that’s not a polite salutation, but part of a shared commitment to give and receive feedback. Whether it is “corrective” or “reinforcing,” feedback is necessary to the team’s culture, processes, tasks, and relationships. Learners will have an opportunity to share their feedback with one another and build valuable skills that they can continue to exercise.

Your team will:

  • Explore the importance of feedback – both corrective and reinforcing – to the healthy functioning of your team.
  • Identify qualities of effective feedback.
  • Establish how this team intends to make delivering and receiving feedback a constant part of its work.
  • Practice giving and receiving feedback as it relates to processes, team tasks and team relationships.

15   Sharing Leadership

When it comes to team work, who takes the lead? The answer is, “everyone!” A team is an incubator for leadership skills, and this fun, highly interactive module will give each team member a plan for developing their own unique leadership.

Your team will:

  • Identify shared leadership behaviors for this team.
  • Exercise your own unique leadership.
  • Make plans for further sharing your leadership, and expanding your own repertoire of leader behaviors.

16   Sparking Team Creativity

Your team is full of creative people. Don’t believe it? Then work through this module as a team. You’ll discover that creativity is not a magical thing reserved for a gifted few. Instead, it’s a discipline and a process that any team can exercise at any time. Next time the team needs to generate new opportunities and new ways of thinking, make this module a part of the work agenda. You won’t believe the creative brilliance that you produce!

Your team will:

  • Explore a disciplined process for exercising creative thinking (even if members don’t consider themselves “creative!”)
  • Consider the different roles and individual strengths that different team members bring to the creative process.
  • Work through a four-part model that leads team members through the creative process – from defining an opportunity, to brainstorming creative solutions, to making plans for building the idea, and ultimately to ensuring its effective implementation.

17   Managing Change

Change happens. Like it or not, change will be a continual part of the team’s reality. Rather than forever reacting to unforeseen events, the team will practice a multi-lens approach to confronting a real-world change it faces. Members will deal with their own reactions to the change, analyze the nature of the change, explore the many unanticipated ripple effects… and, of course, develop a plan of action.

Your team will:

  • Deal collectively with a change that is currently affecting the team.
  • Explore and identify individual reactions to the change.
  • Analyze the nature of the change.
  • Identify the implications of the change.
  • Create a shared plan of action for navigating effectively through the change.

18   Leveraging Team Learning

What does teamwork have to do with learning? You may be surprised. Learning is very much a team activity, in which each member has different roles and strengths. This module offers some fascinating ways for members to think about their learning styles, and then coordinate them for powerful and ongoing learning.

Your team will:

  • Explore Kolb’s Learning Cycle for deeper understanding into how people learn from experience.
  • Consider your own individual learning styles and preferences.
  • Plan future learning activities that leverage and honor the learning preferences of each team member.


View  GO Team  LEVEL 1  (modules 1-6)  CLICK HERE

View  GO Team LEVEL 2  (modules 7-12)  CLICK  HERE

HOME of GO Team Workshops



FREE  GO Team  Assessment

Contact us to schedule a free team assessment that will determine your team's strengths and weaknesses (opportunities for growth).  Using the results of the assessment, we will work with you to design a workshop the produces the results you most need.  There is no obligation to buy.  This is a service we provide to make sure there's a match between your needs and what we have to offer.

EMAIL:  [email protected]

PHONE:  (828) 348-4677




GO Team Workshops -- LEVEL 2 (modules 7-12)

Go Team!

Some issues just seem to pop up every day in the work with the team. These are the core topics that come with the territory.


7   Enhancing Team Communication

All day every day the team communicates. Imagine the efficiencies that could be gained by communicating better. In this module team members will exercise their capabilities for advocacy and inquiry. More than a process for transferring information, communication becomes the source of learning, transformation, and innovation.

Your team will:

  • Explore the disciplines of advocacy and inquiry to create team conversations that produce learning, innovation, and change.
  • Practice conversations in which you exercise advocacy and inquiry.
  • Make plans for purposeful team communication.

8   Running Effective Team Meetings

And now consider the humble meeting, that contentious generator of disagreement and lost time. But not for the high-performing team! As you explore team meetings through this module, you’ll discover how meetings can become a place where real work gets done! This module includes a meeting planning process that can be used over and over.

Your team will:

  • Identify characteristics of effective meetings, as well as tips for meeting facilitation.
  • Use the GO Team meeting planning tool to identify the meeting participants, purpose, and agenda.
  • Learn how the GO Team meeting planning tool can be used to keep the meeting on task and on time; and to assess the effectiveness of the meeting.

9   Making Team Decisions

Before you decide, you have to decide how you will decide! That’s one of the big ideas that drives this module of GO Team. As your team works through an actual decision that it faces, members will encounter a repeatable process for making decisions — one that includes key considerations before, during, and after the actual decision.

Your team will:

  • Practice a disciplined process for making team-based decisions.
  • Consider different approaches for making decisions, and select from those approaches based on the challenge at hand.
  • Make an actual decision about an issue the team is currently facing.
  • Analyze your decision for possible factors that may derail its success, and make contingency plans to ensure successful implementation.

10   Avoiding Groupthink

As the team begins to work and collaborate with more expertise, a new vulnerability can creep in. It’s called “groupthink” and it can cause even strong teams to fall into unproductive ways of thinking. Equip your team to fight the ravages of groupthink with this module!

Your team will:

  • Explore the concept of groupthink, and the dangers that it poses to this team.
  • Analyze this team’s vulnerability to groupthink.
  • Define and practice specific behaviors for ensuring that groupthink is not a danger to this team.

11   Resolving Team Conflict

39% of teams report that they “fear” and “avoid” conflict. And yet, the inherent tension of competing interests is one of the greatest sources of creativity for your team! In this module, the team will deal with an actual conflict… and in the process build the team’s capacity for transforming daily conflict into a force for innovation.

Your team will:

  • Explore the nature of conflict and power, and consider the proper personal orientation before entering into conflict situations.
  • Practice a dialogue-based approach for dealing with an existing conflict, and for preventing future conflicts from unnecessary escalation.

12   Solving Team Issues

Sometimes “issues happen.” When the team faces unforeseen events that jeopardize its ability to accomplish its tasks, GO Team is there. In this module, team members will encounter a disciplined and repeatable process for resolving the issue and moving forward.

Your team will:

  • Explore a disciplined process for resolving external challenges and issues that affect your team’s work.
  • Resolve an issue that your team is currently facing.



View  GO Team  LEVEL 1  (modules 1-6)  click here

View  GO Team  LEVEL 3  (modules 13-18)  click here

HOME of  GO Team  Workshops


FREE  GO Team  Assessment

Contact us to schedule a free team assessment that will determine your team's strengths and weaknesses (opportunities for growth).  Using the results of the assessment, we will work with you to design a workshop the produces the results you most need.  There is no obligation to buy.  This is a service we provide to make sure there's a match between your needs and what we have to offer.

EMAIL:  [email protected]

PHONE:  (828) 348-4677




GO Team Workshops -- LEVEL 1 (modules 1-6)

Setup for success!

These are the fundamentals of teamwork. But don’t assume these are for “beginner” teams! Many experienced teams find they have never worked through these important team building blocks. (“Oh, so maybe that’s why we’ve been struggling…!”)


1 Getting Grounded in Team Basics

Welcome to the team! Whether you’re a new team or an old one, this module will lead you to valuable insights about team structures and stages of team growth, and will help identify the characteristics of the best teams.

Your team will:

  • Learn the definition of “team”.
  • Identify the characteristics of the best teams.
  • Explore different types of teams.
  • Consider the different stages that teams experience over time.
  • Discuss how the team concepts in this module apply to your team.

  Creating Team Operating Guidelines

“How will we act when we are together?” Surprisingly few teams have an explicit conversation about their operating guidelines. Once defined, your operating guidelines hold surprising power for the team, and become a template for assessing your own performance.

Your team will:

  • Explore the importance of having a set of shared behavioral expectations for the team.
  • Establish and commit to your team’s own operating guidelines.

3   Establishing Team Purpose and Goals

“Why am I here? What should I do?” No, these aren’t existential questions, nor are they the reflections of some clueless guy. In your team, they are urgent questions about the teams’ purpose and goals. Are you sure that your team has shared understanding of its purpose and goals? You may be surprised! This module will help create clarity, alignment, and action.

Your team will:

  • Explore the importance of establishing the team’s purpose and goals.
  • Consider the characteristics of – and differences between – compelling purposes and goals.
  • Identify and articulate this team’s purpose.
  • Establish a set of specific, actionable goals that will advance the team toward completing its purpose.

4   Clarifying Team Roles

So… who does what on your team? It sounds like a simple question. But don’t assume that everyone knows the answer! Even the best teams suffer from areas of role confusion. This module leads the team through a facilitated process that leads to more clarity, less conflict, and higer performance.

Your team will:

  • Explore the naturally occurring roles that emerge in teams, and identify your own preferred team roles.
  • Gain shared clarity and agreement around the specific team tasks that each team member must perform in order to accomplish the team’s mission.

5   Building on Style Differences

Have you noticed that your team mates do things differently than you? Often this is a source of conflict for teams. In this module, you’ll learn to transform these differences into an endless source of innovation and performance. Based on the pioneering work of Dr. Linda Berens, this powerful module of GO Team is rich with insight for all teams.

Your team will:

  • Explore the style preferences that each member has for interacting with others.
  • Understand and appreciate the differing styles of others.
  • Make changes in your ways of working together so that you can benefit from the individual styles of each member.

6   Assessing the Team

With this module, each member of the team will assess the team on a broad number of dimensions. The result will be a comprehensive picture of the team’s health. Kind of like a physical from your doctor, but with no needles.

This module can be delivered live (face-to-face) in a workshop setting.  Alternatively, this module can be delivered electronically via a web-based assessment.  Contact us to schedule a conversation and we will  help you determine which process is best for your team.

Your team will:

  • Conduct a broad assessment of the team’s areas of strength as well as its deficits.
  • Make plans to address the team’s opportunities for growth.


View  GO Team  LEVEL 2  (modules 7-12) click here

View  GO Team  LEVEL 3  (modules 13-18) click here

HOME of GO Team Workshops


FREE  GO Team  Assessment

Contact us to schedule a free team assessment that will determine your team's strengths and weaknesses (opportunities for growth).  Using the results of the assessment, we will work with you to design a workshop the produces the results you most need.  There is no obligation to buy.  This is a service we provide to make sure there's a match between your needs and what we have to offer.

EMAIL:  [email protected]

PHONE:  (828) 348-4677