June 2019 - Weave

Archive Monthly Archives: June 2019

Three off-beat ways to build a high-performing team

It is like sunshine, that feeling when you are part of a team, and everyone is firing. Ideas are expanding, tasks are down at record time, and what comes out, in the end, everyone feels genuinely proud of. That is a dream team.

Unfortunately for most, this isn’t an everyday situation, is it occasional. 

high performance team
Photo by Natalie Pedigo on Unsplash

To get to that place of team flow a few things need to click, and they aren’t the most natural combo to bring together. Everyone needs to feel like an essential part of the team, all need to be able to move into a state of flow, and be able to connect with their fellow team members. This is what I call accessing their inner leader. 

Everyone needs to feel like an essential part of the team, all need to be able to move into a state of flow, and be able to connect with their fellow team members.

Today I want to explore three off-beat approaches to making that dream team scenario more common in your team.

Acting As If Morning Tea

This is where you all get together for morning tea, and you act as if the project that you are working on has been completed and it a huge success. You all talk and act as if it has already happened; talk about what was great, how the success is having a positive impact, how wonderful it was to work together, what the break-through moments were. 

High-performance teams
Photo by Joanna Kisinska on Unsplash

What this does is get everyone feeling like the high performing team that you want them to be. That your team wants to be. And from that feeling, it makes it easier to become that team. At the same time, everyone feels they are an essential part of the team

The other thing that often happens in this exercise is a wave of insightful ideas drop in. It is great to do some brainstorming after this morning tea. 

Group Journey

To hit that high-performing mental state, you need to get into a state of flow. One ingredient for flow is to shift your consciousness. You want your brain to enter into a low alpha or theta wave. One way to do that is through an imaginative journey. 

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

One way to do this is through a shamanic journey. Doing this as a team can help everyone to learn how to shift into this expanded consciousness that allows for flow. In this expanded place, intuition, creativity and systems thinking is heightened. After the journey, sharing experiences entice creative ideas and greater group connection. 

Edgy bonding

Your team needs to get to know each other beyond the groove of the jobs that they do. Creating get to know each other scenarios where everyone needs to draw on different strengths and step out of their comfort zone can really step this up. 

Here are some ideas, and I am sure that you and your team can come up with more.

  • A combine art project – take turns to add to a painting or collage – at the end get together to discuss the process
  • An office treasure hunt – each person to hide an item and give the rest of the team clues to find it
  • Team Trivia – Each team member writes an unknown fact about themselves. They then get correlated and everyone guesses who each fact belongs to.

While these ideas may seem a little like a party game, the idea is to expand how the team relates to each other. This builds connection beyond what is possible in everyone’s current organisational roles.

Share your ideas for more activities in the comments below.

At the end of the day, to build your team’s capacity for high performance, connecting each team member to their inner leader is essential. With everyone acting from their inner leader they can access a place where they come together to burn brightly.

I encourage you to think outside of the box today about how to create a highly functioning team. 

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The Secret Ingredient To Fixing Disharmony That No-One Talks About

Strengthening your team after conflict

The culture of our workplaces is a bit like our waterways. When the water are flowing everyone feels nourished, productivity is up, profits are growing, and the creative beauty makes it all look sparkly. Everything is blooming. When things go wrong, we have a dried up flow, it feels like we are walking through mud and nothing is thriving.  

When we look to improve workplace culture, the solutions tend to be around analysing, training and sometimes to coach leaders. Systems sometimes get changed, and teams sometimes get restructured. Now all of these things help. I have seen it myself. Together these approaches are a powerful combination. The one thing that is often missing is healing.

All of that disharmony that has been going on, it brings hurts. For your organisation, it hurts your success, your ability to serve your purpose and your people. And for your team, it goes deeper than that. This disharmony can cut them personally, especially if there has been a culture of shame and blame running rampant. 

The secret ingredient is healing. Your people need to heal as individuals and as a team. The ‘suck it up and move on’ approach may work today, but when something comes up again, then the old hurt will surface and you will be back to square one. 

Healing Workplace Disharmony
Photo by Mark Basarab

Take a moment now to think of your organisation or your team as a stream. Each person is part of it. I invite you to take a moment to think of your team this way. I like to close my eyes and imagine a stream in my head. Let the stream you see be a metaphor or a symbol of your team. 

  • Does your stream have healthy banks, rich with vegetation? (Is your team supported?)
  • How is the flow? (how is productivity?)
  • What is the shape or the stream? Is it all together or does it spread out or fork? (how well does your team work together?)
  • What is the quality of the water (clear, murky, drinkable, fresh, polluted?) (What is the morale of your team?)
  • Is the stream supporting life? (if your team creating success)
  • How did you go? Did you close your eyes and let yourself imagine the stream of your team? If not, you could spend a minute and do it right now.

Ok so you have had a look at the stream of your team – Let’s get questioning.

  • What did the stream look like? 
  • Where does it need to be healed?

Now with that symbol held lightly, let’s look at the healing that your team needs.

Support and Boundaries

  • What can you do to create support? 
  • Do you have all the structures and procedures that help people to feel safe? 
  • Where are the safe spaces that your team can voice their concerns?
  • What does your teams want in terms of support?

Flow and productivity

  • What gets in the way of productivity for your team? (interruptions, distractions, business, lack of support, lack of clarity etc…)
  • What do you do to support your team to have productive time blocks?

Team Togetherness

  • How do meetings run?
  • Who is vocal, who doesn’t like to speak up?
  • What blocks collaboration?

Team Morale

  • How happy is everyone on your team at the moment?
  • What are they enjoying about work at the moment?
  • Which things are they finding challenging?
  • What are the challenging personal dynamics at the moment?
  • What is polluting the team dynamics?

Team Success

  • What is polluting the team dynamics?
  • How valued do your team members feel?
  • How is success celebrated in your team?

These questions are great to keep in mind when talking with your team as a whole and with individual team members. They create an excellent frame for understanding what is happening with your team and where the healing needs to happen. 

 It is about giving the space of your team to heal.

 It is about giving the space of your team to heal.  Here are three ideas on how to do that:

Empathy circles

In small groups, listen with empathy to each other. Each person gets a turn to speak, and then everyone lets them know what they have heard they need. It is a powerful process. If emotions are still high, it is great to do this with the support of a facilitator.


Coaching for each person in the team can help them to see what has happened from a more empowered perspective as well as help them to create a plan to heal.


Meditation can be a profound way to bring healing to your whole team. You may like to do the stream visualisation as an entire team for example. 


Healing your team after a time of disharmony can be a beautiful experience for leaders and team members alike. And it isn’t just about moving past the fallouts of the past; it is about strengthening your team members so together you are ready to face anything.

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Six Things You Should Know About Leadership Coaching

I am enamoured by the process of coaching. It is a powerful process that can unlock hidden self-truths, let authentic passion rise up and create the stepping stones to make dreams come alive. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? If you are thinking of engaging a coach, but not sure if coaching is for you, I would like to offer these six things to consider so you can find the right person, coach or not, that can support you in the positive shifts that you are looking for. 

Megaphone free zone

Sports coaching is where for most of us we first heard the word ‘coaching’. My rowing coach at uni was an excellent example of a sports coach. He would call out to us through a megaphone as we rowed down the Yarra, pointing out all the things each of us was doing wrong and giving us tips to improve. 

But what we are talking about here is the psychology of coaching, and it is a very different approach. It is still about support growth, but it is based on the idea of having a conversation that promotes positive change. It is connected, and it is a judgement free space. 

Help you find your own answers

Leadership Coaching
Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

One of the premises of coaching psychology is that a coach will help you to find your own answers. This is a very different approach to advisors and mentor that give advice and tell you what to do. If you want someone to tell you what to do, then an advisor or a mentor is probably a better fit for you. If you would like to work with someone who can help you to shine the light on the answers within you, then a coach will be more your speed. 

Now you may be thinking, ‘If I have the answers in me, why do I need a coach?’ And I would say, “great question’.

What I find is that we all do have the answers in us, but they are often a bit like that odd sock, or your keys when you are late. They are there, and a bit hidden. Usually under a pile of other thoughts and concerns. Or in a dark corner or pushed to the back. A coach is like having a finding flashlight at your disposal that will help you to access these answers. 

And why not just get advice? If we are constantly following the advice of others, then we are not only dependant on others for our answers, but we are also not letting our truth and direction come out. I know that for me, when I follow others advice and not listen to my own answers, then I can get utterly off-course from my own vision. 

Respect your readiness to change

Change is a funny old thing. Sometimes it is the most natural thing in the world. You just think ‘I want to make that change’, and Shazam… you do it. At other times you think about it for a while and then work up to it. Some changes you aren’t even thinking about yet. Now a thing that I think is cool about coaching is that it works with where someone is at regarding their readiness to change and see that where they are at right now is just perfect. And working through the layers of readiness is so crucial in bringing about change that will last the distance beyond the pure drive of willpower. 

Leadership coaching - readiness to change
Photo by Alexey Sukhariev on Unsplash

Think about times in your life where you have tried to make changes, but your heart wasn’t really in it. Quite often, they are shoulds, and usually, they are a need to give something up. 

And how did it go? Did you find that you made a change for a little while but couldn’t sustain it? 

If this is your experience, working with a coach to turn your should into an affirmative action that you are excited about could make all the difference. 

Collaborate on solution

Coaches come with a wealth of knowledge and don’t give advice. It sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? In fact, I think it is pretty brilliant. Skilled coaches can share this know-how without messing up your self-efficacy by telling you what to do. And this is done through collaborating.

One way that I love seeing this playing out in a good brainstorm. Your brilliance, your idea and answers can bounce off your coach’s ideas and suggestions. At the end of the brainstorm, you have a list of co-created ideas that you can see what ones ring true to you. I am always blown away by the creative and aligned ideas that come out of these conversations. 

Believe in you

One thing that coaches to really well is to believe in you. They will listen to you, not judge you, see that you are exactly where you need to be right now and believe in you and the change that you want for yourself. Having someone on your ‘team’ who is always there and will see you with unwavering positive regard is invaluable. There are times when your internal frenemies (doubt, worry, negative self-talk, etc..) will try to rock your own self-belief. Having a coach in your corner whose belief in you is unwavering can get your own self-believe back on track quicker.

Personalised approach

We are all different and have different ways that we interact with goals, change growth and well life in general. The beauty of a coach is that it is not a one size fits all approach. It is highly personalised, and what you come out with at the end of each session is built for you. 

Skilled coaches will also help to highlight your own personal styles for how you interact with the world. Whether it is how you learn, make decisions, interact with others, like to work, plan and make things happen and so on. Knowing more about your style will help you to move smarter, and in a way that is more aligned with your personality. 

As you can see, I am all gushy about leadership coaching. I believe in the power of these conversations to help you move out of any stuckness that is happening in your professional life. 

Leadership Coaching
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

What do you think? Which ideas light you up about having a coaching conversation? What doesn’t light you up? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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