Team Building

Image result for Dog whip east coast of hudson bay

Fig. 60. Dog whip.

At the farther end of the stock a portion of the wood is cut out to allow the insertion of the end of the lash which is fastened by means of finer thongs. The butt end of the lash is five-sixteenths of an inch thick and nearly 2 inches wide. It is composed of eight heavy thongs plaited in a peculiar manner, depending on the number of thongs used and the fancy of the maker. The thongs are plaited by inserting the end of each thong through a succession of slits cut at the proper distance and so matted together that it is difficult to determine the “run” of the thong. The size decreases from the handle by dropping out a strand until at 18 inches from the stock only four thongs are left, and these form a square plait for a foot in length. This square form is succeeded by only two thongs which make a flat plait of 2 feet in length. At the end of this a simple piece of heavy thong completes the lash. The length of a whip may be as much as 35 feet, weighing 3 or 4 pounds. Some of the natives acquire a surprising dexterity with this formidable weapon, often being able to snip the ear of a particular dog at a distance of the length of the whip. I have known them to snap the head from a ptarmigan, sitting along the path of the team. Children practice with the whip as soon as they can manage it.

The Eskimo dog fears nothing but the whiplash. They attack each other with savage ferocity, and several dogs may be engaged in terrific battles, yet the swish of a whip or even a stick thrown hurtling through the air is sufficient to cause them to slink off in abject terror, whining piteously in fear of the expected lash.

Ethnology of the Ungava District, Hudson Bay Territory, by Lucien Turner (c.1889)


Five Point Team Building Strategy

  1. Set a good example.
  2. Welcome questions and suggestions.
  3. Be totally honest.
  4. Help others learn.
  5. Speak and act with kindness.

Failure to acknowledge those who contribute ideas, information, and questions may be perceived as an act of disdain — and as an attempt to intimidate the provider into silence through a manipulation of social mores.  Always express gratitude, or be known as an asshole.


Five Point Communication Process 

  1. Attend fully to the Speaker.
  2. Acknowledge what has been expressed.
  3. Ask questions for clarification and to confirm understanding.
  4. Add your thoughts and suggestions.
  5. Allow others to contribute in equal measure.


Coaching Conversations for Behaviour Changes

  1. “What could you do to improve this? And what else? And what else?  And what else?  And what else?”
  2. “Which of these changes would help you the most?
  3. “Which change would you like to begin with?”
  4. “By what standard will you define success in making this change?”
  5. “What is you plan for implementing this change?”
  6. “What assistance or resources would you need to complete this change?”
  7. “When will you begin working on this change?”
  8. “By what date will you have completed this change?”
  9. “Are you prepared to sign your name to this commitment right now?”


Words That Matter for Team Building

Able, Accept, Accommodate, Accountable, Achieve, Acknowledge, Action, Adapt, Affection, Agenda, Alert, Allocate, Allow, Ambassador, Analyze, Appreciate, Assert, Assess, Assimilate, Assist, Attend, Attitude, Audit, Authentic, Aware, Balance, Behaviour, Brand, Bold, Buddy, Calm, Can, Care, Celebrate, Challenge, Change, Civil, Clarity, Coach, Collaborate, Collective, Confront, Consent, Commit, Communicate, Compassion, Compete, Competent, Comply, Concern, Concrete, Confirm, Congruent, Conscience, Construct, Consult, Contribute, Conviction, Cooperate, Coordinate, Correspond, Courteous, Curious, Create, Criteria, Deep, Delegate, Deliver, Democratic, Detail, Diligent, Direct, Discipline, Disclose, Duty, Effect, Efficient, Empathy, Employ, Encourage, Engage, Engineer, Ensure, Equal, Examine, Example, Excellence, Execute, Expect, Experience, Experiment, Explore, Express, Facilitate, Facts, Fear, Feedback, Firm, Flexible, Focus, Foster, Friendly, Goal, Gratitude, Group, Grow, Guide, Honest, Honour, Hope, Humane, Ideas, Ideal, Implement, Improve, Include, Influence, Inform, Initiate, Innovate, Inspire, Instruct, Integrate, Interact, Intimate, Intuit, Investigate, Invite, Judge, Just, Kind, Knowledge, Laugh, Lead, Learn, Listen, Logic, Manage, Meet, Mindful, Mission, Monitor, Morale, Motivate, Network, Nurture, Objective, Observe, Open, Optimistic, Orderly, Organized, Our, Own, Participate, Perception, Perform, Persist, Personal, Persuade, Plan, Positive, Possible, Priority, Proactive, Process, Produce, Professional, Protect, Punctual, Purpose, Question, Quick, Rate, Rational, Reflect, Regard, Relate, Relax, Reliable, Report, Research, Resilient, Resolve, Respect, Responsive, Review, Right, Satisfy, Sense, Serve, Share, Skill, Specific, Stable, Strategic, Stress, Superior, Support, Think, Together, Tolerate, Trust, Understand, Us, Validate, Value, Vigilant, Vision, We, Wisdom, Work


Workplace Rudeness on the Rise   …   Pearson found job performance affected in a variety of ways.  The targets of incivility:

  1. Spent time worrying about the uncivil incident or future interactions with the instigator and wasted time trying to avoid the instigator. 
  2. Deliberately become less committed. 
  3. Did not involve themselves in tasks outside their job specifications and expended less effort to meet responsibilities.
  4. Were less willing to help others and reduced their contributions to the organization.

And if the foregoing were not unsettling enough, adds Pearson, in nearly one-half of the cases the targets were unhappy enough to consider changing jobs, and in 12 percent of the cases they actually quit.   

What can managers do to ensure a civil work environment?  Once you determine your approach is not contributing to the problem, Pearson advises that you:

  1.  Set expectations for how the workplace will operate and what behaviors will be tolerated. 
  2. Define and communicate expectations. Make sure employees have a shared concept of “respect.” 
  3. Hold employees accountable for any transgressions.

This last step is most important, Pearson states. “When somebody crosses that line, you must react. Once you have drawn the line in the sand you must commit to this or no real progress will be achieved.”


How (Not) to Be a Great Leader  (Dilbert Cartoon)

Great Ways to Decrease Morale   …   Following the suggestions in this list is sure to decrease morale in your workplace.  To see a major drop in morale try to combine a few of these into the same action.  You’ll know you’re doing it right when you start writing people up for insubordination or see a large increase in your employee turn-over rate.

Boosting Morale   …   Psychological, sociological and economic research has also shown that having happy, healthy and engaged workers is also good for a company’s bottom line. (Visit the APA Practice Organization’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program website for a database of research on the topic.) The Gallup study reports that among the least happy and least engaged employees — those with the lowest well-being scores — the annual per-person cost of lost productivity due to sick days is upward of $28,000. The sick-day lost-productivity cost among the happiest and most engaged workers: $840 a year.


Art of the Possible (AFSC, 2015)

Assessments:  Is a Team Ready for Team Building?

Associated Non-Technical Skills:  Facilitators Resource (NSW, 2014)  …   Uses the Westray Coal Mine as a Case Study.

All About Team Building (Carter McNamara)   …   A concise overview, with a strong set of linked resources.

BUILDING A KNOWLEDGE DRIVEN ORGANIZATION (Bob Buckman)   …   “ the goal of establishing a knowledge sharing organization is nothing less than to break up the pattern of internal competition and bring the advantages of cooperation home to the participants so clearly that the group’s interest and the individuals’ self-interests merge”

Collapse of Sensemaking in Organizations: The Mann Gulch Disaster (Weick, 1993)   …   See also:  Leadership Under Fire:  A Case Study in High Performing & “Fire Proof” Teams (Klaus, 2012)

Commitment and leadership as key occupational health and safety principles (2013)

Competency Dictionary for Leadership Roles (Nova Scotia, 2004)

Competency Model (Society for Human Resource Management, 2012)

Consideration of Others Handbook:  A Commander’s Guide (USDOA)   …   See also:  Consideration of Others:  Facilitator’s Guide (CO2, 2 Day Seminar) 

Diverse cultures at work: ensuring safety and health through leadership and participation (EASHW, 2013)

Eleven Thousand Metres Under the Sea (Deep Leadership)   …   In an IDEAS exclusive, James Cameron talks about his recent expedition to Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench – the deepest place in the world’s oceans. Shortly after he returned to the surface, he recorded this conversation on board the Mermaid Sapphire with the expedition’s electronic journalist and backup physician, Dr. Joe MacInnis….

… Dr. Joe studies leadership in-life threatening environments – he calls it “deep leadership” – and how its components can enhance our personal and professional lives. He’s spent time with astronauts who constructed the International Space Station and traveled to Afghanistan to interview Canadian soldiers fighting the Taliban….

Facilitation Training:  Team Development (NOAA)

High-Stakes Decision Making: The Lessons of Mount Everest (Roberto, 2002)   …   “To cite a specific cause would be to promote an omniscience that only gods, drunks, politicians, and dramatic writers can claim.” 

How to Lead During a Crisis:  Lessons From the Rescue of the Chilean Miners

Increasing Emotional Intelligence through Training (Schutte, et al. 2013)

Proclaiming Your Dream: Developing Vision and Mission Statements

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)


Selection of a Supervisor (Workplace Safety North, 2013)

Teams:  A Very Brief Overview

Team Builders and Ice Breakers (UCM)

Team leadership: The Chilean Mine Case (Scandura & Sharif, 2013)

Team training in health care can save lives

Teamwork Survey (Donald Clarke)

The Harvard Professor Who Offers Leadership Lessons to Corporate America

Transformational Leadership Survey (Donald Clark)

Tribal Leadership   … a rigorous ten-year study of approximately 24,000 people in more than two dozen corporations.  [This is an easy to read and very high value book about Team Building and corporate success.  Do yourself a favour:  buy, read it, and use it.  If you are seriously disappointed afterwards, come and see me and I will personally refund your money in exchange for the book.  Yep – I am that impressed with it.]

What Inclusive Leaders Sound Like

When is Sharing Leadership in Teams Effective? (Pintor, 2013)