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What has your amygdala done for you lately? Let’s show some of love to that tiny part of our brains by appreciating what it does – and maybe just taking a moment to mention the times it could relax a little. Today my amygdala was Wonder Woman (for some of you it’s Superman, but mine is Wonder Woman). Here’s what I mean. I love hiking. I hike as often as I can, and since I travel a lot, I’m kind of a dork about incessantly looking for great new places to hike. On this particular day I was enjoying a […]

My Fancy Amygdala Saved Me Today   Recently updated !


So you’re ready to add a new team member to your group. Maybe you had a vacancy open up, maybe your team is expanding. It’s easy to look at someone’s work history to see what experience they have. But there are a slew of intangible things that can be big-time deal breakers on a team that are actually at least as important as experience (if not moreso). Luckily, with today’s technology and scientifically-backed assessment tools, we can actually quantify and objectively measure many things that have been previously hard to identify and measure. Here are a few: 1. What is this […]

7 Teamwork Intangibles You Can Measure Before You Hire


If you’ve spent any time reading company’s reviews on Glassdoor you may have noticed what I have. There are a LOT of people who are telling their company to listen to their employees. It’s probably the most common theme I see in the “advice to management” section. People want to feel heard. And they should be. On the other side of the coin, companies need to perform and may feel like they can’t afford to seek out and implement everyone’s advice and ideas. I’d like to suggest that listening goes both ways, and that it starts before hiring is even […]

Hiring People Who Will Write Great Glassdoor Reviews



Team Building programs have become increasingly common in US workplace practice for decades now. Everything from a one- or two-hour presentation to a week in the wilderness can fall under the Team Building program umbrella. The goals of a Team Building program can also vary. Some programs are for enrichment, others to enhance team communication and others are designed to help dissolve conflict or increase engagement. But is traditional Team Building the most effective option for all teams? Today I’d like to take a look at Team Building programs compared to another approach: Team Coaching. We’ll talk through what the […]

Team Building vs Team Coaching (What’s the Difference?)


It’s been said that if you think you’re a leader, look behind you. If there’s no one following then you’re not a leader. In my opinion our society definitely puts leadership on a pedestal. It’s often assumed that it’s “better” to be a leader (in some twist of the definition) than to be a team member or a follower. Because of that, I feel we’ve often defined leadership far too loosely, so as to include everyone if they really want “in”. In reality, leadership means leading people. Not simply having a title. Not being an “outside the box” thinker. Not […]

15 Questions for Good Leaders


If you’re like me, you can get super serious about yourself, super fast. Everything is important. Everything is actually not just important, it’s vital.  And what’s more, my personal involvement with that thing is what makes or breaks it. Admittedly, I am better at having a realistic perspective than I was when I was younger (one of the numerous reasons I love getting older!), but I still find myself in the throes of self-inflicted arbitrarily-decided standards that seem intensely important when I’m in the midst of them. For those of you like me, this post is for us. I offer you three reasons to […]

3 Reasons to Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously



Did you know that one of the biggest reasons for executive failure is a lack of Self-Awareness? Seems like a simple fix, doesn’t it? I mean, the one thing you always have with you is… you. So after decades of living and working with yourself you should know yourself pretty well, right? But, unfortunately, we don’t actually learn about ourselves just through time spent in the same body. Self-awareness is a skill that can be developed intentionally. Why is self-awareness so important? Lots of reasons, but one of them is because self-awareness gives us clues into how we tick. A […]

17 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Think You’ve Got ...


One of my biggest pet peeves is when assessment tools are used to pigeonhole people, or force them into broad categories that shut down their possibilities and options for moving forward. I am, however, a big fan of quality assessment tools (especially the ones I use), so let me talk here a little bit about how tools can be used to celebrate and amplify uniqueness instead of pigeonhole participants. Here’s what NOT to do: Use language that generalizes identity. I find when people say things like “oh I’m a (fill in with whatever letter or series of letters or category name […]

Leaving Room for the Magic


Curiosity comes natural to children. When we were small and everything was brand new to us, we naturally were curious about everything. We wandered into places and situations that were dangerous, put nearly everything into our mouths, tried to touch hot things, explored and learned and grew. It’s pretty natural that over the course of time we become less and less curious. There are things that we figured out, learned (sometimes the hard way) and didn’t need to wonder about anymore. That’s normal and good. It would be a pretty rough life if every single day we were curious about […]

Dusting Off Curiosity



Trying to remedy bad habits (in leadership or team dynamics) that have been entrenched for a long time can be a challenge. And doing so when the team is figuratively cruising along at 30,000 feet and full speed can be even trickier. So let’s talk about foundations of a healthy team. What can leaders put in place tangibly that will make a difference in their team’s health? Something that can be done while also accomplishing the goals and meeting the metrics they’re assigned to do. One of the most common sources of stress and friction within teams is unclear or […]

Building A Healthy Team Mid-Flight


I used to live in Hawaii. If you’ve ever been there, to visit or live, you know it’s always – ALWAYS – breathtaking. No matter what day it is, whether it’s cloudy or sunny, rainy or clear, the water is stunning. Watching the sun set over the ocean is still one of the most relaxing things I have ever experienced. At one point during my time in Hawaii I found a secluded spot that very few people knew about, where I would go when I wanted to be alone with the ocean. I could sit on a cliff and stare […]

Leadership Lessons from the Sea Cave


It’s 2017! What do you sense for the year ahead? How many people have a sense that 2017 is going to be a walk in the park? Playtime? A year of vacation? If you said yes to any of these things, you might be on a different planet than most of the rest of the workforce. We’re entering new territory we have never walked upon before, we’ll be creating lasting memories and impressions and taking actions that (for better or worse) will have implications that resonate for years to come. My sense is that if 2017 is anything, boring won’t […]

2017: What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Workplace



Welcome to 2017! The start of a whole new season! A lot of change is going to happen this year, and in years to come as a result of this year. Let’s be sure we’re ready, shall we? Just before the end of 2016 we posted an exercise in increasing Self-Awareness. It was the Reflection Phase, a time to look back. We offered questions to aid in reflecting upon 2016 – what your expectations were of yourself and your leadership, whether they had been met, exceeded or were not met. Now we offer step two of that exercise: The Action […]

Self-Awareness Exercise: Action Phase


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Calling. Maybe you’d like to call it Purpose. Whichever word works for you, it’s that sense that what you’re here for is higher than yourself. It’s the big “aim” that you are heading your life toward. It’s the thing that gets you out of bed every morning, carries you through the hard times, and brings color and dimension to life. Lots of people would say Purpose is the strongest motivator there is. According to Tony Hseih’s book Delivering Happiness, Purpose is a stronger and more determined source of strength and guidance than Pleasure. Even […]

Your Calling is Calling


This week we offer a short exercise. We’re providing a quote and some questions to reflect upon as you work with and/or lead others. We’d encourage you to take these questions and let them guide in your journey of self-awareness. Think about them, find someone else and talk them through together, journal your thoughts, whatever works best for you. During the holiday season it’s really easy for life to be noisy. This exercise is meant to make it a little easier to hear the quiet in your world. Enjoy!   “Trust men and they will be true to you; treat […]

Want to Exercise Your Self-Awareness? Reflection Phase



I’ve heard it said that the only person who likes change is a wet baby. While it’s true a wet baby lets you know it’s time for change, I’m not sure I agree that’s the only person who likes it. I think there’s a spectrum of attitude toward change. On the one end of the spectrum are people who love change. Any change, really. They love new and novel situations. They like change just because it’s different. They get bored with routine. A little closer to the center are people who are open to change when it seems like it […]

When the Winds of Change Blow


It’s easy to spot a disempowered group of people. They are looking for someone to save them. It’s true. Listen to the language of a group of people and you can tell how much power they perceive themselves to have by how much they talk about needing someone else to do something in order for them to be happy/satisfied/prosperous/at peace (or a million other things). It might be a culture, a company, a country or a neighborhood. Any group, really. Do you hear things like “the government needs to get rid of corruption, that’s the problem in my country” or […]

How Does Your Team Gain Empowerment?


We’ve talked previously about Emotional Intelligence and how it plays an enormous role in the difference between average and star performers. Today I’d like to drill down a little further and talk about how just one singular aspect of Emotional Intelligence (Self-Awareness) can single-handedly bring revolutionary change to your team. Let’s start off by reviewing that Emotional Intelligence is comprised of 5 different categories: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills. All 5 of these interrelate and build upon each other. A well-rounded, inclusive, evolved leader with a high-performing team really needs to excel in all 5. Today, though, let’s isolate Self-Awareness and […]

How Self-Awareness Can Revolutionize Your Team



I read a quote the other day: “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin –real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were life.” ~Alfred D. Souza This quote fit perfectly with something I’ve been thinking about feeling recently in my own life. I was reflecting on how so many times there’s “one thing”. One thing that… if it […]

This is Not A Rehearsal


A team is more than a collection of people. It’s a group with a common goal or purpose. Forward momentum is essential if progress toward that goal is going to be made. But how does a group grow? Team growth doesn’t just mean the team gets bigger, it means the team learns, gets better at what they’re doing, relates more effectively to one another, and much more. In my experience one of the most important means for teams to grow is through intentional facilitation. Creating specific times for reflection and discussion give opportunity to verbalize what is working and what’s […]

It’s Like Breathing: How to Facilitate Growth On Your Team


“Think globally. Act locally.” We’ve all heard that phrase, right? Usually it applies to conservation and other social causes. It’s a great way to approach positive change. Keep the big picture in mind, but don’t get so busy looking at the entirety that you don’t take the steps you can right in front of you. What if we apply that thinking not just to social culture, but to corporate culture? If we want to see organizations become more profitable, engaging, positive and downright enjoyable places of employment, can we use that same mentality? The beauty of the “think globally, act locally” […]

Strengthening Your Culture From Within



Last week I shared a quote on Linked In that said this: “the choice between trust and control is seldom debated on a rational level…” It was an excerpt from my new favorite book, Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux. The context for the idea he was discussing was the theory Douglas MacGregor put forward in 1960, basically that managers usually hold one of two beliefs about their teams. Either that they’re lazy and will avoid work at all costs (Theory X) or that they can be hard-working and self-disciplined (Theory […]

The 3 Most Powerful Words in the Workplace


Do you think you’re creative? Sometimes when I’m debriefing someone’s assessment with them, they disa gree with the results when it reveals some kind of creative streak. I find this interesting. The truth is that some people really are creative, and others really don’t care that much about being labeled creative. So for those of you who don’t care, let’s call this “finding solutions to complex problems” or “unique win-win situations”. Whatever you’d like to call it, having the ability to be an independent thinker and also to lead those who think in an innovative manner is the recipe for […]

How To Release Your Deep Creative Self


We’ve written previously about the DiSC assessment and how it’s been time-tested and scientifically studied and refined for years. If you haven’t seen them yet, you might want to check out our articles on Secrets of Your DiSC Profile, Words That Don’t Work and What if There’s No D in Your Team’s iSC?. Today I want to touch on what’s going on when your Natural and Adapted Graphs don’t align. Briefly, with the DiSC assessments that we use at Healthy Teams Insights, the participant receives a report that has 2 graphs side by side. Like this. (Gone are the days when you get one […]

What Happens When Your DiSC Graphs Don’t Align?



Sometimes I feel a little weary of the click-bait titles I see floating around the internet. Recently I saw an article (whose title I won’t call out here) basically that was about why you’re doing everything wrong and failing at trying to be good at leading. I realize that catchy titles make people want to open an article, and the hope is to provoke a response (any kind, really), with the idea that any attention is better than none. But in my opinion it’s hardly helpful for someone who doesn’t know me at all to tell me reasons I’m failing […]

3 Reasons You’re Awesome and Doing A Great Job


With just thirty-one percent of America’s workforce showing up engaged every day, there’s a lot of room for growth.   Actually, let me rephrase that.   There’s not room for growth.   There is a dire need for growth. Flushing nearly 70% of talent, ambition, motivation, drive, creativity and innovation down the drain every day should be a crime.   With the diverse approaches to improving engagement and wide variety of philosophies about whose fault it is, it really is difficult to say there’s just one best way to address the problem.   One thing is certain, though.   With […]

The Person You Need to Focus on Most if You ...


  When it comes to rewards and recognition in an organization, knowing the right approach is crucial.   Even though intentions might be good, rewarding people with the wrong things can (at best) be ineffective and (at worst) just completely backfire. We can all identify with being offered something that was of no value to us (but clearly was to the person offering it).   Just recently I spoke with someone who said at one point in her career her boss handed her a plaque for outstanding work. As a person who was motivated by collaboration and being a supporting […]

Are You Rewarding People in the Wrong Way?



Driving. Ambitious. Pioneering. The characteristics of a person with a high D are well-known by most who are familiar with the DiSC assessment. They’re bottom-line thinkers. They like risk. They take on challenges because they exist in front of them. They have big goals and can have a laser-like focus in accomplishing them. One of the downsides of the high D profile is that with such a drive to accomplish and succeed, the people aspect can be neglected at times. For this reason, some teams can conclude that having a team full of people with a low D is the […]

What If There’s No D in Your Team’s iSC?


Assessment tools have become steadily more relied-upon in the workplace. It’s taken some time, but more and more organizations are realizing the power of assessments. Far from the Facebook What Disney Princess Are You? or online horoscope readings, these assessments are serious and impactful. Scientifically-backed and data-driven assessment aren’t cheap, but deliver results that pay for themselves hundreds and even thousands of times over, if used correctly. Healthy Teams Insights primarily uses 4 incredibly versatile assessments –Behaviors, Driving Forces, Emotional Quotient and Stress Quotient. Below are 5 powerful ways to use assessment tools that can change your organization, along with […]

5 Ways Assessments Can Change Your World


  A healthy team knows how to reach their goals effectively and does it in a manner in which all team members feel respected and satisfied. You could say “they are good at what they do, and they like who they’re doing it with.” Knowing when your team needs a tune-up (or overhaul!) is vital if you want to be a successful leader. Here are some symptoms you may find on your team if is in less than optimal health. Poor time management. Your team has difficulty defining priorities in knowing the most efficient use of their time. The leader […]

7 Symptoms of an Unhealthy Team



Lately I’ve been pondering how rare it is for people to truly believe in one another. I personally have felt touched, honored and humbled at the fierceness with which so many people in my life have believed in me and my abilities and vision in founding and leading Healthy Teams Insights. Belief like that for all of us I think, especially when we’re taking a risk, is rare. All too common (especially when I was first launching my company) were responses ranging anywhere from a polite, wary smile to outright stating “I just don’t see you being able to do […]

Where are all the Nice People?


Complainers You know the ones. The ones who are never happy. The ones who can always point out a problem but never seem to have any thoughts about solutions. The ones who seem to love telling you all the reasons something can’t work. Since the beginning of time leaders have been dogged by complainers in the ranks. They’ve handled it in a different ways. Some have silenced them. Governments, businesses, non-profits… it doesn’t seem to matter what time of organization, all of them have examples of leaders who have tried this approach. The thing is, keeping people from discussing what they […]

What Do They WANT? Success With Complainers On Your Team


In our last post we talked about how the DiSC assessment system has been around for decades, words_that_don’t_work refined and tested over and over. We talked about how it can provide much more information than sometimes is gleaned by those who aren’t trained properly or don’t have a very sophisticated version of the tool. Today I’m going to spend a little time on knowing how to adapt to different styles, based on knowing what words don’t work for others. TTI Success Insights, who created the DiSC assessment that I use, has published an illuminating white paper about the science behind […]

Words That Don’t Work



The DiSC assessment system has been around for decades, refined and tested over and over. Many organizations have used DiSC to gain basic understanding of the differences of behavior styles in leadership and their co-workers. One thing I often find, though, is that the majority of organizations focus only on the “high” part of the graph. They only look for someone’s tallest bar and pigeonhole them into one of 4 categories like this: “Oh, you’re a high D, you must be (fill in the blank with whichever adjective they think fits)”. I find this approach incredibly diminutive and even offensive. I […]

Secrets Of Your DiSC Profile: 5 Ways Those With Low ...


Emotional Intelligence has been likened to learning to bring calm in the midst of an internal snowstorm. I’ve found that when I speak about Emotional Intelligence, there are a couple common misunderstandings about what it is and who needs to grow. This month Mobility magazine published my article about EQ and the Internal Blizzard.  In it I discuss misperceptions about EQ and practical steps for growth, especially for relocation professionals. I warmly welcome you to read the whole thing here and like or share. I’m excited about spreading the word about emotional intelligence, mindfulness and stress reduction and what a difference these […]

Calming the Internal Blizzard


Virtual Growth Environments (VGE’s) are a web-based interactive training courses that allows for both accessibility regardless of location and a sense of community, through connection with other participants as well as personalized attention from the facilitator. While virtual training has been common for many years, VGE’s are unique in the personalized training delivered and the connection they provide along the way. VGE’s typically utilize highly personalized assessment tools and individual debriefs, which are then incorporated into the training program and growth plan of each participant. In addition, a sense of community is fostered through a system of pairing participants to increase […]

Are Virtual Growth Environments (VGE’s) the Future of Training?



A few weeks ago, we posted about the results of a Stress in the Workplace survey.* It turned out that the single highest source of stress in the workplace, out of the results we had received, was Workplace Trust. Workplace Trust is the degree to which a person feels the need for candor at their work. You might say it’s about how much someone feels the need to “watch their back”. Fully two-thirds of respondents said they felt elevated, significant or severe levels of stress about this one area at their workplace. Conversely then, this would mean one-third did not feel significant stress […]

What Gallup’s Engagement Poll and Our Stress Surveys Revealed


Our series on sources of stress* has thus far revealed what we found to be participants’ top 2 sources of stress, Workplace Trust and Organizational Communication. Today we’ll cover another source of stress that weighs in heavily with those who took our assessment.** Fifty-three percent of respondents reported elevated, significant or severe stress in the area of Organizational Vision. Organizational Vision is defined as an aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish. Over half of those responding to our survey have undue stress about this one area. Do you know what’s interesting about this? Many people might find it […]

Sources of Stress, Part 3


We previously posted Part 1 in a series about the results of our Stress in the Workplace survey*. It turned out that the single highest source of stress in the workplace, out of the results we had received, was Workplace Trust. We also discussed the possible correlation between high stress due to workplace trust and high levels of employee disengagement. In this post we want to reveal the stressor that came in second in our survey. Out of the 17 categories** we surveyed, the second highest stressor was Organizational Communication. Fifty-six percent of respondents reported elevated, significant or severe stress due to their organization’s […]

Sources of Stress, Part 2



Stress in the workplace. So widespread it might as well have its own zip code, right? Sometimes it’s easy to say “my job is stressful” and harder to put the finger on exactly what that stress is stemming from. Healthy Teams Insights uses professional stress assessments, which separate and delineate exact sources of stress. It’s pretty amazing actually. I thought I’d share some of the trends I’ve found with relation to highest and lowest stress points. First, a little about the parameters of the assessment I use. There are 7 main categories, which are then broken into sub-categories like this: […]

Highest Sources of Stress, Part 1


Back to School Special For the month of August 2016 only….. Our dedicated education behavior assessments are 50% off! Healthy Teams Insights offers 3 detailed and specific behavioral assessments that bring insights to students, teachers and administrators. Let us help your communication and insight become more effective, productive and your relationships more satisfying. (Click on words in BLUE in each section to see a sample) Our Student assessment is perfect for juniors or graduating seniors especially but can be used for students aged 12 and up.  Sections include: General characteristics Helpful tips on ways to communicate Ways NOT to communicate for success with this student Study tips Suggested […]

Special Offers


Healthy teams are successful teams.   Healthy Teams Insights offers assessment tools and team building facilitation to promote group health and maximize performance through respect, trust, collaboration and understanding.