Facilitation

One Day with the Big 5 Can Influence Thousands

Raising Self-Awareness and Team Effectiveness using the Big 5

Raising Self-Awareness and Team Effectiveness using the Big 5

It’s Back to School season! 

It’s been said, the greatest student is the teacher.

Well last Friday, I felt like I went to school. I facilitated a 1-day leadership training for a Colorado college’s team of deans and associates. What a privilege to teach the teachers who will influence 1000’s of students this year! These professors became the student for a day to gain greater levels of self-awareness and team unity. For this team, they had several new team members and it had been a while since they had invested in their administrative staff. With a new season approaching, it was the perfect time to engage and value their team.

There can be many reasons why it would be wise and prudent to allocate such a day. When teams are working hard and not getting the results they expect it’s time to consider a change or making an investment into stimulating their growth. The prolonged effects of low performance or decreasing effectiveness can result in 

  • Fatigue that steals energy and creativity

  • Lower quality results

  • Less innovative ideas

  • Missed deadlines

  • Lower morale

If this describes your team experience at work perhaps … 

You need to make a change or direct investment in your team! Maybe you’re doing the right things in the wrong ways. A few adjustments in the way you function as a team will create a more energetic flow raising the performance of your team. Friday, I got to experience a new level of enthusiasm, motivation, and excitement with some amazing leaders who want to give their best to their students. 

A Day of Appreciation for the College

The goal of the day was to show value and appreciation to a group of people who give out a lot and don’t always get a lot in return. Through a fun, creative day discussing the results found in their Big 5 assessments, this team gained a greater level of self-awareness and value for their team members.  Awareness leads to new levels of appreciation and insight into building team effectiveness. The training stimulates conversations and raises the energy level of the team members valuing each member individually and collectively.

The design of a Big 5 day focuses on 3 themes… 

Penrose House - elpomar.org

Penrose House - elpomar.org

  1. Awareness - Big 5 Personality Report Discussion & Debrief

  2. Alignment - Working with Energy, Less Stress, & More Collaboration

  3. Action - What needs to Change -  Making a Commitment

We find it beneficial to meet at a beautiful offsite venue to create the ideal environment for fresh, higher-level conversations. The Big 5 Workplace Assessment gives a language to identify hidden strengths, minimize stress points, and blindspots. In team discussion, we move beyond a private reading for an intellectual exercise. The shared insights from Big 5 shine a light on the sweet spots of leaders. 

Appreciation raises the performance levels of teams. 

Personality & team assessments provide critical insight for a fresh perspective of how we are wired at the genetic level. Personalities are linked to our unique genetics. It’s why some of us do better with a cup of coffee in the morning and some don’t. You're more energized either when you talk more or sit quietly in reflection. You write better with your left or your right hand. Take a moment to look at your index finger. You have a fingerprint. It’s unique to you! Now, consider all those dynamics at work in your team and organizations. Appreciation of the unique energizing activities of your team raises the level of productivity, performance, and personal satisfaction at work. We are often so busy working IN our teams that we don’t take time to work ON our team. It starts with awareness that leads to appreciation! It’s an investment that can be measured to the speed and satisfaction of work that lead to bottom-line results. 

Would you benefit from a one day experience with your team? 

These days are high energy and engaging experiences! Each team member receives a Workplace Big 5 Narrative report plus an insight journal for the day and will leave with an action plan for the next steps. By the end, team members will be thanking you for investment into their leadership. 

If you have a team or organization that would benefit from the one day experience described above, we are extending one free complimentary Big 5 Leadership Trait and Narrative Report. If interested in hosting a one day in your city for your team, department, or organization we can design the day that fits your needs.  The typical cost for the experience and resources start at $5000 including 15 Big 5 reports. Each additional participant completing the assessment will be $250 /. 

Schools back in session! It’s a new season! Schedule your Day of Appreciation. 

Create a leadership learning environment for your team. Start by taking advantage of our offer. It's only good till Friday, August 16th at 11:59 pm. To get your complimentary Big 5 report, complete the form below; then we will send you the link to take the Big 5 questionnaire. 






Fortune 500 Company Engaging With New Conversations

From HR to Coaching, a major insurance company launches a brand new team for connection and engagement. 

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to present my new book The Conversationalist to group of 28 Birkman consultants in training for their certification. The book is about engaging in meaningful conversations and will be published in September. Sharon Birkman Fink, the CEO, was very kind in her endorsements.  Her comments opened the doors for further discussion after my talk at their reception.  Birkman has an amazing team of 5000+ consultants. I’m amazed at the diversity and depth with this community of associates. I had the opportunity to get to know a few of the consultants attending the training from around the country. 

One team of four colleagues was from a Fortune 500 insurance company. They collectively averaged almost 20 years of serving in Human Resources. They have obviously seen significant changes within the organization and among their people of that period of time. Their leader, a veteran of 29 years with the company, has a renewed sense of excitement as they are launching a new effort for HR. She has taken the lead in launching a new coaching initiative within organization that is gaining momentum. 

The team represented the best of HR. All had been personally selected for this new initiative. Yet, all were uniquely gifted to serve from their strengths and experience. They moved to a quiet corner during the reception and invited me to join them as they shared their excitement and talked about the challenges of the coaching launch. There were many questions that came to them as they thought through implementation. Some of the key questions were:

  • Do we match Birkman styles with those we are coaching or do we need to view people from a different perspective?
  • How do we solve the constant internal conflict of managers who are in roles for which they are not prepared or simply don’t have the personality for it?
  • How would you integrate the Birkman within our coaching team? 


After listening to questions, the discussion, and challenges they were to hoping to address I heard 3 themes. 

  1. Gaining Trust - Skepticism is a challenge to overcome in a high stress organization. People in HR often are viewed as more restrictive than empowering.  Introducing another new program and tool may not gain support or be carried out. What keeps this initiative from being the latest programme du jour?
  2. Realigning Team Members - Call Center Challenges. The nature of the work has its ongoing stress, let alone putting people in management positions for which they're not ready, creating additional tension. Determining when team members are not ready or not a fit needs to be high priority. The resulting attrition, low morale, and a disengaged culture only brings low performance.
  3. Going Deeper for Real Change - Solving a problem with a program and policy is one approach. The coaching team wants to get personally connected to key managers to be in a position to impact their attitudes and actions. Whether they are reassigned or resourced they want to develop their people and help improve the overall culture, performance, and engagement within the company. 


The following is a potential 12 Step Weekly Engagement Strategy for a 90 Day Organizational Coaching Pilot using the Birkman 

  1. Review the "How to Talk with Them" worksheet to learn their style. Determine their preferred style of Direct, Indirect, Task, or People (Unless you “read” people very well, we must be students of our colleagues by learning how to approach them. Our style may be very different than theirs.) 
  2. Start with Strengths and Interests
  3. Clarify Career Alignment for Roles and Responsibilities 
  4. Discover High Need and Stress Responses 
  5. Identify Conflict with Team Members and Constructive Pathway Toward Respect 
  6. Create of Growth Plan for Leveraging Strength on the Team, Greater Self Care, and Mitigating Stress Points 
  7. Create a Communication Strategy for weekly Actionable Reminders Personalize to the Managers 
  8. Train the Managers Towards a Coaching Mindset within their Team 
  9. Transition the Disengaged to Positions Better Designed for Profile 
  10. Begin with the Birkman for all new Team Members and Communicate the Culture and Coaching Mindsets within the Onboarding
  11. Measure and Celebrate the Growth and Engagement within your Organization and Culture 
  12. Reevaluate and Adjust for the Next 90 Days Using Real Stories of Change from the Pilot 


These 12 steps represent an approach and a investment that will yield a return of engagement. The new coaching team will have to contextualize these 12 steps for their organization.

What If?

  • What would happen if every leader made a commitment to be this intentional about developing their people and teams?
  • What would be the impact?
  • What’s the impact if you don’t?

If you'd like to discuss creating an engagement strategy for your team let's start a conversation today. Contact russell@leadersadvance.net

Stimulating Curiosity

Colorado is my home. It's the land of many colors.

Sunrises and big vistas inspire us with brilliant color. Color brings light, scope, and perspective to life. Color opens the eyes, the senses, even stirs the heart. Like the color in a breathtaking landscape so can it be with a colorful conversation in relationships...certainly among family and good friends but also in your work life as well.

If we're honest, many of our daily interactions have faded to grey. It's business as usual, predictable, and bottom line. Even in our meetings or worse team retreats they can feel almost black and white.

Curiosity stirs creativity, creativity stimulates interests, interests spark inspiration, inspiration ignites ideas, ideas fire conversation, and conversation spurs relationships. Then teams mature, culture grows, organizations move, customers join, products distribute, services deliver, profits yield, and curiosity impacts a market and society.

What's the cost of color? Maybe it's time to stimulate some curiosity. Bring some creative color to your work life. Let us know if we can help stimulate the conversation.

Join the Advance! Moving Missional Leaders Forward!