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Fun Indoor Corporate Team Building Exercises

Outdoor team building exercises are a lot of fun. Sometimes you need indoor team building activity ideas for when the weather outside is unbearable or unpredictable. Below are some indoor corporate team building exercises:

Active Listening Games Improve Team Communications

Active listening is very important to achieve results and eliminate confusion. That is why an active listening activities make great team building exercises. Everyone gets into groups of 2 or 3. One person tells a story for 3 minutes, and then the other person re-tells the story. Both people cannot interrupt the person who is telling the story. This listening activity illustrates that it is just as important to listen as it is to talk. One of many fun listening exercises in Questions are the Answer.

The Drawing Sheet

You need some pencils, pens and paper for this activity. Get everyone in groups of 3. One person in the group draws a line and then passes it to the next member. Each person gets 5 seconds to add their line. Stop after 20 to 30 rotations (watch the images develop). After the exercise is completed, ask your members a couple of questions. What got created that was recognizable? What did you learn? How did the limited amount of time affect you? One of many team building exercises in Get Connected, Get Collaborating.

Build a Shelter

This team building exercise works best in groups of 4 or 5. Pipe cleaners, toothpicks, paper, string and tape are given to the participants. You can scale the resources larger to make the shelter larger. Give teams 10 minutes to build their shelter so that it is strong enough to withstand 3 tennis balls. Allow other teams to throw the tennis balls. This is a great starting team building exercise that causes participants to get actively involved in a team building activity so they stop engaging like students who sit and listen. Check out award winning team exercises that run indoors.

Construct a Tale

Have participants stand in a circle with a ball. The first person begins telling the story. After that, he or she passes the ball or to the next person. Each person only gets to say 10 words. This activity helps improve teamwork, communication and listening skills. A modified version of this game is used in the popular Meetings that Produce Results.

The Little Known Fact Game

Even though your employees see each other every day, there are still a lot of things that they do not know about each other. You can help your employees learn more about each other by having them share one fact that people may not know about them. This is a simple, stress-free icebreaker. You can also ask them to stand with the person they know the least and have them interview each other. This game is similar to “What you said is important to me because…” which is an amazing learning game in Communicate Naturally.

Emergency Backup Team Program in case of Rain. Sleet or Snow

Many outdoor team programs demand a backup. Clients have found that Team Forward allows the team to balance fun with the One Team Simulation and practical, relevant improvements to the team’s way they produce results. You can even get Certified to facilitate this session on your own. Many clients engage their leaders and teams with this process every quarter to align and build an action plan for the quarter. A favorite of high performing leaders and teams because it focuses on the desired outcomes and removes the barriers that get in the way.

If you liked this one, check out the next one we have lined up for you!

Take me there!

Lead The Endurance

You’re looking for a way to engage your leaders. You want them to explore how they lead, not talk about leadership. You want an experience where they identify new leadership behaviors for themselves. You want them to explore practices to ensure their teams and results thrive. You want them to lead differently.
Read More

Stress Test For Your Leadership Team

Stress. Leaders experience more stress than ever before. Your leaders waste time because they delay confronting stressful situations head on and instead focus on the stress they feel. Where does that get them? No further ahead…

You rarely get to see how your leaders handle situations that are stressful because you are not likely in the room when “it” hits the fan. You just see the outcome.

So instead, invest in a practical way to see how they perform in a situation that mimics real life in a time-pressured, team based challenge. Participants in Learn2 Save the Titanic™ experience real leadership in a high-pressure situation — the ultimate stress test for your leadership team. Participants determine how they will achieve results, and each team has complete freedom of choice in each action they take. So they get to see the impact of their choices in real time.

We structure the environment so participants deal with stress and continue to create a number of innovative solutions in a short period of time - even with the stress. The result is that they quickly figure it out. Their communication, their openness to ideas and their willingness to take risks are called to task as participants face their own performance head on. And because it is a simulation with a “role” they are playing, they are free to come up with the solutions without constraints of their regular way of working. This gives them, and you, the freedom to challenge, practice and discover alternative ways of communicating, leading and creating team - to cross over that line and get different results.

During the experience, your leaders will go from being cautious, polite and organized into experiencing everything required to create a high-performance team. So we can talk about leading under stress, or we can just do it and learn from it. Stop investing in training that doesn’t test their leadership skills…improve the ROI from your development dollars by investing in the ultimate stress test for your leaders. Join us on the Titanic and maybe this time it won’t sink!

When you are ready to talk about keeping your team afloat, we are here for you, with enough lifeboats in hand.

5 Great Questions Great Leader Asks Their Team

What makes one company more successful than another? Better products, services, strategies, or technologies? While all of these contribute to superior performance, all of them can also be copied over time. The one thing that creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore ROI, company value and long-term strength – is the people who are the company. And when it comes to people, research has shown, time and again, that employees who are engaged significantly outperform work groups that are not engaged. In the fight for competitive advantage where employees are the differentiator, engaged employees are the ultimate goal.

As leaders we can be tempted to share our wisdom and solve things for people – too often, and too quickly. When we do, we don’t allow others to grow, to develop, to come up with a brilliant idea…so pretty soon, they just don’t try any more. So rather than solve the issue for them, ask questions to get the team engaged in problem solving. The answers become conversations about things that are important or meaningful. Conversations are more likely to turn to action.

Here are some of the questions that can help you get started.

1. What do you think?
Instead of offering our answer first, get them thinking, talking and sharing. Hold back, no matter how tempting to share your solution. And when they start talking, just listen and maybe ask a probing question, like “What else?” No judgment, no qualifying, and no hi-jacking…let them explore with your help.
2. What would you do?
Asking this question encourages leadership thinking and ownership – at all levels of the company. Again, follow up with good probing questions to keep listening.
3. What’s the real challenge here for you?
The key here is the word “real”. When you ask about challenges, you may open the flood gates…help them focus on the real challenge so that they can begin to find their way out.
4. Where are you stuck?
Sometimes we just need a push…we may need to admit that we are stuck so that we open ourselves to ideas and new perspectives. Asking this question gives us permission to admit we are stuck so that we can move forward.
5. How can I help?
When your employee gets stuck and focuses there, they may become frustrated and disengaged… Asking this gives hope that they are not alone, and can be the relief they need to move forward. Go through the other questions first though…there is a reason this one is last.

Learn2 works with leaders to help them develop and implement strategies to engage their teams to get great results. Work with one of our Culture Specialists to help you implement lasting change in your team.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Top 10 Leadership Development Activities for Managers

Getting to the top of the corporate ladder requires personal and professional growth.  Growth happens quickly with targeted leadership development activities. Leader growth may not simply happen magically over time. Dedication, commitment and ongoing leader skill development are the cornerstones of any leadership position.

Of course, it does help to get a little boost from a team of professionals who really know their stuff. Learn2 is a company that focuses on growing leaders. Leadership training is simply what they do best.Read More

Are You Ready for Peer Coaching?

This series on Peer Coaching is designed to help you elevate your own performance and your team’s performance. First though, it starts with you. Are you ready to dive in? Are you ready to be vulnerable and trust?

Assess your individual readiness to participate. The person who meets the criteria below is in the best position to coach, be coached and see remarkable results.

  1. Sees the need for coaching. Is open to the possibilities that it brings.
  2. Able to see how valuable peer accountability is
  3. Recognizes it is OK to make mistakes and ask “dumb questions”
  4. Flexible and open to learning and open to being supported to think more deeply and perform differently
  5. Committed to learning and willing to try new things even if they are uncomfortable.
  6. Feels OK about making mistakes in the name of learning
  7. Recognizes and accepts vulnerability in themselves and others

If you want help setting up a peer coaching program on your team, visit Learn2.com and speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

How To Make Peer Coaching Work

In the last blog, we talked about the what and the why of peer coaching. Here we focus on the HOW. How do you find success with peer coaching? Here is our top 10 list.

  1. Choose a location that is quiet, private, convenient, and free from distractions. Switch off mobile phones during the session. Phone, skype or even email meetings are possible. If on the phone or computer, still choose a quiet location so you can eliminate distractions.
  2. Switch off thinking about other things. Focus on the present. Your partner will know if you are distracted.
  3. Enter with an open mind. Try not to be judgmental or make assumptions
  4. Be clear about your expectations - Before you get started, be clear about parameters. There are times you want input and times you just need someone to listen; spell this out in the beginning. To ensure your arrangement is mutually beneficial, allot an equal amount of time to spend brainstorming and discussing each partner’s opportunities. Decide how often you will connect and whether it will be in person, over the phone or by email. Plan how many projects and commitments you’re willing to discuss at a time. And be clear that whether or not you take your partner’s advice, each person is 100% responsible for their choices.
  5. Map out and agree on how the accountability will work. Plan what you and your partner will do when you don’t make your goals or take agreed-upon action steps.
  6. Meet regularly. Aim for once every two weeks. This keeps everything fresh in your mind and allows you to take course-correcting actions more quickly.
  7. Limit meetings to 30 minutes if possible. Put a time limit on the meetings to keep you both focused. This is not just a gab session; it has deliverables and purpose.
  8. In the session, look for, describe, and assess what you see– not the person’s competence. You may share observations – offer no judgment, give no advice. Use the action / effect formula to share observations. For example…”I noticed that you jumped into the conversation while John was still speaking. Have you noticed that when you do that, he shut down immediately?
  9. Be willing to have the tough conversations and create a shared accountability for future success. Show you care and celebrate the ability to get the tough conversations on the table for increased effectiveness of the team. At the same time, give the benefit of the doubt. Probe with questions before you make a judgment call about someone’s behaviour. Understand your teammates motives and intentions before deciding that their actions signal a lack of trust.
  10. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. This is not easy for anyone…go with this without expecting it to be easy.

Peer coaching is merely a conversation. It is a shared resource where both parties contribute, and both take something from it. The results can make the difference between a good team and a great team. Go for it. For more information, check out Learn2.com and speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

How to Use Peer Coaching to Up the Game On Your Team

Your development budgets are being cut, your teams are lean and stretched, and you want your organization to stand out from the competition. And while a better product or service is a good start, the real differentiator comes from your people.  That’s where your competitive advantage comes from.

So how do you ensure your team delivers the performance to stand out? The essential trait of both high performance teams and strong individual performance is peer-to-peer accountability. Similarly, the highest factor in measuring a team’s dysfunction is lack of peer-to-peer accountability (Patrick Lencioni, “The Advantage“, 2012).

Inside a peer-coaching program, team members help each other be successful. Peer coaches help team members to look at situations from a different perspective, to stay on track, and to find better solutions.

“You’re the sum of the people you surround yourself with.”peer coaching

When organizations go through change of any kind, leaders like to incent, push, and model the desired behavior from the top. What gets stronger results though, is developing strong peer-to-peer interactions and peer accountability. Leaders + their teams get encouraged to change their behavior by those closest to them.

Peer coaching helps build accountability, support and recognition across the team, so peers hold each other accountable for behaviors and results. Leaders willingly coach each other on performance when things fall outside the team commitment or values.

Peer accountability delivers support, outcomes and stretch goals outside of the typical organizational hierarchy and therefore has the added benefits of developing stronger relationships, teamwork, communication and responsibility. Peer coaches are not only vested in their own success - they are also vested in the success of their team.

So HOW does it work?

  1. Everybody IS a coach + everybody GETS a coach. Start with peer coaching at the same level. It can even cross departments. The premise is simple. We are all accountable to each other. And we all get a coach. Which makes peer coaching  “just how we do things”. It’s becomes a learning experience and stops meaning someone is in trouble or not performing. Peer coaching becomes a strategy to help us all deliver the highest level of performance. It’s that simple.build your future
  1. Equip coaches with the tools they need to be successful. Peer coaching may come easy to some. Great coaches ask great, simple questions. The questions typically start with what or how, and are open ended. Peer coaches encourage others to go deeper, expand initial thoughts or consider different perspectives. They avoid judgement and  criticism. They explore. They support. They encourage.
  1. Accountability Pairings last for 8 to 12 weeks. Then sometimes we suggest everyone switch partners. Team members get used to different approaches and different strengths. So changing pairings helps everyone continue growing. And keeps conversations and relationships fresh.
  1. Encourage people to focus on behaviors before results. Often, new coaches focus on holding individuals accountable for results and ignore their behaviors. Instead focus on behaviors. Because behaviors precede results, start by building new “behavior ground rules” to hold ourselves and each other accountable. When we establish our peer responsibility to coach up behaviors inconsistent with our new behavioral ground rules, we make it the culture for everyone. Start with one key area for behavior change and start there. Both peer coaches pick one behavior and ask for ideas to execute new behaviors.
  1. Resist the temptation to fix – resist the temptation of telling others what to do, what they “should” do or giving advice – it is about drawing out insights through questions.

Peer to peer accountability is one of the best behaviors to instill in a team. While peer accountability starts out feeling messy and uncomfortable. It’s because most of us have not had much experience with peer accountability as organizations rely on organization structure for accountability. It’s worth instilling. Teams who can call each other out on lack of follow-through or missed deadlines and broken rules become the teams who excel. Those teams become efficient and productive. And they have fun, and their relationships are stronger because of the honesty and openness.

Next issue focuses on how to structure your Peer Coaching Sessions. If you want help setting up your Peer Coaching System, visit Learn2.com to speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Blog Fulllwidth

Fun Indoor Corporate Team Building Exercises

Outdoor team building exercises are a lot of fun. Sometimes you need indoor team building activity ideas for when the weather outside is unbearable or unpredictable. Below are some indoor corporate team building exercises:

Active Listening Games Improve Team Communications

Active listening is very important to achieve results and eliminate confusion. That is why an active listening activities make great team building exercises. Everyone gets into groups of 2 or 3. One person tells a story for 3 minutes, and then the other person re-tells the story. Both people cannot interrupt the person who is telling the story. This listening activity illustrates that it is just as important to listen as it is to talk. One of many fun listening exercises in Questions are the Answer.

The Drawing Sheet

You need some pencils, pens and paper for this activity. Get everyone in groups of 3. One person in the group draws a line and then passes it to the next member. Each person gets 5 seconds to add their line. Stop after 20 to 30 rotations (watch the images develop). After the exercise is completed, ask your members a couple of questions. What got created that was recognizable? What did you learn? How did the limited amount of time affect you? One of many team building exercises in Get Connected, Get Collaborating.

Build a Shelter

This team building exercise works best in groups of 4 or 5. Pipe cleaners, toothpicks, paper, string and tape are given to the participants. You can scale the resources larger to make the shelter larger. Give teams 10 minutes to build their shelter so that it is strong enough to withstand 3 tennis balls. Allow other teams to throw the tennis balls. This is a great starting team building exercise that causes participants to get actively involved in a team building activity so they stop engaging like students who sit and listen. Check out award winning team exercises that run indoors.

Construct a Tale

Have participants stand in a circle with a ball. The first person begins telling the story. After that, he or she passes the ball or to the next person. Each person only gets to say 10 words. This activity helps improve teamwork, communication and listening skills. A modified version of this game is used in the popular Meetings that Produce Results.

The Little Known Fact Game

Even though your employees see each other every day, there are still a lot of things that they do not know about each other. You can help your employees learn more about each other by having them share one fact that people may not know about them. This is a simple, stress-free icebreaker. You can also ask them to stand with the person they know the least and have them interview each other. This game is similar to “What you said is important to me because…” which is an amazing learning game in Communicate Naturally.

Emergency Backup Team Program in case of Rain. Sleet or Snow

Many outdoor team programs demand a backup. Clients have found that Team Forward allows the team to balance fun with the One Team Simulation and practical, relevant improvements to the team’s way they produce results. You can even get Certified to facilitate this session on your own. Many clients engage their leaders and teams with this process every quarter to align and build an action plan for the quarter. A favorite of high performing leaders and teams because it focuses on the desired outcomes and removes the barriers that get in the way.

If you liked this one, check out the next one we have lined up for you!

Take me there!

Lead The Endurance

Lead The Endurance

You’re looking for a way to engage your leaders. You want them to explore how they lead, not talk about leadership. You want an experience where they identify new leadership behaviors for themselves. You want them to explore practices to ensure their teams and results thrive. You want them to lead differently.
Read More

Stress Test For Your Leadership Team

Stress. Leaders experience more stress than ever before. Your leaders waste time because they delay confronting stressful situations head on and instead focus on the stress they feel. Where does that get them? No further ahead…

You rarely get to see how your leaders handle situations that are stressful because you are not likely in the room when “it” hits the fan. You just see the outcome.

So instead, invest in a practical way to see how they perform in a situation that mimics real life in a time-pressured, team based challenge. Participants in Learn2 Save the Titanic™ experience real leadership in a high-pressure situation — the ultimate stress test for your leadership team. Participants determine how they will achieve results, and each team has complete freedom of choice in each action they take. So they get to see the impact of their choices in real time.

We structure the environment so participants deal with stress and continue to create a number of innovative solutions in a short period of time - even with the stress. The result is that they quickly figure it out. Their communication, their openness to ideas and their willingness to take risks are called to task as participants face their own performance head on. And because it is a simulation with a “role” they are playing, they are free to come up with the solutions without constraints of their regular way of working. This gives them, and you, the freedom to challenge, practice and discover alternative ways of communicating, leading and creating team - to cross over that line and get different results.

During the experience, your leaders will go from being cautious, polite and organized into experiencing everything required to create a high-performance team. So we can talk about leading under stress, or we can just do it and learn from it. Stop investing in training that doesn’t test their leadership skills…improve the ROI from your development dollars by investing in the ultimate stress test for your leaders. Join us on the Titanic and maybe this time it won’t sink!

When you are ready to talk about keeping your team afloat, we are here for you, with enough lifeboats in hand.

5 Great Questions Great Leader Asks Their Team

What makes one company more successful than another? Better products, services, strategies, or technologies? While all of these contribute to superior performance, all of them can also be copied over time. The one thing that creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore ROI, company value and long-term strength – is the people who are the company. And when it comes to people, research has shown, time and again, that employees who are engaged significantly outperform work groups that are not engaged. In the fight for competitive advantage where employees are the differentiator, engaged employees are the ultimate goal.

As leaders we can be tempted to share our wisdom and solve things for people – too often, and too quickly. When we do, we don’t allow others to grow, to develop, to come up with a brilliant idea…so pretty soon, they just don’t try any more. So rather than solve the issue for them, ask questions to get the team engaged in problem solving. The answers become conversations about things that are important or meaningful. Conversations are more likely to turn to action.

Here are some of the questions that can help you get started.

1. What do you think?
Instead of offering our answer first, get them thinking, talking and sharing. Hold back, no matter how tempting to share your solution. And when they start talking, just listen and maybe ask a probing question, like “What else?” No judgment, no qualifying, and no hi-jacking…let them explore with your help.
2. What would you do?
Asking this question encourages leadership thinking and ownership – at all levels of the company. Again, follow up with good probing questions to keep listening.
3. What’s the real challenge here for you?
The key here is the word “real”. When you ask about challenges, you may open the flood gates…help them focus on the real challenge so that they can begin to find their way out.
4. Where are you stuck?
Sometimes we just need a push…we may need to admit that we are stuck so that we open ourselves to ideas and new perspectives. Asking this question gives us permission to admit we are stuck so that we can move forward.
5. How can I help?
When your employee gets stuck and focuses there, they may become frustrated and disengaged… Asking this gives hope that they are not alone, and can be the relief they need to move forward. Go through the other questions first though…there is a reason this one is last.

Learn2 works with leaders to help them develop and implement strategies to engage their teams to get great results. Work with one of our Culture Specialists to help you implement lasting change in your team.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Top 10 Leadership Development Activities for Managers

Getting to the top of the corporate ladder requires personal and professional growth.  Growth happens quickly with targeted leadership development activities. Leader growth may not simply happen magically over time. Dedication, commitment and ongoing leader skill development are the cornerstones of any leadership position.

Of course, it does help to get a little boost from a team of professionals who really know their stuff. Learn2 is a company that focuses on growing leaders. Leadership training is simply what they do best.Read More

Are You Ready for Peer Coaching?

This series on Peer Coaching is designed to help you elevate your own performance and your team’s performance. First though, it starts with you. Are you ready to dive in? Are you ready to be vulnerable and trust?

Assess your individual readiness to participate. The person who meets the criteria below is in the best position to coach, be coached and see remarkable results.

  1. Sees the need for coaching. Is open to the possibilities that it brings.
  2. Able to see how valuable peer accountability is
  3. Recognizes it is OK to make mistakes and ask “dumb questions”
  4. Flexible and open to learning and open to being supported to think more deeply and perform differently
  5. Committed to learning and willing to try new things even if they are uncomfortable.
  6. Feels OK about making mistakes in the name of learning
  7. Recognizes and accepts vulnerability in themselves and others

If you want help setting up a peer coaching program on your team, visit Learn2.com and speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

How To Make Peer Coaching Work

In the last blog, we talked about the what and the why of peer coaching. Here we focus on the HOW. How do you find success with peer coaching? Here is our top 10 list.

  1. Choose a location that is quiet, private, convenient, and free from distractions. Switch off mobile phones during the session. Phone, skype or even email meetings are possible. If on the phone or computer, still choose a quiet location so you can eliminate distractions.
  2. Switch off thinking about other things. Focus on the present. Your partner will know if you are distracted.
  3. Enter with an open mind. Try not to be judgmental or make assumptions
  4. Be clear about your expectations - Before you get started, be clear about parameters. There are times you want input and times you just need someone to listen; spell this out in the beginning. To ensure your arrangement is mutually beneficial, allot an equal amount of time to spend brainstorming and discussing each partner’s opportunities. Decide how often you will connect and whether it will be in person, over the phone or by email. Plan how many projects and commitments you’re willing to discuss at a time. And be clear that whether or not you take your partner’s advice, each person is 100% responsible for their choices.
  5. Map out and agree on how the accountability will work. Plan what you and your partner will do when you don’t make your goals or take agreed-upon action steps.
  6. Meet regularly. Aim for once every two weeks. This keeps everything fresh in your mind and allows you to take course-correcting actions more quickly.
  7. Limit meetings to 30 minutes if possible. Put a time limit on the meetings to keep you both focused. This is not just a gab session; it has deliverables and purpose.
  8. In the session, look for, describe, and assess what you see– not the person’s competence. You may share observations – offer no judgment, give no advice. Use the action / effect formula to share observations. For example…”I noticed that you jumped into the conversation while John was still speaking. Have you noticed that when you do that, he shut down immediately?
  9. Be willing to have the tough conversations and create a shared accountability for future success. Show you care and celebrate the ability to get the tough conversations on the table for increased effectiveness of the team. At the same time, give the benefit of the doubt. Probe with questions before you make a judgment call about someone’s behaviour. Understand your teammates motives and intentions before deciding that their actions signal a lack of trust.
  10. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. This is not easy for anyone…go with this without expecting it to be easy.

Peer coaching is merely a conversation. It is a shared resource where both parties contribute, and both take something from it. The results can make the difference between a good team and a great team. Go for it. For more information, check out Learn2.com and speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

How to Use Peer Coaching to Up the Game On Your Team

Your development budgets are being cut, your teams are lean and stretched, and you want your organization to stand out from the competition. And while a better product or service is a good start, the real differentiator comes from your people.  That’s where your competitive advantage comes from.

So how do you ensure your team delivers the performance to stand out? The essential trait of both high performance teams and strong individual performance is peer-to-peer accountability. Similarly, the highest factor in measuring a team’s dysfunction is lack of peer-to-peer accountability (Patrick Lencioni, “The Advantage“, 2012).

Inside a peer-coaching program, team members help each other be successful. Peer coaches help team members to look at situations from a different perspective, to stay on track, and to find better solutions.

“You’re the sum of the people you surround yourself with.”peer coaching

When organizations go through change of any kind, leaders like to incent, push, and model the desired behavior from the top. What gets stronger results though, is developing strong peer-to-peer interactions and peer accountability. Leaders + their teams get encouraged to change their behavior by those closest to them.

Peer coaching helps build accountability, support and recognition across the team, so peers hold each other accountable for behaviors and results. Leaders willingly coach each other on performance when things fall outside the team commitment or values.

Peer accountability delivers support, outcomes and stretch goals outside of the typical organizational hierarchy and therefore has the added benefits of developing stronger relationships, teamwork, communication and responsibility. Peer coaches are not only vested in their own success - they are also vested in the success of their team.

So HOW does it work?

  1. Everybody IS a coach + everybody GETS a coach. Start with peer coaching at the same level. It can even cross departments. The premise is simple. We are all accountable to each other. And we all get a coach. Which makes peer coaching  “just how we do things”. It’s becomes a learning experience and stops meaning someone is in trouble or not performing. Peer coaching becomes a strategy to help us all deliver the highest level of performance. It’s that simple.build your future
  1. Equip coaches with the tools they need to be successful. Peer coaching may come easy to some. Great coaches ask great, simple questions. The questions typically start with what or how, and are open ended. Peer coaches encourage others to go deeper, expand initial thoughts or consider different perspectives. They avoid judgement and  criticism. They explore. They support. They encourage.
  1. Accountability Pairings last for 8 to 12 weeks. Then sometimes we suggest everyone switch partners. Team members get used to different approaches and different strengths. So changing pairings helps everyone continue growing. And keeps conversations and relationships fresh.
  1. Encourage people to focus on behaviors before results. Often, new coaches focus on holding individuals accountable for results and ignore their behaviors. Instead focus on behaviors. Because behaviors precede results, start by building new “behavior ground rules” to hold ourselves and each other accountable. When we establish our peer responsibility to coach up behaviors inconsistent with our new behavioral ground rules, we make it the culture for everyone. Start with one key area for behavior change and start there. Both peer coaches pick one behavior and ask for ideas to execute new behaviors.
  1. Resist the temptation to fix – resist the temptation of telling others what to do, what they “should” do or giving advice – it is about drawing out insights through questions.

Peer to peer accountability is one of the best behaviors to instill in a team. While peer accountability starts out feeling messy and uncomfortable. It’s because most of us have not had much experience with peer accountability as organizations rely on organization structure for accountability. It’s worth instilling. Teams who can call each other out on lack of follow-through or missed deadlines and broken rules become the teams who excel. Those teams become efficient and productive. And they have fun, and their relationships are stronger because of the honesty and openness.

Next issue focuses on how to structure your Peer Coaching Sessions. If you want help setting up your Peer Coaching System, visit Learn2.com to speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

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