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People and Performance Strategies Inc. Certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

Joleen Goronkin - Friday, February 24, 2017

PEOPLE AND PERFORMANCE STRATEGIES INC., a unique hands-on, full-service Human Resources and Training consulting firm focused on emerging and mid-size companies seeking a “people edge”, is proud to announce the Company’s national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Council - Southwest, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).


“I am proud to be recognized as a certified women owned business. Our mission is to inspire increased performance one person, one team and one organization at a time. In addition, it has been my personal goal to help elevate women to achieve the highest levels of leadership. I am honored to be part of the WBENC and excited about the opportunities ahead and to support the organization.” Said Goronkin.


WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Women’s Business Council - Southwest is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.


By including women-owned businesses among their suppliers, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs.


To learn more about People and Performance Strategies, please visit


About People and Performance Strategies:


People and Performance Strategies, founded in 2008 by HR veteran Joleen Goronkin, provides individualized consulting services and practical solutions to both emerging and mid-size companies on human resource strategy with an emphasis on training and talent management. People and Performance Strategies customizes its approach to each client based on the company's needs and goals, with training sessions, human resource assessments, including the Everything DiSC® and the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team®, executive coaching, interim HR management and more.


About WBENC:


Founded in 1997, WBENC is the nation’s leader in women’s business development and the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 13,000 certified Women’s Business Enterprises, 14 national Regional Partner Organizations, and over 300 Corporate Members. More than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands as well as many states, cities, and other entities accept WBENC Certification. For more information, visit


Are Your Manuals Up to Date? Three reasons why you should make it a priority

Joleen Goronkin - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I was recently asked to assist in creating training manuals for a restaurant chain about to expand into the world of franchise development. Having up-to-date manuals keep consistency in execution and operational uniformity, while helping new employees get up to speed quickly and with good documentation.


I saw this close up and personal when I spent a few years in regional marketing with McDonald’s. Admittedly, I did not ponder why the French fries tasted the same across every store I visited, nor did I question why my Egg McMuffin was delicious whether I found myself in small-town Iowa or the big city of Chicago.


McDonald’s policies and procedures were meticulously documented, distributed and used as a foundation for training. Looking back, I guess I was too busy working with franchisees on the latest marketing program to notice that the Ops guys were the real heroes. They trained managers and staff on how to adhere to company policies and to operate each restaurant in a way that makes “food and feel” consistent across the country.


Over these last several months as I’ve worked with restaurant employees (from servers and bartenders to kitchen managers) preparing to launch a new restaurant or grow an existing one, I’ve captured a few important observations regarding the benefits of consistent operational policies and procedural manuals.


1. Relieve some of the anxiety new employees may have!

Written information can easily be referred back to and used as a basis for learning before, during and after training. This will increase employee morale and confidence – and yield a higher success rate for employee retention and growth.


2. Create an efficient organization by having consistency in operations and execution of policies.

With properly documented information (and training), employees should never doubt important policies and procedures such as dress code, how to greet guests or ingredients in specific menu items.


3. And as the current climate of Presidential politics is showing us: Image matters!

By providing written and detailed information, the company has gone a long way to communicate WHO they are; and ultimately, how they want YOU to represent the organization. And by clearly stating these expectations, companies are also mitigating risks while decreasing chances for misunderstandings that can lead to lengthy and costly battles.

Six Easy and Common Sense Ways to Partner with Your Boss!

Joleen Goronkin - Thursday, September 08, 2016

Creating a successful partnership with your boss is a sure recipe for a healthy and productive working relationship! Of course, this is often easier said than done. Over the years, I’ve learned some fairly easy ways to keep me on track; tools that I hope will help you too as you develop a healthy and dynamic relationship with your superior.


1.Make sure you know your boss!

Ask him or her questions about their background and family. Remember, by sharing information beyond just the job, we learn much about an individual’s communication style and temperament.


2, Get on the same page as your boss!

By being on the same page – and acting professionally – you are fostering good-will (and a good attitude). Don’t fight things beyond your control. You will quickly see that this simple shift in thinking will go a long way in getting tasks and projects accomplished.


3. Ask questions!

If you’re a big picture person, details may escape you from time to time. Or if your style differs from your boss, it’s important to understand where your style varies in order to make sure that expectations are met and that you have a relevant and timely conversation about staying on track and meeting goals.


4. Prioritize!

Of course, we’ve been trained to prioritize daily, weekly, monthly and so on, but that’s not the prioritization I’m referring to. Are you including your boss on your prioritization? Is he or she in line with your list of important concerns and goals? Remember, things will likely not get done without the approval and alignment of your superior, so by including him or her from the get-go, you will have a smoother way to achieve your goals.


5. Be proactive, not reactive!

By acknowledging a mistake or a project delay before your boss calls you on it, you’re taking responsibility and building bridges. By coming clean you’re showing your manager that you are aware, accountable, responsible and ready to deliver (albeit a day or two late).


6. Make your boss shine!

By now, you are aware of your boss’ shortcomings, and as a person ready to Manage Up, use your strengths to compliment his or her strengths and weaknesses. A united front can go a long way, especially if you remember that your boss is also managing up!



There is no I in Team - Achieving Results as a Cohesive Team

Brian Marvin - Tuesday, May 17, 2016


RESULTS are what define a company's success.  Without them - a team's functionality doesn't matter.  Results drive success...but what happens when team challenges get in the way of progress?







Which would you prefer to be? The best player on a last-place team or a mediocre player on a first-place team?


Most of us would choose the championship team. The prestige of belonging to a winning team outweighs individual merit. This is what it feels like to be a member of a Cohesive Team. Everyone puts the goals of the team ahead of their own personal success. Team success equates to individual success.






Achieving results is the final conduct of The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™, yet if results are NOT achieved, it is the first sign to employers that their teams are dysfunctional and unable to meet their goals and objectives.


To win as a team, the team must function cohesively and to do that, we’ve got to start with the building block behaviors we’ve discussed in previous blogs - trust, healthy conflict, commitment and accountability. Our job is to guide clients through the process of teambuilding, starting with the bottom of the pyramid – trust - and work up from there. Without the foundation, teams are challenged when it comes to results.



Even after working through the teambuilding components, companies also have to examine their corporate culture. As a nation, Americans prize individuality and that is reflected in most organizations. Companies emphasize the individual over the team. They reward a Salesperson or Employee of the Year. Bonuses are based on individual performance. People are encouraged to pursue their own individual career goals.

For example, if I loan one of my best sales people to another region, my region’s results will be down, but the other region’s sales will increase and the entire sales team results will improve. That’s a good investment, but if the company only recognize the best region or best salesperson, it’s hard for me to make that choice to send one of my key people away and lose a reward.

People are rewarded for their individual accomplishments rather than team accomplishments. It is no wonder then that employees complain about the lack to teamwork and more importantly, the lack of results within their organizations.

There is no "I" in TEAM!














My business partner, Curt Archmbault, likes to make sports analogies. A professional football player can break records and be named to the Pro Bowl year after year, but being a member of a Super Bowl winning team is a an even higher honor. The goal of a cohesive team is not to have an assortment of Pro Bowl players or MVPs, but to be a championship team. Getting there means recognizing the individual in the context of their contribution to the team.





When team members are focused on their individual success, the teams become stagnant. They are mired in mediocrity and doing just enough to meet financial goals, but overall their teams are underperforming. It’s a downward spiral from there. When a company fails to win, its high-achieving employees leave because they do not feel like they belong to a quality team. High performers do not like to be associated with losing companies or brands.


When operating as a member of a cohesive team, people do not put their personal goals ahead of team goals. Everybody enjoys the successes or suffers the failures together. Teams that are focused on results also retain the good performers. Winners tend to stick together, and winners drive for RESULTS! Driving for results is the ultimate goal of a Cohesive Team!



Want to learn more about The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ ? Watch this video that introduces the Five Behaviors and how you can use these tools to build a strong, high-functioning team.



Click here to learn how People & Performance Strategies can help you build a solid, focused team.

When there is no accountability, anarchy rules!

Brian Marvin - Monday, April 04, 2016


Accountability: an obligation or willingness

to accept responsibility

or to account for one's actions.

Webster’s New World Dictionary






For the next building block in the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ series, Accountability, I’d like tell you about the experience of a group we recently assisted in laying the groundwork for improving their team.

Michelle led a small group of directors for a hospitality company. We joined them during a retreat they held to work on company goals. In addition to the Five Behaviors, we also facilitated the Everything DiSC® personal style test. As we’ve discussed before, DiSC is an acronym of four personal styles: D is for Dominance, I is for Influence, S is for Steadiness and C is for Conscientiousness. The assessment enables people to learn their individual personal styles and those of their colleagues and how to interact with each other based on those traits.

Michelle’s group of directors had very similar DiSC styles and when looking at their behavior as a team in the first three building blocks – trust, conflict and commitment - they were performing fairly well. Their first test however came the next day and in the area of Accountability – the fourth building block to an effective team.




One of the directors showed up an hour and half late to the first workshop. As the team leader, Michelle would normally say something privately to the director about his behavior. But instead she waited to see what he or the other team members would do.


“We were just talking the day before about accountability and owning up to our weaknesses and being vulnerable,” Michelle said. “I see that as our biggest area of opportunity.” She hoped that the director would own up to his behavior and how it affected the team.


In a cohesive team, accountability extends beyon

d the influence of the leader and to the individual members. Not only does everyone hold one another accountable, each member is accountable for his or her own behavior.




When there is no accountability, anarchy rules. Teams fall apart. Goals and missions are never accomplished and everyone plays the blame game. “I was waiting on him,” or “She did not do was she was supposed to do,” etc.

On an effective team, co-workers will speak up if one member is not pulling his or her weight. Individuals will admit to the team if they have dropped the ball or need help.

At the end of the workshop, the tardy director pulled everyone together and gave a heart-felt, sincere apology for being late. He owned it and the team came one step closer to being more accountable to each other.

“I know this would not have happened had we not taken the time to learn about DiSC styles and the behaviors of a cohesive team,” Michelle said.

When people will hold themselves and their team members accountable for their words and actions – they are in a better position to accomplish the final step that is the hallmark of a cohesive team: Results. More about that in our next blog post.

Want to learn more about The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ ? Watch this video that introduces the Five Behaviors and how you can use these tools to build a strong, high-functioning team.



Click here to learn how People & Performance Strategies can help you build a solid, focused team.

In-Depth Q&A: Team Building

Brian Marvin - Tuesday, March 15, 2016



Dina Berta, freelance business writer and a former human resources editor for an industry trade publication, recently interviewed Joleen Goronkin, founder and president of People & Performance Strategies about team building in the workplace.


Joleen Goronkin was a featured

Joleen Goronkin

contributor on how to Harness the
President & CEO
Power of Teamwork in the SpringIssue of Training Industry Magazine
People &Performance Strategies


Why should leaders focus on team building?

Joleen: Team building allows people to get to know each other at a different level. If you know each other better, you can start communicating more effectively. When there is respect for one another and effective communication, teams will increase their performance.


How did you come to understand the significance of effective teams?

Joleen: I worked at a company at a time when the sales were plummeting, profits were down and morale was at an all-time low. The executive team was very diverse in terms of experience level and tenure. We had offsite meetings to create a meaningful vision, mission and values. In the process, a chemistry developed – we liked each other and had fun together. There was no power struggle, nor jealousy. We created a turn-around strategy, we bought into it completely and held each other accountable. We just got it done and supported each other. In a short time, sales were increasing, profits were up and employees in the Company were having fun.


Why do leaders struggle with creating effective teams?

Joleen: They don’t plan for it or work at it. You need to have a plan, a specific method to improve the relationships among co-workers and executives. It has to be cultivated and there needs to be a way to measure your progress.


Like evaluation tools such as the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, which you referenced in your recent article for Training Industry magazine?

Joleen: Exactly. Wiley Workplace Learning Solutions developed this program in conjunction with Patrick Lecioni, author of the best selling business fable, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. People & Performance Strategies is an authorized partner of the program.


What are the behaviors of good team?

Joleen: Building trust, healthy conflict, commitment, accountability and results. The program scores how well everyone on the team is doing in each of those areas and focuses on how to increase the scores in the future. Teams need to understand which behaviors are acceptable and which are not. Then hold each other accountable to those positive behaviors.


It also helps individuals understand their own behavioral style and their team members styles, based on the DiSC® model: D: Dominance, i: Influence, S: Steadiness, and C: Conscientiousness, and how their style contributes to the team’s overall success.


How does knowing personality styles impact team behavior? What difference does it make?

Joleen: Knowing the styles of each of the team members creates better understanding of how they see the world. If you know the priorities, motivations and fears of others, it helps you communicate more effectively. Effective communication leads to building trust, the courage to engage in healthy conflict, the ability to stay committed, the desire to be accountable, and finally, the drive to achieve results.
What you experienced in the company you worked for?
Joleen: Right. And in the companies People & Performance Strategies has assisted. We’re able to help leaders create a comprehensive, cohesive plan to improve teamwork.
So, I took the DiSC assessment and determined I’m an S, steadiness, with a bit of a C, conscientiousness. But how does knowing that help me deal with team members who have, say a D or dominance behavioral style? How can we get along?
Joleen: I discuss this in the Training Industry article. Different personality styles put an emphasis on different things. A “dominance” style person is interested in results, the bottom line. You, as an S, are going to emphasize cooperation and the process. You don’t want to be rushed.
All very true. So, how do I keep Ms. D (dominance) from rushing me?
Joleen: Once you understand her style, you know to be very direct in speaking with her. Get to the point quickly and let her know when she can expect your final results.


So it’s possible for people with very different personality styles to find a way to work together?

Joleen: You’ve got it. Knowledge is everything. Remember, the great Stephen Covey always said, “Seek first to understand and then be understood.”



Dina Berta is a Freelance Business Writer with extensive experience in the foodservice and

hospitality Industries. Check out her profile on LinkedIn

Click here to learn how People & Performance Strategies can help you build a solid, focused team.


Building Cohesive Teams Without The Kumbaya!

Brian Marvin - Tuesday, March 15, 2016


  Joleen Goronkin
President & CEO
People & PerformanceStrategies 
   Think about your co-workers, for a minute. How well would you say everyone functions as a team? Do you trust one another? If there is a conflict, can it be resolved without everything falling apart? Is everyone committed to the same end result? Are people accountable to each other? Is your team achieving the results it wants?



If you’ve never worked on a team like that, I can tell you this description is not a pie-in-the-sky fantasy. There really are high performing, well-functioning teams within organizations that complete projects on time, meet their goals and are ready and willing to tackle their next project. No drama. No ill will. No petty behaviors.

           A big part of what we do at People & Performance Strategies is assist companies in improving team performance. I’m honored to report that our firm is now an authorized partner and accredited facilitator of the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™





           Those of you following this blog know this training program is based on The Five Dysfunctions of a Team , Patrick Lencioni’s best-selling book that outlines the five behaviors that are essential to effective teamwork – trust , conflict , commitment, accountability and results . Lencioni partnered with Wiley’s Workplace Learning Solutions to develop the program. Wiley is a leading provider of assessment-based learning systems and awarded Curt Archambault an accreditation as a facilitator.


           We facilitate the program for intact teams and work groups. The goal is to help teams become cohesive and operate successfully. Cohesive teams make better decisions quickly. They avoid wasting time and energy on politics, confusion and destructive conflict. Good teams tap everyone’s strengths and input.



           We administer an assessment that shows them how, as a team, they score on the Five Behaviors. We also integrate DiSC® assessments for individuals so they understand their own behavioral style and those of their team members. DiSC® is an acronym of the four personality styles : D, Dominance ; I, Influence; S, Steadiness; and C, Conscientiousness.  Team members learn how their individual style contributes to the team’s overall success.






A Five Behaviors Case Study – Building Teams






We recently facilitated the Five Behaviors Program with Michelle Mason - a restaurant executive - and her cross-functional team. This chain has 30 locations in 13 states and employs hundreds of people.

           The training team was very interested in the program. As trainers they are accustomed to doing assessments so taking the DiSC® and learning about the Five Behaviors was a natural fit for them. The group already ranked “green” in most of the behaviors and got along very well. Even this group improved after the training, particularly in the area of accountability.

           During weekly team meetings they would discuss their focus for that week, what was urgent, what was ongoing, etc. Usually, in the following week, if someone did not complete an established goal, it was up to Michelle to find out why, and what were the roadblocks for that team member . After the training, it was reported that she was no longer the first one to hold a trainer accountable. Other trainers were stepping up and asking why a task hadn’t been accomplished. They were not accusatory either, but asked co-workers what they could do to help them reach their goals.

           One of the groups, however, was a little slower to embrace the training. “They were wondering what is this she is putting together,” Michelle says. “Is this some sort of Kumbaya session? Many of them had never gone through anything like this.” “The process is ongoing for this particular group of people, but so far, team members are seeing the value in the process”, she says.


















The Five Behaviors

of a Cohesive Team™ 




According to Michelle, “they all mentioned in some way after the session that they were very skeptical, but glad they did it.” “As a team, it’s allowing them to see each other in a different perspective,” she says of the brewers’ group. “It’s also opening up some weaknesses as well as strengths. I hope to see more positive results and a more cohesive team come out of this. That’s my long term goal, build great teams, take the time to do it right and create some amazing results for our company.”


What Can You Do To Improve Your Team’s Performance? What Are Your Roadblocks to Success?





Click here to learn how People & Performance Strategies can help you build a solid, focused team.











Trust is the Glue of Life! A Case Study in Building Trust

Brian Marvin - Tuesday, March 15, 2016


“Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”  - Stephen Covey (1932-2012)

           Joleen Goronkin
President & CEO

People & Performance










Effective teams are built on a strong foundation of Trust, the first of The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive  Team™

Trust is the first building block of The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. Without it, teams have difficulty managing conflicts, committing to decisions, holding each other accountable and achieving results. If your team is struggling to work together effectively, the issue of trust may be at the core of the problem.

Recently, People & Performance Strategies facilitated a Washington, D.C. Organization’s IT Team with incorporating The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Assessment and findings into their individual teams. Below is an assessment of what occurred and how the team benefited; especially in terms of trust.


The IT leadership team of a Washington, D.C. organization manages more than 30 employees. Having worked with People & Performance Strategies before, the chief information officer (CIO) asked us to come out and facilitate

a session after his team completed The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Assessment, in conjunction with the Everything DiSC®, a behavioral style evaluation.






The Five Behaviors program was created from the best-selling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. Lencioni and Wiley’s Workplace Learning Solutions worked together to create this assessment-based learning experience for team building. People & Performance Strategies is an authorized partner and administrator of the program












Although the IT leadership team is made up of smart, hard-working individuals who are experts in their field, the CIO felt that as a group, they took too long to make decisionsOr once a course of action was agreed upon in a meeting, team members were slow to carry out the directive. People were coming out of meetings agreeing in principle, but not in heart and mind. The attitude was “I’m doing this, but if you just knew what I knew you would not want to do it.”


The CIO often found himself following up privately with individual team members to learn what they really thought about an issue and what reservations they had regarding a plan or decision. All of this was slowing down the team’s progress.



The Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team evaluation uncovered a team of strong personalities – mostly Dominance and Conscientious. Those with a Dominance trait can at times be blunt. The Conscientious are often independent, but fear being wrong. The team scored low on the first Behavior – Trust.


Despite their knowledge and expertise, team members were uncomfortable sharing their ideas and opinions in meetings. They feared how their peers would view them.





The team spent two days with us working through the Everything DiSC assessment to understand their own behavioral styles and those of their team members. They alsofocused on understanding The Five Behaviors, especially the foundational behavior of Trust.


“The reason we could not solve conflicts was because people were not really trusting each other,” the CIO said.


By the end of the training, the colleagues had a better sense of why people do what they do. They learned better ways to speak to each other and built a level of trust they didn’t  have before.
















The Five Behaviors

of a Cohesive Team™ 





According to the CIO, his team members now are able to discuss issues openly; there is less fear and more TRUST. They hold each other accountable more and they remain as committed as ever to the team and the organization.


“We’ve found a clear path to working toward solving our conflicts,” he said. Going back to wisdom of the late Stephen Covey: “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”


Without trust, a team is incapable of having healthy conflict, staying committed to its goals, holding each other accountable and focusing on achieving results. It is the basis of a cohesive, effective team.




What Can You Do To Improve Your Team’s Performance? What Are Your Roadblocks to Success?




Click here to learn how People & Performance Strategies can help you build a solid, focused team.




It’s more than a Mission Statement – It’s a Battle Cry!

Brian Marvin - Tuesday, March 15, 2016


          Joleen Goronkin
President & CEO
People & PerformanceStrategies


Inspiring increased performance has always been my battle cry.

 In my years as a human resources executive, it was what I got up to do every day. If I didn’t help inspire performance, then I did not do my job.



People & Performance Strategies has the same battle cry. This is our mission: Inspire increased performance, one person, one team, one organization at a time. This is what we do and how we do it.


Inspire increased





Our role is to partner with the leadership of an organization to develop strategies to increase performance, which leads to increased profits . We talk constantly with CEOs, executives and managers about how to help everyone get better at what they do. Yes, training is important. Employees need to be trained to do their jobs well. It makes everyone feel good and creates higher morale. But are they inspired to perform well?

Certainly vision and mission statements that define an organization’s purpose and goal can be inspirational. However, for individuals to be truly aligned with that vision and mission, they need to see themselves as a part of it. They need to understand how what they do matters to the organization.



Getting back to PPStrat’s mission “…one person, one team, one organization at a time,” we start with the individual . We have an array of human resources tools at PPStrat to assist organizations, from training program development to leadership coaching, and one of our most effective programs to help organizations inspire increased performance is the Everything DiSC®, a suite of training and assessment tools. We conduct personal assessments for employees so everyone understands their personal traits and those of their coworkers. This is one of the building blocks in creating high performing teams.





One Person,

One Team... 




Everything DiSC® is based on the groundbreaking work of William Moulton Marston and his groundbreaking book, Emotions of Normal People, published in 1928. Marston identified what he called four “primary emotions” and associated behavioral responses, which today we know as Dominance (D): direct, strong-willed and forceful; Influence (i), sociable, talkative and lively; Steadiness (S), gentle, accommodating and soft-hearted; and Conscientiousness (C), private, analytical and logical.

This assessment helps people understand themselves better as well as their team members, making it easier to get along with each other. Once I understand the personal traits of someone I thought was difficult to work with, I can communicate with him or her in a more effective and productive way.

When people understand their personal style, they see how who they are and how they work contributes to the overall goal and mission of an organization.  This leads us to another effective tool PPStrat administers to help organizations inspire increased performance – the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ . This is an assessment-based learning experience that focuses on the characteristics of high-function teams.



One Organization

at a time. 





I’ll go into more details about the Five Behaviors in future blog posts, but for now, I’ll tell you that effective workplace teams demonstrate trust, conflict management, commitment, accountability and results. We’ve facilitated the Five Behaviors assessment for many of our clients and it’s helped them understand how to improve teamwork and performance.

When there is an expressed vision and mission for an organization, when team members know how to effectively work together, and when an individual understands how important his or her contribution is to the organization, performance increases. Now that’s inspiring.




What inspires you? How have you tried to improve team

performance? What’s your daily battle cry?




Click here to learn how People & Performance Strategies can help you build a solid, focused team.





Conflict in a Cohesive Team? Making Conflict Work For Your Teams.

Brian Marvin - Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Would you believe me if I told you effective teams have conflict all the time and still succeed in accomplishing their goals? Read on to learn more about how  CONFLICT can WORK!


    Joleen Goronkin
President & CEO
People & PerformanceStrategies





Conflict: to fight; battle; contend. To be antagonistic,

incompatible, or contradictory; be in opposition, clash. n) a fight

or struggle, esp. a protracted one; war. Sharp disagreement or

opposition of interest or ideas. – Webster’s New World Dictionary



Effective teams do have conflict all the time and they still succeed in achieving their goals. How does this happen? We’ve  all seen how unproductive conflict can dissolve into pointless arguing, hard feelings and resentment that can stagnate teamwork. Contentious teams also will fail in commitment, accountability and results.

So how do you get everyone working together after airing disagreements and differences of opinion? You do it by learning how to manage conflict.


Healthy conflict is the second building block of The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™; the team building program we facilitate that was inspired by best selling author Patrick Lencioni’s business fable, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

 Once trust is established, members of a cohesive team are better equipped to manage conflict.





One of the first steps is to not be afraid of conflict. The Information Technology chief of a D.C. firm found himself constantly encouraging members of his leadership team to express themselves and share ideas in team meetings. “Some were more willing to share their opinions, but those who were more conflict-adverse were unwilling to do so, and that would leave us with only half of the picture at times,” the IT chief said.


Without good discussions, healthy conflict and idea-sharing, meetings become boring, members lose focus and pass less attention.


After we facilitated the Everything DiSC® personal styles assessment for his team, the group had a better understanding of their individual styles and why some members were reluctant to share ideas that might be contrary to others’ thoughts and opinions. Once the team was able to establish a sense of trust, members were more forthcoming in their ideas and opinions.




Part of creating a sense of trust was learning how to handle conversations. The IT Team worked on finding unthreatening ways to ask one another questions and speak to each other in more constructive ways.


Again, understanding personal styles helped. For instance, someone with a Dominance style, feeling passionately about an idea, might raise his or her voice. And team members who fall in the Conscientious or Steadiness styles may be quieter in meetings, but that does not mean he or she is indifferent or less passionate.


Understanding the different styles improves communication among team members. They also set behavior guidelines in meetings, such as being respectful and listening.




So what does conflict on a cohesive team look like? Issues are raised,  discussed and resolved. Mistakes are less likely to occur because potential  problems were addressed ahead of time. You have great idea generation too. Meetings are livelier and participation is greater. The more ideas expressed, the easier it is to get roadblocks out of the way and move onto the next  step of a cohesive team – gaining commitment… a topic we’ll discuss that  in the next blog post.

Want to learn more about The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive

Team™? Watch this video that introduces the Five Behaviors and

how you can use these tools to build a strong, high-functioning





People & Performance Strategies is proud to be certified by the following organizations,