CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 73, 4th October 2004


  1. Editorial: Team building
  2. Book review : Change Your Life in Seven Days

1.     Editorial: Team building

Richard Winfield - editor and principal consultantWhen I got into the lift (elevator) on Friday, there were two youngish males already there. One asked the other why he looked so glum. "We have got this team building thing tonight. Lots of silly games, I expect." Clearly team building and bonding did not come high on his priority list for a Friday night!

As it happens we have had more than the normal interest in team building this week – perhaps there is something in the air. People have different ideas of what is involved in team building. Some think it requires people to go out into the woods and get cold and muddy doing physical challenges. Others that it is just an excuse to have some fun. "It does not matter too much what we do. We just want to get together and have some fun."

In fact, either extreme approach is valid. But the real key is to have a purpose. Brefi Group can run indoor or outdoor teambuilding activities, but whatever is involved we seek to add value. It helps us greatly if clients have decided on a purpose for the event. Although bonding is relevant, there is much more that can be achieved. There are skills involved in team building, and if an organisation often sets up new teams for short term projects, then learning these skills is important. So one objective can be to learn teambuilding skills.

Teams are groups of people with a purpose. It is difficult to maintain a team unless it has a purpose. So most of our teambuilding activities focus on identifying and exploring purpose, including vision, mission and values. We can use Robert Dilts' neurological levels model for this.

Teams are made up of people – people with personalities. An effective team is not only one in which the members are committed to a shared purpose, but one in which individuals bring a complementary mix of skills and motivations. An effective team is a balanced team and we use various questionnaires for a team effectiveness audit, which then provide an excellent basis for a general discussion of team dynamics. Different contributions are relevant in different circumstances and an analysis of personalities not only explains why people behave in particular ways, but when particular individuals should play a dominant role and when they should stand back. For example, at the stage when it is urgent to complete a project is it important that the person most concerned by accuracy should be given consideration, or should leadership pass to someone more motivated by action and completion? It all depends; and such discussions help to build an understanding of how a team can perform more effectively. It also generates respect for individuals who might previously have been undervalued.

One thing, though. Team building should be fun. But fun with a purpose. Then you get real value from your time away.



Dear Editor

Dear Richard,

Thanks for yet another good newsletter. Re: focus on solutions - I would recommend 'The Solutions Focus - the simple way to positive change' by Paul Z Jackson and Mark McKergow., Nicholas Brealey Publishing, ISBN 1-85788-270-9.

Bought 'Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting' by Lynn Grabhorn on your recommendation, certainly made me think - and discover how many negative thoughts are swirling around in my head!

Have a good week,


Vivianne Naslund

HOT NEWS: Anthony Robbins comes to town

Anthony RobbinsAnthony Robbins is coming to London in October (15-18) to deliver his famous "Unleash the Power Within" seminar. I attended the very first one in Birmingham many years ago, including the firewalk. It is certainly a worthwhile experience – both for personal development and for modelling a great presenter. Find out more.

E-commerce resources: We have just completed our financial year and have been auditing sales. Top sellers: Prisoners' Dilemma, Employee Development Pack, 7 Ways to Figure Out What You Want. Have a look at our increasing list of downloadable resources.

2.    Book review: Change Your Life in Seven Days, Paul McKenna
Review by Andrew Halfacre

A couple of months ago I was sitting on the steps opposite St James Park reading my copy of Change Your Life In Seven Days when a minor TV personality came towards me. I recognised him but could not recall his name. He saw me reading the book and, as he passed, made some derogatory comment with a shake of his head.

It about sums up the view that many people have of personal development or self-help books – they are full of fluffy advice and read by the fluffy minded.

That’s doesn’t seem to stop them selling in vast numbers though. Walk into any branch of WH Smith over the last few months and you’ll have seen this book consistently in the top 10 best seller list so that probably means that a fair proportion of you already own it.

Paul McKenna has been making a determined effort to widen his image beyond that of a showground/stage hypnotist and doing a lot of media work on personal change issues. Change Your Life is his second book in recent years and the one that gets closest to his other identity as one of the busiest NLP trainers in the UK. His unbeatable USP is that all his NLP training is done with Richard Bandler one of the co-founders of NLP and together they put more people through accelerated NLP programmes than anyone else in the UK.

So is it any good and can you really change your life in seven days as the cover claims?

Well the answer, surprisingly, is yes. The book is great, full of quotes, techniques and easy common-sense approaches to the most common challenges that face us in the 21st Century. I suspect that a lot of this has to do with very careful editing by Michael Neill who many of you may know through his excellent coaching tips. I recognised several of his stories and techniques on the way through.

The book covers the basic NLP practitioner material without mentioning NLP once and is great value for any trainers or coaches who are looking for techniques to use. It also includes crucial chapters on money and happiness but best of all is the CD, which offers a delightful and relaxing visualisation/meditation for reinforcing the ideas in the book.

Of course, if you’re looking for a magic bullet then it won’t work but it comes far closer to doing all the work for you than any book I have seen for a long time. At £7.99 it is a bargain and many of the larger book retailers have it at less than this. You can also order it on-line here.

It does exactly what it says on the tin!

Andrew Halfacre is a senior associate, trainer and author with Brefi Group


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We hope you enjoyed this issue of CorporateCoach. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together, then please contact me, Richard Winfield:

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