Brain Trust Blueprint: The #1 Trait of Unbeatable Teams [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Teams have never been more important in business. But with the demands and complexities of today’s work environment—not to mention the challenges of working with global, remote or regularly changing team members—working in a team isn’t always easy.

A great team is a “brain trust” of diverse thinkers, one that’s greater than the sum of its parts. They’re collaborators you can count on to bring new perspectives to the table, listen to and value your ideas, and stay accountable to common goals, especially when the pressure heats up.

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How to Build a High-Performing Multigenerational Sales Team

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This is a guest post by David Szen. David is an HBDI® Certified Practitioner specializing in sales training design, leadership development and coaching performance management. As a Principal Consultant at Symmetrics Group, David designs and delivers custom training programs for sales leaders and professionals. His book, The Multigenerational Sales Team, co-authored with Symmetrics Group’s founder and managing partner Warren Shiver, focuses on the increasing need for sales organizations to more effectively leverage talent from generational groups who think, sell and buy in vastly different ways.

According to estimates by the US Department of Labor, in less than ten years, Millennials will represent almost 75% of the workforce. But the multigenerational salesforce is already here, and businesses are struggling with how to develop a cohesive, collaborative team that not only manages through that diversity but thrives on it.

We heard about these challenges as we talked to business leaders while we were writing our new book, The Multigenerational Sales Team. Some of the key questions we explored were: How can generations with different perspectives find ways to successfully work together? And how do you recruit, train and deploy different generations of salespeople to build an effective sales team?

They’re issues that every sales leader needs to get a handle on for their organizations to remain competitive in an increasingly competitive selling environment, one where generational differences can have far-reaching impact.

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How to Use a Team Dashboard to Improve Collaboration

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Is your team’s specialty putting out fires?

Being able to deal with a big crisis is a good skill for any team to have. But why wait until the sirens are blasting to think about your team’s performance?

Not every crisis can be prevented, but many teams keep getting caught off guard by problems that could have been identified and addressed long before they turned into an emergency. Without regular maintenance checks to provide line of sight to performance and progress, though, it can be difficult to detect the little sparks that, over time, can do a whole lot of damage.

A team dashboard is a great way to get everyone on the same page and make sure the team isn’t missing any important checks or clues to potential problems down the road. It can help your team sidestep the preventable problems and be better prepared when the unavoidable happens.

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How to Create Mentoring Relationships That Really Work

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What’s the number one thing your company can do to attract the best and brightest up-and-coming talent? Provide them with opportunities to learn and grow.

But what about keeping them once they join your organization?

More and more, companies are discovering that an effective mentoring program is one of the most powerful ways to build loyalty. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey, millennial employees who intend to stay with their organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68%) than not (32%).

But it’s not as simple as setting up a mentoring program. Whether or not a mentor pair is successful is highly dependent on the effectiveness of the mentor-mentee match.

So, how do you make a good match?

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4 Team Meeting Ideas to Refresh Your Routine

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Month after month (or maybe it’s week after week), your team gets together for its regularly scheduled meeting. It’s an important chance to connect, check progress, work through current issues and come up with new ideas and strategies for the future.

But is it all starting to feel a bit stale?

As John Medina, author of the book Brain Rules, has noted, “People don't pay attention to boring things. So if you really want to have a lousy meeting, make sure it's boring.” In other words, if it’s not somewhat interesting and fun, the brain checks out. And that means boring meetings are more than just potential morale killers and insomnia cures; they can also be a colossal waste of time.

So, back to that regularly scheduled meeting: When was the last time you looked over your team meeting routine? Now might be a good time for a refresh.

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Whole Brain® Thinking in Action: Software Development Walk-Around

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Here at Herrmann International one of our key fundamentals is that we try to "eat our own cooking" and use Whole Brain® Thinking in our own work. This post is part of a series where some of our team members talk about some ways they use Whole Brain® Thinking for their day-do-day work.

This post is by our Lead Software Engineer, Andrew Swerlick.

At first glance, software development might not seem like a job that involves a lot of day-to-day Whole Brain® Thinking. After all, a lot of what our team does seems like it's firmly situated in the technical, analytical A quadrant. Sure, we do have to collaborate with other internal teams on product design, requirements gathering, etc., but when it get to the point where our developers put their fingers to the keyboard and start writing code, all the other quadrants go away, right?

When I first started at Herrmann a couple of years ago, I probably would have said yes. But recently, our development team has adopted some practices that are showing me the value of writing Whole Brain® code.

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No More Snoozers: How to Lead an Effective Meeting

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In Verizon Conferencing’s “Meetings in America” study, 91% of meeting attendees admitted to daydreaming during meetings. Nearly 40% of the respondents said they’ve taken a nap during a meeting. Are people sleeping through your meetings?

With attention at a premium in today’s world, keeping people engaged, even when they’re sitting right in front of you, is one of the biggest challenges you face when leading a meeting. If they’re not literally asleep, your participants might be texting, checking their emails or just generally tuned out. Telling people to put away their phones isn’t the answer. Making your meetings more effective is.

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The Verdict Is In: Performance Reviews Are Out

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Is it time to hop off the performance review train?

More and more companies are moving away from the traditional approach to performance management to one of continuous feedback. It’s partly a response to a growing desire among employees, particularly Millennials, for regular feedback and check-ins about performance. But it’s also due to the general consensus of managers and employees alike that the tried-and-true performance review process hasn’t really done the job it was intended to do.

Along with this shift, a whole host of new tools and systems for managing the feedback process has been introduced. In fact, we’ve been working with North Highland on integrating the HBDI® into a feedback app called Culr, which brings feedback and thinking styles together for an all-in-one approach to real-time development and performance management. 

As helpful as these new tools are, though, technology can’t do all the work for you. Effective feedback and performance review discussions still require the human-to-human connection of manager and employee. Regardless of what else changes, you can’t take the people out of the process.

So what has changed? In many ways, this is a move from performance management as an event and a “verdict” to continuous coaching, which is less about the past and more focused on the future and the necessary adjustments that need to be made along the way.

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The Future of Employee Assessments: Integrating Diagnostics, Insights and Application

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The world of learning and development is changing at an unbelievably rapid pace. From artificial intelligence to augmented reality, some of the concepts and mechanisms that, on the surface, might seem “out there” are actually already gaining traction in today’s learning environments. And like that rearview mirror warning, innovations of the future are closer than they appear.

It’s an exciting time to be working on innovations around learning, to say the least. One area that we’ve been focused on in particular is the future of thinking-based employee assessments and how they fit into the process of building insights that can be applied to everyday business issues. Our London-based innovation lab is looking at everything from the way people communicate to how they use social media to the way they play games and use technology.

We connected up recently with Ann Herrmann-Nehdi (CEO of Herrmann International / Herrmann Global), Karim Nehdi (Global Head of Innovation), and Danny Stanhope (Applied Data Scientist and Psychometrician) for a wide-ranging discussion about the evolution and future of assessments in light of new directions in learning, new technological advances and new learner expectations. Here are some highlights from that conversation.

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How Great Sales Coaches Build Smart Game Plans

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Sales leaders often tell us that coaching is one of the most important developmental tools they have for helping sales reps improve performance. Good sales coaching can have a direct impact on motivation, commitment and goal attainment. But many organizations aren’t realizing those benefits.

One reason? Too many sales managers are being put into coaching roles without a workable game plan.

In the sales world, coaching and development strategies often focus on behaviors, specifically, changing behavior. And behaviors are important. But the problem is, this approach tends to ignore the thinking that drives behavior. How someone behaves is situational and can be affected by many external factors—just consider all the variables and external pressures a salesperson can have to deal with on a daily basis.

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