Category: Articles

Articles first published by the Corridor Business Journal, where Gale was a frequent writer and contributor.

How unconscious bias impacts decision making

How unconscious bias impacts decision making
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, June 10 – 16, 2019

We know teams make better, faster decisions. When a group creates an environment that respects the diverse skills, talents and viewpoints of its members, great outcomes can happen.

Simply respecting diverse members, however, is not enough. Each of these voices must be heard, considered and understood to build commitment and ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes time to execute. Diversity and inclusion are not the same thing. Read more

Include ‘tell me first’ guideline in core values

Include ‘tell me first’ guideline in core values
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, Oct. 29 – Nov. 4, 2018

One of the cornerstone behaviors of a high performing cohesive team is peer-to-peer accountability. When a member believes that someone is not living up to team expectations, she goes directly to her colleague to discuss the behavior and work toward a positive resolution.

“Tell me first” demonstrates loyalty and respect among team members. We show that we value our colleagues when we bring issues and concerns directly to them, not tattling to the boss or gossiping about performance among co-workers. Read more

Engaging in productive conflict – it’s your choice

Engaging in productive conflict – it’s your choice
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, Oct. 29 – Nov. 4, 2018

Generating innovative ideas and solutions to the challenges and opportunities we encounter in our work requires healthy, productive conflict. It’s good that we do not all see things the same way and that we can challenge one another’s points of view. If we all thought exactly the same way, I guess we would only need one of us to make all the decisions. Read more

Is your team a real team?

Is your team a real team?
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, June 12 – 18, 2017

I find it interesting when managers introduce me to their procurement team or invite me to spend time with an accounting team. In many cases, these groups are far from what we know to be real teams.

Katzenbach and Smith, in their book, “The Wisdom of Teams,” define a real team as “a small group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, shared performance goals and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”

On the other hand, a working group is made up of people who have individual goals and perform their tasks independently. While they come together to share information and best practices (aka staff meetings), they do not take responsibility for any results other than their own. Working groups are typically characterized by a strong, clearly visible leader. Read more

Do you have what it takes to bounce back?

Do you have what it takes to bounce back?
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, Oct. 30 – Nov. 5, 2017

You don’t have to be very old or have been in the working world very long to have experienced adversity or disappointment. Maybe the promotion you were counting on went to someone else. Perhaps you found yourself struggling in a new role, feeling like a failure when what you needed most was a small win. Sometimes the waves of change swallow us up and spit us out on the shore, shaken and defeated. Read more

It’s never too late to reform your team

It’s never too late to reform your team
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, May 30 – June 5, 2016

“We just don’t seem to be rowing in the same direction.” “Too many people are putting their own needs ahead of the team.” “No one is communicating openly – there is too much gossip.” “The main thing you hear in our meetings are the crickets.”

Do any these comments seem familiar? Most teams go through some storming on their way to becoming a performing, cohesive unit. Unfortunately, some teams get stuck there and the results are low productivity, poor morale, high turnover, missed opportunities and less than optimal results. Read more

Team building pays big dividends

Team building pays big dividends
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, July 13-19, 2015

Teamwork is to business like gears are to a machine. When they are well-oiled and aligned, everything turns smoothly and great work gets done. Communication is clear and timely, creative ideas flow seamlessly, productivity soars and engagement peaks as people love what they do and who they do it with. Read more

Stopping the “Meeting After the Meeting”

Stopping the ‘Meeting After the Meeting
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, Apr. 24, 2014

Ryan is project manager for a high-profile software development team. There are obvious challenges and hurdles to overcome to keep the program on schedule and under budget. Unfortunately, his greatest frustration is the lack of open communication occurring during the team meetings. Lately, his office has become a revolving door with different team members bringing up issues, concerns, ideas and opinions that should have been discussed in the meeting. He is perplexed as to why his group continues to engage in this behavior. It is not healthy and prevents the group from making decisions that everyone understands and owns. Read more

How to Built Trust in a Team

How to Build Trust in a Team
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, Jul. 15, 2013

Without trust, teams cannot and will not function effectively. Trust is the foundation for all positive group dynamics, including open communication, consensus decision making, effective problem solving and constructive, productive conflict.

In a team, trust has three components: integrity, ability and caring. Integrity has to do with character, ability correlates with competence and caring is how team members treat one another. Read more

Getting Good at Resolving Conflict

Getting Good at Resolving Conflict
Article appeared in Corridor Business Journal, Apr. 15, 2013

The ability to engage in healthy conflict conversations is an essential skill for employees at all levels in an organization. Working collaboratively within and across shifts, departments and organizations require that team members tap into the unique perspectives and experiences of everyone on the team. If team members do not weigh-in, they often will not buy-in to decisions made. Read more