team building and leadership expert michael cardus

We all operate with different mental models and necessities of learning + training. When facilitating team building & leadership processes with individuals and teams a challenge is trying to determine what each person needs in order to feel our time together is used effectively.

This is a balance of

  • 1. The person (the expert of themselves) listening and reflecting upon what and how they find value in our time together;
  • 2. Me (the content expert) being competent and offering a variety of learning opportunities for individuals to find value in the process;
  • 3. Both the person and me knowing and acknowledging that this separation exists and both parties valuing the process enough to find the best solution at the time;
  • 4. The environment that the process training is taking place in;
  • 5. The environment that the process will be utilized in (i.e. shop floor, over the phone, in team meetings, with supervisors, with subordinates, with peers, with customers, in mixed project teams, in intra or inter-department teams);
  • 6. The black box the unknown and unforeseeable complexity that accompanies changing behaviors.
  • I am sure there is more and for brevity will stop now 


This weeks inquiry is some questions that I ask leaders, teams and myself that serve in answering some of the areas covered above.

  • In the past when involved in something similar to what we are doing what worked? Tell me about that.
  • For our time to be most effective what would you need to know happened? What else? Is there an example of when something similar has happened in the past? Tell me about that.
  • Share an example of when you learned and applied something rapidly to your work.
  • How did you manage to learn and apply that so effectively? What else?
  • If that was to repeat, learning something and applying it rapidly, describe the environment you would need.
  • How would your boss support this learning and application?
  • How would subordinates support this learning and application?
  • How would peers support this learning and application?
  • How would your significant other (close friend, family member, etc…) support this learning and application?
  • Is there anything you are currently working on that you can use to test the new lessons from today? How can you test the lessons from today?
  • What will happen when you have fully understood and are able to use the lessons in your work? What else? What else?
  • Is any of that happening already?
  • In a week – when a follow-up is arranged – what should I ask you to see what successes you are having with the application of the lessons?


The application and retention of team building & leadership lessons require focus on each of the 6 areas, plus coaching and facilitation of connecting the lessons to work.

Could your team benefit from a greater return on investment in training? Could your leadership and teams benefit from a purposeful method and process to apply and measure the lessons into organizational reality? Contact Mike the make your teams and leaders better.

michael cardus is create-learning

image by Pommiebastards