5 Tools for Teams

By Adele Fraser

Communication • Motivation • Values • Agreement • Alignment



The successful conveying or sharing of ideas, feelings and meaning.
A two way process of reaching mutual understanding.

How do you listen – to understand or to reply?

“In dialogue, there is the free and creative exploration of complex and subtle issues, a deep “listening” to one another and suspending of one’s own views. By contrast, in discussion different views are presented and defended and there is a search for the best view to support decisions that must be made at this time. Dialogue and discussion are potentially complementary, but most teams lack the ability to distinguish between the two and to move consciously between them.” Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline, 2006.

How does your “listening” influence the quality of your connection and the outcome of your decision making?


The reason for doing something. The desire, need or want that generates the energy required to take action.

What inspires you?

We have all felt it- those bubbles in your chest, that fire in your belly, so nervously excited you may throw up or can’t feel your legs anymore. When have you experienced inspiration?

When can you recall feeling fully present, engaged, inspired, energetic and motivated? Where could you influence creating more of that for yourself? How does knowing what matters to you help to discover your motivation?


A person’s principles or standards of behaviour. One’s judgement of what is important in life.

What about the situation matters to you?

Asking this question helps to build self-awareness – to bottom line the situation, to discern the feelings, uncover the desires and motivation behind the impulse, to get clarity on what the drivers might be.

This is an empowering question. A tool for self-regulation, it serves to help to answer the questions- What’s worth fighting for? What’s worth fighting about? What’s worth working harder to achieve? What of this is connected to my values? What am I willing to be accountable for? How will I stay committed?


A negotiated arrangement between parties. Harmony or accordance in opinion or feeling.

How clear are the group agreements?

Every group operates by a set of agreements, whether they exist implicitly or are stated explicitly. Working groups, friend groups, families, organizational teams, partnerships – we all belong to groups that operate on group agreements. Unclear group agreements can show up as friction points, speed bumps or barriers to productivity or harmony.

What groups do you belong to? What are the pain points? Is there a group agreement operating under the waterline that needs to be addressed? What could be gained by exploring and getting clear on your group’s agreements?


A position of agreement or alliance. The act of aligning parts of a machine.

Where could we go, what could we do, how fast could we get there if we paddled in unison?

Much like the domains of a magnet, we are most powerful as a team when we are aligned.

It is easy to be quickly aware of feeling ‘out of alignment’ with those around you – driving the wrong way down a one way street or leaning in to talk loudly to the person next to you just as the music turns off.

How do you know when you are ‘in alignment’ with others? How does it feel? How do you get there? What do you need to be aware of to stay there?


Contributing Member: Adele Fraser. BA, BEd, CPHR, ACC

As a UBC certified Organizational Coach and ICF Associate Certified Coach, I offer organizational teams the tools and space to discover how they can strengthen the foundational cornerstones of communication, team, leadership and direction to reach their business goals. Follow Adele on Instagram or visit Adele Fraser Coaching to find out more about her coaching services.




Team Values Connect

By Tania Walter Gardiner

As a business leader working with teams, what values do you work and live by? What is your vision? Mission? When there is agreement on vision, mission, and values the rest is small stuff. You can move effortlessly past any issues that arise.

Vision, Values, Mission

Values define the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the vision, connecting vision to actions. Action steps cannot be planned unless the team is in alignment, having values each member of the team can agree to. One tool that can assist a team to elicit values and develop a strong vision and mission is a charter.

A charter is a structure for agreements so that team members can be relaxed, resourceful and engaged. With these agreements, dialogue flows, moving forward in a productive way. Alignment fosters innovation, inspiration, and high performance. Teams that perform well enjoy their work, have better lives and create sustainable results through time.

Do you have a charter of agreements?

Do you have a charter of agreements with those you work with, whether stakeholders, a team of employees, or family business? Having a charter on how you agree to be with each other and work together deepens commitment, collaboration and contribution. Imagine a day-to-day experience of really contributing in your best way. What difference might that make in your business?


Contributing Member: Tania Walter Gardiner, MA, BA, ACC
Tania is a certified professional solutions and values focused coach and consultant who works with individuals and teams helping them to gain clarity, focus and direction, enabling them to live their definition of success in business and life. To explore coaching with Tania, visit her website: Integral Connections.

Coaching for Business Results

By Tania Walter Gardiner

Coaching has emerged as a leading resource and skill-set for business leaders to live successful and extraordinary lives. You become clear on the results you want to create, why it matters and design a purposeful action plan to achieve your goals.

If you had empowering ways to commit to and achieve results in business and life, what would that make possible for you? As a beginning, I invite you to:

Become clear on your goals

Be clear of what you want in business and life, how will you get it, how will you know you have it, and what is your commitment to getting it. Design your business in a way that energizes you and creates the life you want. What is it you truly want to create for yourself?

Connect with what is important

Build a grounded foundation to make decisions that align with what you value most and ensure your daily actions are also in alignment with those values. This is the rocket fuel to engagement and commitment that creates breakthrough results. What is important to you about the outcome you aim to achieve?

Everyone could use a coach in their corner.


Contributing member: Tania Walter Gardiner, MA, BA, ACC
Tania is a certified professional solutions and values focused coach and consultant who works with individuals and teams helping them to gain clarity, focus and direction, enabling them to live their definition of success in business and life. To explore coaching with Tania, visit her website, Integral Connections.



**Please credit the author with any use of or excerpt from this article in any form. 
This article originally appeared in Valley Voice.