Building TEAM in your family!

As the co-founder of Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions my business partner and I support our clients to BUILD A CULTURE OF TEAM in the workplace. However, our Group to TEAM tips, techniques and practices also apply to supporting the most important team in our lives: our FAMILY.

Recently, the subject of receiving an allowance was raised in our family by my eldest. She wanted to start earning money.  Her desire provoked a powerful discussion as to how we, as a family, were going to use allowance to reinforce, build and support our family to be more of a TEAM. 

TIP # 1: Use normal family moments as a platform to focus on building TEAM in your family.

Many times we forget the larger context of what we are up to creating. A discussion about allowance can be just that or it can be transformed into an opportunity to create and generate TEAM. Many times parents forget to talk about CONTEXT first. (Watch my blog to learn more about CONTENT VS. CONTEXT). For me the CONTEXT is TEAM. So when we talked about allowance we framed it as being rewarded for BEING a good family member or member of our TEAM. 

TIP #2. Focus giving allowance to your kids for who he or she is BEING rather then what he or she is DOING.

It is important to remember that we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS and thinking about this my husband and I decided to give our kids allowance based on who they are being rather then what they are doing. (Truth be told that in order to be a productive member of the TEAM we are ALL going to have to DO a lot of different things. But what we are interested in is who my children are BEING while they are DOING their work.) I want my children's sense of self-worth to be intrinsically connected to who they 'be', rather than what they do and, as a consequence, ultimately affect how they think and feel. 

How does this work in practice you may ask? As we know, with young children, clear communication is key. You can still supply them with your list of expected chores or sit down and compile the list together. In our house our kids need to empty the dishwasher, make their beds in the morning and put away their clean clothes. As they get older this list will expand. If you have to ask them 5 times to make their bed, then instead of focusing the discussion on what they are NOT DOING (which will create a fight!!) you ask them, "Are you being a helper right now? Are you being a good listener right now?"  This helps them to acknowledge who they are being and how that affects their doing or not doing. 

Here are some examples of DOING VS. BEING


  • supportive
  • thoughtful
  • loving
  • caring
  • nurturing
  • listening to others
  • generous
  • kind
  • fun
  • happy
  • positive
  • mindful before speaking
  • respectful


  • making the bed
  • putting away the groceries
  • emptying the dishwasher
  • picking up their toys
  • putting laundry away
  • cleaning the back yard
  • clearing their plates
  • doing homework

TIP #3. Give a warning that you are about to give a deduction.

We have found that once we ask the question about BEING and our children respond, it creates an awareness that they need to DO something different. And so, if at this point, I am still feeling frustrated I will warn my kids that they are about to get a deduction in their allowance. I focus my conversation on who they are BEING and then share with them what I would like them to DO. 


MOM: You are about to get a deduction because you are not being a good listener and helper. I am going to count to 5 and I need you to go and make your bed. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. 

Counting works for my kids as they are just 6 & 7 years old. 

After I share what the deduction is for, I direct them towards what I desire them to do. I am a mom after all and I do need my kiddos to do certain things to help our family function. I am very happy to share we have had great success shifting and moving conversations that could have ended up creating a whole lot more tension. When we start the conversation from a place of BEING the result is that the chores get done. 

This blog so powerfully relates to Group to TEAM training because as managers we need to find ways to motivate our employees to do good work. Group to TEAM offers a four phase process for building the culture of TEAM by inspiring each individual to take personal responsibility for generating a TEAM context within their organization. Such techniques can easily be employed at home with your most important and treasured team: your family. 

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Susan Leahy MA CSP is a powerful leadership, team building and keynote speaker, trainer, and coach. Susan does live presentations, interactive online webinars, and private personal coaching. Book her to come and speak at your next event or function. 

She is the creator of The Confident Woman Program, Robert's Rules Made Simple and is the co-founder of Group To TEAM Leadership Solutions a global coaching and consulting organization that provides leadership and TEAM building training in order to build a culture of TEAM by empowering the individual to choose TEAM. 

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Feeling thankful for my dad, Kenneth J. Leahy! 

Feeling thankful for my dad, Kenneth J. Leahy! 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! At this time of year when gratitude is celebrated, I am thankful for my father's health and well-being. While I was doing a Group to TEAM training for the US Airforce, I learned that my dad had to have emergency surgery. After the training, I flew out to be with him and I am beyond grateful that he is fit and well on the road to recovery. My dad is one tough and lovable old Marine. He served our country for 20 years and completed one tour in Korea and 2 tours in Vietnam. We are a lucky family to have been blessed with such an amazing, loving and grounded man! I love you Dad!!