Friendship Creates High-Performing Teams

Group of friends enjoying in cafe

Cultivating friendship in the workplace is a powerful way to motivate your employees.

Although it’s common knowledge that effective teamwork is an essential component of any company’s success, many managers mistakenly believe that friendship isn’t necessarily conducive to this kind of collaboration. But in fact, truly high-performing teams are made up of friends, not mere acquaintances.

And there are many reasons that’s true. Friends are far less likely to let each other down, which means they support each other and deliver on their promises. From a business perspective, that means friendship-centric teams are less likely to fail.

Friendship also negates loneliness. This is not a trivial point, as loneliness can have devastating effects on your body and your work. But unfortunately, loneliness is too common in many offices when employees feel alienated from their colleagues – the emotional equivalent of working in a cubicle. It does not promote happiness and productivity among staff.

So what can you do to mitigate the negative effects of loneliness and cultivate friendship among your employees? Well, it helps to understand how people become friends in the first place, and that is through physical proximity, familiarity and by reaffirming similarity. In other words, people become friends when they work together on the same tasks again and again.

You can make sure your workplace is conducive to this process by eliminating cubicles and any other barriers. Additionally, you can organize group activities like obstacle races or running competitions. Physical activities like these promote friendship by producing a rush of adrenaline, a powerful hormone that makes it easier to connect with those around you.

Ultimately, an environment that supports friendship will help generate a communal feeling of pride in the organization itself. And when your team is proud of the work they do, they’ll be motivated to produce better work.

Written by John Krumbach

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now

Playing Is Key for Team Success

Group of joyful excited business people having fun in office

Establishing an atmosphere of play will encourage creativity and give your staff an incentive to work hard.

Imagine this scenario: Your boss expects you to come up with a creative solution by the end of the day. Working under pressure, you try as hard as you can, and yet the solution you’re looking for couldn’t be farther away.

Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common workplace dilemma. Because after all, it’s hard to be creative when you’re under pressure. That’s why as a manager you should establish an environment that promotes play; this will take the pressure off and relax your staff, ultimately encouraging creativity.

What’s the best way to do this?

Well, you can start by freeing up your staff’s timetables and carving out space for games and athletic activity: For instance, your company can organize a running club or a football team. You can install some game consoles or simply buy a few board games.

Although there are benefits to bringing actual games into the office, it’s also advantageous to incorporate the logic of play into your working processes.

Think about it like this: One big reason games are so compelling is that they provide instant feedback. For instance, when you successfully play a video game, you’re instantly rewarded: You pass to ever-more advanced levels and secure high scores.

Everyone likes this kind of recognition because, simply put, it makes us feel good about ourselves. And in fact, it can even make us healthier. Because believe it or not, studies have shown that Oscar-winning actors outlive mere nominees by an average of four years!

Bearing that in mind, make sure that your staff’s hard work is noticed and recognized. And don’t rely on that old standby, the Employee of the Month Award, because recognizing one person at a time is too limited. Instead, take advantage of social media to call out great work and recognize each and every success, whenever it happens!

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now

Creating an Extraordinary Workplace

Business people joining hands







If you want to design the best possible workplace, improve employee satisfaction and ultimately motivate your staff to deliver better results, look no further. The following blogs have the purpose of guiding you through the process of improving your working environment, leading to more enthusiastic and productive employees.

Find out how a better workplace leads to more enthusiastic people and a more successful organization

Do you like your job? If you do, then you may be in the minority. According to one study, 84 percent of all US workers feel disengaged, and that percentage has stayed more or less the same since 2002.

Many companies don’t seem to be doing anything about this. Very few seriously consider ways to improve their working environment. They should.

It is clear that a happy and more enthusiastic workforce will perform better, and customers will be happier as a result. These ideas help explain how businesses – both large and small – can make the positive changes to their environments, allowing staff to break the trend and start enjoying work.

In our next blogs we will discuss all the different steps companies can take in order to create an extraordinary workplace.

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now

Help Your Team Overcome Mental Ruts

Business partners discussing new project

Following our last blog in relation to Creativity; the next myth of business relationships is:

Myth #4 – Efficiency & Expertise are the Holy Grail

Most teams focus on increasing their productivity and efficiency and they encourage their members to become experts at their jobs.

Reality: These practices actually make them less adept at solving the challenging problems faced by most teams today.

The human brain has evolved for efficiency and will easily get stuck in the ruts forged by the constant repetitions that it takes to perfect a process or become an expert.

Action: Help every team member approach each situation with freshness and novelty. Promote curiosity and exploration and learning so your team can avoid mental ruts and come up with better solutions.

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now

How to Shift Emotions for Optimal Team Performance

gute Laune setzt sich durch

If creativity is ground rule one, shifting emotions at their source is number two. 

But, how to do it?

In this section, we will cover a few things you can do to build optimal emotions amongst your team in order to boost drive. What it comes down to is really finding a way to motivate people at a deeper level. You can shift into these positive, heartfelt emotions by knowing some of the techniques that make it that much easier.

There are 5 different ways to accomplish it:

Welcome laughter and play to boost energy

An easy way to move emotions into the more positive realm is to bring real joy back into the workplace. And what better way to do so than by tapping into the things we enjoy doing, and our natural responses to those things.

Vigorous play and joyous laughter can quickly revitalize energy and create more vigor for work in the whole team. Rather than waiting until a team reaches burnout to pep them back up, primal leaders incorporate play and laughter into their daily leadership practices.

Do you ever do anything that has the power to rapidly turn your emotions around? Can you think of a way to apply this to others?

In our next blog we will discuss two additional ways which are quite helpful for the purpose of shifting emotions at the workplace.

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now


Maximize Team Engagement By Playing

Business People Fun Playing Beach Travel Concept 

Start organizing work in creative cycles

Just as the movie industry has phases: choosing actors and building the set, followed by shooting, editing, and so on;so too should the way you work.

This “project style” system of accomplishing a task makes things more interesting and allows people to switch things up so they don’t get bored. They’re not simply doing one thing the whole time.

This is yet another great way to keep things fresh as members of a group or team don’t have time to get bored.

Get real about play time

Playing for the fun of it is a good way to reduce stress. It also keeps people feeling positive and alert, “It fuels the seeking system ensuring keen motivation and emotional resilience.”

But, it’s not just any type of play. It’s about the type of play that doesn’t leave you feeling exhausted. The play that energizes and doesn’t sap your energy. And, most importantly, it’s not about winning. In fact, the most competitive players can actually do more harm than good. It’s pretty important to get everyone to realize that it’s not about winning but about having fun.

“The most effective type of play involves physical repetitive actions with certain variations, such as throwing or batting, that challenge us enough to attract and hold our interest but that do not overly tax our minds and bodies, as training for a marathon does. Ideal play should enhance rather than sap our energy. Contrary to the old cliche, winning is not everything. The mere act of playing the game for the sheer fun of it, without excessive pressure to win, is everything.”

Also, be careful about turning work into play. For example by giving a team member a day off because they were the first to do something. This can have the opposite effect as there are clear winners and losers.

Gamification techniques also rarely qualify as play – awarding points or badges for problems solved or new ideas.

“Even though optimal play does involve multiple players it should not prompt competition for rewards, achievement or status. For optimal play to work its magic, the strongest players should willingly handicap themselves to make sure everyone can enjoy playing on a level field. When the strongest players don’t exhibit this kind of reciprocity, the fun drains out of the game for the other players.”

The best thing to do is to keep things casual; don’t create too much structure, be spontaneous and remember that “playing” is as important to adults as it is to children.

Watch the Video Summary Here

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now

Using Heartfelt Emotion to Increase Team Creativity

heart on wood

Get into the habit of drawing on “heartfelt emotion” to increase creativity within your team.

Drawing on your own, genuine emotions doesn’t just keep things positive. Ultimately it deepens the impact of positive interactions. Creativity is going to come that much more easily.

“Strong heartfelt emotions can halt our rational mental processes and connect us to people in a much more profound way than relatively mild feelings, such as relief or satisfaction or thankfulness. Heartfelt emotions make our hearts sing, and they set fire to our cognitive and perceptual abilities – traits that every business prizes.”

It seems obvious that heartfelt emotion should create more positive feelings and therefore drive creativity but truthfully, few of the companies take this approach, most likely out of ignorance.

“When team members experience heartfelt emotion, their creative ability ratchets up a notch. That’s why primal team leaders try to deepen team emotion.”

Have you ever worked for someone who exhibited such heartfelt emotions?

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now

Creating Creativity Within a Team


We are going to discuss the various different methods which will help your team to maximize creativity.

The first thing you’re going to need to do is maximize your team’s potential for creativity -“you must instill creativity at every level.” And the fastest way to do this is to draw on positive emotions.

The question then is how do you actually get your teams to take a more creative approach to the things they do? What kind of methods can you — the team leader — employ to help accomplish this?

There are 4 methods to apply; of we will now discuss the 1st. one.

1. First, apply positivity and tap into appropriate levels of arousal

Remember, the reason you’re doing this is to reshape people’s emotions. After all, you can’t force someone to be creative if they are unhappy. Creativity comes most easily when people feel relaxed and at ease.

“Team leaders take specific steps to help people experience the appropriate levels of arousal and the optimal level of positive emotions because they know that such a state releases the utmost creativity. They pay close attention to the emotions running through their team, and whenever necessary, they take sure steps to reshape less than optimal emotions. While they can’t force an individual or team to think creatively, they can help them open the door for creativity.”

Any step taken into this direction has to be based on the shared norms and beliefs of the Company taking into consideration the values found within a functioning group.

It is of utmost importance to make exceptional events be EXCEPTIONAL – never ever treat them as an ordinary event. When you team does something wonderful:

  • Rejoice:  Stay emotional rather than minimizing the event with logical explanations. “Wow ! We hit the one million mark !  Amazing ! “
  • Celebrate:  Commemorate the event. “This marks a milestone not just for the company but the positive efforts of our team. Lunch at the Best Steak House on me ! “
  • Exclaim:  Show your emotion, telling people how it makes you feel. “I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. I feel like the day we brought my newborn baby home from the hospital.


Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now

4 Ways to Overcome Inattention to Results

Business, finance, statistics, analytic

A team can only become results oriented when all team members place the team’s results first. When individuals aren’t held accountable, team members naturally tend to look out for their own interests, rather than the interests of the team. Teams can overcome this dysfunction by making the team results clear and rewarding the behaviors that contribute to the team’s results.

The primary role of the leader in overcoming these dysfunctions is to lead by example and set the tone for the whole team. This includes being the first one to be vulnerable, encouraging debate and conflict, making responsibilities and deadlines clear, setting the team’s standards, and last but not least being clear on the team’s results.

     Main issues to consider:

•   Status & ego get in the way

•   Focus on individual/personal goals rather than the objectives of the team

•   In a team, the sum is greater than the constituent parts

•   Need for clear metrics

•   Often a lack of perceived clarity over what the big goal is


 A team inattentive to results will:

•   Stagnate and fail to grow

•   Rarely defeat its competitors

•   Loose its good staff

•   Encourage team members to focus on their own careers and individual goals

•   Be easily distracted


     A team attentive to results will:

•   Retain good staff

•   Willingly make sacrifices (such as budget, turf, head count) in their department or areas of expertise for the good of the team

•’  Feel the pain’ when the team fails to achieve its goals

•   Be slow to seek credit for their own contributions, but quick to point out those of others


Suggested strategies to help :

•’   Calling’ people on behavior traits that demonstrate inattention to results

•    Public declaration of results

•   Results based reviews

•   Leader ‘leads’ in behaviour


Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now