Game on

Game on

I had the pleasure of facilitating the Leadership Game with the staff/operations team of Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO).

We awarded points to people, there were some interesting debates and challenging positions being taken, along with healthy discomfort when participants had to get real and answer questions by themselves. 2.5 hours later … feedback was that the team wanted to spend even more time in this experience together!

What a fantastic team and culture! They weren’t shy, fully embraced the experience and we cracked some jokes along the way! I’m looking forward to serving some of the team even further through one-on-one coaching conversations.


Some insights that came out of this session for the team included:

“Hearing you explain the connection between leadership, influence and connection was powerful!”

“I enjoyed sharing with the team and group conversations.”

“This was a great way to start meaningful conversation and continue to build on the strong connection we already have within the team.”

The Leadership Game is a fun, yet challenging experience designed to help you and your team better understand core leadership principles and values. Think of it as a self and group SWOT analysis.



My observations

Here’s what I’ve noticed recently facilitating different team sessions: Positive, progressive and dynamic team culture is PRICELESS – without this, there is no high-performing team. The secret ingredient is psychological safety.

Creating psychological safety within a team is crucial for fostering an environment where individuals feel comfortable taking risks, expressing their ideas, and being themselves without fear of negative consequences. Here are some ways to foster psychological safety:


Leadership Modelling

Leaders set the tone for psychological safety often through vulnerable leadership. This is different than simply being vulnerable.

Being vulnerable could sound like “Our organization is at a crisis and I don’t know how we’re going to turn this around.”

Vulnerable leadership could sound like, “Our organization is at a crisis and I don’t know how we’re going to turn this around. However, I and the leadership team are committed to working with you to identify the best solution and I’m confident we’ll find our way out, together.”


Regular Check-ins

Conduct regular one-on-one and team check-ins to assess well-being, workload, and any concerns team members may have.

Some questions to ask during either a one-on-one or team check-in may include:

  • What is a recent win we can celebrate together?
  • What’s getting in the way of you being able to perform to the best of your ability?
  • What can I do to help remove obstacles so that you can perform to the best of your ability?

After receiving answers, be sure to report back with what you’ve done to remove obstacles, which in turn lets your team know that they’ve been heard and that you truly are there to support them.


Feedback Culture

Encourage constructive feedback and make it a regular part of team interactions, not just when “stuff” hits the fan.

The more regular check-ins (above) happen, the more feedback culture can flow naturally. If a feedback conversation is needed, a framework that could help is:

  • Situation – where and when did you observe the behaviour you’re looking to give feedback on. Be specific.
  • Behaviour – identify the behaviour based on what you saw or experienced.
  • Impact – share the (potential) impact of the behaviour you’re giving feedback on.
  • Intent – Allow for two-way conversation, asking what might have caused the particular behaviour. Ex. “How did the incorrect project timelines make it to the final presentation?”
  • Validation – remind the person of the value they add and treat them as though they’re living and performing to their full potential at the given moment.

Keep in mind, this is a framework, not a formula. Be sure to edit and tweak this framework as needed.



If you’re leading a team or even within your family, how can you take action on just one of these?




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