How Do You Get People to Join Your Team? 5 tips




One of my favorite activities is team building. I love identifying gifts in people, finding just the right place for them, and plugging them in.

Honestly, it’s a tedious task. It takes a lot of time and energy to “get the right people on the bus” as author and speaker Jim Collins would say, but the results can be phenomenal.

When we share work with people, so much more can get done. And, many times it gets done better than what we could do it ourselves, because other individuals may be more gifted in a certain area than we are.

Here are some tips I’ve learned:

  1. Invite, don’t recruit: Make people feel like they are coming alongside you. Let them know they aren’t just fulfilling a role, but they are fulfilling a mission.
  2. Play to their strengths: Who doesn’t like a compliment? Let them know the wonderful qualities you see in them that would make them an asset to your team.
  3. Cast a vision: Let them know the potential involved. Help them to see how they are a part of an end goal.
  4. Show humility: We can often make the mistake of thinking everyone should be passionate about what we are passionate about. This is not always the case. Just because you love animals and want to volunteer at the shelter, doesn’t mean you neighbor does. You can communicate passion, but don’t make people feel bad if they aren’t interested.
  5. Be gracious: Don’t be afraid to accept the “no.” Many people fail to ask others to help, because they fear being rejected. As in the previous point, they may have another passion. It may be the wrong season of life. They could be over-committed already. Responsibilities with family members may prevent them from joining you. Be understanding. This will make them more willing to join you in the future when the time is right.

For me, prayer has been a huge component, as well. I feel God has placed people in my path that would otherwise not have been there had I not been praying for his guidance.

The last few months I have been team building for two amazing opportunities. If you live in the Bloomington, IN area, I would love for you to be a part of one of these events if it fits your needs or you are available. Tell your friends, too!


One Girl: If you are a tween or teen girl (9-18), this conference is for you. Not only will you have fun, but you will learn amazing leadership skills. I so wish this had been available when I was that age. One Girl will be on September 18 and 19th, 2015. And, one of the best parts is that moms can join, too! There will be three main session speakers and two workshop times (each with two choices). Register here. Find more information on the One Mom portion here: One Mom Workshops and Speakers.


mom2mom: For the last 10 years I have had the privilege of working with young moms (even when I was one). mom2mom is a wonderful group that meets on Friday mornings during the school year at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church. There is a time to connect, a guest speaker, and time for discussion. If you, or someone you know, is a mom of little ones, this could be a great place to develop some friendships. Free childcare and a yummy breakfast are provided! If interested, register here. Just scroll down to “Mom’s Groups” toward the bottom. IU students can get credit for volunteering for our children’s program and homeschoolers can get some service time in!

We truly are better together!




The Very Reason Teachers Need Less “Accountability”


I opened up my Facebook messages and saw the above image. One of my former students cleaned out her closet and found this old letter from my teaching days in the mix. She was sweet enough to snap a pic and send it to me, emphasizing it was one of the items she would be keeping.

I remember the student well. I don’t recall the exact circumstances that prompted my message, and don’t even remember ever possessing that paper. However, somehow it held enough meaning that she has kept it around for 15+ years, and who knows how many more.

When I taught, I always felt guilty for not taking more time to offer encouragement. The students would beam when commended on something. Parents offered heartfelt thanks when they were told about their son’s or daughter’s accomplishments. How many others may have needed a “keep your chin up” note that I may have missed?

I have had a handful of students contact me over the years, or I have come across them at various places in the community. Never have they mentioned an amazing math lesson I taught. They don’t comment on how we did daily oral language exercises. They do mention something creative I did, how I helped them, or much like this situation, they refer to a note I wrote them. They remember how my room was decorated in a Wizard of Oz theme, and how I loved the movie.

Teachers certainly don’t get into teaching for the money. I would guess most do it to make a difference and have a small impact on the world. The more time they have to spend documenting what they teach and filling out hours of paperwork, the less time they have for the tasks that really matter to the students. There is less time for creativity when preparing lessons, and less time to notice the emotional needs of the kids. When I began teaching, the job market was inundated with fresh, new teachers hoping to be employed. It is no wonder we are now faced with a teacher shortage and school systems are being forced to hire individuals not 100% qualified to be in the classroom.

I am grateful to Austin’s teacher this year. She makes time in her day (somehow!) to send notes of praise home. He comes home glowing, and we proudly post them on the fridge. Amazingly, he’s not as grumpy about his homework when these notes come home. That’s a win for me, too!


My favorite part about receiving the picture of the note to my student is how the encouragement managed to come full circle. I often wonder if my words matter. Does anyone really hear me and does what I say somehow make a difference? This note was proof that people do hear, and it does indeed matter to them. It came to me at just the perfect time.

I beg you to offer some thoughtful words to someone today. Whether it be your own child, your child’s teacher, a former teacher, or just a good friend, take a moment to let them know they are seen and cared about. You never know when you might need some encouragement, and what you do might just come back to bless you.

I would love to hear about any notes you have kept over the years and what they mean to you.



Choose Kind


“If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary—the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.” ~R.J. Palacio Wonder

Laying in my bed discussing my son’s first day of school, I asked him who he was sitting by in class.

“Well, (name I can’t remember now) and this other (long pause) kid.”

“Why the long pause?” I asked.

“Well, she’s a girl, but she thinks she’s a boy. It’s weird.”

I probed him to tell me more.

“So, she dresses like a boy, and cuts her hair like a boy, but she’s a girl. When the teacher called the roster, she answered, but told everyone she wanted to be called by a different name…a boy’s name.”

Now this was certainly uncharted territory. Before me was an opportunity to teach an extremely important life lesson, but how would I convey it? I didn’t think I had the words.

“First of all, let’s not use the word ‘weird.’ Maybe unusual would be better.”

“Unusual might be nicer, but weird is more accurate,” he insisted. Sigh.

He proceeded to have lots of questions, all of which I felt inadequate to answer. I told him honestly when I didn’t know how to respond, and answered the ones I could.

I concluded with this: “Here is the bottom line. Sometimes boys feel inside like they are girls, and girls feel like they are boys. I don’t know why this happens, and there are a lot of theories. I know for you it’s super hard to understand. Think of how confusing that would be, to not feel quite right in your own skin. I know it’s unusual, but God created everyone special and we need to treat them like that.”

After I left his room, I decided to turn to Google to see if it had any suggestions. I typed, “How to talk to your child about transgender” into the search box. People, this is an important question in our day and age! The results were seriously lacking. The first result was an article by Focus on the Family that made my toes curl, suggesting I teach him about sin and how this girl needs saving. I just don’t think this is what my 10-year-old needs to hear. How about how this child needs loved???? Nothing else was remotely helpful.

Parents, we are living in a time that has never existed before in our country. A time where things that were previously unacceptable have become acceptable. Regardless of our personal feelings about these matters, the individuals that fall into these categories need to feel worthy and purposeful. It is a basic human need, and one that we should honor.

The theme for my son’s grade this year is from the book Wonder: Choose Kind. How appropriate, and what a critical life lesson. “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” – Dr Wayne W. Dyer included in Wonder. There are a lot of choices we can make, but kindness can rarely be the wrong one.

One of my friends posted this quote from the book Spirituality of Gratitude by Joshua Kang on Facebook this morning: “Likewise, we must see our brothers and sisters with respect in order to recognize God’s glory reflected on their faces. In The Weight of Glory, CS Lewis reminds us, “There are no ordinary people.” Imagine what we might miss out on when we simply mark someone off as weird.

I am anxious to see my son’s growth in this area of his life this school year. I’m grateful he has an opportunity to exercise this concept from the very first day. And most importantly, I hope this sweet student feels seen and worthy of others’ kindness this year.

Please, share any advice or thoughts you have. Parenting is so hard, especially when it comes to topics that are relatively new.

I also highly encourage you to read Wonder. It’s one of my all time favorites, and I would recommend reading it with your child (maybe 9 and up)  in order to discuss it together.