Why Train the Boss?

In this tight job market with low unemployment, it is more important than ever to make sure your team members are engaged and committed to your organization. 

Research shows that front line supervisors and managers are the key to employee engagement, including your ability to recruit and retain qualified people.  When team members are not engaged, they don’t perform well, and are more likely to leave the organization.  We join a company we admire, and we quit because of our immediate boss.  Some people quit and leave, while others quit and stay on the job.  Really good people have lots of opportunities, so why would they choose to stay if they are not happy and engaged?

The best way to be able to hire and retain the best people is to make sure your supervisors and managers know how to keep their team members engaged.  Becoming an employer of choice and being known for being a great place to work, helps with engagement, recruiting and retention.  Engaged team members are happier, more creative and productive, which goes right to your bottom line.

Call Skill Builders!

Skill Builders will train and coach your managers so they can keep your team engaged.

What’s Your Organization’s Cultural Identity?

Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”  — Peter Drucker

Your best strategy won’t fly unless your team is on board and living in a culture of caring, accountability and success. The first step is for them to understand themselves and each other, learn how to utilize each other’s strengths in a positive way.

Skill Builders works with organizations to improve the key elements of engagement, which is what organizational culture is all about.

Call Skill Builders!

Judy Preston is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach. She uses Strengths Coaching and Training to improve engagement and productivity in your team, which will improve your organization’s bottom line.

Trust is the Key to High Performance

Building and maintaining trust in an organization takes consistent behavior and setting clear expectations.  Leaders should model direct and respectful communication and behaviors including honesty, understanding and a clear focus on high performance.  Disagreements are not feared. The successful navigation of disagreements builds a stronger team, and leads to better decision-making.  Excuses are not tolerated and follow through is essential.  When the team sees their leaders as trustworthy, feedback is honest and direct, and everyone holds themselves and others accountable to excellent performance. 

A clear mission statement and code of conduct are keys to creating the expectation of respectful interaction and excellent performance.  These documents must be front and center, used and reinforced constantly, helping the whole team make decisions.

We all would prefer to work in a respectful and productive environment where we are challenged and know what to expect of our leaders and co-workers.  Whether or not you are a leader, don’t underestimate your effect on others with your positive or negative influence.

Call Skill Builders!

Judy Preston can help you design your mission statement and code of conduct, and teach your whole team the practice of direct and respectful behavior and communication.

Quote – The Importance of Trust

If you don’t have trust inside your company, then you can’t transfer it to your customers.” — Roger Staubach

The health and effectiveness of your team depends on trust. Trust starts with leaders who must, themselves, be trustworthy and model the behaviors and relationships that promote trust. Without a team who trusts its leadership and each other, it is hard to convince your customers to trust your company.

Call Skill Builders!

Judy Preston is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach. She uses Strengths Coaching and Training to improve engagement and productivity in your team, which will improve your organization’s bottom line.

How to Be a Great Leader


We all want to be great leaders, and here are some ways to be great and support your team so they want to follow you:

  • Treat employees as partners. Instead of just issuing orders, ask your people for their opinions and rely on their expertise. Listen to their ideas and help them implement as many as possible.
  • Encourage everyone to be honest. Don’t get angry at bad news. Be patient when team members disagree with you. Remember, they know their jobs better than you do, and they may have important points to raise.
  • Create an expectation that all team members hold each other accountable to the values of the organization.  Model and teach others to be honest, open and respectful about things that are not going well.   Always say please and thank you.
  • Focus on their strengths instead of trying to fix weaknesses.  Your team will be more engaged and enthusiastic when they are able to use their strengths in their work.
  • Remember they’re human. People have feelings, desires, and personal interests. Don’t ignore them. In fact, set a goal for yourself to recognize your team members, personally and for the good work they do.  Celebrate their success and the organizations’s successes.  Ask how you can help them with their career goals, and show a genuine interest in their well-being.

Call Skill Builders!

Judy Preston is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach. She uses Strengths Coaching and Training to improve engagement and productivity in your team, which will improve your organization’s bottom line.

New Leadership Program in the Flathead

Taking Applications NOW!

Leadership Flathead Reservation

Keeping our communities healthy requires insightful leaders who have the ability to communicate and work effectively with others. To this end, many cities and rural counties around Montana provide a year-long leadership development program, and most are sponsored by local Chambers of Commerce. The programs are designed to facilitate development and growth of local leaders, provide opportunities to interact with other community members, and explore local relevant issues.
Lake County Community Development
Lake County Community Development Corporation, located in Ronan, Montana, is the sponsor of the Leadership Flathead Reservation program, which will launch its inaugural class in September. Applications are due by May 15th (see link below.)

The goals of LFR are:

  • To strengthen the ability of current and emerging leaders to encourage positive and cooperative economic and social change in our communities;
  • To develop a sustainable core of committed leaders who understand the key issues unique to our area, and
  • To motivate participants to listen and learn from others, and demonstrate a passion for working cooperatively to make our community the best it can be.

Participants will benefit by getting to know other local leaders, learning new leadership skills, and being exposed to the inner workings of Reservation communities.

Judy Preston and Gypsy Ray are Co-Chairs of the LFR Committee engaged in designing and promoting the program.

For additional information, call Judy at (406) 239-4576, or Gypsy at (406) 676-5901.

? View and download the 2017 LFR Application here….

View the Program Description here…

More about Lake County Community Development Corporation…

The Secret of Higher Performance

Strengths Based Management

Strengths Coaching

By explicitly acknowledging the uniqueness of each employee, companies energize their workers’ independent thinking and creativity.

Too often, when supervisors or managers have conversations with their employees, those interactions are focused on tasks. While it is helpful for managers to understand the tasks each employee is working on, a constant focus on fixing immediate problems can sabotage long-term productivity.

A more effective way to develop an employee is to center performance conversations on the employee’s strengths, which in turn leads to improved morale and employee engagement.

People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job and three times more likely to be happier with their lives in general. Increased engagement translates to increased employee retention, and makes it easier to recruit new people.

Focusing more conversations on employees’ strengths helps them develop their natural talents and improve their work because they are able to emphasize how they naturally excel and how they’re uniquely equipped to get the job done. This also enables them to transfer how they have used their strengths from one task to another and to repeat the process.

Strengths based management highlights individual talents so each team member can understand how to use their strengths in every day situations. Giving ongoing feedback about how to use their strengths builds employee trust and enables better team performance.

Call Skill Builders!

Judy Preston is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach. She uses Strengths Coaching and Training to improve engagement and productivity in your team, which will improve your organization’s bottom line.

3 Tips to Engage Employees

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement adds real value to top-line growth and bottom-line performance. But like most good things in life, it takes time. That’s why deploying engagement initiatives is critical to preventing turnover. Consider this: a Gallup Poll found two-thirds of employees aren’t engaged at all. And an Allied Workforce Mobility Survey found that it can take more than a year for new employees to reach full productivity. What if you could fast-track improvements in engagement?

When you consider that organizations with high engagement rates are 78% more profitable than companies with average engagement rates, it makes sense to improve the engagement process. Here are three tips that you and your leadership team can use to engage employees:

  • Recognize and respond to your employees’ basic engagement needs. For example, your teams needs clear goals, opportunities to develop, recognition, and ongoing feedback.
  • Send out a pre-initiative survey to gauge the current state of employee engagement. Then after your engagement initiative is complete, send a post-initiative survey to measure before-and-after progress.
  • Offer employees well-rounded development initiatives that can help facilitate communication and engagement at work and in their personal lives. Assessments such as the StrengthsFinder and MBTI can do just that, by helping people understand what motivates them and the people around them (including your customer).

Providing opportunities for effective collaboration and communication shows your employees that you value them and that you want to invest in them as people. In fact, this kind of team building helps people feel like they belong and get the most from their career, which is key for employee engagement.

Call Skill Builders!

Judy Preston with Skill Builders, specializes in customized team building, leadership training, facilitations and coaching that help the whole organization work together in support of the overall mission. Judy is a Certified Myers-Briggs Practitioner, and a Certified Strengths Coach, and with over 20 years of management experience, she understands the challenges of developing and managing the culture of an organization.