Developing A Leadership culture

High Trust, High Accountable, High Performing Teams

All areas of our team development program revolve around the concept of Mischief™. Once understood, Mischief™  provides insights into how to communicate more effectively, intentionally build trust, resolve conflict in a relationship-supportive yet productive way, and truly and effectively influence the outcomes of projects, team effort and organizational productivity

Our Team Development program is based on the modules created by  Nextier Advisors strategic partner, Phoenix Images, Inc. in Indianapolis, IN.

Mischief™ is a Phoenix Images, Inc. concept fundamental to understanding and correcting performance issues in all individuals and organizations.



Mischiefis a Phoenix Images, Inc. concept fundamental to understanding and correcting performance issues in all individuals and organizations. Mischief™ creates significant productivity drains on otherwise well-constructed processes, strategies and plans that support well-placed products and services. Creating this Mischief™ is generally an unconscious and unintentional act resulting in a misalignment of intention and perception of intention. It can also undermine a leader’s credibility and therefore scuttle productive momentum of well-intentioned organizations from the inside-out.


We believe that trust is at the heart of productivity and satisfaction in the workplace. Without trust, communication, information sharing, effective conflict resolution, and collaboration-all integral elements of productivity and satisfaction-disappear deeply into the cultural underground. Our work around trust focuses on distinguishing different ways that trust gets developed-and destroyed.

We work on creating awareness around the typical “wait to see” trust development strategy inherent in most work environments, and the costs and benefits of this approach. Work is then done to develop a different, more proactive possibility around trust—one in which individual responsibility to stand for and initiate trust is critical. Work in the team is done using real examples from the participants’ environment and culture.


Our highly customized and personal approach involves increasing the awareness of the individual’s current communication behaviors and their effect on productivity. From this awareness, we provide coaching and skill development conversations to allow the individual to create new patterns of communication that are consistent with their intentions. This in turn offers others an opportunity for others to perceive the individual’s intentions more productively.

It is also one of the most misunderstood and undervalued of all the interpersonal skills. Despite this, most people feel that they communicate effectively.  The focus of our work is both how one speaks, but more importantly, how one listens.  Of the two, listening is the more critical skill to develop.

We do not create artificial situations for role playing, nor do we make prescriptive suggestions based on our models or assumptions of what is correct communications. Rather, we are interested in helping the individual gain the insight into their own behaviors and to make corrections that work for them. We can provide this skill development either in large group settings, in more focused pairings with two individuals who are having difficulty communicating, or individually as part of an ongoing coaching relationship.

Conflict Resolution

Conflicts always occur whenever two or more persons are engaged in a project or on a team. Conflict does not necessarily imply war or intense argument. Conflict can simply be difference of opinion, approach or process. If conflicts are not handled properly and quickly, productivity is diminished, not only for those involved, but also for those peripheral to the conflict. Unresolved, the business impact of the conflict remains constant (at best) or becomes worse.

Inside an environment of trust, value-based relationships, and intentional communication , individuals can learn to effectively clean up conflicts. Awareness of the impact and development of skills around communication and problem solving allows individuals the opportunity to create new vistas of productivity, new commitment to intentions and visions, and new partnership in getting the work done.

We utilize the models of either Hiam or Thomas-Kilmann to facilitate discussion and learning around handling conflict. Through awareness of style and individual and small group coaching new behavioral possibilities emerge. Once these skills are infused into a work group, highly leveraged improvement in work productivity and satisfaction are available to the individual and the team.

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