150: Building a Team Mentality at Work and Home | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
November 26, 2019   |   Episode #:

150: Building a Team Mentality at Work and Home

In This Episode:

Whether we know it or not, we’re all managing a team. It could be a work team or our family; the concept is still the same. We have to continually work to build our team mentality and to have everyone contributing to the greater good of the group. Today I was joined by Kristi, a busy career woman with three teenagers and a husband who is feeling like she needs to take some things off of her plate. She shares how her family’s hectic schedule poses a problem for outsourcing tasks. Together we create a plan for empowering her family members to take ownership of their assigned responsibilities. I discuss how outsourcing gives others the gift of being able to uplift us and the role communication plays in building a team mentality.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

We all can contribute… even the smallest members.

Questions I Answer

  • How do I build a culture for my team?
  • How do I get my kids to do more around the house?
  • How can I get my family to be more productive?
  • How do I ask for help?

Actions to Take

  • Start thinking about how you can build a team mentality in your home or work life. Brainstorm how you can empower others to take ownership and get everyone on board to contribute to a stronger, more cohesive team.

Key Topics in the Show

  • Understanding that you really can’t “do it all”

  • Empowering our team to feel like they have ownership over their choices and days

  • Tackling outsourcing one chore at a time

  • Allowing others to lift us up from time to time

  • Using communication to help team members learn their roles and the values they bring

Resources and Links

  • Resources
Show Transcript

Welcome to productivity paradox with Tanya Dalton, a podcast focused on finding true happiness through productivity. Season 12 is different from any she’s done before with real conversations with real women, applying strategies and concepts explored in The Joy of Missing Out. 

This season, you’ll learn how to live more by doing less. And now here’s your host, 

Tanya Dalton. 


Hello, hello everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton, and this is episode 150. Now, as you know, this season is all about the Joy of Missing Out and taking a lot of what we learned in the book, expanding on it and applying it into everyday life. And if you haven’t gotten your copy of the book yet, what are you waiting for? 

You’ll see it dives so deeply into all the topics and more that we’re covering all season long. You can go to joyofmissingout.com to see where to get your copy, but I really want to encourage you to go ahead and grab that now if you haven’t done it already. You see, this season is very different from anything we’ve done before, because each show is a call-in style format with real women sharing their struggles, their stumbling blocks, and we work together to create some solutions to bring a little joy into our lives. 

And speaking of adding joy, I’ve actually got a free live video series that’s going to be starting up next week to help you bring a little more joy into your holiday season. It’s called Let Go of the Holiday Hustle. I’ll be sharing a little bit more about it towards the end of the show, but go ahead and mark your calendars now so you can join me. If you’re on your computer, head on over right now to TanyaDalton.com/holidayhustle to sign up. 

All right, let’s get started with today’s topic, because we’re piggybacking this week off of last week’s episode. So just to remind you, last week we talked about guilt-free delegation. So today we’re going to be talking about building up that team mentality, which will make delegation even easier along with a thousand other things as well. Now, if you’ve listened to me for any length of time, you know that I talk about teams quite a bit. 

We have teams at work with our coworkers, even the freelancers and the vendors we use. And we have teams at home, whether it’s our families or our roommates and our friends. We all have teams. And 

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what’s important for good, healthy teams is that everyone has a sense of belonging, a sense of ownership in the team. 

And if you listened to last week’s episode, you know we touched on this idea some. So, this week we’re going to continue this idea by talking about how do we build up that team mentality? Or rather, how do we get buy-in from every member of our team? 

I’m chatting today with Kristi who is happily married with a blended family of three teenagers. And in her own words, she says, “Life is very full.” She’s got three teenagers. She’s understating there, I’m sure, but she feels like it’s very exciting and they’re starting to see a vision of a life after the kids are gone and they are on their own. 

So, there’s important days ahead with major family milestones for everyone. We’re going to be chatting about building in that team mentality into Kristi’s home. But as you’re listening, I want you to think about how these things that we discuss also apply to work, or in your home life if you don’t have a family. And I’ll be expanding on those 

things even more in the second half of the show. But for now, let’s go ahead and start chatting with Kristi. Hi Kristi, welcome to the show. 




I’m so happy to have you here. Now I know that you emailed me with a question. So, what’s going on? 


So, I am super overwhelmed, I have a busy, busy job and there’s these things that I want to outsource or automate to help me take some things off my plate and things that I want to delegate to my family. I have three teenagers and a husband, but the people on my boat don’t want to do those things at all. They’re like, “No, I don’t want to do that.” 

So, I’m struggling because I need help. I can’t do all these things. So how do I give myself permission to spend the money on these things when | can’t have people willing to take them on? I guess I’m struggling with that. 


Okay. So, you’re right, you can’t do it all. So, first of all, kudos to you for recognizing that because a lot of people say, “I can still do it all,” even though we really can’t. And as far as budgets, budgets are kind of a fact of life. We all have them. Okay, maybe not Beyonce, but the rest of us, we all have them. 

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So, let’s start with thinking about the free type of outsourcing. That’s really maybe where I want to focus our time on, getting your family to buy in, all those people on your boat, I want them all paddling along with you. I want to see if we can get them to figure out some ways that we can get them to help out a little bit more. You touched on there that you have teenagers, so I know that you have a senior in high school and then two sixteen-year-olds, right? 




So you’re at a really interesting phase in life. I’m kind of at this phase as well, because I have a 16-year-old as well, where it’s no longer really … 

This is how I was explaining it to someone the other day. It’s not as much about parenting, it’s more mentoring in a way because, yes, I could tell Jack what to do and when to do it and how to do it. But two years from now when he leaves my nest, I want him to fly. I want him to be successful, sol have to get him the tools, so he wants to be on board and he has that motivation on his own to be able to do it. 

So, it’s a really interesting place in parenting that we’re at, where we’re really trying to equip our kids to have their own ownership and buy in on some of these chores and tasks because they’re going to have to do it for themselves in a very short amount of time, right? 




It’s really been fascinating for me. This is the other thing that I think we have to think about is our goal as a mom is to set ourselves up and set 

our kids up so that they really feel like they are in control. And we want to give them some life skills and some confidence. So, I want to start building up that internal locus of control for your kids. 

So just as a reminder, that internal locus of control is what helps us feel like we have ownership over our lives and we do that by encouraging choices. So what’s really interesting though, when we’re talking about team members getting a buy-in is it’s not just about having them have a choice in what they’re doing, but it’s also how we speak to them about the choices they make. 

And so, I just really quickly want to share this experiment that I think is fascinating, because I think it really has changed the way that I parent and teach my kids to get them to buy in. 

There was this experiment where the researchers presented a group of fifth graders with a series of puzzles and they divided the kids into two 

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groups. So, after they finished the puzzles, all the kids were told that they did a really good job. But group A students were told that they were really smart to do such a good job. And group B students were told, “Wow, you worked really hard at solving that puzzle.” 

So then what they did is they took both those groups and they offered them another puzzle. So they had three choices of puzzle. One was easy, one was medium, and one was difficult. So they let the kids choose which puzzle to work on next. 

Here’s the question. Who do you think chose the more difficult puzzle? The kids who were told that they were smart or the kids who were told that they worked really hard? Do you have a guess? 


Probably the kids that were told they were smart? 


That’s a good guess. But here’s what’s interesting, the kids who were told that they were smart more often chose the easiest puzzle. Being smart is not really a choice. It’s either you’re smart or you’re not. So, they wanted to prove that they were smart again. 

The kids who are told that they worked hard and were rewarded just through words of affirmation and working hard, they most times chose the more difficult puzzle. They chose the challenge. They decided to take up this challenge, so they perform better if they feel it’s not natural abilities, but it’s really that they chose to work hard. 

So this, for me, as a parent and also as a manager of other people has affected how I talk to people about the jobs that they do. So, we really want people to feel like they have ownership over those choices and ownership over their days. 

So when you’re talking to your kids, that would be the first thing I would recommend. Instead of saying, “You always do such a good job on this,” it’s really, “I love your work ethic. I love seeing you make good choices.” It’s so interesting how our brains work, isn’t it? 


Mm-hmm (affirmative). 


I find it fascinating. In thinking about that and thinking about this internal locus of control where we’re trying to get your kids to want to buy in, tell me, how do you guys sit down and make a decision as a team as to what to outsource? 

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Well, we haven’t really had those sit downs. The problem I have is just schedules. I mean, my teenagers all have jobs and sports and my husband doesn’t get home until late, and they’re gone on the weekends. It’s just a crazy schedule. So, getting everybody down at the same time is hard. 

So, what I typically do is meet with each person one on one, do kind of that weekly spread for the week, kind of the weekly download, “This is what’s going on, this is who, when, where,” that kind of stuff. 

And so, I usually have one, maybe two nights a week where I actually have a few hours from the kids to help with things. And so I made a list of things, like we have meal planning and groceries, we have house cleaning, we have yard work, and we have dog grooming. Those are my four big things that I just can’t seem to fit in that if I don’t get them done, I make poor choices. Like we eat out, we spend too much money, we eat junk, things like that. 


Yeah, that makes sense. So the challenge here, so let’s focus on that one. Let’s focus on that one aspect of what you’re wanting to do. The meal planning and the grocery shopping. That all feeds into having healthy meals for your family. Thear you with that challenge of everybody’s got jobs and I know your kids do mentoring of other people and you have a lot of things going on, and your husband. 

So, let’s think about if we just focus on one of these chores to outsource, let’s just focus on that one. What’s a way that you think that you could get everybody’s input even if they’re not there at the same time? Do you have any thoughts on that? 


Yeah, I’ve thought about doing one of those meal planning services where they actually deliver all the groceries to the house and maybe we just vote on which meal options we want. And then having the kids on one of their off nights sign up to actually make the meal, is what I was thinking. But I haven’t 


That’s a great start. 


… gotten that far yet. 


I totally understand. So here’s what I think might work too, is because you’re meeting with the kids one-on-one, maybe try and just tell them, “Okay, I would like for us to work together to solve this problem. I would like for us to have healthy meals.” 

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So have a week where you’re like, “I need you all to help brainstorm. I’m going to put a whiteboard up or we’re going to put a piece of paper up with a clipboard right here. I need everybody to put their ideas down, and you don’t have to do it right now. Sometime during this week, I need you to actively take part and write down what you think needs to happen,” and work together to brainstorm. 

You can brainstorm without being in the same room. You can do that through apps like Voxer or texting. You can do it by doing shared notes, if you all use iPhones and things like that. You can also do it just like ! said, like on a whiteboard or a sheet of paper, but getting everybody’s ideas all together so everyone feels like they are a part of that planning process. Do you think something like that would work as the first step? 


I do, yeah. We all have Apple phones, so that shared notes is a good idea. 


Yeah, the shared notes, I think, is really so helpful. We do shared notes a lot in our house, just because then if somebody makes an adjustment or change, we all see it immediately. So, what if you do that to start with, and then you can take the ideas that everybody gathers together, and I’m including everybody here, your husband, your kids. We’re going to exempt the dogs from this one. But I want all of you to put in your ideas of what needs to happen. 

And then maybe you guys could sit down and if you figure out, “Okay, these are the top things we need to do,” and start grouping them together. Okay, so you’ve got meal planning, grocery shopping, prep work. If somebody could do the prepping of chopping all the vegetables and doing all the prep one night before the week starts, then you have prep dinner for dinnertime and then you’ve got cleanup. 

So, you can start chunking together some of those things that you guys brainstorm and then start having the kids say, “Okay, who wants to do which jobs?” And figure out what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses. And have them really have ownership, not over just what they’re doing, but the entire process from start to finish, starting with, “This is what we think needs to happen, this is how it needs to happen.” And then taking on a role of ownership within that whole process. Do you think something like that might work? 


Yeah, I think so. And especially my son who’s the senior, life skills [inaudible 00:13:02] with me. He knows how to cook, but the food prep stuff, like how to dice an onion or those technical things that we need to 

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know to be able to make good food later are the things that I want to make sure he leaves the house with. So, I think that’s great. 


Absolutely. So here’s what I would say too. Instead of it being one of those things where it’s like, “Okay, you’re on for a week, you’re off for a week, you’re doing this for a week, you’re doing that per week.” Instead, put them in a two-month cycle because let’s say for your son, he’s in charge of prep work for two months. By the time he gets to the end of that two months, he’s going to have that down pat. 

He’s going to have more solid footing on how to do those things, and then switch over and then he needs to do something else. So then you’re building in those life skills one by one. But throughout the whole process, it really is about them feeling like they have ownership over it, have choices and that helps build up that internal locus of control. So, then they want to do it more and they feel a little bit happier doing it because this is what they chose to do. 


Yeah, I love it. And the decision fatigue for me at the end of the day, it goes away, because there’s a plan. I don’t have to plan something else. 


Yes. Well, this is the thing, is a lot of times we feel like as the mom, we have to be the cruise director and we have to direct everything, when really, we’re doing ourselves a favor and we’re doing our kids a favor by having them take part in the process. 

Because when your son goes off to school, he’ll probably be in a dorm for his freshman year, but after that he’s going to have to figure out the meal planning, grocery shopping and all the prep work himself. So, if you’re giving him those tools now that’s really going to go far. That’s an investment now for in the future. 

So two, it builds in that whole idea with the internal locus of control, and then in talking to them about how they’re doing each of these tasks and these chores, thinking through that whole idea of how can I show that they’re making good choices, instead of just saying, “Oh, you’re so good at cutting with a knife.” Like, “I really love how intentional you are when you’re chopping up these vegetables.” 

Or thinking through how we’re talking to them at the same time, all of that marries together to create that ownership that we need for our kids, so that they buy-in to the process, so that we aren’t nagging. Because ! don’t think any of us are wanting to nag. So, do you think something like that would help? 

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I think that’s a great idea and I plan to try it right away. I think that’s awesome. 


Great. I love that, because I would love for this … We’re recording this now and it’s not going to go live for a while, but I would love to circle back with you and see how that’s working, because I think starting with the meal prep as one of the first places, and then let’s start there. And then after a few weeks, you can go through the whole process with those four different areas that you were talking about earlier that you really want to delegate and outsource. 


Okay. Sounds great. I love it. I really appreciate the advice and the new ideas of things to try. So I’m going to put them in action. 


Okay. So I want to apply what Kristi and I just talked about to your work life and I want to give you a quick little update on how this is all working out for Kristi’s family. But first, let’s give a quick word for today’s sponsor 

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Okay, let’s get back into today‘s episode. I really want to talk about this idea of building in the team mentality. You see, our work is most satisfying when we can use our unique abilities in a way that makes a real difference to other people, whether that’s people in our family or our workplace, we all want our group to feel cohesive. 

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Ultimately, that’s what helps build up that team mentality. And you’ll notice that this idea of building strong teams really fits in so well with our conversation that we had last week when we talked about delegation. Having that foundation, that strong feeling of being a team is essential so we can both give and we can take. There are times where we’re going to do the heavy lifting and there are times where we are the ones that are being lifted. You see, good teams do that for one another, and this is true for teams in both places in our workspace and in our home space. 

I find that often we feel so bad leaning on our teams, especially when it comes to our families. We think that we are the ones who are supposed to be running the house, So we should be the cruise director for everyone and everything. But this is why we are wearing ourselves out. 

It’s okay to be the one that needs lifting from time to time. Allowing others to lift us up is a gift that we can give. It helps them feel like they’re more a part of the team because contribution is one of the key components of teams. Everyone needs to feel like they can give, even the low man on the list. Even our smallest members, our kids, they really want to feel like they are contributing and that really helps them feel like they are truly a team member. So, the low person on your list might be your children or it might be people underneath you on your org chart. 

It doesn’t matter. What matters is this, we all can contribute. Even the smallest members. When we allow everyone to paddle the boat, our teams get stronger. It becomes easier and our boat, it moves a lot faster, which means we are all going exactly where we want to go and we do it together. But just like when we’re paddling our boat, we want to make sure we’re all pulling the oars in the same direction. Otherwise, we’re spinning in circles. We don’t want to be spinning in circles. 

This is why you’ll often hear me talking about anytime you’re managing people, communication is the key. And yes, we are managing people, whether we are managing our team at home and building up that mentality or we’re delegating to other people. We’re managing. And you 

see communication is what allows our team members to know their roles, to see the value that their role brings to the group. 

It’s why we sit down when it’s time to delegate and why we make sure everything is clearly laid out. And speaking of which, if you didn’t grab that download from last week’s episode, definitely do, because it really does help make this type of communication so much easier. 

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You see, when we have good communication, it allows everyone to feel like they have input, that they have a say in the opportunity at hand. We touched on this idea when Kristi and I talked about how you talk to your team. We want to give them that sense of ownership over what they’re doing, and it can be as simple as the wording used. When we talked about the idea of complimenting and talking about the choices they’re making, that’s what we’re talking about here. That works with our team at home and our team at work. Helping people to feel like they belong, that they have a say and a voice, that builds up the internal locus of control, which then helps them feel more satisfaction in their work. 

And that means chores at home and projects and tasks at work all become a little bit easier because they‘re more motivated. And I know we covered this a lot in the book but remember to build up our team’s internal locus of control, that can make a huge difference. 

Sol want to share with you an update that I got from Kristi a few weeks after we recorded that conversation you just heard. Kristi sent me a picture of her son chopping vegetables in the kitchen. You want to know my favorite part of the whole thing? Honestly, the giant grin on his face. 

You could see that pulling the team together was making everybody feel good. I loved it. It was amazing, and I loved that Kristi sent me that picture. You see building up our teams at home and at work is a benefit to us, but it’s a benefit to everybody around us. 

So I need you to start looking at yourself as a manager. Even if you don’t think that you’re managing anyone, you really are. Anytime you’re a part of a team, there’s lots of opportunities for give and take and that is truly what helps build a team and brings them closer together. 

I think it is so, so important. And getting into this idea of making life easier, maybe a little less stressful. I think that’s something important for us to really talk about as we approach what many considered to be the most stressful time of the year, December. The holiday season. We all look forward to the holidays and then the holidays get closer and we start to dread the holidays a little bit because of the extra stress. And truly, I think we really want to just stop and savor and enjoy those moments instead of stressing so much. 

So, I wanted to do something to help. I’m going to be doing a free live series called Let Go of the Holiday Hustle through the month of December. I touched on this at the beginning of the show because really 

the whole idea of the Joy of Missing Out is this, we want to choose to miss out on the stress. We want to choose to miss out on the busy-ness. 

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What we want to really savor and enjoy and soak up is the memories and the family time and the traditions and really enjoying ourselves. 

Sol wanted to make that easier. So, I’ll be sharing some tactics and some strategies to help you focus on the joy of the holidays and that will all begin next week. So, go to TanyaDalton.com/holidayhustle to sign up. So Tanya is Tanya with an O and a Y. TanyaDalton.com/holidayhustle. 

It’s free. I promise it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I really think it will help you truly focus in on what is most important to you during this holiday season, which I’m pretty sure is not more stress, but is really more memories. Do you make sure that you sign up because I hope to see you 


Now, next week we’re going to continue talking with real people about some of their stumbling blocks, and the stumbling block for next week is how do you make these systems truly work and run seamlessly for you? So be sure to join me next week. 

Now, if you are enjoying the season on The Joy of Missing Out, send me a DM, do a post on Instagram. Let me know your thoughts. I absolutely love reading your feedback and it helps me know what you want to see more of in the show in the future. All right, until next time, have a beautiful and productive week. 

Thanks for listening to Productivity Paradox. Want to learn more about your unique productivity style? Simply go to Tanyadalton.com to take her free quiz and get free 

resources designed just for you.

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