Top 5 Teamwork Distinctions with Tom Heck | Forum

Tom Heck Jul 16 '15, 04:25PM


CLICK HERE to download the recording (mp3).

There are 5 distinctions that are most important to Teamwork Facilitators.  Team success is ten times more likely if you “get” these.

A distinction is a subtle difference that becomes clear when you contrast like-seeming words. 

The strongest Teamwork Facilitators understand and use distinctions to enable teams and the people who lead them to see things in a new way and take more discerning actions.


Distinctions separate two or more very similar words or concepts.  Seeing fine distinctions enables individuals and teams to take more discerning actions.  Masterful coaching includes drawing distinctions as a tool for reframing one’s perspective and responding more appropriately from this new perspective.

1. inspire vs. motivate

heart vs. head

inspiration is sustainable (motivation is not) 

motivation is technique driven

To inspire others you must be inspired.

Dr. Lance Secretan -- Motivation is using fear to get done what we want for us alone.  Motivation can and has worked to some degree, but we can achieve more through inspiration.  Motivation is based in fear, but inspiration is based in love.

2. leading vs. managing

To manage is to direct and control the tasks or people on a team. This is the natural approach for many technically oriented managers who have not developed leadership skills.  To lead is to guide or influence; it involves setting direction and communicating what matters most.  It enables people to create a new way and challenge the status quo.

3. alignment vs. agreement

Reaching agreement requires that at least one individual give up his position or opinion on the issue.  In other words, in order to agree, we have to hold the same position.  That means someone has to be wrong or mistaken.  We waste a lot of time in discussion, losing business and damaging relationships, trying to get agreement.

Reference:  "Death By Meeting" by Patrick Lencioni teaches how to get alignment on a team during a meeting.

4. relate vs. communicate

To communicate is to exchange or pass along information.  To relate is to communicate with a sense of connection to the other, using understanding and awareness of a personal relationship.  

Communication relays facts and information to team members and stakeholders.  However, relating is a high impact form of communication, since its intention is to deepen the connection between the sender and the receiver.

Reference:  "Three Signs of a Miserable Job" by Patrick Lencioni emphasizes the importance of building a relationship with your team members. 

5. Respond vs. React

One responds with their soul.  One reacts with their mind.  One responds when there is no threat or at the earliest stages of threat.  One reacts when it’s too late.  

You know it’s a response if you have plenty of time to make changes, to correct something, to protect yourself, or to create something.  If it’s instinctive, it’s a reaction, likely based on some threat.

Strong boundaries and high standards enable us to respond (vs. react) more often.

This TeleSeminar was led by IATF President & Founder Tom Heck.


CLICK HERE to download the recording (mp3).