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Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • Building effective teams – Guardian Pharmacy is on fire

    Building effective teams in the workplace is an ongoing process.  You can’t simply offer a training, hand out an award and call it a day.  You might want to use a multi-faceted approach when it comes to ensuring your team is at peak performance.

    Recently, we offered a stress-reduction and teambuilding workshop for the employees of Guardian Pharmacy in Jacksonville.  Prior to the workshop, I visited their office for a tour and an overview of their work environment.  I sat down with Ismary Castro, a Client Service and Relations Manager, to learn more about their operations and employee needs.  From that visit and our subsequent drumming workshop, I learned a lot about what they’re already doing well.

    Making your employees as much of a priority as your clients

    The first thing I noticed before even entering the building was the shiny new parking sign denoting a spot for the Employee of the Month.  Ismary said she thought it was an important perk to give the chosen employees so they’re visibly recognized for their hard work.

    Throughout the rest of the building, it was clear that she’d made an effort to offer multiple ways to encourage wellness and appreciation:

    • A book nook
    • A candy jar
    • Stylish signs with encouraging messages decorating the walls
    • A pile of blank notes that managers can write to team members thanking them for something awesome they did

    Keeping the client top of mind

    One of the other first things I noticed when I arrived was a wall chock-full of photos of residents at the senior care facilities they serve.  Ismary beamed when I remarked how encouraging it was to see that out in the open.

    If you lose sight of who you’re working for, how will you know where to focus your energy?

    “The No Complaining Rule”

    When we scheduled the workshop several months ago, Ismary told me their employees were reading a book called “The No Complaining Rule.”  I should read it too, she said.  That would help me plan a session that was more in tune with the group’s needs.  I read it and wrote down several nuggets of wisdom to incorporate into our session.

    The office was filled with posters reminding employees of the No Complaining Rule.  The idea is to encourage people to be “problem solvers, not problem sharers.”  The book explains that the office can choose a system for receiving and resolving complaints of all sizes.  It sounds simple, but once implemented, can have a huge impact on the company culture.  By nipping negativity and mindless complaining in the bud, the whole office becomes one that seeks solutions rather than more problems.

    Drumming out stress

    Finally, we got to drum with the employees to help them reduce and manage their stress.  Ismary emphasized that the company’s departments each have their own unique demands.  We’d give them a chance to let off some steam and have fun.  They would connect with people in other departments, and learn some techniques for using rhythm on their own.

    After the session, one team member mentioned that this was his first day, so the drumming set the tone for his experience with his new employer.  He was all smiles before, during and after!

    There’s a lot that goes into building effective teams in a high-stress environment.  Contact us for a free consultation and learn how rhythm can help your team!

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  • Diversity, peace, and unity – drumming at the University of North Florida

    Diversity and unity were at the heart of the University of North Florida’s International Day of Peace event on September 21st, 2018.  Here are some activities we focused on for our drumming session.

    Highlight our common ground and diversity

    We started off with a short activity called “Rumble If.”  The facilitator (or a participant) asks a yes or no question.  If the answer is yes, participants rumble (play a drum roll) on their drums.  I always say this is an excellent way for the group to get to know one another and break the ice.  We find out things we have in common and what makes us unique.

    For example, some questions highlighting diversity and inclusion might include:

    • Rumble if you’re originally from Florida
    • Rumble if you were born in another state/country
    • Rumble if you’re a vegetarian
    • Rumble if you have any brothers or sisters
    • Rumble if you’re the oldest/youngest in your family
    • Rumble if you’ve experienced any stress this week
    • Rumble if you’re a Jags (insert city-specific sports team here) fan

    Set intentions

    Next, we did something called Rhythm Naming.  I invited participants to think of a focus word or goal for the session, or for the rest of the day.  They could focus on a word or phrase such as “reducing stress” or “meeting new people.” After deciding on a word, each person played a representation of that word on their drum.

    People chose phrases such as “peace on earth,” “love is a language,” “smile,” and “go away stress!” And, the rhythms they played on the drum to represent those words showed off their creativity.

    The universal heartbeat

    After that, we got into the meat and potatoes of the session – the drum jam.  The jam is the opportunity for participants to really tap into their creative side and also tune into the others in their group.  We encourage everyone to “play whatever you want as long as it makes us sound good!”  We achieve that by listening to others and figuring out how our rhythm fits in with others’.  But first, we started off with a heartbeat – playing the rhythm of our hearts (“lub-dub” or “boom boom”) and gradually adding in other sounds to explore the rhythm further.  Playing this rhythm solidifies the theme of commonality – we’re all human, we all have a heartbeat, no matter who we are or what we believe.

    Pieces of 8

    Finally, this little game allowed us the chance to see how the rhythm changed the more sounds we added to it.  Participants started off by choosing a number between 1 and 8 (everyone chose their own number), and then they played one “boom” every time they heard their number during the counting aloud.  Then, they chose two numbers to play during the 8-number cycle, doubling the sound that we heard.  Afterward, we talked about what it meant to contribute (even in some small way) to the outcome of the whole.

    We ended the session with a “pair and share,” an opportunity to people to partner up and talk about their favorite parts and takeaways.

    Would you like to offer a unifying drum circle to your group or organization?  Get in touch with us!

     

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  • Teambuilding Icebreakers and why they work – kicking off a successful event with Brooks Rehabilitation

    “ Just Add Rhythm did a fantastic job opening up our leadership conference. The activity helped to get everybody motivated and excited for the rest of the day…they did a great job incorporating our Rethink Leadership theme into the icebreaker activity helping to frame the rest of the conference for our management team.” – Kirssis Rullan, Brooks Rehabilitation

    Could your organization benefit from a teambuilding icebreaker?  If so, these activities can be the perfect way to kick off the day with energy and smiles.

    Recently we offered Brooks Rehabilitation a teambuilding icebreaker for their annual managers retreat.  Their goal was to provide their attendees with a high-energy activity right off the bat.  They wanted their group fired up.  And, they wanted to encourage attendees to think outside the box and look at ideas and concepts from a new perspective.

    Rhythmic activities that include drumming and hand percussion are the perfect fit for this type of event.  Here’s why:

    Drumming and rhythm are highly accessible

    Most people can play a drum with little instruction needed.  And unlike other instruments, it’s pretty simple to get a satisfying sound out of a drum.  Even babies know how to hit a drum!

    Accessibility means you can get people having fun right off the bat.  Our motto is “zero to drumming in 60 seconds!” So, no complicated explanation means more time for fun.

    It’s a naturally high-energy activity

    You’ve spent months planning an event for your organization.  So what better way to make sure everyone gets psyched about it?  Teambuilding icebreakers that use rhythm are always high-energy.  The drum rolls, the playful interactions, and the sound of hundreds of people drumming are infectious.  And the smiles will continue throughout the day!

    It highlights the theme and messages for your event

    Drumming together creates opportunities for workplace metaphors.  The theme for Brooks Rehabilitation’s event was “re-thinking leadership.”  Our icebreaker incorporated that theme in several ways. First, we invited people to the front to lead the group.  Then, we divided into 4 groups, each playing a different rhythm, and played different combinations of those rhythms together.  Finally, we created a rhythm out of the phrase “think outside the box” and invited people to play their own version of it.  As they played, they noticed how their rhythm fit in with everyone else’s around them.

    Whether you’re planning a conference, retreat, or meeting, we’re confident you’ll want to include a high-energy teambuilding icebreaker into the mix.  Check out photos in the gallery below, and take a look at the recording of our Facebook Live video from the event (make sure to check out the second video as well)!

    Interested in an icebreaker for your next event?  Reach out to us!

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