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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  • 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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  • Three things the Olympics taught us about life

    Every year, the world goes all atwitter over an international sports event.  This year, it’s the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.  Suddenly, sports most of us rarely give thought to are in the forefront.  We find ourselves becoming sudden fans of bobsledding, figure skating, and skiing.

    As fraught with sensationalism, drama, and heartbreak as these events may be, they have a lot to teach us about life.  Similarly, these are also lessons I’ve learned over the years as a drummer and drum circle facilitator.

    Trust and authenticity are absolutely paramount.

    Did you see Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s gold medal-winning ice dance routine?  Even if you’re not a fan of ice dance, you can’t help but be captivated by their charisma and energy on the ice.

    I can’t even imagine the level of trust required for this type of event; you’re literally putting your life in someone else’s hands day in and day out.

    Do you want to be seen as trustworthy in your line of business?  People trust you when they know you, and people do business with those they trust.

    The best way to be trustworthy?  Be you – unequivocally you.  When you’re your authentic self, and you highlight your strengths (and accept your weaknesses), people will get to know and trust the real you.

    I know that as a facilitator, my strengths are my extensive music and dance background, as well as my energy and playfulness.  When I play to those strengths when facilitating a session, I know people will see the real me, and trust me to guide them through a memorable and valuable experience.

    Repetition, repetition, repetition.  Repeat.

    As a musician and a drum circle facilitator, I’m familiar with the concept of practice makes perfect.  Just as Olympic athletes need to run a course or routine (or simply a specific component) over and over again, we musicians need to develop a similar type of muscle memory when playing.

    Guess what? It comes in handy in other instances, too.

    Giving a presentation?  Better make sure you know your speech, your slides, and even your dramatic pauses backward and forward.

    Getting a certification to bump up your pay grade?  The more you go over the material with study groups and practice exams, the more confident you’ll be on exam day.

    Humans are creatures of habit.  Once we establish a nice flow state, we tend to notice that things are a little less stressful.

    How you communicate may be the difference between success and failure.

    As I watched the Olympic events that rely on teams and partners, I often wondered about how well those teams communicated among themselves.

    From the first Nigerian women’s bobsled team to the Knierim-Knierim figure skating pair who failed to medal but won the hearts of Americans, it’s clear that communication is key when you rely on each other to get the job done.  Whether that job is lifting a skater through a series of flips and catches, or working with a team to complete a project for a client, how well you communicate with each other determines your level of success.

    When I facilitate rhythm events, I introduce simple methods of non-verbal communication, first between the participants and me, and then among the participants themselves.  As the facilitator, my job is to introduce these simple tools, encourage the participants to recognize them, and then further, encourage them to utilize them with each other during the drumming.

    Typically, a breakdown in this communication means a breakdown on the rhythm.  When the tools work, we sound better, and we’re more in tune with each other’s strength and challenges – and better able to support the group.

    To sum it up

    So, thanks, Olympics.  Thanks for reminding us every other year that we need to get off our you-know-what’s and make a difference in our lives – whether it’s athletic or work-related.  Thanks for highlighting those skills and disciplines that we need to hone so we can excel, and to nudge ourselves to be our very best.

    Want to learn how to utilize rhythm to help your organization or team function at its best?  Get in touch with us!

    Curious about rhythm and how it can help you relax and re-focus?  Check out our upcoming events in Jax.

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