Team Engagement that brings the best out of everyone

Are you managing a team where only a few dominate and others sit by silently? Research shows that teams, where each member participates more or less equally, are highly engaged. And highly engaged teams lead to productive teams.

What does equal participation look like? It just boils down to everyone listening and talking in relatively equal proportions.

I’m happy to be presenting a multi-part virtual training at the Minnesota Council for Nonprofits called Practical Leadership: Supervising for Team Engagement beginning on June 11, 2019. We will explore ways to build highly engaged teams.

Here are some ways to foster equal participation in your team:

  • Rotate the facilitation of team meetings among all team members

  • As a supervisor, make it a clear expectation with everyone you supervise that they will need to fully participate in team meetings

  • Start noticing together with your team about the participation levels

  • Ask team members to start self-monitoring their participation

  • Mix up team processes to appeal to both introverts and extroverts

  • Hold a one-on-one coaching conversation with those team members who are dominating or not participating enough

We will dive into these leadership techniques and much more during the Practical Leadership: Supervising for Employee Engagement virtual training, visit the Minnesota Council For Nonprofits website here where you can register for the training..

Learn more about Negstad Consulting and
the wide range of leadership training they provide.


Practical Leadership 2.0:
Supervising for Team Engagement

This workshop is designed specifically for team leaders.

JUNE 11, 2019

Practical Leadership 1.0:
Supervising for Employee Engagement

Effectively carrying out a supervisor role is
more "art" than science.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2019

Practical Leadership 2.0:
Building Engaged Teams

Learn how to develop shared leadership among team members and get concrete tools for improving collaboration.

OCTOBER 2, 2019


Modern techniques for effective employee evaluation

From performance evaluation to performance learning

Are you still stuck in the stone age when it comes to conducting employee evaluations? Still doing the same old annual appraisal?

Many organizations continue to conduct employee appraisals once a year and this process is inherently flawed because it lacks future-focus and offers many opportunities for inconsistency errors and biases.

The modern workforce requires a modern approach to evaluations. It’s time to do away with the annual performance evaluation and shift to a focus on learning and growth.

The Minnesota Council for Nonprofits (MCN) hosts effective, virtual training courses that cover this and many other relevant leadership topics.

On May 7, 2019, MCN will host a virtual Spotlight on Employee Engagement and Retention. As part of this Spotlight, Lisa Negstad from Negstad Consulting LLC will provide a 1-hr presentation on effective employee evaluation techniques and best practices: “From Performance Evaluation to Performance Learning.”

This presentation will build a case for why annual evaluations don't actually help performance and it will offer practical ideas for shifting your organization to a focus on performance learning. We will also show where an individual supervisor can start making changes to make the performance management process truly employee-driven.

Learn more about Negstad Consulting
and the Leadership courses they provide.

Spotlight on Employee Engagement & Retention

This Spotlight is a one-day online event offering four interactive live online sessions, each exploring a different key to increased employee engagement and retention.

MAY 7, 2019

Practical Leadership 1.0:
Supervising for Employee Engagement

This highly interactive workshop provides immediately implementable tools and strategies.

MAY 22, 2019



Practical Leadership 2.0:
Supervising for Team Engagement

This workshop is designed specifically for team leaders.

JUNE 11, 2019


Exciting Announcement... and Super Supervisor Resources

Negstad Consulting is partnering with
Debbie Okerlund (Lead with Agility) and MN Council of Nonprofits to
offer monthly Supervisor Coaching Labs starting in July. 

This is a great opportunity for supervisors to continue mastering
their supervisory skills and practices.

Each session will focus on a specific supervision topic and will provide participants a time to get advice or coaching on their supervising questions.

Online Supervisor Training

Negstad Consulting’s Supervisor trainings are now offered as a highly interactive virtual training held over 3 days.

Supervising for Employee Engagement


Coaching Skills for Leaders & Managers

Sign up now to work on your coaching skills in your supervisor role.

JUNE 28, 2018

Refresh your One-on-One Meetings.

This is a great blog post on one-on-one meeting questions.

Hold an in-house supervisor training for your organization's supervisors.


Feedback: Why Are You Taking This So Personally?

How to Care What People Think Without Caring What People Think

One day as I was working in my role as Chief Financial Officer of a national nonprofit, my deputy director blurted out, “Well… we know you don’t like to receive feedback.”  I was shocked. I thought,  “What? I’m just fine with feedback.” But I gave her an uncomfortable laugh and asked, “Really? I come across that way?” She said she knew I wanted to be open and hear from others, but sometimes I took other people’s suggestions too personally.

After recovering from the conversation, I could admit she was right. Part of my hurt response came from a well-intentioned responsibility that I felt for the department I was in charge of. Feedback often pointed out the areas where I already felt less confident or knew things weren’t going well. And I blamed myself for not doing better.  But a lot of it came from personalizing the feedback into a judgment on my worthiness as a person.

I’m telling this story because it relates to my work with organizations on fostering a culture in which feedback is welcome. The most common question that arises is this: How do we have a culture where people are honest and open with each other without being hurtful? But why do we even want to create a culture of feedback? Because the chief barrier to innovation and creative ideas is that we’re afraid of being laughed at. [1] An organization where staff can be open and honest with each other will be more innovative, more creative, and ultimately more effective.

To get back to our question, there are two directions one can take while answering it. One direction is to emphasize the delivery of the feedback. It’s important to practice delivering feedback in a way that empathizes with the other person and avoids the toxic behaviors of judgment, contempt, and criticism. For this post, though, let’s focus on how we can start to welcome feedback and not take it so personally.

We take feedback personally because the heart and the head are in a conspiracy together! We know from the field of neuroscience that the brain can process feedback (especially feedback delivered unskillfully) as a threat. When we feel threatened, the thinking parts of our brain shut down, and we can go into a withdrawing or attacking behavior. [2] At the same time, when we receive feedback, we may notice feelings of embarrassment, shame, hurt, anxiety, fear, and anger.  These emotions can sometimes overwhelm us, and we end up reacting to them in the moment.

So, what can we do to better handle feedback?

  1. Start by just noticing. Notice the times when you have a reaction to feedback and the times when you don’t. Expand your self-awareness and be easy on yourself through this process—we all have this reaction in common.
  2. Once you have identified the feeling, ask yourself “What story am I telling myself to create this emotion?” For example, “He thinks I’m weak.” Or “She doesn’t trust me.” Or “He thinks I’m stupid. Or “I’m so embarrassed about this mistake, and they’re going to think I’m not competent!”
  3. Once you know the story you are telling yourself, you can ask yourself, “Do I really know this to be true?” Or you can say to yourself, “I’m going to put my feelings and story aside to see if there is something I can learn here.”
  4. Remind yourself that most people are focused not on you but on their own internal struggles.
  5. Don’t worry about being perfect—no one is perfect. Stop holding yourself to an impossible ideal. Rather, cultivate grace and be at ease within yourself. Laugh at yourself. Then you’ll be able to act with grace and ease with others. 

  [1] Brown, B. (2013). Daring greatly. Presentation at the  University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing, Minneapolis, MN.

 [2] Rock, D. (2008). SCARF: A brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others. NeuroLeadership Journal, 1. Retrieved from