Episode 53

Creating High-Functioning Teams

DeeAnna Deane

Brought to you by your hosts:

Hannah Brenner
L&D Specialist
Derek Smith
L&D Specialist
With special guest:
DeeAnna Deane | Training Specialist
DeeAnna started her career in learning and development as a production trainer on the factory floor, moving into a position of supporting a major company initiative through training, then into Human Resources acting as HR generalist with a specialty area of training and development. DeeAnna has worked with her current employer in beautiful Baraboo, Wisconsin for 6 years. Her responsibilities include developing or outsourcing training on a variety of topics, including safety, leadership, lean manufacturing, software, and technical processes. She is also active in the ATD Madison Area Chapter in Wisconsin, serving as V.P. of Membership for three years.


Welcome to another episode of The BizLibrary Podcast! Today, we welcome DeeAnna Deane, from Teel Plastics, to discuss how she’s managed to build high-functioning teams in her organization.

DeeAnna is very clear that relationships are a key part of building high functioning teams. She started her initiative with the goal of making each team member seem more human to each other.

To do this, she held a training session where she highlighted negative personal aspects, then asking employees to identify these traits in themselves.

Each employee confessed that at times, they exhibited some of these negatives traits, be it gossip, or focusing on bad news. Next, DeeAnna highlighted important leadership qualities. Employees also quickly identified with these qualities.

The point that this training session drove home is that we all have the ability to impact our teams: negative emotions are contagious, but so are the positive ones, and because we all carry leadership qualities, we can use our positive traits to help one another out.

Management has an important role in this process: by facilitating team-building exercises, managers can create a self-sustaining, high-functioning team ecosystem that is agile and can solve many problems without intervention.

This frees up valuable management time to focus on bigger problems, while individual contributors develop their leadership skills and overcome day-to-day challenges.

Finally, DeeAnna talks about positive psychology, and the scientific effects of positive thinking. She references a study that suggests that emotions are contagious, and they affect our work. More expressive people can transfer their mood, bringing energy and focus to a team.

The same is true for negative emotions, however, so a manager of a high-functioning team should be able to recognize and overcome negative energy.

When you’re done listening to this week’s episode, be sure to download our free related resource, and as always, thanks for listening to this week’s episode of The BizLibrary Podcast!