Nonverbal Cues: Your Silent Partner in Engagement

Imagine you’re checking out a new apartment. While getting a tour of the place from the current renter, who would be your roommate, he starts acting odd. I mean, really odd. He walks rapidly around the apartment. He holds his water glass high above his head. Next thing you know, he is shuffling backwards on […]

Is Your Team a Bunch of Dumb Rats?

dumb rats

While preparing for an upcoming program with a group of campus leaders, I asked the Director of Orientation if anything in particular stood out about her group of students. She replied, “I don’t know what it is about this year, or this group, but they just aren’t into it. They seem low energy, low passion, […]

What Each Level of Engagement Needs in Your Community

DFT Engagement Pyramid

In 1943, American psychologist Abraham Maslow published an article in Psychological Review titled, “A Theory of Human Motivation.” Maslow proposed that humans have five levels of needs that build in sequential order. The needs are (in order), physiological, safety, social, self-esteem, and self-actualization. For a human to care about self-actualization, the other four needs are […]

Everyone Plays a Role in Engagement: Finding Community Leaders

DFT Tip #35

“You have to meet Ms. Peaches! Everyone loves her. She takes time to talk with each one of us to really understand the challenges we’re facing. When I talk with her, I can tell she really cares about our success. She goes out of her way to help anyone who needs it.” When I first […]

Identifying Trending Leaders and Laying Tracks for Motivated Trains

trending leaders

While walking around Central Park in NYC, I watched a little league softball game on the field next to me. Surrounding the field was a collection of parents multitasking between the game, their phones, and watching their younger kids. One parent in particular was having a hard time keeping her little one under control. Her […]

8 Universal Factors of Employee Engagement

Photo of 3 men in front of laptop

Engagement is a tricky thing to measure because there are many factors that can play into an employee’s overall engagement. Each company will want to measure engagement in its own way based on the company values and culture. Apple will care about different things than Facebook. It’s important for leaders to understand the key factors […]

Until everyone feels welcomed, connected, and engaged…

Until everyone feels welcomed, connected, and engaged...

Building Culture of Connection within a team/organization/community means that everyone within that community feels welcomed, connected, and engaged. The benefits of this type of culture are overwhelmingly positive: – Neighborhood crime goes down – Employee retention/productivity goes up – Individuals experience better physical health The research goes on and on about the value of creating […]

3 Wild Strategies I Used To Nail My TEDx Talk

Tom performing at TEDx UCLA

Two years ago, I had the joyful experience of speaking at UCLA for their TEDx event. The talk only lasted 12 minutes, but the time I put in behind the scenes was immeasurable. I practiced a lot for my talk, and that is coming from someone who has 15 years of professional speaking experience. Since […]

How to Reclaim the 15% of Energy You Lose on Camera as a Moderator

Swift Kick Virtual Program

You know how they say people look 15 lbs (7 kg) heavier on camera? Well the same is true for your energy on camera, but in the opposite way. You will be perceived as having 15% less energy when on camera than when in person. This is due to the physical distance and the two […]

We are Hardwired to Connect With Other Humans

humans need humans

About 200,000 to 800,000 years ago, a massive upgrade in technology occurred. It was a technology upgrade that allowed for individuals to create deeper social connections, retain and exchange knowledge, and cooperate together. Nobody witnessed this upgrade directly, however, because it happened inside the bodies of our ancient ancestors. The change occurred inside the brain, […]