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Need to improve communication practices  

on the teams that you lead?


Call EPD today to discuss our Team Dynamics and Communications Curricula or arrange a customized professional development initiative that will sharpen these skills.


 Contact Terry Margolis, Director of EPD, at or call (313) 577-4449.

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Licensed to Spill 

Communication styles can vary greatly amongst members of the same team. For example, during a brainstorming session, extroverts tend to quickly engage in order to talk ideas out, while introverts often process their ideas internally before speaking. A wealth of insight can be lost when extroverts dominate the conversation in meetings. It is important that leaders foster a team culture that gives everyone a license to voice their ideas and be heard by their teammates.  


As you plan for your next meeting, try these three steps to make sure everyone is heard:  

  1. Distribute 2-3 paper clips to each attendee. 
  2. Introduce the discussion topic and explain the purpose of the paper clips.
    • Each attendee is required to toss a paper clip in the middle of the table before speaking.
    • Once an individual has submitted all of their paper clips, they may no longer speak until everyone else has used all of the paper clips in their possession.
  3. Debrief the experience.
    • Who ran out of paper clips first? How did the inability to speak affect them?
    • Who was the last to use all of their paper clips? How did the ability to have the floor affect them?
    • What new ideas were discovered by allowing each individual the opportunity to "spill" their ideas?
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