12/05/2019

By Shadia Conn & Sendero’s A&F Team

Since the start of my career, I experienced two very different environments. In my previous role, I had a great manager and enjoyed the others that were working around me. But that’s all we did: work around each other with little to no interaction. Despite successfully getting all my work done, something was missing.

In my first week at Sendero, I quickly learned the benefit of frequent team touch points. Each time the team met I learned something new about a teammate, allowing me to build personal relationships and feel comfortable bringing up a problem. I knew that a door was always open if I needed help, whether it was a work problem or even a personal problem.

Getting Personal

Things aren’t always perfect. There have been times when I’ve collaborated with a teammate and we couldn’t seem to agree on anything. In those challenging moments, I’ve found that the most effective use of your time can be achieved by stopping your ‘work’ and focusing on getting to know the person in front of you.

When you get to know someone as a person, you get better insight into how they work, and the puzzle pieces begin to fall into place – why your coworker focuses on certain solutions over yours; why they choose to communicate in the manner they do; why your differences don’t have to drive you apart but make you stronger.

When you get to know someone as a person, you get better insight into how they work, and the puzzle pieces begin to fall into place.

Unleashing Superpowers

As I thought through what makes teams perform best, I turned to my teammates to get their insight on what we could continue to do to increase effectiveness and unlock our “superpowers”:

I love to ask questions! I’ve found that asking questions about why we might have a different opinion helps us understand why we are apart and how we can get closer.” – Christi Bellon, Sr. Director

The best way I have found to help foster an inclusive and safe environment that promotes open discussion is just to be vulnerable, and to show others it’s ok to ask questions and throw out crazy ideas. This is the way we find the best solutions as a team and what makes us most successful.” – Jessi Gilks, Manager

Sharing your “STORY” to unleash potential

As a team, we put these different perspectives into a discussion about how we work well as a team, but also what each of us can do better. We came up with the idea of “sharing your STORY,” which includes five tips we have found have continued to enhance the value of our team. We encourage every team to consider sharing their STORY as well.


As our firm and team grow, it is exciting to think about the new perspectives others will bring. We hope to integrate new teammates with tools we have found helpful to continue to maximize our team’s potential. As we figure out each teammate’s “superpower,” we can face all of the challenges ahead with confidence.

What fun ideas do you have to unlock your team’s potential?

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