Programs for association team building and productivity

Let me customize a program to reach your association team's goals

  1. We'll start with a no-obligation phone chat
    I'd love to hear how your team is working well and where you'd like to see improvement. What do your team members need--stress management, better focus, more accountability, new habits, increased productivity?
  2. I'll send you a customized proposal
    I'll start with the program or programs that look like the best fit and adjust the length and content to your goals, team strengths and weaknesses, and budgetary constraints.
  3. We'll schedule your program
    I'll come to your association's workplace on a day and time best for you and your team.
  4. We'll have a great time creating positive change
    Learning should be fun, so I'll make sure it is. It should be productive, too, so I'll include skill-building exercises to put new concepts to work right away.

 Sonia Patterson

 CEO, Impact Wisdom


​Colleen is an dynamic communicator of ideas and an inspiration to those who have the pleasure of working with her.  Her witty, down-to-earth approach helps frame complex subjects in a way in which audiences can absorb.  She is a consummate storyteller.  If you are looking for a creative solution to team building challenges, there is no better place to turn than to Colleen.

Colleen is an dynamic communicator of ideas and an inspiration to those who have the pleasure of working with her.  Her witty, down-to-earth approach helps frame complex subjects in a way in which audiences can absorb.  She is a consummate storyteller.  If you are looking for a creative solution to team building challenges, there is no better place to turn than to Colleen.

Stop Chasing Your Tail
Managing Stress & Avoiding Burnout

Stress is the opposite of man's best friend. It's more like the neighborhood coyote who stalks the family pet and leaves offerings in your flowerbeds. In the workplace, stress zaps creativity, reduces productivity, and erodes relationships.

Through Stop Chasing Your Tail, I teach association employees realistic, workplace-friendly strategies for reducing stress individually and collectively as a team.

Great for: Associations whose team members exhibit the telltale signs of workplace stress: Resisting small requests, overreacting to the scope of a problem, increased sick days, irritability, and reduced productivity.

Barking Up the Right Tree
Losing Bad Habits & Making Change Stick

Humans are creatures of habit, and bad ones are hard to break. Whether it's habits of mind or practice, most of us lose productivity to practices we often know are in our way but that we can't quite shake off.

Dog trainers know a key trick to changing behavior is addressing environmental cues. Subtle sifts in object placement, or where we sit, or the order of events in a day can have surprisingly large impacts on how we behave. In Barking Up the Right Tree, I help association teams identify productivity-killing habits, choose new practices to replace them, and--most important--learn how to make change stick.

Great for: Associations whose team members are stuck in ruts and looking for new habits. Potential areas of focus include better time management and organizational systems, building efficient work processes, and effective communication. Staff will find the habit-building techniques they learn useful outside the workplace too!

Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Improving Focus in an Increasingly Distracting World

Facebook. Email. Text messages. The way Barbara in client services talks to herself. The pop music John in finance favors. The barrage of questions and comments hurtled across low cubicle walls. It's a wonder anyone manages to get anything done.

Truly focusing takes Herculean effort these days, but is no less important to productivity than it's ever been. In Keep Your Eye on the Ball, I teach association teams how to stop chasing squirrels and create laser focus on teh ball--that is, on what's most important to accomplish on any given day.

Great for: Associations whose team members juggle multiple responsibilities, find themselves putting out fires or tending to immediate but less important requests, and rarely find much-needed creative time for innovation and true goal-based productivity.

Unleash Your Pack Power
Improving Teamwork & Accountability

A wild dog is many times more likely to catch prey as part of a pack effort than on his own. We've all heard the common human equivalents: We're better together. There's no "I" in "team."

Good teamwork requires trust, a willingness and the skills to express opinions and engage in constructive conflict, the ability to hear and understand others' perspectives, setting and respecting appropriate boundaries, personal accountability, and just generally treating each other well. In Unleash Your Pack Power, I help association teams find greater group productivity through a lively presentation and fun activities designed to promote true teamwork. (Don't worry--no paintball guns or exhortations to fall backwards into each other's arms!)

Great for: Associations whose team members are struggling with communications breakdowns, taking responsibility for tasks or outcomes, relying on each other, coordinating individual tasks, planning large projects, or other impediments to team productivity.

Hello, I'm Colleen Pelar. I do things a little differently.

Colleen Pelar

I'm a professional trainer who specializes in working with dedicated HR directors and managers of small to medium-sized professional associations keen to make their great teams even better.

No trite, self-involved inspirational talks. No gimmicky "trust building" exercises. Jut good, no-nonsense, effective strategies you and your team can put into place right away to increase individuality and group productivity.

And I strive to make the whole process enjoyable, engaging, and relevant to avoid the groaning and eye rolling customary to most employee development activities.

Learn more about me, my credentials, and my work.

P.S. All the dog references? They're a holdover from my previous career as a professional dog trainer. I talk a bit about that on the About page as well, and how frequently good dog training practices provide insightful analogies for how to bring out the best in ourselves and our fellow humans.

Ready to help your team excel?

Let's chat about your team and your goals, so I can send you a customized speaking proposal to meet them.

Customized productivity and team building talks for Northern Virginia profit and non-profit professional associations of all kinds.

Need More Time to Ponder?

While you think about which programs will work best for your team, enjoy free monthly tips for improving teamwork and productivity.