I reached out to Gwen because I was new to my institution and had attended trainings by Gwen in the past. My hope was to use the TypeCoach training to connect with my team and have a better understanding of effective communication in these new dynamics.
It was a great experience. The best part was how well the team responded to the training. They were engaged and wanted to better understand how to effectively communicate, plan, and work together as a team.
Gwen brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of team dynamics and has real nuggets that can be used immediately in the workplace.
I highly recommend Gwen and the tools that she provides. We will bring her back!
At our campus, most of the managers have worked with their staff for a good length of time. In a stable state, everyone worked well together. However, implementing change is a constant challenge. The most common objection was “we have always done it this way…”. Any deviation from the norm created animosity and team dynamics tended to suffer. This resulted in the apathy to change by the managers, thus slowing down institutional progress.
Before we brought in Gwen Bortner, I was looking for a consultant/trainer who could help our managers improve their skillset on dealing with change as a team. I was particularly interested in someone who understood the unique challenges of higher education, recognized the constraints of working in a unionized environment, and could provide tools for improving team dynamics. One of my main concerns about bringing in someone was “Is the consultant going to talk about the theoretical framework or really break it down to tools/strategies that can be used by my team to improve their teamwork?”
The best part of working with Gwen is her result-oriented approach. The way Gwen structured her session, my team went back with specific strategies to improve their teamwork.
One of the direct benefits I have seen is the improvement in quality of conversation in the cabinet. Within weeks of the session with Gwen, our school, along with others, went into lockdown mode, making interpersonal interactions particularly challenging. However, the rich conversation and highly interactive participation in meetings was a direct benefit of the session we did with Gwen. Distribution of technology to students during lockdown required many departments with different approaches working in very uncertain times. However, the team interactions were effortless as the participants recognized the personality types and needs of others. This was a great WIN!
Gwen is one of the easiest people to work with. Communication is crisp and direct, response times are short, and most importantly, expectations are discussed and laid out clearly, avoiding any potential conflict at a later stage. She is enthusiastic, matter-of-fact, detail oriented, and very well organized.
Many of my team members have expressed interest in using her services to train their teams! This is the greatest testament that her session was appreciated and found to be valuable by my team. Next time, I would like to go for a full-day session with more role playing and situation analysis.
I recommend Gwen without any reservation! She is a great coach with a technique that produces instant results.
Working with Gwen was easy, engaging, and entertaining from our first video chat. We reached out to Gwen when planning our annual division retreat. We were looking for a speaker who would energize our large, diverse team on project management or team communication. Gwen listened to us describe who we are and what we do, as well as our general needs and wants for some interactive training and then clearly communicated her ideas to engage our team in both topics. By the end of that video chat we felt confident that Gwen could synthesize and convey both project management and communication information while also engaging the whole team.
It was a success! Our day with Gwen had an interactive agenda that covered practical project management and clear communication based on personality types. Gwen successfully engaged everyone on our team using warm, friendly, and dynamic dialogue interspersed with real and relatable scenarios and team building activities. Our team was reenergized by the ideas shared during our day with Gwen which resulted in improved practices and a boost in morale. I have recommended Gwen to others in my department and industry.
It has been a couple months since our retreat and we still have staff talking and reviewing their notes from what we now refer to as ‘Our Day with Gwen’.
Working with Gwen is great! She is both knowledgeable and approachable. Moreover, she is willing to listen and work with a team in the moment for improvement that pays off now. My team is rather new and bringing on professional development to help identify the ways we work together, communicate ideas, and interpret such communications was a high priority in forging a high-functioning professional team from the start.
Since our training, my team has recognized how to best work together, and how to best work with their respective teams. The overall relatability of the material to their specific work scenarios made for an applicable professional development training that is paying dividends in the workplace. My team communicates clearly and is aware of the type of listener they are, as well as those with whom they work, which seems to have improved the professional dynamic of the whole team. I would highly recommend Gwen to any friend or colleague who asked, working with her was an excellent idea!
Rarely have I had a presenter come in and engage everyone in the room, but Gwen did. I hadn’t previously worked with Gwen, so I was a bit concerned about bringing in a presenter that has never worked with me or the team before, and my expectations were high, but Gwen did an excellent job easing these concerns and ultimately hit the workshop out of the park. She did an exceptional job and was able to synthesize a ton of information into consumable takeaways for our managers, leaving them with tangible ways to improve processes and project manage within their respective areas.
I was struggling with the level of organization related to project management within my organization. Managers and supervisors were all working hard, but there always seemed to be a level of frustration when it came to executing projects. Gwen was able to put together a dynamic “project management” workshop to help us better communicate and “own” projects at all levels so everything can move forward smoothly. I particularly appreciated Gwen’s ability to make a relatively “boring” subject interesting, relevant, and engaging. All of my managers finally got the concept of project management with a number of applicable tools for successfully managing projects. I would highly recommend Gwen and plan to bring her back for more professional development at Merced College.
Gwen was recommended as a great choice to inspire and motivate the Laity at our Annual Conference. She did not disappoint.
We started our planning for the session prior to the Covid-19 shut-downs. After Gwen had the outline and the pieces planned (ours was to be a very interactive session) for in-person attendance, the state shut down in-person gatherings. So Gwen re-worked her whole presentation and interactive pieces to be done electronically. Closer to the date of the conference, we discovered that the platform being used by the A/V company would not accommodate break-out sessions, as Gwen had planned. So she reworked those areas again!
Gwen took all these changes in stride, coordinated with the A/V company for playing recorded sessions, for live portions and for active comments from the Laity in attendance. It was a powerful and extremely successful time together. This would not have been possible without the flexibility and positive attitude that Gwen brought to the table, along with her skill at presentations, public speaking and the ability to tie all the pieces together seamlessly.