The average person spends over 90,000 hours working over the course of their career. That’s a substantial amount of time building connections with colleagues, clients, and collaborators. What’s truly fascinating is the profound impact these relationships have on our careers, company culture, and overall life satisfaction.
Extensive research has revealed that excelling in your career isn’t solely dependent on job performance, but equally influenced by the strength of your relationships. Whether you’re aiming for a promotion, seeking professional growth, or simply desiring a fulfilling work environment, the quality of your connections matters.
We’ve all encountered colleagues who enrich our work lives, making the workplace more vibrant and enjoyable. On the other hand, we’ve also encountered individuals who posed challenges to collaboration. Despite the significant impact of these working relationships, many of us allow them to develop haphazardly, relying on chance rather than intention.
This is where Michael Bungay Stanier steps in. He has recently written a book on implementing intentional approaches that enhance workplace relationships, and we’re privileged to have him back on the show to discuss how we can effectively work with (almost) anyone.
In this episode, we uncover valuable insights on nurturing and maximizing the potential of your professional connections.
“What’s your best is different from what you’re good at. And what are you good at can be a bit of a trap, because we sometimes get captured by our own competence.”
Here are some key highlights from our conversation:
- The keystone conversation: We explore a transformative approach centered around five essential questions that shape how we engage and connect with others. These conversations can unlock growth and understanding.
- Universal characteristics of exceptional relationships: We explore the key qualities that make relationships thrive—safety, vitality, and repairability. When these elements are present, we cultivate lasting connections.
- The Best Possible Relationship (or BPR): We discuss how improving a relationship, even by 3%, can make a significant difference to your reality at work. By intentionally investing in our connections and striving for small improvements, we can unlock extraordinary results.
- The five questions that can guide you in a keystone conversation: Engaging in a keystone conversation involves asking five essential questions that shape the conversation and deepen the connection. We discuss these questions and the va;ue they can bring to both parties.
- Identifying BPRs to have keystone conversations with: discover how to identify individuals who can have a significant impact on your professional growth. These relationships can be catalysts for your development.
- Psychological safety and psychological bravery: Michael highlights the role of psychological safety and bravery in fostering healthy working relationships. These qualities empower us to express ourselves authentically and take risks in our growth journey.
“The biggest of all things is to be the person brave enough to say, let’s have a conversation about this.”
- The ultimate manifestation of care: Initiating a keystone conversation demonstrates a deep level of care. It is an invitation to engage meaningfully and shows your commitment to relationship-building.
- Company culture as a pointillist painting: Michael offers an analogy that illuminates the intricate details and nuances of company culture.
Join us in this episode as we uncover strategies to intentionally nurture and enhance your professional connections and build a better company culture.
Listen to the interview in the player below or on iTunes. If you like what you hear, please leave a review, and it may be featured on a future episode.