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The Workplace Therapist Show

Curing Dysfunction from the Cubicle to the Corner Office. Got a bad boss? Struggling with what’s next in your career? Work/life balance out of whack? Making your job and your life better is what “The Workplace Therapist Show” is all about. I promise to bring you some of the best ideas, experts and life hacks. And most importantly, I promise not to hold back. There will be no sugar-coating or avoiding the tough conversations. My commitment to you is to always be real, honest and a little bit irreverent.
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Oct 26, 2020

Today more than ever, it’s imperative that our team and work culture—even our culture at home reflects the mantra of “We’re All in this Together.” This week’s guest, author/speaker/consultant, Mike Robbins recently released a book by that title and in our conversation described the tenets, what he calls “the 4 Pillars of creating a team culture of high performance.”

Mike describes his life growing up playing baseball and how he observed the power of team chemistry. He noticed sometimes he was on teams with lesser talent that could win against more talented teams simply because they worked better together. Working in the corporate world after baseball, Mike was surprised to learn team chemistry and culture isn’t just a sports thing, it’s a human thing. He’s been on the quest to solve the puzzle of how do we create a winning environment of positive team culture for our teams ever since.


Today the game has changed completely as we’re working from home. We’re more challenged, but team culture is more important than ever.

What can help us create team chemistry better? Mike shares the ideas behind the 4 Pillars:

1. Create Psychological Safety: Group Trust comes from how the leader of the team operates. How do you actually behave when things go wrong or someone makes a mistake? It’s how we respond sets the tone for the team. As a leader, if you don’t operate in a way that allows for error or ask for forgiveness or accept a mistake, then your team definitely won’t. The more a leader is willing to share their humanity with their team then the more likely the team will be to trust their leader.


2. Embrace Sweaty Palm Conversations

“You know what stands between you and the relationships you really want to have with other people? It’s probably a ten minute sweaty palm conversation you’re too afraid to have. If you get good at having those conversations, you’ll build trust, resolve conflict, and you’ll get to know other people who are different than you. If you lean in, you’ll build incredibly strong relationships, but it’s a practice.” – Mike Robbins

Difficult conversations are more like fish than wine—they don’t age well.


Start with the truth—begin with authentic place.

Tell the truth when having a difficult conversation. Be transparent. Own how you’re feeling; address it. It makes sense to say something like “I really don’t want to have this conversation because it’s difficult. However, my relationship with you/the team is more important than how I feel.”


Being a leader means choosing courage over comfort when it really matters.

I’m feeling really uncomfortable, but I want better for us.
Own how you are feeling using “I” statements/“I feel upset because…” I own how I am feeling and I don’t blame you for how I feel.

If we can lead with vulnerability, we’re likely to incite empathy from the other person.


3. Care about and challenge each other—I had a Coach at Stanford who told me that he always believed as a coach. “I have to love you hard so I could coach you hard can we care about each other so that we can push each other to the next level? Care a lot and challenge a lot, but the care has to come first.


We all know what challenging others looks like, but what does it look like to care about people?


Listen to them. Ask them how they are and actually listen.
Appreciate—distinct from recognition—valuing people for who they are, even when they fail. Being curios and interested. You don’t have to like someone to care about them. You don’t have to know about them intimately, it’s about finding that common ground humanity.

Life Hack: How to have better conversations or healthier relationships at work or home? Ask for FEEDBACK—Ask our spouse/kids/co-workers what could I start doing that I’m not doing? What could I stop doing that I’m doing? What should I continue doing?

 

Learn more about Mike or buy one of his five awesome books at mike-robbins.com.

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