Top 3 Takeaways from How to Work with (Almost) Anyone

Top 3 Takeaways from How to Work with (Almost) Anyone

Well, it was worth the wait. Last Thursday, my coaching colleague Michael Bungay Stanier synched his time zones and found his way to our Ask the Expert session to unpack his latest book: How to Work with (Almost) Anyone. The hour flew by as we talked about how to create the Best Possible Relationship by leveraging Michael’s five Keystone Questions.

It’s always hard to boil these discussions into 3 takeaways, but here are mine. Watch the full recording here to discover your own.

  1. Start strong to avoid unnecessary drama. Most of us dive into work relationships without considering how we can work ‘best’ together. This lack of intentionality can lead to misunderstandings that could be easily avoided (or at least minimized) if we simply set the ground rules of engagement first. It’s much easier to get a relationship off on the right foot than to try and fix one that’s gone way off the rails as any divorce lawyer would probably tell you. The whole thing reminded me of a relationship prenup where, as coworkers, we contract with how we’re going to work together and what we’ll do when we run into an inevitable disagreement.
  2. It’s not about perfection. Regardless of how much effort you put into building your best possible relationship, the reality is that not every relationship will be great. Michael talked about the relationship bell curve where some relationships are fantastic and at the top of the curve, the bulk are in the middle and a few are languishing at the bottom. The goal isn’t to move everyone to the top. Instead, our goal can be to improve each relationship by a few percentage points to up our overall relational satisfaction and effectiveness.
  3. Ask for a do-over. It’s normal for relationships to get off track and, if you didn’t have a key stone conversation at the start, it’s never too late to make them better. Try this opening line: “I notice we’re not working as well together as we could. I’d love to see what I could do to make things better. Would you be willing to chat with me about that?” Or, imagine saying to your boss “I’d like to work better with you. Can we have a conversation about how I can be really great at working with you?” I know I would welcome that conversation with members of my team! If your intention is to make things better, people will undoubtedly welcome the conversation.

You can learn more about Michael’s latest book here and, between now and May 20th at midnight, buy a copy of Michael’s world-wide bestselling book The Coaching Habit and get a free webinar series and tap into coaching with Michael himself.

Join us next month for our next conversation with Dr. Beverly Kaye, career management and employee engagement trailblazer. If you’re struggling with how to engage and have career conversations with your team in this new hybrid world of work, you won’t want to miss this one. Bev literally wrote the book on what managers can do to ‘love ‘em and not lose ‘em’.

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