Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast

Why Relationships at Work Matter More than You Might Think

April 22, 2022 Gerrit Pelzer, Martin Aldergard Episode 8
Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast
Why Relationships at Work Matter More than You Might Think
Show Notes Transcript

Trust-based relationships at work are the foundation for healthy performance.

We are social beings. However, what is often described as social or psychological is actually biological. Relationships are an essential aspect of evolution: living in groups has been critical for our survival as a species.

We developed capabilities to quickly judge if we can trust others, largely without conscious awareness, sometimes described as “gut feeling” (see neuroception and interoception).

Not only our hunter-gather ancestors benefited  from productive human connections. Also in “modern” societies, our well-being depends on sound relationships. 

A Harvard study revealed that people who are more socially connected to family, friends, and others are happier and healthier. They live longer than people who are less well-connected, and loneliness leads to less happiness, earlier health decline, and decline in brain function.

Functioning relationships are also critical for motivation and performance at work:

Sirota and Klein identified camaraderie, defined as “having warm, interesting and cooperative relations with others in the workplace“, as a primary goal of people at work. 

Blickle and Hogan categorised getting along as a basic human motive: “Human beings are inherently social and at a deep and often unconscious level need companionship and social acceptance, and they dread rejection and isolation.” 

Building productive relationships is a mission-critical task for leaders.

What can leaders do to nurture productive relationships?

1) Attitude: Common how-to advice suggests that leaders should listen more and ask more questions. However, we often neglect that it is not just the “doing” but that the underlying attitude or mindset is crucial: are you really interested in what the other person has to say? 

Research suggests that our attitude towards others hugely impacts their performance  (c.f.  “Pygmalion in the Classroom"). In other words, if you believe the people you work with are heroes, they might become heroes. If you believe they are idiots…

2) Consistency: Building relationships is not a one-time activity. It's about how you show up consistently. Do you come across as authentic? Are you walking your own talk? 

3) Understanding emotions: You need to be aware of your emotions,  regulate them,  get a sense of the emotions of others (empathy), and understand how others respond to your behaviours.

Leaders need to avoid triggering a “fear response” in others, often evoked by tone of voice, facial expressions, and other non-verbal signals submitted and received non-consciously.  Instead, they need to nurture emotions such as joy, excitement, and trust.

Emotions are not just “touchy-feely stuff”; what is underlying emotions is a complex neurobiology. E-motions provide energy for action. We have explained this in detail in our Second Crack podcast episode “Emotions @Work - How Leaders Can Release Human Energy in Organizations”

Reflection Questions for Leaders

·  At work today, have I made genuine connections with people? How?
·  How do other people perceive me/my behaviours?
·  How do I think about individuals at work? Do I believe in their potential? Have I already labelled them in a certain way? Do I really believe they can become heroes?

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[00:00:00] Gerrit: Welcome to Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast. If you are new to the show, this is where we explore everyday leadership paradoxes and dilemmas, and where we invite you as our listener to self reflect. And if you have joined us before welcome back. I am Gerrit Pelzer and I'm joined as usual by my friend and business partner, Martin Aldergård. So Martin, how are you today?

[00:00:36] Martin: I'm okay Gerrit. Hello. And I'm excited to talk about relationships today. 

[00:00:43] Gerrit: Yes. And I think it's very interesting to put this into a certain context because usually I'm not typically asked in my coaching sessions about relationships, a question that I get asked, however, in almost any of my executive coaching assignments is how do I motivate people? How can I, or how can we as a company improve employee engagement. And of course these questions around motivation are very complex. There are many elements that contribute to motivation, but one surprising finding is that relationships, the relationships that a leader has with the people, they work with plays a very critical role.

[00:01:34] Gerrit: And I see most of the time that the aspect of relationships at work is often underestimated by people. It's, it's seen as something that is nice to have, but not necessarily critical for performance 

[00:01:52] Martin: There seems to be, especially in leadership training, so much discussion about being focused on results versus being focused on people and relationships. And there seems to be discussions around how should I balance that or do I need to focus more on results or do I need to focus more on relationship? Is it a contradiction? 

[00:02:17] Gerrit: I have a very clear opinion: not at all! I've seen many of these models; I see in front of me, one with a two-sided arrow or whatever you call that. And you have on one side, let's say, uh, the task or results. And on the other side, something like relationships or people, and I think it's completely wrong. To visualise this, or even to talk about this as a dichotomy, it's not relationships or results. Trust-based productive relationships are the foundation for getting results.  So there is no contradiction there at all. We're getting results to a certain extent through relationships.

[00:03:09] Martin: .And if you're saying that we're putting people at the centre of change and at the centre of what we're doing, or as leaders, we're saying that people are our most important resources, I guess people and their relationships that this also what we're talking about in that context.

[00:03:30] Gerrit: Absolutely. I mean, I often use the expression that people are the key to results in any, in any business, in any industry. You need a good strategy, but the best strategy doesn't help you if people don't execute it. And again, one critical aspect here are relationships. I know from experience that many people look at relationships at something that is soft,  nice to have. But it's actually hard to science because what is underlying relationships is not so much social aspects, psychological aspects; it's biology. And I would like to start here by looking at our evolution and our history. So as human beings, we have always lived in groups and this was critical for survival. Imagine a time when we were still hunter gatherer. Hunting together in groups was so much more effective, right. Or if somebody was sick or we didn't have any hospitals. So it was critical for survival of this person that the others would take care of him or her.  So, this is not only in terms of survival for the individual, but also for us as the human race. We would not have evolved to where we are today, if we hadn't utilised this living  together.

[00:05:12] Martin: So it is inside our brain. It's inside our DNA. It's biology. Our bodies. And the. The relationship building activities. Then in the past, what we did to create stronger relationships to, to, to, to create trust, to, to create the sense that, okay, I can trust you because I know that you have the best intentions to me. And this means I would also help you. I will look out for your back. Let's say when we were hunting together that we're not getting in trouble. I would share my food with you because I know in the future you would share your food back with me. So all this energy we would spend on maintaining and strengthening relationships back in those days, they helped us to survive. As human beings. And that is why then those characteristics remained in our DNA all the way until today. Right? 

[00:06:16] Gerrit: I think this idea, this is in our DNA, I think that that really hits a point here because often we hear an expression that deep in our core, we are social beings, but the social aspect is closely interlinked to biology. And I want to highlight another aspect of this, what you say about trust. I think we need to be very clear that a lot of these processes happen without our conscious awareness. And let's say another thing that was especially common in the past, and we still have it in some societies today: alloparenting that means raising children by people other than the biological parents. And imagine you want to give your child, or you're about to give your child to somebody else. You want to make sure you can trust this person and you highlighted the idea of building trust, how is it built? A lot of this happens non-consciously. So we are trying to read the other person, their tone of voice, their facial expressions, through a lot of things that, that are not necessarily directly verbal. And again, it happens without conscious awareness. There are some expressions coming from neuroscience, we call it neuroception and interoception, I don't want to go into the details of that today, but again, we are sending out signals non-consciously to other people and other people receive and interpret these signals again, often without conscious awareness. I just wanted to highlight this briefly. 

[00:08:08] Martin: And this example of the alloparenting, that for sure in the past, this was a way that we helped each other out. How does this now translate? I'm thinking about more current, like a work-related situations and I'm thinking it's not necessarily my child as such, but it might be I'm trusting my idea with somebody else or I'm sharing my budget with someone else or I'm in wide thing. My thinking I'm inviting other people to challenge my thinking by for instance, asking for feedback. In my mind, I make an analogy, this shy that I trust with others to take care of. Uh, and I see how that child can be a metaphor for something important to me at work that I trust others to also handle for me.

[00:09:04] Gerrit:  If I may, Martin, before we go directly into the work-related examples, I wanted to make the link because, obviously, we are not hunter-gatherers anymore. Most of us are living in what we call modern societies, but what we need to understand here, is that on an evolutionary scale, our brains are still the same as our hunter-gatherer ancestors. So our brains have basically not changed. And I think there's importance that are highlighted. How about relationships? Many people have experienced this nowadays when the covid pandemic started. I think for many people, this was the first time that they realised that they suffer when they cannot have these social relationships with other people like they could have before.

 And again, we have biological evidence of this importance of relationships. I remember a relatively recent Harvard Health Newsletter. They observed people over 80 years, and the finding of this was that people who are more socially connected to family, friends, and others, they are happier and healthier. They live longer than people who are less well-connected, and they found that loneliness leads to less happiness, earlier health decline, and decline in brain function!

And so relationships have an impact on. So, and this is not only about personal life, but also about life at work. And this finding again is not at all new. I'm thinking of one study by two gentlemen, Sirota and Klein. And they said that camaraderie is one of the primary goals of people at work.

[00:11:22] Gerrit: And very interesting I found is how they define camaraderie: having warm, interesting and cooperative relations with others in the workplace. And for me, it was quite striking there. They talk about work and they use the term warm relationships. I worked in the corporate world for quite a while, and nobody ever said, "we need to have warm relationships at work." But it [warm relationships] has been identified as a component for motivation.

And I want to just quickly highlight another study that was made by Blickle and Hogan. They identified three basic human motives. So again, we're getting a broader perspective here about what motivates people at work. And these three motives are getting along, getting ahead, and finding meaning. And getting along is again related to this aspect that as human beings, we have always lived in groups. And why did I want to add this other study? Because they say that human beings are inherently social and at a deep and often unconscious level need companionship and social acceptance, and they dread rejection and isolation. So, once more, I think we cannot emphasise this enough that a lot of this is happening non-consciously. Because it's easy for people to say, "yeah, but at work, I just need to focus on the results. I don't care so much about how people feel and the relationships." I think we really need to understand that relationships is not about something soft; it is "hard" biology. And even if you don't believe it, on a non-conscious level, a lot is going on there. 

[00:13:28] Martin: And I can just relate to myself. I can remember back when I'm starting a new job or I'm starting with a new client project and you're in the meeting for the first time with these people and how I use a lot of energy to try to read the room and try to understand how is my interaction perceived. Um, are they accepting me? Do I seem to be belonging here? Will they let me into their tribe and be part of their meeting or their team. So finding the relationship. It, it, it really triggers whether we want it or not. That process is triggered. And I think all of us can have so many situations when we felt this was very awkward and it felt like I really need to fight. To to make this work or sometime it just works naturally because in the way that people speak or in the way they listen to me or in the way, even they are ranging in the meeting room. Whether it looks like they invite me into their tribe, into their team. So how quickly we can make these connections, I think is so important and, and reaching the quality of those connections, because sometime it takes a long time. And then we go back after the meeting and say, you know, chemistry was not good. You know, we feel, we feel something, they then click something, but we cannot really pinpoint it. Right. And then in other areas, you meet the team or you meet another leader, you talk with the client or you start a new job. And there is just something in how they connect or how I managed to connect with them.  And then we can start to cooperate. We can start to work, we can problem solve. We can drive recital. And when they achieve things together, then suddenly we feel even more common because now we have a common success to talk about and we feel even more together. Right. We have a, we, we start to really shape that the feeling of being in the same gang or the same group.

 So this process, it happens whether we like it or not. And I think it's just interesting to bring it up to the conscious level. And see what we can do about it, because of course, as a leader, I would want my team to be able to connect faster and better. If I would be a new leader, I would want to connect faster with my new team.

[00:16:18] Gerrit: Yup. When I listened to you, a key word I'm picking up is really connection. And the other thing that you spoke about is that it takes place very quickly. So let's say you meet somebody for the first time you will quickly know, or using the term that you used feel. Is there a connection or not?

[00:16:42] Gerrit: And, uh, Martin, you needed to stop me if I start rambling on here, but this is one of my focus areas. Um, our brain one, one key task of the brain is to keep us safe. And you gave this example. I enter a room and immediately the. The scanning for dangerous, is there a potential threat? And it doesn't have to be something that is life-threatening, but the moment I feel that is something that is not right then I'm more guarded and, uh, yeah, what you just said makes, makes perfect sense.

[00:17:14] Martin: I, I want to be accepted. Of course. I want my ideas to be accepted. I want to be seen. And if I get the signals that, uh, I need to defend myself, of course I will not share my opinion. I just become a yes, man. If I have the opportune that then I, if I have the choice. Yeah. But I'm thinking now from a leader point of view, what, what can I do as a leader to nurture the relationship, to build stronger connections?

[00:17:43] Martin: And, and is it my job as a leader to care about this? Because I mean, in versed case, I'm in the engine there, little bit of a square head, I would think, you know, people are professional. You should be able to manage relations for me as a leader, I do my part. We focus on the results and, and everybody should be able to.

[00:18:03] Martin: To do it. 

[00:18:04] Gerrit: Yeah. My answer here is very clear. Of course, as a leader, it is your job to, to take care of these relationships. Like I said before, simply let's say, even if you, if you disagree, I think everybody needs to understand that, uh, relationships, good relationships, productive relationships, relationships based on trust, whatever term you use.

[00:18:27] Gerrit: They are the foundation for getting the results. I know there may be. Sometimes people say, yeah, we're still getting the results. Even, even though I don't care about the relationships, but my question is then how much better could these results be? If you cared about the relationships and, uh, let's not underestimate again.

[00:18:48] Gerrit: Impact a leader hairs on, on, on relationships. They are in a position of power and they have a huge influence on the organization. Um, so I think that is, that is a very quick and easy answer for me. Um, the other question about what a leader can do, should we move through this? What can a leader doors, you know, um, uh, of course it is complex.

[00:19:14] Gerrit: But I think for today, I would like to focus on three key areas. One starts with something we have not discussed yet, and that is the attitude. So let's say when I'm coming back to this question, how do I motivate people? How can I drive employee engagement? Many people are looking for is this quick, how to answer, do this, do that.

[00:19:44] Gerrit: And when we're talking about relationships, very common suggestions are, yeah, you need to listen more to people and you need to ask more questions, but what's your mindset? What is your edits? You'd while you're doing this, you can ask a question. But are you really interested in what the other person has to say?

[00:20:05] Gerrit: Um, do you really believe that the other person has potential or have you already put them in after you labeled them already as a, as a low performer and somebody who will never get it? And I would like to highlight here another very interesting study it was done in. The 1960s and the U S by a Harvard professor, uh, I think he has published a whole book about this called Pygmalion in the classroom.

[00:20:34] Gerrit: And he went to an elementary school and had the children do some soil. Let's say an aptitude test. And then later he went through the teachers of the students and told them who were these students who would, um, be, um, how should I say, who would bloom academically and intellectually based on these test results.

[00:20:59] Gerrit: So he claimed that these test results, uh, would predict how the students will detect. And indeed when the students were retested a year later, particularly is highly rated. Students showed intellectual gains and they were described by the teachers in, in many positive days and ways. But the irony was that the re the results were randomly assigned.

[00:21:24] Gerrit: So let's say, um, Garrett got a mediocre test results. Martin got a great test result. They might then tell the teacher, Garrett got a great result, but Martin has a hopeless case. Yeah. So that was completely random. So what we're seeing here is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It was the behaviors of the teachers, their attitude towards the students.

[00:21:52] Gerrit: Based on the teacher's expectations of these talents that led to improved, uh, results, not, not the, the capabilities or the predisposition of the children. So, and, and, and the same, I see this all the time at work. So in other words, if you treat the people you work with, like heroes, it certainly increases the chances that they become heroes.

[00:22:19] Gerrit: If you treat people like idiots? Well, I think you can complete the sentence. Hmm. 

[00:22:26] Martin: And by listening to this, I, because you also said that a lot of the things around relationship and making connections is happening unconsciously. I think we can see on the leader, their body language, or this unconscious body signals.

[00:22:47] Martin: For instance, there can be when one, somebody gives an idea in the mid. And you can see the facial reaction of the leader, whether they actually believe in this person or not. So I've noticed that in companies and they say, you know, diversity and inclusion is so important for us, but the attitude, the belief of the leader in a certain person, they might, like you say all that.

[00:23:15] Martin: They have labeled this person as let's say less competent. And when this person then gives them an idea in a. The leader can say, ah, good idea. But his or her body language actually sends a different signal. And sitting as an outside consultant in this meeting room is really easy to see those unwanted, uh, nonverbal communication.

[00:23:43] Martin: The leader is saying one thing, one thing to act like diversity inclusion, but the body language is actually telling something totally different and can be a very small thing, a very short frown, how you move on to the next topic or just like this eye movement, like this rolling of the eye. Very little.

[00:24:03] Martin: And it ruins perhaps a lot of effort of building trust in this. In the blink of an eye. Yes 

[00:24:10] Gerrit: or no, let's, let's sit down and have a serious conversation. And then there is this, uh, glance at your watch. And then, then the other one knows already, oh, actually this guy has, has not really time for me. And, 

[00:24:24] Martin: and, and that is actually done.

[00:24:25] Martin: That is the symptom of the attitude, the belief. Of this leader, this person is shining through and that there's something done that they lead their need to self reflect, or perhaps first of all, get feedback on how aware are you all of your non-verbal non-conscious communication. And then what might be the source of that in the background in term of your beliefs, your fundamental beliefs.

[00:24:53] Gerrit: Absolutely Martin. And these are already like some of the reflection questions that are, that I wanted to offer. Um, so summary of this first key point, what leaders can do is check their edits. You would when they're interacting with other people. Because again, um, they are sending out signals, other people who receive the signals, whether they are.

[00:25:16] Gerrit: Both the sender and the receiver are consciously aware of them or not. And the second aspect that I would like to highlight is that, um, these things are not one time interventions. It's about how do you show up every day as a leader? Because as a leader, You're always in the spotlight. Uh, people are observing carefully each and every movement, every statement.

[00:25:43] Gerrit: And so, you know, do I come across as authentic, uh, as a leader? Am I, am I walking? My own talk. Um, Martin, you mentioned already self-awareness do I have a realistic picture or sense about how others perceive me? So relationships are not built by one time. Activities. It's about how you're showing up every day, how you show up consistently and then people see you already very quickly.

[00:26:17] Gerrit: Are you consistent with your actions or is it one day this and another day something 

[00:26:23] Martin: else? Um, I'm thinking here about the consistency to check. To check your emotions as a leader before you walk into another interaction before your jump on the next call. Because if you want to build positive relationships, if you want to be accommodating of other people's views, if you want to accommodate their time and be present with them, because that is the kind of positive relationships that you want to build in every single interaction.

[00:26:57] Martin: You need to check your own attitude and your own emotional state before you go into that interaction so that you really model a positive, open, authentic, transparent trust building behavior in that interaction. I think this is sort of difficult to do because in our end we have all this back to back meetings and we have so much going on.

[00:27:24] Martin: And of course, sometime we feel really stressed as leaders and our patients runs thin and we're starting to be defensive. And I think a wrong word can destroy saw a long time over work of you to build better relationship. So yeah, to, to check in your emotions, I think is vitally important. 

[00:27:49] Gerrit: That's that's a great, uh, keyword here.

[00:27:52] Gerrit: I mean, on one hand I feel reminded of, um, Daniel Goleman's ideas around emotional intelligence, right. Where it starts with, uh, understanding actually the self-awareness that we highlighted a couple of times today. How aware am I for instance of my own emotions and then am I able to regulate them and have I then for instance, the empathy, do I understand what is going on in another person, especially.

[00:28:18] Gerrit: Um, when they are reacting to me, what what's, let me rephrase that. What response or reaction does my behavior. Evoke. Yeah. Uh, and, and once I have all this, then I can work on also managing these interactions with others, but also emotions highlights. Uh, another element that is actually the third point that I wanted to make.

[00:28:43] Gerrit: We had another complete episode about emotions at work, and we mentioned there that we could actually spell emotions E hyphen motions. To illustrate that emotions deliver energy for action and human energy can be released. For instance in what should I say, desired directions. Um, so that people can really unleash energy to be highly creative.

[00:29:12] Gerrit: Innovative at work is about being productive, right? Rebecca, to getting results, but energy can also be, uh, blocked in a way or more specifically, the energy goes inwards to protecting oneself. Right. And so. Leaders need to avoid triggering these fear responses and Martin, you made a very important point when you said it's one word that can ruin everything, but it's not just the, the, the word it's also.

[00:29:46] Gerrit: The tone of voice, right? Or the facial expressions, uh, uh, frown or whatever other signals I'm sending out while I'm interacting with other people. And this comes back to scanning the environment very quickly. It comes back to our biology. So it's, it's very complex, but I think. Um, it's, it's, it's relatively simple to understand what are things that can trigger the fear response.

[00:30:15] Gerrit: It's not only a direct threat, like, oh, if you do this, or if you don't do this, something terrible will happen. It's in these, in the tiny things as, as well. And they may be more subtle, but, uh, They have the same impact. And so instead of triggering fear responses, leaders needs work on nurturing the feelings of excitement, joy, and trust.

I think we have, we've covered this a lot in the other episode. And we put a link to this episode in the session notes of today's episode. Um, but with trust, we are back to relationships. Um, 

[00:30:58] Martin: And I think, and when they're talking about this, uh, these a, um, the opposite of the fear, that joy, excitement, those emotions that, that want us to work together, or that want us to, to see the best in each other, they are driven so much by appreciating a child they're showing appreciation for each other.

[00:31:23] Martin: Uh, as a leader to highlight the strength of another person rather than their weaknesses in order. And it can be as simple as just showing appreciation for the job well done or for, for actually listening and being interested in idea of a person. There, there is. So what they may assist me is there's so simple, small thing.

[00:31:47] Martin: That can make such a huge difference. And when we just discover when the change, our belief as a leader, from focus on the task to actually focus on the relationship. And applied that consistently and then becoming aware of not triggering, not triggering the fear response is, but triggering this joy and excitement, the positive sides of working together and, and, and reminding everyone of how we actually become stronger together.

[00:32:25] Martin: And then coming back to the wrap up, like you start to talk about the hunter gatherers, right? Only the ones that learn to work together survive. Then that's why their DNA is still in our DNA. So this, this positive relationships is to highlight. We are stronger together and the benefit, and I appreciate you having a relationship with me because I win from that.

[00:32:52] Martin: Then you also win from that. 

[00:32:55] Gerrit: Yeah. And Martin you're coming back to actually the biology. Yes. I agree with everything you say, but I can also see how there's a giant excitement of why do we need this? Let's say there's a lot of, um, chemistry. Neurochemistry, et cetera involved. And I think it's maybe easiest to explain.

[00:33:14] Gerrit: Let's say I see a big trend now that especially came up during the pandemic that people are increasingly concerned about people's wellbeing at work. Right. And we can look at stress from various perspectives. Of course, stress can be induced by. Simply a high workload. I feel I can't manage the tasks that are on my plate.

[00:33:39] Gerrit: Um, but again, threat or perceived threat and stress can also come from the personal interactions, especially from the boss. And so if you have stress, no matter where it's coming from. The cortisol levels in your blood are increased, right? And cortisol is, is nothing inherently bad. We need cortisol for instance, in the morning to wake up.

[00:34:05] Gerrit: But if you have too much cortisol in your blood all the time, then because cortisol helps you to. You can sleep well. And I think everybody knows that when you get bad sleep over an extended period of time, your ability to perform is massively compromised. Um, if you're not getting good sleep for a tool on time, you're getting sick.

[00:34:30] Gerrit: And we had a discussion in, um, uh, the iron partnership. That's a partnership around international organizational neuroscience where we brought up the question. So with this in mind, Doesn't have a boss eventually a bigger impact on a person's health then their medical doctor now, because the boss is basically always around the doctor.

[00:34:54] Gerrit: We see most of the time only when we are already sick. So 

[00:34:58] Martin: as a leader now, what, what could I reflect on? What could I start to think of? In the context of nurturing stronger and better relations. W well, to trigger me to come up with ideas where I could become better in this as a leader. Yes. 

[00:35:19] Gerrit: Maybe if I can add here, we try to stay away from oversimplified, how to advise, but we truly believe that reflection helps a lot.

[00:35:30] Gerrit: And so one of the reflection questions I could think about, let's say you end the working day, you are at home, and then you could spend some time on very simple questions, like:  at work today, have I made genuine connections with people, and how did I do this?

Martin, you've mentioned a lot about self-awareness. So, another question I can ask myself, not only in the evening, but also any time during the day, how aware am I of how other people perceive me, my behaviour, including not only what I say, but also nonverbal signals that I'm sending out?  And maybe the last question that I'm thinking about today is related to the example of the students who excel when the teacher believes they're great students.

So, how do I think about individuals at work? Do I truly believe in their potential? And I think now that I hear myself talking, I think that is also something a great question to ask: before I go into an interaction, be that a call or a one-to-one meeting I'm having with somebody or when I'm meeting a whole team, how do I think about those? Have I already labeled them in a certain way? Or do I really believe they can become heroes?

[00:36:59] Martin: And because there's so strongly that influences the type of, and the quality of the relationship that we're building in that interaction. I'm I really like this three reflection question, but the most was the first one that how I really make a genuine connection and building on that one, I'm thinking in my mind, As a leader, how much of my time do I spend in interactions?

[00:37:30] Martin: Just focusing on stronger connection, building a more genuine connection with this person. Right. And how much of my time do I spend interacting, but basically to solve like a technical problem. Yeah, well, of course one doesn't exclude the other. It's not either, or of course wide, we are discussing a technical problem.

[00:37:53] Martin: We can, of course, via our, we are impacting our relationship. But I think in today's world, when we are also so much virtually, we need to spend the conscious time dedicate the time. To build and maintain relationships because it's so much more difficult to do it. It doesn't happen as natural, uh, as it does in face-to-face interactions.

[00:38:17] Martin: So we as leaders to ask oneself, do I spend time focusing on quality interactions, quality relations, just for its own sake. Versus the time I spend interacting, solving all the daily problems, driving the tasks. 

[00:38:37] Gerrit: Yeah. Very true Martin. And oftentimes people see things at work very transactional to the extent that sometimes.

[00:38:45] Gerrit: See people only in certain roles, right? The, the accountant, uh, the marketing manager or whatever. But do we actually know the, the people beyond this role, uh, as, as, as the working life gets busier every day, people tend to not to spend too much time on these aspects of building 

[00:39:07] Martin: relationships. Do we actually see each other as human beings?

[00:39:15] Martin: Or do we see each other just as another role as another function? I think this is, this will deeply impact one's attitude towards another person. 

[00:39:26] Gerrit: Beautiful Martin. That, that sounds like wonderful closing remarks. Or is there anything else that you would like, 

[00:39:34] Martin: I'm happy for it to. 

[00:39:35] Gerrit: Excellent. Martin was a pleasure speaking with you today as always.

[00:39:40] Gerrit: So this concludes today's episodes. If you enjoy the show, feel free to subscribe to Second Crack on the platform of your choice. We would also like to ask you for your help. Our podcast is quite new. And with over 2 million podcasts available, it is almost impossible that someone finds our podcast without your support.

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