Book: Who’s Got Your Back

whos_got_your_back“Who’s Got Your Back: The breakthrough program to build deep, trusting relationships that create success–and wont’ let you fail” By Keith Ferrazzi
  • “Exceptional achievement in work and life is a peer-to-peer collaborative process.”
  • “On one level, I had lost touch with a sense of my strengths and weakness. When that happens, we lose the power to manage our shortcomings, and the result is self-defeating behaviors. Overcoming them is about, ultimately, knowing thyself.”
  • “In this book Vital Friends, author Tom Rath cites research from the Gallup Organization that attests to the fact that people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaed in their jobs.”
  • Ways that lifeline relationships are critical:
    • “To help us identify what success truly means for us, including our long-term career plans.”
    • “To help us figure out the most robust plan possible to get there, through short-term goals and strategies that would tie us into knots of we tried to go it alone.”
    • “To help us identify what we need to stop doing to move forward in our lives. I’m referring to the things we all do that hold us back from achieving the success we deserve.”
    • “To have people around us committed to ensuring that we sustain change so that we can transform our lives from good to great.”
  • “A lifeline relationship is one between equals, between peers, between individuals who can be intellectual sparring partners and confidants.”
  • “The concept of reaching out to others for support isn’t about changing who you are. It’s about enlisting the help and advice of others to help you become who you can be.”
  • “Intimacy with others can be created in moments–on a stage, in front of a new client, with someone you don’t know at a party, even seated next to a stranger on a plane. It can also brought into pre-existing relationships through the power of generosity, vulnerability, and candor.”
  • “In the 1995 book The Psychology of Helping and Altruism, David Schroeder and his fellow reserachers demonstrated that the concept of helping one another–what the authors call ‘the norm of reciprocity’–exists in every culture in the world.”
  • “The researchers stressed that the monkeys were more likely to share when they felt close personal bonds; they concluded that ’empathy increases in both humans and animals with social closeness.'”
  • “There are four core mind-sets–which can be learned and practiced–that form the behavioral foundaiton for creating the kind of lifeline relationships I’m talking about.
    • “Generosity. This is the base from which all the other behaviors arise. This is commitment to mutual support that begins with the willingess to show up and creatively share our deepest insights and ideas with the world. It’s the promise to help others succeed by whatever means you can muster.”
    • “Vulnerability. This means letting your guard down so mutual understanding can occur. Here you cross the threshold into a safe space after intimacy and trust have pushed the door wide open.”
    • “Candor. This is the freedom to be totaly honest with those you confide in.”
    • “Accountability. Accountability refers to the action of following through on the promises you make to others.”
  • “Most companies tell their employees, ‘Be candid,’ ‘Take risks toward innovation,’ and ‘hold one another accountable as a team.’ But that’s impossible! It’s putting the cart before the horse. You first must create the underpinning of trust and respect!”
  • “A safe place is an emotional environment–not a physical one–where two or more individuals can feel completely free to take risks. It’s an environment where we’re completely at ease with both giving and receiving criticism; where we’re comfortable knowing that the feedback we get comes from a caring place; where we know the other person respects us, believe in us, and wants only the best for us.”
  • “Each of us is responsible for creating the safe place. It is a conscious choice that we make to create the enviroment that invites others in. It means putting the other person’s safety first and make your intention clear.”
  • “Viktor Frankl, the late Austrian neurologist and psychologist, was a Nazi prison camp survivor who, in his classic book Man’s Search for Meaning, wrote abotu thow he refused to let himself feel like a victim, even after he was separated from his wife and parents (all three later died in the death camp). this he accomplished through small, constant acts of generosity. If Frankl encountered someone hungrier than himself, he’d share his meager daily ration of bread. Throughout his years of imprisonment, he secretely sounseled despondent inmats who were contemplating suicide. By reaching out to others, he maintained his dignity through suffering most of us can’t imagine.”
  • “Universal currency refers to our innate human ability to connect to others, no matter who they are or who we are.”
  • “Universal currency also includes encouragement, absolute essential in creating lifeline relationships to achieve your full potential.”
  • “Personal currency requires finding out what others need to be happy in every dimension of their lives, and then figuring out what you can do to get them there.”
  • “Generosity gives you permission to be more open and intimate in all your relationships.”
  • “The more generous you are to other people in offering first your humanity, and then your knowledge, advice, and talents, the more they’ll be willing to share their concerns–and the more you’ll be able to help them meet them. At some poit, your relationship will grow strong enough that you’ll find you can beggin to take even greater risks with each other. You’ll be able to tell them what you  think they need! (Sometimes that isnt’ easy to hear, which is why creating a safe space is crucial.)”
  • “‘obligatory interdependence,’ a phrase coined by social psychologist Marilynn Brewer in the Journal of Social Issues back in 1999. Brewer’s theory is that for human beings to survive in the long term, we must depend on others for help, information, and shared resoruces–which we in turn share with other people.”
  • “if you want help from others, you need to ask. First, though, do your homework.”
  • “Being vulnerable takes incredible courage. It is a crucial mind-set to master if you hope to build a circle of trusted advisors in your life. Moreever, it’s the partner and predecessor necessary for candor–the courage to voice the truth about yourself and others, and to receive the truth in return.”
  • “Vulnerability is admitting that you have doubts and fears–and that you need the support and encouragement of others to overcome what holds you back, and achieve your goals.”
  • “When you share your deepest fears and most embarrassing moments or failures with another person whose counsel and friendship you admire and respect, you’ll find that several things occur.”
    • “By letting another person know about your fears and concerns, you’ve opened an emotional pressure valve, allowing the tension you’ve been holding inside to escape. You’ll find you can breathe again and begin to move forward and address the issue better.”
    • “The person you confide in will likely become closer to you, thanks to your willingness to risk revealing your fears and filures. Moreover, it’s only by working to establish a few close friendships of this nature that you will be able to trust these people enough to ask for help when you most need it, and that they will care enough about you to offer it.”
    • “You will find that more you’re willing to talk openly about what you need, the more people will come up to you and offer their help.”
    • “The cumulative result of all these things is that you’ll master the ability to create ans sustain a safe space experience with more and more people in your life. By trusting in others, you’ll become trustworthy. People will seek you out as a counselor and a confidant.”
  • “During lunch with a colleague or friend, someone you feel you can trust, share a weakness, a concern, or an insecurity–perferably something with some reasonable substance to it. Start with as small a concern as you need to–just make sure it’s something that genuinely bothers you. You’ll find you won’t die, and it may even take that relationship to another level.”
  • “I see it all the time: leadership teams who set a standard for faux perfection, thus shutting down the potential for a culture of continuous improvmeent and genuine growth.”
  • “In reality, developing trust is a process that results from your willingness to be vulnerable.”
  • “But no one will really trust you until you allow yourself to become open enough, candid enough, and courageous enough to risk letting down your guard.”
  • Steps to create intimacy
    • “The first step is to get grounded. Take a deep breath. Relax. let the other person see who you are and what you have to offer–your concern, your interest, your passion, your intelligence, your skill. Listen to that authentic inner voice. Meditate for several minutes or just take a few breaths.”
    • “Which is why I believe the best people skill to practice upon meeting new people is to walk into every situation with as few assumptions as possible. If anything, expect the best, and look for ways to express your interest in and concern for the other person.”
    • “I find it’s especially important to tell them not to just say what they’re passionate about but to explain why.”
    • “Just before walking in front of a room, look into the eyes of everyone in the room. Now, project every ounce of your being into the thought that they are going to love your message. (It can also help to craft your message from the beginning with your audience in mind–not to be impressive or smart, but to be as generous, helpful, and of service to your audience as possible.)”
    • “Nothing truly worthwhile can happen in a relationship whitout sharing. And the eeasiest things to start with are your interests and passions.”
    • “The next level involves sharing your goals and dreams.”
    • “the next step is designed to take us a bit more out of our comfort zones by sharing our past struggles.”
    • “What’s keeping you up at night?”
    • “Remember, I’m not saying that you can or should dive into this level of self-disclosure with someone you just met, but this is a necessary level of sharing for both partners in a lifeline relationship. “
    • “The final step toward intimacy and trust is being open and sharing your fears and concerns about the future.”
  • “Warren Buffett bases his investment decisions in part on whether he feels a company’s executives are candid and don’t sugarcoat problems.”
  • “Candor is the ability to engage in healthy, caring, purposeful criticism–as opposed to turf wars, nitpicking, or simply turning our backs and not communicating about issues at all. To me, candor is the greatest gift you can give if it comes from a place of caring about the other person enough to want her to get beter.”
  • “Part of the reason we don’t want to hear the truth is that we have a fear that it will metastasize through our entire being. So if I’m wrong about this one thing, I could be wrong about everything! In fact, every person is wrong about some things and right about others. Every person is very good at some things and not so good at others. Once we accept that our shortcomings do not negate our merits, we can compartmentalize criticism and not let it overwhelm us.”
  • Benefits of knowing what others think of us
    • “First it’s vital that we know the score, so that we have the opportunity to change our behavior if we’re acting in an inappropriate or less-than-optimal way.”
    • “Second, in the end, the truth isnt’ goign anyplace. Ignore it, and it will bite you in the bum. Repress it, and it will almost always seep out or erupt in one way or another–ususally at the worst time possible–resulting in mediocre long-term performance.”
    • “Third, avoiding candor is deadly to our long-term success. Studies conducted since the 1970s make it clear that people who avoid conflict undermine both their relaitonships and their success. Candor involves engaging in real, tough, caring conversations.”
  • engages in transparency
    • “Facilitate an overall understanding of everyone’s perspectives.”, “By not being fearful of expressing themselves, they can candidly express what they’re hearing, and what their personal impressions and interpretations are of what’s really being said.”
    • “Are more capable of developing high-quality solutions. Because these folks tell it like it is (by not withholding information or playing politics), other tend to trust them to come u with unbiased, balanced solutions.”
    • “Are more likely to build and maintain stronger relationships.”
    • “Are more competent and more respected. People respect the truth even when they may not want to hear it.”
  • “Another misguided example of corporate andor is the 360-degree review, in which employees give anonymous feedback about a colleague. Here the problem is secrecy. With no one sitting across from them, employees feel free to point fingers, while the people on the receiving end are too often defensive about being handed what they feel is an unwanted ‘gift.'” Instead of behind-the-back criticism, we should aspire to give candid and constructive feedback to one andother face-to-face; it makes for a much stronger team.”
  • “The key is to truly want to be a better employee–which starts from a personal deisre to always be at the top of your game. Request feedback from the top, and make it easy for your boss to respond. Send him an e-mail in advance asking him to consider just one thing you could do to improve your job performance. Also make sure the boss clearly describes the ultimate results he’ll be measuring you on, and consistently report your progress toward those results in an e-mail (and verbally as well). Aslo find out if your current trajectory is appropriate and if for any reason the workpalce expectations have changed–because things do change, as everyone knows, and making assumptions is dangerous.”
  • “What if you slip up? Be the first one to come clean. Ultimately you’ll be rewarded for your candor and courage if you proactively suggest how to fix the problem. Make sure to apologize for the mistake, and come up with a corrective action or solution to decrease the chances it will ever happen again. Now–live up to your promise!”
  • How do you started being candid
    • “Start with a phone call or a cup of coffee or a quiet dinner. You can even do it electronically. But most important, you want your friends to understand that andor is a trait you appreciate and value–and that it’s safe for them to give you some.”
  • To get and give candor
    • “It’s important to find soemone we respect before even attempting to engage candidly with them.”
    • “Make sure you’re asking the right people the right questions–but in all cases, youll need that ackbone of mutual respect.”
    • “To open up a dialogue with another person and ask for his candid feedback, you might need to tee things up in advance of a meeting iwth an e-mail, so your friend has timet o ponder what he might say before hand.”
    • “If you’re after someone’s honest feedback, let him know you’re looking for real, objective criticism–not compliments or half-truths. To do this, first be honest with yourself. Ask yourself, Why am I approaching this person? Toward what end?”
    • “Express your gratitude when you receive feedback. What you’re asking for is a gift–of time, honesty, and thoughtful feedback.”
    • “By acknowledging that you have things to work on, you make it much easier for others to be honest with you.”
    • “You’re simply gathering information. Tell the other person honestly, ‘I’m hoping to collect enough feedback from a bunch of people I respect, to prioritize what I should focus on first. I’ll certainly get back to you on this, if you want. I will appreciate anything you have to tell me.”
    • “Be sure you don’t start by leading the witness–by identifying your faults and asking the other persons to confirm them. You’re after candor here, not an echo effect. Let yourself be surprised.”
    • “Once the other person has given feedback, it’s okay to bring up specific example about yourself that you want to get reactions to.”
    • “Remember that asking for criticism doesnt’ mean you have to act on it. Criticism is what it is: candid feedback from someone you respect and whose opinion matters to you. ultimately, you decide how or whether you use or act on that feedback. When I desagree with someone’s perspective, I simply say, ‘Thank you,’ or ‘I ppreciate hearing that.’ If I’m confused, I’ll ask for clarifications–before thanking the person once again!”
    • “Ideally, candor should be mutual–but it doesn’t have to be if that person has no interest in your candid feedback.”
    • “If you are truly thankful for their input, they will be paid back instantly by the good feeling they’re getting from helping you.”
    • “But back then, I was a master of what I now cal ‘teapot candor.’ thank of a teapot on the stove. It’s boiling, blue flames from the burner lapping around the bottom. the lid may be classped on tight, but eventually steam has to come out somewhere, right? So how’s the steam going to escape? Answer: in one of two ways, in small spurts (through passive-aggressive behavior), or in a big burst or explosion.”
    • “The strange part is, when my teapot bellowed with steam, I thought I was being ultra-ccandid! In fact, I was still avoiding the real issues; my style of communication shut down the other people around me and discouraged them from really engaging with me. I was still avoiding the real conversations. As a reuslt, I still got exactly what my subconscious wanted–to avoid the tough conversations. My communication styel, in short, was uterly nonproductive, leaving no place for a healthy argument or discussion. Temper flare-ups allow conflict averse people to wriggle out of deal with the real emotions and issues–as I found out the hard way.”
    • “Your first reaction to candid feedback may be to respond wit what I call ‘rebound candor’–that is, candor that’s really more tit-for-tat than from the heart. For example, in response to the criticism that I’m spreading myself too think, I might reply to my colleagues: ‘If you paid more attention to your part of the business, I wouldn’t have to do so much myself, and I could focus and prioritize better.’ True or not, it would have essentially refuted their input and driven them away.”
    • “My associate Morrie Shechtman, whose teachings on candor made him one of the most influential coaches in my lie and on our team, calls it a BS sandwich–criticism sandwiched between two slides of Wonder bread.”
    • “Why not just cut to the chase and resole the issue? Give the encouragement, of course, but give it when it’s due. That’s the point of candor, after all. No one benefits from false flattery. The best criticism comes from a place that’s clearly for the other person’s benefit. When all is said and done, up-front honesty is a gift.”
    • “All of us are swayed by self-serving biases. They not only bolster our egos, they keep us from feeling inferior. When we criticize other people, often we’re really blaming others and implying that their failure is their fault. When others criticize us, instinctively we reject their words (in the belief that our failures are rarely our fault) or get offended.”
    • “If you sidestep beign candid in order to protect other people’s feelings, then, bottom line, you’re being a coward. You are protecting yourself more than anyone else–you simply can’t deal with other people’s potentially negative reaction. Your lack of candor isn’t about them, it’s about you. If it were only about them, you’d tell them, so they could benefit and move on. “
    • “When we’re insecure and angry, it’s easy to take it out on someone else by shaming him. But such criticism doesn’t spring from a genuine desire to help a colleague work through a problem.”
    • “Never refute or argue with what the other person is saying. That’ll end up detonating the safe place you’ve created–bam-like a house of cards.”
    • “Candor, or caring criticism, always ends up being ggreater than the sum of its parts. In other words, when candid exchanges between people colide, the fusion generates entirely new insights, new ideas, and new approaches–what we collectively call innovation, where value is created–that might never have been considered independently. Candor gives us the ability to take risks, preparing us to solve problems collaboratively–both at work and in our personal lives–with better results than we would ever have chieved alone.”
  • “The best way to foster accountability, I’ve found, is to make it a two-way street. In other words, you’re helping your trusted advisors as much as they’re helping you.”
  • “Writing down commitments is a great way to record and formalize accountability. Another way to handle things is just by picking up the phone regularly.”
  • “Whether you setup phone calls or meet in the park, use notebook or an Internet bulletin board, the key is to formalize the accountability relationship and give it structure and regular schedule. Simply hoping buddies will call you out when you miss a deadline isn’t good enough. If being candid requires a safe place, accountability thrives on a specific place. The expectatoins need to be spelled out on both sides: ‘This is what I will do, and when I will do it. If I don’t, this is what you will do in return.'”
  • See: KeithFerrazzi.com
  • “the process of how to find and work with a trusted group of lifeline relationships”
    • “Step one: articulate your vision. As with anything in life, you need to choose a direction. You’ll need to identify someon broad, forward-thinking goals that describe yoru aspirations.”
      • “Where do you want to be one year from now in your career? In your life? Three years from now?”
      • “What areas do you see in yourslef that could be strengthened? What knowledge, experience, training, and personal relationships do you need to get there?”
      • “What steps do you need to take to make sure you have no regrets at the end of your life and career?”
      • “What aspect of your life do you most want to improve rightr now? Are you focused primarily on your career? On your relationship with your partner or spouse? On finding that lifelong reltionship? On your family On your deisre to give back to others?”
    • “Step two: Find your lifeline relationships.”
      • “Ideally, you should look for people who share the same values regarding your dreams and goals.”
      • “If you realy want to leap ahead in your professional or personal development, you probably need to widen your circle. Your friends, colleagues, and family members may love you unconditionally, but they may lack the knolwedge or experience to help you at work or in your personal life.”
      • “The office is a logical place to met new people who are potential support partners.”
      • “Don’t forget past colleagues.”
      • “Even if you graduated long ago, school connections still count for something. Why not place a call to alumni or a former classmate?”
      • “And don’t forget abotu reaching out to strangers.”, “Granted, chances are you won’t hit it off with every stranger you bump into. But one of those chance encounters might deelop into a great support partner, someone who’ll someday help you finish you rsentences, and vice versa.”
      • “Is the other person willing to speak candidly to you? Does he have the courage to tell you the truth you need to hear? Will he allow you to be candid wit him in return?”
      • “Is she able to be open and vulnerable with you? Is she understanding about your fears and struggles?”
      • “Is he ready to hold you accountable to help you achieve your goals, and overcome the behaviors that are holding you back? Will he let you do the same for him?”
      • “Is she generous in what she does for you? Is she generous enough to elt you help her?”
      • Commitment: “You need people who’ll be generous with the time it takes to work through complicated issues. At first, count on getting together–online, on the phone, or in person–at least once a month for several hours, and perferably more often.”
      • Comprehension (aka Know-how): “Your trusted advisors don’t have to be experts in your field–far from it–but it helps if they have practical knowledge that will hel you accomplish your goals. Again, on the most basic level, the members of your circle should get it–that is, understand your concerns, goals, and issues. In other words, it’s imprtant that you respect their opinions enough to want to follow their advice in the first place.”
      • “Such chemistry and curiosity are key, I believe, to your ability to gain breakthrough insight from your team. Chemistry chan be innate or it can be built, step-by-step, but that sense of conneciton is key.”
      • “Curiosity is a great quality to have in your support partners–peropel who get up to speed quickly and who can become instant experts on a subject they may have known little about before.”
      • “In his opinion, advisors are most effective when they dont’ resemble you. ‘You need to work with people who’ve been where you’ve never been, to help you learn from the mistakes that they’ve made and see opportunities differently than you do,’ says Kirk.”
      • “Don’t be afraid to try someone out for your team for a time. If that person doesn’t work out, try soeone else.”
      • “Cast a wide net, and don’t assume your job of recruiting new team members ever ends.”
      • “Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from people who are holding us back, even if we love them.”
      • “If you answer yes to most of the questions below, it’s probably a sign that it is time to move on.”
        • “Does the relationship feel unablanced? Do you ever feel taken advantage of?”
        • “Do you find that your basic values and habits are misaligned?”
        • “Have you tried to practice the Four Mind-Sets to improve your relationship repeadly, without success?”
        • “Does the other person simply nod his head instead of really listen to you?”
        • “Does the other person take your goals seriously? Does she forget to fllow through on helping you to the line?”
        • “Do you feel you would be stronger, happier, or more successful without this person in your life?”
    • “Step three: Practice the art of the long slow dinner.”
      • “‘The essence of a long slow dinner is to build trust, opens, and vulnerability,’ says Greg, ‘so that you can get the real stuff on the table, and all the agenda off the table. A long slow dinner provides an intimacy that eliminates pretension, and allows the participants to look into each other’s souls and share the truth. Only in truth can you put in place an action plan that’s going to be successful.”
      • “It is a safe environment where the Four Mind-Sets—candor, vulnerability, accountability, and generosity—come into play. You and the other person are there for each other. And nothing else matters.”
      • “That each of you recognize a need in your lives to change and achieve more”
      • “That you are interested in working together as partners to help achieve your mutual goals”
      • “That each of you is willing to put your needs on the table, for the good of the partnership”
      • “That you both recognize the benefits of such a partnership”
      • “That you are both committed to honesty, rigor, and self-reflection”
      • “That you are willing to not let each other fail”
      • “The long slow dinner is really about getting to know someone in the right environment. You don’t even have to go out to a restaurant at all—especially given that you may be meeting over time with a number of people you are thinking of as potential advisors.”
      • “Invite someone out for a cup of coffee or tea. Sometimes I’ll use the couch in the reception area of a company, since it’s typically the quietest, least used space around.”
    • “Step four: Broaden your goal-setting strategy.”, “This means setting two kinds of goals, learning goals and performance goals.”
      • “Performance goals are what most of us probably think of right now as goals. They’re the pots of gold: Landing the job. getting the promotion. Hitting the sales quota. Taking a vacation to Kenya. Getting married. Losing twenty pounds. They’re all about achieving a highly specific outcome.”
      • “Learning goals, on the other hand, emphasize acquiring new skills and knowledge to push and expand your skills and career forward.”
    • “Step five: Create your Personal Success Wheel. This is the overall game plan behind your life strategy.”
      • Categories on the wheel: spirituality, intellectual stimulation, physical wellness, financial success, professional growth, deep relationships, give back
      • “First, I assign myself big-picture goals in each category. Then I get more specific. For example, I break down my professional goals into further subcategories: team development, book publishing, training and coaching, and so on.”
      • “The next step is to create time frames. I ask myself what I need to do in three years to get closer to my life goals, and then what I need to do in one year, and finally what I need to accomplish over the next sixty days (the last of these are otherwise known to my friends as my get-off-your-butt-now goals).”
      • “I assign each goal a percentage of my time so that everyone in my circle (as well as in my organization) is aware of my priorities and can help hold me accountable. My support team helps me to ensure I allocate the right amount of days to each category.”
      • “Next, I come up with a list of people who are integral to helping me achieve my goals.”
      • “For companies, this list breaks down to many ‘constituencies,’ or groups of people: customers and prospective customers; partners; key influencers such as analysts, academics, and members of the media; and of course internal folks.”
      • “Each checkup—and it’s your call as to how often you need them, but I recommend you come together at least once a month—should address three questions: What worked? What didn’t work? What’s missing in terms of getting you back on track?”
      • goal setting pitfalls
        • mission creep: “Problem: you’re losing focus, spending too much time on pursuits that don’t advance your long-term goals. Solution: You and your team review your strategic calendar and discuss your goals and the motivations behind them as a way to to recommit.”
        • belief gap: “Problem: Failure to believe you’ll accomplish what you want is leading to a failure to act. Solution: Sharing your goals with your partners to help yo remind your vision; if you say it enough times, you’ll believe it!”
        • skill gap: “Problem: Your goals require skills that you lack, and this is delaying or making it hard for you to develop your road map. Solution: Your team can help you recognize and fill the gaps, via other resources or through additional education.”
        • third-inning slump: “Problem: Your motivation is flagging. Solution: Your buddies can offer you encouragement, support, and enthusiasm. They can remind you why you are working so hard toward your goal, and help you to recommit. Or maybe they help you take a timed break—say, a week off-to rejuvenate. But at the end of the week, they’ll come calling again!”
    • “Step six: Learn to fight! This si the necessary ingredients to spur the kind of conversations and give-and-take theat reveal new truths and crate new value.”
      • “Sparring, according to the ever-useful, ever-evolving website Wikipedia, is defined as ‘free-form fighting with enough rules, customs, and agreements to make injuries unlikely.’ The purpose of such ‘fighting’ is educational in nature—it is to enable participants to acquire new skills and new abilities. The goal is not to determine a winner.”
      • “In sparring, ‘your support partners should take you outside of your cofort zone,’ says Jim Whaley of Siemens.’Good peer support is about challenging you to find goals that you set for yourself. It’s about thought process you might not have considered. Sometimes people are going to tell yo things you don’t want to hear.That can make you defensive. But I’ve learned that when it comes to tough talk, I know in my heart that my partners are trying to do the best thing for me. If they didn’t care, then conversation wiouldn’t even even take place.”
      • ground rules
        • “The goal is for each of you to arrive at a better place and make progress, not win an argument.”
        • “The person presenting his or her goals is in charge.” … “He owns the input, the execution, and the outcomes.”
        • “the Socratic method, in which, through rigorous questioning, the people involved seek to eliminate contradictions in an argument and sharpen their thinking.” … “A hallmark of the Socratic method is that it’s a about the process; there’s seldom any one corect answer.”
        • “As soon as it leaves your mouth, the information is owned by the receiver. Both of you need o understand this. The receiver then gratefully thanks the person who gave it to her, but it’s up to her to analyze it and make the final decision.”
        • “Sparring can get heated, even aggressive, because sometimes you ned to make sure the person genuinely hears you!”, “He’ll shout and hit the desk when he thinks I’m not listening ignoring a oint, haven’t done sufficient analysis, or haven’t fully grasped the importance of an issue. His anger isn’t of the do-what-I-say variety; it’s more the listen-to-me kind. Greg cares enough to raise his voice to ensure that I stop my thinking and focus.”, “Only attempt sparring if the person who requested it can handle the give-and-take and is likely to respond well to it. You don’t want to enage in sparring with someone who’ll hut down, stop listening, and become defensive.”
        • “Active listening inovles not just listening but repeating back what the person acroos from you has just said, in an attempt to clarify any confusion as well as to confirm that you actually heard what your partner just said.”, “Pick an ongoing issue with your signifiant other or business associate. Don’t try to resolve it; just let the other person talk. Every once in a while stop the person and repeat back to her what she said. Let her correct you if you are not on target. Then switch role and repeat. Do this a couple of times over the course of a few days. What you may find is that the issue begins to resolve itself, thanks to greater emathy and understanding.”
      • “Good sparring partners consider the possibility that they’re wrong and someoen else is right.”
      • “The goal is to reach a collaborative agreement, not a compromise (which suggests someone is giving something up). But again, remember, you don’t have to accept another person’s advice. You control the process and the outcome. Try to keep your comments lighthearted–a little humor can take the edge off what otherwise might be seen as a harsh comment.”
    • “Step seven: Diagnose yoru weakness.”
      • “When people ask me what’s my metric for success,” Lena West says, “I say, ‘How much do I know about myself this year than I did last yar? What did I do to help me understand myself this year, this yearter, this month?’ I know that the more I understand myself, the more successful I become.”
      • “The goal is to begin making a positive change today, enjoy the results when you do, and get a taste for tackling more.”
    • “Step eight: Commit to improvment.”
      • “But it’s worth remembering that commitments are very different from obligations. First, they’re not imposed upon us–they’re promises we make for ourselves, to ourselves. Nor are they rigid and inflexible. At heart, what I had just committed to was to change and improve–to grow. these commitments aren’t about relinguishing control; they’re about gaining it.”
      • “a commitment is a way of reaching out to a broader community. It’s a promise you make to others–and enduring promise, with a timeline, to overcome certain challenges and to stick to it, even in the face of expected and unexpected obstacles.”
      • “one way to maintain your commitment and keep it strong is by holding a special check-in once a month with your trusted advisors. This can be a part of a regularly scheduled meeting, or it can be a simple ten-minute huddle. In a pinch, it can even be done by e-mail. restate your commitment. Give everyone a progress report.”
    • “Step nine: Fake it till you make it–then make it stick.”
      • “In fact, focusing on what you can do right now is one of the most effective way you and your trusted advisors can sustain change.”
      • “In other words, try changing your behavior with the support of others even if you aren’t ready to change your beliefs.”
      • “‘Fake it till you make it’ is one version of what is sometimes called ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’–our tendency to fullfill expectations, good or bad.”
      • practicing “fake it till you make it” in a group
        • “Commit to a small step. Pick a behavior you can get behind today.”
        • “Take action. See what behavioral hcange or the beginning of success in achieving your goal feels like.”
        • “Discuss how experiencing that success felt with your mutual support partners. Remember, it’s possible to sustain behavioral change for quite a while without changing your beliefs!”
        • “Do it again.”
        • “Once you’ve acquired the habit for such behavior, commit to another step.”
  • “Does everyone constantly nod in agreement whenever difficult issues comes up? If so, the group has probably lost sight of its purpose.”, “Mutual support simply doesn’t work if people are wary of offering construtive criticism.”
  • Running your own support group meetings
    • Reaffirm Group Vows (5 minutes): “a quick check-in on the higher-level goals and values that your group has decided to celebrate–and a reminder that meetings are always confidential, and this is a safe space in which to shre.”
    • Professional/Personal Check-Ins (3 minutes per person; 20 minutes total): “Each member chares personal and professional success and challenges since the last meeting.”
    • Spotlight (20 minutes): “A member selected at he previous meeting comes prepared, in writing to discuss an important issue. it could be a new goal, a behaioral issue, a problem at work with a variety of potential course of action, or something deeploy personal. Other members listen carefully and empathically.”
    • Sparring (30 minutes): “All members have a hcane to engage in dialogue with the memember in the spot light. Questioning should be Socratic and designed to spur deeper insights.”, “The point is not to ‘solve’ aproblem or issue, but to push the subject to think in a new and fresh ways.”
    • “I Might Suggest” (15 minutes): “Once an individual has discussed here issues and gone through the sparring round, each member offers his or her take on the situation, starting with ‘I might suggest…'”, “‘I might suggest’ comments could include offering a referral to a potential mentor or someone who can provide tactical advice or services, access to a resource, information the member think the individual should consider, and indightful story, or anything else that the member think might help a fellow member.”
    • Group Issues (10 minutes): “An ongoing discussion of team dynamics, challenges, membership, and logistical issues.”
    • Review and Setting of Commitments (3 minutes each; 20 minutes total): “All members update the group on their goal commitments form the prior week or month–however often you meet or get together.”
  • members for your support group
    • “Peers you respect and admire and wouldn’t wnat to let down.”
    • “People who will truly hold you accountable and respect the other core values.”
    • “Highly motivated people who share your level of ambition and maybe even sretch you!”
    • “Goal-oriented people–even if they haven’t yet clearly articulated all their own goals.”
    • “People with a positive, proactive attitude.”
    • “Empathetic listeners who tend to repeat what you have said in a way that makes it clear they get it.”
    • “People with diverse background, in order to get a variety of viewpoints. In a company group, try seeking out memebers in different departments–marketing and sales, or accounting and technology.”
  • “How many members should you have in your group? Well, anything less than three is not really a group–it’s really one-on-one mutual support. And more than seven or eight tend to get unwildy, especially if you’re using the Greenlight Group model.”
  • “Once you have your core group, you can start offering membership to newbies on a probationary basis. After 3 months, existing members can vote whether to accept the new member in full standing. (Voting shoudl be unanimous and transparent, since no one should be granted membership if he or she makes any other member uncomfortable.)”
  • “All members need to agree when adding new people to the group, but here’s the caveat: Everyone needs to be completely open-minded in considering who’s ‘right.'” You shoudl exercise yoru right to veto someone:
    • When the other person’s value and goals are misalighted with the group’s purpose.
    • If the other person lacks commitment or time to engage
    • If the other person has a radically different understanding of success
    • Don’t veto if the other person
      • Is annoying
      • Has horrible taste
      • Is different
      • Is someone you just don’t like”
  • Sample group promises
    • “Joyful, by discovering and fulfilling our true potential with others’ help”
    • “Authentic, grounded, and secure in who we are”
    • “Free from behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs that may have held back our growth”
    • “More willing to aspire to ever-higher level of achievement, beyond what we once thought possible”
    • “Positive in our approach and attitude, with genuine encouragement and enthuiasm for all generously shared”
    • “Forgiving, full of patience to deal with shortcomings–others and our own”
    • “More willing to trust our instincts, courageously following our inner voice, taking risks, and learning from mistakes”
    • “Connected, not just to this powerful circle of people who care, but in all the relationships that matter in our lives”
    • “United, never letting each other fail!
  • Sample pinciples
    • “Coddling is counterproductive and selfish, not generous.”
    • “Support is bout picking someone up off the floor–then tellig him how he got there.”
    • “Service to others rewards the giver as much as the receiver.”
    • “Relationshps are dynamic; as members graduate, celebrate the time you had to learn with them.”
    • “Instincts are an important aspect of your decision-making process.”
    • “Accountability starts with the individual.”
    • “Scrupulous honest is a must.”
    • “‘We’re all liers’–meaning we all have moemetns when we’re less than candid; the key is to celebrate a quick recover.”
    • “Holding others accountable is an act of generosity.”
    • “So-called failures are celebrated as opportunities to learn and grow.”
    • “Humility is a virtue.”
    • “We are all addicted to something; inners admit it and ask others for help.”
    • “Each of us has unlimited potential for growth, no matter where we start.”
    • “There are no quick fixes–we are in this for a lifetime of countinous growth.”
    • “Our ears are always open.”
    • “Encouragement and support are inseparable components of holding others accountable.”
    • “Create a safe place for taking risks.”
    • “Air grievances right away. Don’t allow resentment to fester.”
    • “Conflict–sparring–is part of the process.”
  • Sample rules of engagment
    • “Treat information as confidential. This will ensure that members feel free to share.”
    • “Be punctual. Starting on time and finishing on time show we’re respectful of one anoter’s time.”
    • “Be committed. Repeat absentees, or those who fail to uphold the core values of the group, must be asked to leave.”
    • “Be attentive. no cell phones or BlackBerries on during a meeitng; everyone is listening nad focused.”
    • “Skip the small talk. It’s fine before or after the meeting, but never during. This will ensure that meetings are productive.”
    • “No business transactions between members. Group members should not conduct business with one another, although they are welcome to share contacts and sources.”
    • “No alcohol at regular meetings.”
  • “When you pair up buddies, consider both goals and team cohesion; you want your buddy to heave the best insight possible into your goals and behaviors, but it may also be useful to pair members who know eahc other the least, to promote closer bonding between them. (If you have an uneven number of members, a group of three can work.) I strongly recommend that buddies rotate every six months.”
  • Tasks for buddy
    • “Accountability watchdog. Ask probing questions to keep the other person on track.”
    • “Cheerleader. If your partner is losing steam, remind her that you are both in it for the long haul.”
    • “Ongoing sparring partner. Your buddy provides an ongoing opportunity for individual spotlight sessions for brainstorming and problem solving.”
    • “BS detector. Help your partner fae up to any chronic behavioral issues. You’re perfectly placed to observe patterns, challenges the status quo, and make the other person accountable.”
    • “Daily or weekly support. Periodically–every morning, or every other day, or once a week–buddies should check in with each other to talk about what they need to get right in their day or week to be successful.”
  • “Durinng spotlight sessions, the group focuses its attention on one member.”
  • “Service to others offer an amazing opportunity for growth and learning. Even when the meeting is not about you well, it is about you! In the course of serving other members, you’ll learn a great deal about yourslef. When I coach clients, I often find I heard the words I need to hear about myself. You need find that the lessons you and other members impart are exatly the one you also need to hear.”
  • “When you’re the person in the spotlight, prepare beforehand a presentation on whatever challenge or issue you’re facing in writing. whenever possible, distribute it in advance.”
  • “When dealing with group conflict, remind everyone that Greenlight Groups celebrate conflict. I see conflict not as a battle, but as a tool for growth. Engage problems promptly, and work toward consensus. Remember that in Greenlight Groups, the goal is always collaboration, not compromise. Try to take away a lesson from every conflict, to reinforce the idea that conflicts are truly a good, not an evil.”
  • “When dealing with conflict one-on-one, approach the person with patience, humility, and respect. (This applies to group conflicts as well.) Remembrer, you own every member of your group the benefit of the doubt. Keep in mind that none of us is blameless. Forgive your partner before you even begin to work through the details of your conflict. it gives him the space to reover, and to apologize. Taking ego out of the equation allows partners to be their best instead of their worst.”
  • one-on-one conflict resolution
    • “Candor and transparency. Address the person you have a conflict with directly, not through a third party.”
    • “Trust your instinct. Address problems right away so they don’t fester and blow up.”
    • “Choose the relationship you have with others. If you have an issue with a member of the group, it’s your problem–at least until you bring it to the attention of that person.”
    • “De-heat the room (aka no drama). Avoid personal attacks. Focus on the behaviors that are troubleing you. For example, say, ‘I’m bothered by how often you interrupt me,’ not ‘I dislike you.’ That keeps the conversation rooted in caring, not combat.”
    • “‘I might suggest…’ Avoid ultimatums that create a winner and a looser.”
    • “Facts are powerful. Don’t just talk about your judgement and feelings. Make sure you clearly state the facts, and the change you are looking for.”
    • “Get a reality check. If there’s a disagreement about what happened, bring in another member of the group to mediate.”
    • “Keep digging. If the problem is more than just a communication issue, try to push beyond the symptoms to the root causes. Are petty annoyances and nitpicky issue the sign of something deeper? For eample, if someone is being overly negative and offending others, the core issue may be fear that the group hasn’t truly accepted him.”
  • “High-performance teams are a central driver of bottom-line sucess. meanwhile, research tells us that storng relationships drive high-performance teams. In a study published in 2007 in the Harvard Business Review, researchers statistically evaluated characteristics of fifty-five global teams at fiften firms, findign that the most successful have strong social bonds, formal initiatives to strengthen relationships, and leaders who build strong relationships with their teams. Consider also the effect of strong relationships on positive employee engahgment.”
  • “High-engagement business units were 0.87 percent to 4 percent more profitable than those units with low employee engagement. In competitive business markets a single percentage point increase in profitability is an extremely substantial achievement.”
  • “Greater employee engagment drives sales. Business units finishing in the top quarter of employee engagment averaged between $80,000 and $393,000 higher monthly sales.”
  • “High-engagement business units experienced turnover rates that were 14 percent to 51 percent lower than their lowest-quartile peers. The cost saving associated with this lower turnover likely has substantial benefits for these business units.”
  • Steps to apply at work
    • Step One: Make the Case
      •  “Whether your own team is newly formed or has worked together for years, the first step is to instill a belief in the potntial promises of teamwork and peer support. With all the data pointing to the benefits, it shouldn’t be a tough sell.”
      • “How did we do this? We asked team members to each think back to a professional relationship they had that was instrumental to their success–perhaps even with someone in that room. What made that relationship so strong? What lessons could we use from it to establish and build more like it, going forward? I want them to ‘taste’ the possibilities based on their own experience.”
    • Step Two: Raise the Sakes
      • “Ask the tema to look intot he future twelve months from today–what do they want to be able to say about the people in that room, their team? If it’s too soon for them members to see the potential of their group, start instead by defining the ideal team and what it would have as its behavioral attributes. What outcomes would such a team achieve? What behaviors are necessary for the team and the individuals whithin it to be successful?”
      • Examples:
        • “Vulnerability: Friendship, soaical bonding, vulnerability, fun”
        • “Candor: Transparency, self-awareness, trust”
        • “Accountability: Honesty, propensity for action”
        • “Generosity: Mutual support, teamwork, collaboration, joy, leadership as a service to others, assuming best intentions.”
      • “For sustainability reasons, you can assign someone to monitor them at each meeting–just as we recommended having a Yoda in your Greenlight Groups.”
    • Step Three: Bond Over the Barbarians at the Gate
      • Factor for bonding: “One of the most important factors is hving a common enemy or threat.”
      • “What I am saying is that business is tough, and we are constantly fighting to achieve success against other organizations and in the face of sweeping industry changes. We’ve all seen our colleagues aim their competitive fire inward toward peers. That same energy needs to be reforcused outward. Clarify the external challenges for your people, and you’ll be able to more quickly bring the team together, change its mandate, or rally the troops around a new leader.”
    • Step Four: Dial Up the Intimacy
      • “We need to build up to the hard stuff, first by sharing passions, goals, and dreams, then moving on to the more vulnerable exhanges around pst struggles. Only later could we tackle present-day worries and fears. The key quesiton we asked–and that you can pose to your own team–was this: What struggle from your past has most influnced who you are today?”
    • Step Five: Dig Deeper in the Now
      • “You can do this on your own team by help members identify and share a behavior that holds each of them back from being better colleague and a stronger leader.”
      • “Business leades often need to take actions athat re disruptive. We began to see how intimacy helps break downt he politics surrounding those decisions, and also allows you to call people out for political behavior or grandstanding. Calling people out is really uncomfortable at first, but it’s what makes the difference in an effective team.”
      • “In the early stage of candor, the facilitator might need to act as the Yoda, speaking up when people are acting outside of the group’s promises and principles. Eventually, assigning this taks to different members of the team is a great way to get people in the habit of calling people out respectfully but honestly.”
    • Step Six: Getting Candid
      • “What’s needed is a safety net–the emotional security of knowing that speaking our mind won’t sever or destroy a relationship, the knowledge that straight talk wont’ hurt our career.”
      • “We started with an exercise where team members shared what they admired about each other, and what each colleague needed to hear to be more successful. The intent was to give the team a taste of candor–a big one–right there in the room. The rules were that the recipient of the feedback could say only “Thanks” or “Tell me more”– and the provider had to speak from a caring place. The rest of the team was free to query either side if they thought someone was violating the process.”
  • Performance reivews
    • “What am I doing that you would like me to stop doing? And What am I not doing that you would like me to start doing?”
    • “In the Ferrazzi Greenlight turbo-charged ersion, the 360 is carried out in steps, over time and in the open. Yep, all together, in a big room. Of course, this only works in the safe environment we’ve managed to cultivate at our own company. With new groups that are still on the road to embracing candor, I would suggest you start small, with incremental steps–collect comments by a third party, then gradually introduce transparency as employees begin to feel more comfortable givinga nd receiving open, constructive criticism. Eventually the group’s goal is to work up to total real-time feedback, 24/7, which the best interest of the receiver driving the conversation at all times.”
    • “When sparring over behaiors, it’s more important than ever that the target of that criticism be in charge. you’re the boss of any advice given to you! As I wrote earlier, it’s up to you whether or not you accept it or reject it. However, in order to maintain that safe place for your partner, it’s important that you respect his input. It’s not okay to dismiss his comments as uninformed or erroneous. Doing so will destroy your bond of trust and candor, and ensure that you’ll never get that kind valuable feedback again.”
    • “You can, however, probe more deeply with questions such as ‘What have you seen me do that leads you to say that?’ or ‘Can you explain that in more detail?'”
  • “Teamwork is not permitting others to fail.”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s