Your happiness and your success depend on your working relationships
The people you manage. How well you work with your boss. The way collaboration happens with colleagues and peers. How you connect with important prospects and key clients.
But the hard truth is this: most of us leave the health and fate of these relationships to chance.
We say “Hi,” exchange pleasantries … and hope for the best.
But every relationship becomes suboptimal at some point, whether it’s a good one that goes off the rails or one that was poor from the start.
Mostly we are resigned to the fact that this is what happens: relationships always get a little broken, or a little stale, or a little worse. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre. Carry on.
But it doesn’t have to be like this.
Every working relationship can be better.
This book shows you how to build the best possible relationship.
One conversation. Five questions. Detailed guidance on how to prepare and set the relationship up for success. Key insights on how to maintain the relationship so that it will continue to thrive.
In this slight program, business consultant Stanier (How to Begin) opines on how to build strong professional relationships with coworkers, bosses, direct reports, or clients. His approach rests on having one-on-one "keystone conversations" in which individuals discuss five questions regarding their strengths and work habits, what they've learned from previous professional relationships, and how to repair their relationship if it turns sour. The details of how to have this conversation are questionable. The scripts Stanier provides are awkwardly worded (he encourages readers to discuss an interlocutor's talents by asking, "What's your best?"), and while the in-depth talks he advocates for might be appropriate for a supervisor and direct report, their utility in a provider/client relationship is dubious. Additionally, the numerous personal anecdotes about Stanier riding the bus with his wife and playing Dungeons and Dragons as a teenager do little to shine light on how the advice plays out in the workplace. There are a few useful nuggets peppered throughout, including the suggestion that readers "let go of ‘being right' " when clearing the air in a difficult relationship and restating at the end of a conversation what one learned, which he suggests helps one remember the information. However, these tidbits don't make up for the overall lackluster guidance. This misses the mark.