Marcel Schwantes and Morag Barrett, co-author of You, Me, We: Why We All Need a Friend at Work (and How to Show Up as One!), get into the research behind the book! Marcel gathers the author’s insights to reveal the five practices of an Ally Mindset that lead to high-performance teams. It all comes down to nurturing meaningful connections and first, being a friend!
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“In You, Me, We, what we’re doing is empowering all of us to go first. Instead of asking, “Do I have a best friend at work?” ask the question, “Am I a friend at work?” [14:55] Morag talks about her reframing of the Gallup question, “Do you have a best friend at work?” and puts the emphasis on the individual to ensure friendship at work by BEING a friend.
“Being a friend at work does not mean I want to take you home to meet my mother. It means that for this project in this organization, we can work respectfully together to achieve the same result that ultimately means success for all.” [19:19] A lot of people might be turned off by the term “best friend” at work, but it doesn’t have to mean anything outside of work. If your work friendship bleeds into your outside friendship, great, but if not, that’s okay too.
“When you leave the room or announce you’re moving on to pastures new, is there a collective sigh of relief from your team or a sigh of, I’m gonna miss you?” [22:53] Marcel asks Morag about what an ally is or how one can be a best friend at work. Morag talks about the two parts of knowing if people consider you an ally at work.
“Give to help make other people better.” [29:59] The first practice of the Ally Mindset is abundance and generosity. How can we give in a way that fits in our priorities to enable you and others to be the best? What’s a great way for a leader to give? Mentorship – just like Marcel’s old boss Bruce.
“Being able to ask for help, being able to give help and accept it…that only comes when we have human connection.” [34:50] The second practice of the Ally Mindset is Connection and Compassion, in the ebb and flow of colleague needs and struggles, how are you easing their load? Knowing your co-workers’ stories and their backgrounds helps you connect to them on a deeper level and not only helps you see their strengths and assets to be used as a team but also the areas in which you can step up and help them.
“What have we agreed to do? How are you moving forward? And taking personal accountability?” [40:55] The last practice of the Ally Mindset is Action and Accountability. The previous ideas are easy to talk about, but putting them into action consistently is where the work comes in. Morag elaborates on this practice as a way to keep accountability sans the dreaded passive aggression.
“I’ve learned that bringing my human to work, letting that mask fall down, is the differentiator.” [42:38] How do we lead with practical, actionable, and professional love in the workplace as leaders? Morag presents a challenge to the listeners to LOOK UP, SHOW UP and STEP UP one day, one conversation at a time.
“We have to come to the table. We have to begin to listen to each other. We have to at least be present with one another to understand someone else’s perspective and show up with our empathy.” [45:35] Marcel echoes Morag’s final thoughts about the divisiveness, not just in the workplace, but also in the world.
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