080 – Why you hate your co-workers with Jason Treu

The secret to real team building

How healthy are the relationships at your office?  The stats on this are scary, ugly and worrying. We are really bad at developing relationships at work despite being the place we spend almost a third of our life.  It’s hurting productivity and it’s hurting the bottom line. But worst of all it’s hurting us. Especially our mental health. It’s a terrible state of affairs.  We are so bad at developing healthy workplace relationships that it is making us disengaged and bad at our jobs.

The good news is that it’s not that hard to fix and doing so won’t cost a cent.  Creating psychological safety at work is a passion for my guest this week. Jason Treu is an Executive Coach who has made it his mission to solve this workplace crisis.  He’s the author of the book Social Wealth and the creator of the team building game Cards Against Mundanity.

Lessons Learned

Disengaged workers cost money

The statistics about disengaged workers are startling.  70% of American workers describe themselves are disengaged.  The cost to American business is on the order of $550 billion.  Most people who quit their job do so because of their boss. Innovation in the economy is at an all time low.  86% of executives say collaboration isn’t working. The problem is at an epidemic proportion and very few businesses are doing anything about it.    

Cliques are the enemy

There’s a real danger of cliques developing in every office.  A small group of high energy players can come across as ‘exclusive’ to those who are less socially confident.  There is a unique dynamic at work. We know that having friends is important for workplace engagement. But we’re asking people to be friends with people who might not ever have met in their personal lives.  But each worker needs to understand that the only way for you to succeed is for your co-workers to succeed.

Really get to know your co-workers

People tend to know very little about their co-workers.  But there is tons of research that reveals that more psychologically safe a person feels the better they perform.  In 1997 a team of researchers developed a series of questions for strangers to ask one another. They were questions like “What kind of superpower would you like?” and “What makes you feel alive?”.  Then the group was asked how close they felt to each person in the room. Many answered that they felt closer to these people than anyone else in their life.  The experiment reveals how important empathy is in human relationships.  Jason has replicated those questions in his own card game he calls Cards Against Mundanity.  

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