Senior Lecturer at Stanford GSB
Nuggets from the
Markers of an "exceptional" relationship
David shares 6 markers of what he calls as “Exceptional Relationship”. 1) You can be more fully yourself and so can the other person. 2) Both of you are willing to be vulnerable 3) You trust that self-disclosures will not be used against you 4) You can be honest with each other 5) You deal with conflict productively 6) Both of you are committed to each other’s growth and development.
Healthy feedback - not crossing the net
David speaks about how there are three realities in any conversation between A and B. 1) A’s intent 2) A’s behaviour 3) Impact of A’s behaviour on B. A can see 1 and 2 and B can see 2 and 3. The challenge often happens when A makes up a story about 3 or B makes up a story about 1. David likens this to how we play tennis and urges us to stay on the same side of the net (2 being the metaphorical net in this case).
Idea to behavioural change
David speaks about why it is often so hard for us to stay on the same side of the net. He links that to our tendency to go for the simple plausible story and build misplaced conviction around it.
Building an emotional vocabulary
David speaks about how critical it is for us to tune into what we are feeling at various points in the day. Not just for the surges in emotions but the mild emotions that are often humming in us through our day that we may not be present to.
Deepening the trust in a relationship
David speaks about how he starts with a trusting posture in a relationship and how that could help us build a positive spiral of mutual trust and enhanced disclosure in a relationship. He also speaks about the nuance in the language he uses when he raises issues if there are any hiccups along the way.
Nuances in giving good feedback
David speaks about the limitations of the feedback sandwich where the detailed negative feedback is often sandwiched between cursory positive feedback. He speaks about a better way of delivering direct feedback with empathy.
Leaning into the messiness to move forward
David speaks about how we can quick get embroiled in a conflict situation and we need to wade past the swamp to move to a better place. Running away from it rarely yields meaningful outcomes.
Repair and restoration of relationships
David speaks about how at least one of the individuals needs to take responsibility to drive the repair and restoration and rejuvenation of the relationship.
Personality vs Behaviour - Understanding change
David speaks about personality (which is often hard-wired) and behaviour (often in the realm of growth and change). He speaks about how we cannot use our personality as an excuse for our behaviour.
Helping kids learn interpersonal skills
David speaks about the few things we need to bear in mind as we help build the Interpersonal muscle with the kids. He underscores a couple of themes. Firstly, he suggests that we should avoid labeling a child. Instead, he suggests that we should provide feedback on a certain element of behavior. Secondly, he urges us to legitimize the feeling of a child rather than brushing it aside with a positive pep talk.
Displaying the right kind of vulnerability
David speaks about how it is important to signal the right kind of vulnerability when we work with others. He makes the distinction between vulnerability that could get people to question our competence versus vulnerability that shows others that we are human.