On this On Purpose episode, Jay Shetty welcomed the author Daniel Coyle, known for his groundbreaking book, The Culture Code.

Together, they explore the essence of culture and its impact on our lives.

Jay Shetty sets the stage by emphasizing the crucial role of culture in our well-being, both personally and professionally. Coyle's book has earned accolades as the Best Business Book of the Year, making it an essential read for anyone seeking to foster strong connections, effective communication, and impactful feedback.

Defining Culture

Daniel Coyle offers a fresh perspective that challenges the traditional notion of culture as an abstract concept. Instead, he presents culture as a set of living relationships moving toward a shared goal—an image reminiscent of a flock of birds navigating the sky together. This powerful analogy emphasizes the interconnectedness and collective movement within a culture.

Coyle told Jay Shetty that we must recognize the foundation of three fundamental behaviors to understand the culture truly.

  1. Firstly, connection—individuals within a group must forge strong bonds, openly sharing information and fostering awareness of one another.
  2. Secondly, transparency—an environment of open communication and authenticity must enable vulnerability and trust to thrive.
  3. Lastly, a clear sense of purpose must be established—a collective direction that guides the group toward its goals.

Culture, therefore, becomes a tangible entity shaped by these behaviors rather than an elusive concept. Jay Shetty acknowledges that these remarkable moments are not merely coincidences but are rooted in deliberate actions and behaviors. By embracing the power of these behaviors, individuals gain greater control over their relationships, leading to more fulfilling and purposeful connections.

Everyone Has Different Intentions

Daniel Coyle shares with Jay Shetty the challenges of forming a culture when individuals within a group hold diverse intentions and goals. He emphasizes that the foundation of everything lies in safety because it revolves around the freedom to express one's voice. Individuals can share their motivations, aspirations, and concerns in an environment that encourages open dialogue.

Coyle introduces the concept of "flight meetings," a practice employed by a renowned design company, where diverse team members come together for pre-flight, mid-flight, and post-flight meetings. These meetings serve as platforms for individuals to express their desires, discover common ground, and collectively define their shared Northstar—the guiding purpose that unites them. This intentional pause allows the group to align their intentions and goals, forging a cohesive path forward.

Jay Shetty further emphasizes the importance of awareness and pauses, drawing parallels to his teachings on mindfulness. Just as individuals benefit from introspection, groups must also cultivate a collective awareness by intentionally pausing, reflecting, and clarifying their intentions and shared purpose. Through intentional dialogue and shared understanding, groups can transcend individual differences and nurture a culture that honors the diversity within its ranks.

Overcoming Workplace Fears

Jay Shetty and Daniel Coyle delve into the common fears people experience when starting a new job and progressing in the workplace. Coyle highlights reputational risk and the fear of looking incompetent as a prevalent concern. However, he introduces a fascinating perspective by sharing an anecdote about his encounter with a Navy SEAL named Dave Cooper.

Despite not being the most exceptional in physical abilities, Dave Cooper excels in creating high-trust teams. He reveals a powerful insight—that the four most important words a leader can utter are "I screwed that up." This vulnerability, even within a seemingly invincible group like the Navy SEALs, shows the importance of sharing weaknesses and fallibility.

By embracing vulnerability, individuals in positions of power create a safe environment where team members, particularly newcomers, feel comfortable being open and transparent. Such a culture fosters mutual growth, feedback, and support.

Daniel Coyle emphasizes the significance of critical moments in group formation. These moments include the initial minutes of being together, the first disagreement, and the first learning experience. Successful groups skillfully navigate these critical junctures, nurturing a culture where safety, open dispute, and learning are normalized. Pausing becomes a vital practice for teams to reflect, connect, and strengthen their bonds amidst the action-driven nature of modern work environments.

"Teach Me How to Treat You"

Jay Shetty introduces a concept he recently implemented within his team called "Teach Me How to Treat You." It involves team members openly expressing how they would like to be treated in different situations. By initiating this dialogue, individuals take responsibility for communicating their preferences, allowing others to understand and respect their needs.

Daniel Coyle acknowledges the power of creating moments of reflection where individuals identify their preferred ways of operating and communicating. By fostering this open dialogue, teams can better navigate and connect, especially during significant change.

Staying connected while embracing change is an especially relevant challenge in today's hybrid work environments. It is essential to pause, reflect, and reshape oneself as a group, similar to a flock of birds adapting to their flight pattern.

Finding Strength in Challenging Workspaces

Jay Shetty raises a concern voiced by many—working in toxic environments that drain their energy and enthusiasm. He acknowledges the struggles of individuals who may dread going to work or feel overwhelmed by negative interactions, even in virtual settings. In response, Daniel Coyle advises that leaving might be the best action if a workplace is toxic.

However, Coyle suggests mapping the relationships at work, noting the strength and security of each connection. By nurturing and growing those relationships, individuals can create pockets of positivity and support within a challenging environment. He also encourages seeking opportunities for learning and growth within the workplace, even in small and meaningful ways.

As a practical solution, Coyle shares the concept of "flash mentoring." Instead of pursuing a traditional long-term mentorship, individuals can engage in shorter interactions with colleagues they admire. These flash mentorships, centered around learning, provide valuable insights and guidance, even in toxic work environments. By breaking mentorship into smaller, actionable steps, individuals can leverage their learnings effectively and create opportunities for further mentorship.

Daniel Coyle expands on experimenting by explaining its relevance to cultural transformation. He emphasizes the need to differentiate between complicated and complex things. While difficult tasks have a defined process, complex endeavors like building workplace culture require constant probing and experimentation.

Coyle highlights the importance of paying attention to the outcomes of these experiments, amplifying the positive aspects, and ignoring the negative ones. Teams can shape a thriving and adaptive work environment by treating culture as an ongoing conversation and experimenting with different approaches.

Redefining Superstars in the Workplace

Coyle explains that even in fields where exceptional performers exist, their reputation often exceeds their actual impact. He cites studies on star surgeons and financial traders, revealing that their performance declined when removed from their support systems.1

Jay Shetty reflects on his experience in the workplace, noting that some leaders excel at championing young talent. In contrast, others may be intimidated or condescending towards them. Coyle emphasizes the importance of balancing the strengths of exceptionally high performers with the entire team's needs. He suggests that effective leadership fosters an inclusive environment where individuals can fulfill their potential while supporting and uplifting their colleagues.

Therefore, Coyle advocates illuminating the collaborative support network that enables superstars to excel. Rather than solely celebrating individual achievements, organizations should focus on acknowledging the contributions of every team member. By fostering a culture that values and nurtures potential, organizations can retain talent and create an environment where everyone can thrive.

Deepening Relationships

Coyle shares with Jay Shetty a powerful example from his consulting work with the Cleveland Guardians baseball team, where offboarding is approached as an opportunity to deepen relationships. When an assistant coach secures a head coach position at another group, the front office rallies around them, offering support, guidance, and encouragement.

Coyle believes that this approach is not only morally good but also strategically wise. By nurturing departing team members, organizations maintain lasting relationships and create a positive reputation within the industry. Coyle asserts, "There's a certain point where being a morally good and smart crossover are actually the same thing." Organizations can cultivate a supportive network that extends beyond individual roles and fosters enduring connections by adopting this enlightened approach to offboarding.

Understanding Decisions and Cultivating Humility

Jay Shetty and Daniel Coyle explore the significance of understanding people's decision-making processes and the value of humility. Jay emphasizes that learning why people make certain decisions provides more profound insights than simply focusing on the decisions themselves. He highlights how often we create stories about why someone chose a particular path, only to discover that they have considered more factors than we initially assumed.

This realization humbles us and reminds us of the importance of approaching situations with humility. Jay Shetty believes that this modest perspective enables us to appreciate others' perspectives and learn from them. Coyle echoes these sentiments, emphasizing the power of humility in fostering effective relationships and communication.

Balancing Multiple Roles

Jay Shetty shares his challenge of balancing multiple roles as a host, author, coach, CEO, and leader. He struggles to divide his time between creative tasks and leading his team, as both aspects are crucial to his work.

Daniel Coyle suggests the importance of finding a partner with complementary interests and domains of expertise. He also advises biased prioritization toward investing in people over focusing solely on productivity. Moreover, he references General Mattis's approach, where he spent most of his time coaching his leaders, recognizing the value of creating clarity and connection within the team.

Coyle highlights the voluntary nature of virtual interactions and the need to cultivate a sense of togetherness intentionally. He suggests engaging in activities such as playing music, eating on camera, or guessing games to foster a shared space that focuses on individuals rather than work-related tasks. Coyle acknowledges the limitations of virtual relationships and stresses the importance of in-person gatherings to deepen connections and promote true collaboration.

Trust, Banter, and Building Relationships

Jay Shetty and Coyle acknowledge today's culture's changing sensitivities and boundaries and discuss the challenges of building a banter culture within organizations. Coyle suggests that trust forms the foundation for banter, and vulnerability is crucial in establishing trust. He emphasizes the power of shared experiences and stories, as they offer opportunities for genuine connections beyond surface-level interactions.

Jay Shetty inspires the listeners to reflect on the importance of creating trust through shared activities and conversations and the potential for banter to foster deeper relationships when built on a foundation of trust. Moreover, The Culture Code and The Culture Playbook are excellent resources for enhancing group dynamics and achieving organizational success.

More From Jay Shetty

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “Daniel Coyle ON 3 Crucial Methods to Increase Work Productivity & How to Unlock Individual Success Through Collaboration” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.

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