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Building Relations in Modern Business with Nuno Branco

Radek Czahajda & Valueships

Building Relations in Modern Business with Nuno Branco

Executive summary:

In this episode of Science of Business, I will be talking with Nuno Branco, trainer and consultant from sunny Cadizfornia. Nuno is an advocate of Relationships First attitude and has recently finished a book on his lessons for modern communication that I was lucky to get a glimpse of before it's published.

We will be discussing different research pieces in the field of workplace relations and the ways they apply in modern business contexts. Some topics we will cover include:

➡ How are relationships built in business today?

➡ How could we connect better with our peers?

➡ How to be a leader who builds relations with their team?

If you're interested to know some proven concepts in the field of workplace relations and methods to apply them, this episode is for you.


Radek: Welcome to science of business podcast by Valueships. My name is Radek and together with experts from various industries, we discuss new research pieces and their application in business life. If you're a manager or you want to be up to date with science that can be applied in your work, this podcast is made for you. Welcome everyone to science for business podcast and today, we have Nuno Branco with us, a trainer consultant and an author of a book that is not even finished but I was very lucky to already read it and we will discuss it a bit, the book that doesn't even have a title yet, right?

Nuno Branco: That's right. I mean, it's got a working title, you know, which I’m changing pretty much on a daily basis, you know, but yeah, the latest one is something like, you know, projects and relationships, 29 ways we can do them better. The do better part is largely inspired by a friend of mine called Radek, who was very good feedback. 

Radek: I read it and for me, it is a certain manifesto of how we should work, how we should treat people in our workplace and just before the show, we were discussing, you disagreed with me but I think this is the very same way as the piece by Jordan Peterson. So, he proposed 12 rules to live by and for me, what you proposed are really deep level messages on how we should twist, how we should break some weird things that we build around our workplace that are not really healthy for anyone that are stressing us out and are bringing us farther from each other in those relations. So, keep on disagreeing with me but I think this has a huge potential to make a difference and I wanted to ask you, like where is it coming from? How did you come up with writing those?

Nuno Branco: I mean, you're very kind saying those things. I will disagree in a bit again but I just want to say, you know, I think the main, what made me kind of what prompted me to do this is to just challenge a little bit, this tradition, that is deeply ingrained in all of us in our society that business is business and that it's apart from everything else and that yes, we can have, you know, ethical lies, we can be good people to our family and to our friends and, you know, but then when it comes to business, we have a little bit more leeway morally speaking, we can kind of manipulate things a little bit more because it's business after all. So, we use business as a pretext, as a kind of a justification, you know, to do things that are not really right and we know now are not conducive to the best possible interactions that you can have and to the best business that you can have. They're just simply not good practice, many of those things. It's all the more difficult because we cannot even see, we're not even conscious that we're doing certain things with each other, that we're sussing each other out that we're like trying to think, okay how can we get the deal, how can I get him to buy or how can I get her to have a certain reaction and, you know, and we can't see it because, you know, most of the trainings out there on negotiation on communication are about tactics, you know, how to get them to say yes, how to go past know, how to do this, how to do that, which is fine by the way, I mean there's a lot to learn there as well but I just think that it's time that we move on to the next stage of all of that which is, you know, what I think is a kind of quite radical idea even if it sounds a little, I don't know, it could sound a little cliché but I think it's a very profound radical idea that essentially, we're on the planet to connect with each other to kind of to love each other and to learn to live together and work for the greater good. I mean, this is a spiritually old mission or norm, let's say, something that we do know deep down but we have chosen through business and certain initiatives to disconnect from that truth and that's very confusing, very stressing using and just kind of get us started on the wrong foot, you know, regarding the comparison with Jordan Peterson, which, thank you very much but there's, I really don't see it but simply because, you know, we're you're talking about a very experienced scholar, who has put his work out there in a very brilliant way, as I said before, I don't always agree with him sometimes I think some of the messages are a little bit repressive but I find that on the whole, he is someone who takes risks and I very much appreciate that, and really makes you think and well, and he attempts that all of us get our lives in order. So, I also appreciate that as well. So, thanks anyway. 

Radek: Yeah. I’d say your work and your ideas really made me think and I believe that it will also make our listeners think a little bit about how we build relations and maybe we can go into that actually. So, I have two research papers for you today to discuss with you, quite fresh ones, one from 2018, the other from 2019. And the first one is about the new era of workplace relationships and about something called social exchange theory and just to give a little bit of context back until 2018, back until this paper, social exchange theory is a definition of how workplace relations work. So, we basically exchange, we exchange our moods, emotions, what we need in the workplace, what you said okay I want to get this from my client and I will offer something else but then the outers claim that right now, the workplace and the work market, the job market is so wild in a way, so ambiguous, so diverse that basically it's not that simple anymore and it's not always about a calculation, what's worth, what's  not worth investing my time but in many ways, you need to first build those relations because otherwise, just a fun fact from this research is that people who freelance are not that willing to help others in their team, you know, like just by the type of contract you have in the very same team, you're also reluctant to help people and from this, I wanted to hear from you, if you could maybe elaborate more about how do you see the relations in workplace nowadays? 

Nuno Branco: Okay. Well, it's so interesting that you say that, you know, freelancers, for example or, you know, people who are working remotely as that research demonstrates right that they're not that willing to share what they know, which they feel that they have worked very hard for, they're not that willing to share with others but, you know, why is that right? If we go to the root of that, there's a wound there, you know, the wound is, you know, we think that there's not enough for everybody, we think there's a lot, there's so much competition out there and that we have to hold on to what we've got which we work very hard to either obtain or study or learn or whatever and, you know, people in these types of circles, they talk about, you know, having your own expertise, your specialty, something that only you can deliver. Therefore, you know, you shouldn't share it that openly with others. For me, obviously that's not the right approach because that's a wounded, that comes from a wound. So, it's a reactive kind of approach, right? And it doesn't happen to abundance because it assumes that the world is an unfriendly place rather than a friendly place. Hence, everything that you will, well, that you will find will sort of reflect that assumption that you make, right? Because the moment I think of, I don't know a red apple, I will see red apples a lot more easily or the moment I think of a jeep, I will see jeeps, you know, so that's what my mind will then show me because it wants to work with me, kind of thing. So, I would say that, you know, I think it was albert Einstein who said that you have to make a decision which is, decide if the world is a friendly place or the universe, if the universe is a friendly place or an unfriendly place and then let you live your life accordingly. And I think all of us want to think, we would love to think that the world is indeed a friendly place. So, there is enough for everybody, yeah. 

Radek: Quite a pleasant mindset change, if we let go of our fears and I have a very nice recent story about that is that I shared with you earlier, I’m working on a conference for human resources and basically, this project is ridiculous from the point of view of what I gained from that of, you know, why I’m doing that. I’m just doing that because that's a great thing to do and then I’m investing a lot of time to make that happen and I’m very honest and transparent with everyone that joins and then I realized and that's, you know, I’m not the strategic in deciding what I invest my time and I just like, I think like wow that's so awesome, let's do that. And then surprisingly, people help, people offer some unrelated proposals how we could do something else together because they got inspired that we can, you know, you can do something and I, you know, I had zero those plans and people ask me like, hey, what do you get from that, like why are you investing this much time? Why this conference is free, like hey, you could like make a lot of money out of it? And yeah, but if I did that, this wouldn't be then the biggest conference in Poland if it was paid for, right? Like now, it's easier to make the biggest and yet with the best speakers all together in the very same time and surprisingly, I get some stuff. I just didn't really focus on that. I focus on something else, on doing something nice with people and working with them. And I think like it's for me, it was a revelation in a way when I realized if you just do things, if you do things with love, with joy, things come around and you don't have to really plan them upfront because I believe if I planned, okay, I do this because I want to have five partners out of this conference, probably this goal would complicate, actually, you know, even would make it harder to achieve it to some extent or to achieve other goals which were important, right?

Nuno Branco: I just want to jump in because, you know, I was listening to you and I was thinking, you know, he's just describing the story of my life, you know, precisely that, you know, getting myself into projects that would apparently have no reward, whatsoever, no real sort of reason for me to do them but that's the thing, you know. There is one thing that is the key factor here, which is trust, right? You know, you don't know why. We don't know why you're going to do it but you just trust. There's something, there's a voice in you. And it feels good to do it feels right in your stomach and in your heart kind of thing, right? I think your cat agrees with me. And, you know, the same, for example, when you're, you know, people are very much, you know, when they're applying for jobs, for example, they're very focused on their CV and all that kind of stuff but many times, what I have and you've mentioned human resources so instantly I thought of that, you know, more and more times, more and more frequently I see this happening, you know, that people within a human resources context, they're like sort of selecting the candidates and they go like, you know what? I don't know why, he's not the best candidate, not the best one on paper but there's just something about them and I think I’m going to go for them. So, ultimately, things either sort of interact and speak to you for whatever reason or not and all of that stuff is deeper and it's more meaningful and strategy and tactics and thinking that we have to come up with the best solution or whatever that only gets in the way kind of thing. And yes, and in my text, I also talk about that, you know, we don't need to strategize that much. I’m not saying don't strategize at all but we don't need to rely exclusively on that because that will interfere with what would be then a much more natural process that would unfold and I think more and more, you know, people are talking about this, people are talking about flow, getting into states of flow, co-creation, you know, soft skills, emotional intelligence, all of this is about developing, let's say, magnetic qualities rather than the usual electrical charge qualities, you know, as in like we're going to make it happen, we're going to, you know, do whatever needs to be done, work very hard for something, that's not the zeitgeist, I think of our times right now. Yes, that's fine, you know, we've developed a lot of technology with that, you know, having an aim, having an objective, working hard for something, that kind of thing, subject-object relationship but I think now the times are a little different, you know, they are beckoning for us to co-create to do things together and to kind of feel each other a little bit more. So, it's a much more intuitive process. It's about realizing that that intuition that we all have, it's not a special skill by the way. We all have it, we can just choose to connect with it or disconnect from it, but yeah. So, clearly, you were following your intuition by getting into that conference, all those things. So, I applaud you for that. Great. 

Radek: And just before we move on, I have another paper on servant leadership that I wanted to discuss with you more formally but there is something I really loved in your book. One of the lessons, which was to build a common legacy rather than your own and I wanted to hear out from you and maybe to inspire our listeners on that, like how do you perceive building a common legacy? What do you mean by that?

Nuno Branco: That's a good question. And at this moment, right now, I actually don't remember what I wrote in that chapter but for me, the idea and I’m sure it will relate to that. So, because the idea for me is clear, you know, how can I say? I used to think, I still do, I used to think that it was very noble, you know, to think, okay what am I going to leave behind? Am I going to leave the world in a better place before I was here, you know, what have I contributed? But I do think there's a big difference between doing that because you kind of want to live forever and you want something to live in your place, in your name when you're not here anymore, something that people will remember you by, right? There's a difference between that which is not wrong but it is what it is, it's human. Okay? There's a difference between that and thinking, you know, what are we going to live to leave behind, not because of your name but, you know, just kind of what kind of world are we going to live, you know, to our children? Not our own necessarily but everyone is, you know, like the next, the future generations, basically. And that takes a common effort, that takes a common goal, a common decision, conscious or unconscious but the more conscious, the better, you know. And realizing that all kids are your kids, you know, not just your own kids but kids on the other side of the world, they're your kids too. And so, I’m not necessarily saying oh, you know, we have to be dramatic and climate change and all that stuff, I mean, I would never tell other people what to be, what their legacy should be about, right, because that's up to them and they will know but I know that for me personally, I’m definitely interested in thinking a little bit more collectively and I mean, and that starts like right now with certain decisions that I make in my own life that I think, you know what? Maybe this is what I wouldn't, it's not what I necessarily want to do or that I feel it would be, you know, serves me the best but I’m going to choose to sacrifice that aspect of me that is only thinking about myself for the greater good if I think that that's justifiable and I think it's about, it's just having a sense of nobility, you know, and to noble up. I love that expression to noble up, to become more noble and I think we have no choice at the moment. 

Radek: And does letting go of your own desire to achieve into the achievement itself or for the community, for the group, for the team you're working in, it reminds me there was a paper, I just can't recall now on leadership, which claim that, you know, a good leader is always thinking about the team and the team achievement is their own and that's how they fulfill themselves because their team fulfilled themselves and then yesterday, I was watching Dune for the first time and just, I loved it a lot but also there was a quotation on leadership about leaders. Do not seek for that. The great leaders, they just are, you know, they are up to the challenge when they're needed. It's not that you are there for leadership but you are there when the challenge appears and, you know, you can help people achieve that and you can serve them in a way.

Nuno Branco: Absolutely. And, you know, and I just want to say this that when I said, well, a certain measure of sacrifice, you're not sacrificing really anything that would be truly beneficial. You're sacrificing something that ultimately doesn't matter. It's not ultimately true because the thing is here, all we have to sort of think is what's more fun? What gives us more joy, you know? And we are wired for this. We know that when we do something for others, you know, when we behave altruistically, when we decide to be generous, that's when we feel the highest possible joy, right? So, you know, the celebration of oneself, great, I mean of course I can feel proud for certain, you know, certain actions but it's just not the highest joy. It's way more fun to contribute to the whole kind of thing, you know. When you're serving and I, you know, talking about servant leadership, which is a great model, I mean it's tapping into, I don't want to bring the g word, the god word, you know, but god spirituality, the universe, it doesn't matter, love, whatever name you want to give it, right? When you step into service, that's when you connect with that, you know, with that power greater than you, if you just kind of disconnect from that, right? And it's not a special power as such because not, you know, we all have it kind of thing but, you know, for me, so it's not even about believing in that but it's about believing in each other and that is ultimately I think the great divine experience. 

Radek: Yeah. In his latest approach to hierarchy of needs, Maslow has put transcendence in the top, exactly this feeling when we help others, self-actualize to achieve better and you let go of yourself, you are altruistic in this matter. And actually, the paper I wanted to talk with you about on servant leadership is tapping into spirituality at workplace. So, the authors made a critical review and published an international journal on leadership and what they propose is that in a way, servant leadership is building this spirituality in workplace, you want it or not but basically, you bring trust, you bring honesty, you bring acceptance and this, you know, this kind of commune feeling inside your team. So, that's a great starter for this paper but what I specifically want to talk with you about is that in this review, and I recommend it to all the all the listeners because it's quite pragmatic in showing how leadership works in this servant leadership model but they listed six characteristics of it and I wanted to briefly discuss with you each of them and how we can actually leave to them because I know you're not that up to processes and into making concrete tactics but in general, how do you think we can understand it and try to live by? So, the very first is value for people, one of those six and how do you think we can use that for our team to actually lead them in a more relationship-based way?

Nuno Branco: Okay. I mean, I will just say that there is, I think a major, I’m going to call it characteristic or let's say, yeah, I’m going to go with that, underlying all of those things, which is, it's easy to love people, value people, develop a culture of trust, all of those things if people behave the way you would love them to behave, the way you think that is the right way to behave. It's when they don't, that's when the challenge, the real challenge comes because that's when your reactive juices are activated and you feel tempted to act from a place that is not a loving place, that is not a place of goodwill or, you know, that the real test is, can I still add value to someone in my team? Can I still, you know, highlight how amazing they are? Can I still trust them when they are, you know, showing otherwise, right? When they're showing me the human and not the, let's say the divine in them so easily. So, what do I do then? That's like the basic challenge underlying all of these things, you know, and it forces us, it pushes us to go inward, right, and to still wish them for the best despite all of that. So, it kind of pushes us to see the light in them even when they're showing me the most, you know, the darkest kind of behavior and that's not very good exercise.

Radek: Especially because of the negativity bias, right? .So, if we have a misbehaving team member, we can focus on that, we can focus on the negativity, forgetting the value they provide to the team. So, I think that's a great habit to build something to be mindful about when we face it in our teams, when something doesn't work the way it should, how can I still for myself value the people? It's just whenever I talk with entrepreneurs about sales and I always refer to that like if you don't see the value in what you're offering, you will never succeed. You need to really believe, understand it, like do your homework for that to see if you actually can offer some value to the people before you go and sell it and I think, and here's the same. We need to sell our team members to ourselves to achieve that. Do you agree?

Nuno Branco: Well, absolutely. I mean, and it's a real challenge, I mean all this stuff, you know, it's very difficult to do. I just think it's even more difficult not to do it than to do it but it does, I mean I know that for myself, if I don't step into a daily practice of prayer and meditation, I am a lot more likely to mess things up when those challenging interactions come up, you know, then, you know, if I if I at least at the beginning of the day I dedicate my day to, let's say, to serving the highest good and all those things in whatever way, you know, there are a multitude of ways in which we can do that I like to do it in the morning, you know, when my head is fresh and to have some at least a few minutes to dedicate that and read stuff that really inspires me and I find that the rest of the day will go a lot more smoothly, meaning I can serve a little bit more and I will not get so out of myself if something really triggering comes up, which it will, by the way, because, you know, that's what the world is like. Right? That's what the world is more. So, I’m very optimistic that, you know, we are collectively, if we so wish, we're at a good tipping point, you know, we can co-create great things right now, right this minute. And I think this podcast is an example of that. But we also shouldn't be naive and we have to know that we're still human, we still have a certain alliance with darkness because, you know, we're still vengeful, we still want people to pay if they do something wrong and we still want all that stuff, you know, like oh, who does he think he is when he said that, when she did that or whatever. So, I think it's very difficult but I think it's necessary and a good leader in that sense or it is someone who has done the, you know, or continues to do the inner work and is not afraid to go deeper, go into a vulnerable space. Now, I just have to say that sometimes that meditation, that inner work will tell you, will direct you, will guide you to put a limit, right? But it's very different to put a limit lovingly, you know, than it is doing it from a very reactive space that it's a very different kind of outcome. 

Radek: We did. We have covered some concrete for me, some concrete attitudes and the second one develops people the second characteristic of servant leader, I think it's even more challenging in one way like obviously, we have a lot of tools, we have training, we have coaching, we have mentoring, we can set up development paths for our people, for our team but I wonder what is deeper in here also in this attitude, if you think maybe not but I would like to discuss it a bit if there is some level of attitude that can help or work against us, the team leaders trying to develop our people like how our rooted beliefs, rooted attitudes work in this part. 

Nuno Branco: All right. You know, I think, I don't know who said this but I love this sentence that true leadership is holding space for the brilliance of others, right? For me to hold the idea of holding space for the brilliance of others is also holding space for an encounter of minds and hearts, so it's the brilliance of together of, you know, it's not so important for me if someone is, you know, intelligent or not intelligent. That's old news, you know, I don't care about that. It's the encounter that produces intelligence, right? It's talking, it's interacting. That is the intelligence that I’m interested in, right, that's the co-creation part. And I think you cannot, so that attitude right there by believing in that encounter, you are holding space for the brilliance of others to shine, right? And you know that it will shine because it's in your presence, you know, and if you have that attitude, people will feel good and relaxed in your presence. They will want to raise the bar, they will want to live up to what your expectation is because it comes from the heart, from a space that wants the best for them, right? So, people will not know why but they will just feel good in your presence because they can sense that there's a, you know, there's love, there's a sense of goodwill of best wishes that you really want them to sort of develop themselves and ultimately, there's no separation between your own development and their development. It's what you said earlier, right? There's no separation, it's the same. We're all one, anyway. Right? So, that's one thing. I also think, you know, that developing people sometimes also means being a little hard on them when necessary. What I mean by that is believing in their ability to take hard criticism when necessary, constructive always, forward looking always. So, integrated into a forward-looking message but I think it's very important not to shy away from telling people, obviously with the greatest respect and consideration but, you know, believing in their ability to receive that feedback, that is also very empowering and it develops them way more than it would to not say anything for fear of whatever, right? Because that would be a way of heating people or not, you know, not believing that they can handle it, that they can take it. If you see that they can't then obviously, you need to take that into consideration and sort of go step by step, right? But that's another aspect. 

Radek: So, it means you don't have to really be polite just for the sake of being polite and to be the most likable leader but it's not the same as the best leader and in a way. 

Nuno Branco: I mean the thing is like, you know, if you have, let's say, prayed and meditate that day, it will come naturally how you should speak to that person at that particular moment, right? Because if at the beginning of your day, you say, you know, all right, so I really want to do my best, give my best, speak my best and, you know, and speak, you know, say the right things to the right people at the right time, so all of that will be part of a natural process, you know. And I would say one more thing, right, which is a little controversial and I’m just thinking out loud as I go along so I’m not sure about this but I’m going to share with you anyway and with the listeners anyway, you know, there's this, let's say, this attitude usually in companies which is, you know, when people are not performing to the best of their abilities after giving them, you know, an opportunity and another one and another one, people think this guy or this person is not the right fit for the company, they're not the right profile or they don't have the right whatever and the easiest thing is to fire them, to get rid of them, right? And I think when the culture of a company is a little impatient, you see that happening with relative frequency. I personally don't whole with that. I think there has to be, I don't know how to say this but I think if people think that, you know, that their leaders or the culture that they are integrated into will do everything they can to retain them, not well to retain them and to develop them and to find the right avenue for their talents and to support them all the way and to have very clear that that human and humane connection is the real driver, right, that that high-minded partnership is the real driver of performance because it's when you get that right, that's when you can increase personal performance, organizational performance but you start with a human connection first, not the other way around, which is what, you know, most companies still do. But just food for thought, I’m still thinking on this one but there's a certain a degree of security there that I think would be very empowering if people could sense if, you know, that it was there. I don't know what you think. 

Radek: Also you reminded me of our research, you mentioned this meditation and prayer and basically, it sounds spiritual and not that science-based but the fun fact is or there was a research on leaders when they were meditating on what kind of a leader should they be, so they were thinking, I want to be a leader that is patient that is giving honest feedback and so on and they just practice it over time, several times. They did. So, you know, meditate until you become it in a way so you can call it a meditation, you can call it a prayer in in this aspect but just really thinking through how you behave and how you want to behave is actually scientifically proven to help your performance. And with that comment, I want to move to another one because we still have some topics to discuss and this is a challenging one, I believe. So, even when you build a Facebook group or whatever forum, it sounds simple. You just create it, you invite people and it happens but it doesn't. The community is a craft. It really requires a lot of effort to build something that you can honestly call a community, that people feel a part of it, that they feel connected. So, I wonder it's a huge topic and I’m already thinking I will probably also create another podcast dedicated to community but still I think there is something we already discussed like how do you believe the leader can build a community inside their team with this attitudes, with their mindset to some extent?

Nuno Branco: Yeah. Well, I think there's a very concrete way in which this can be done. We almost touched on that earlier on when we talked about co-creation, you know. So, traditionally, we have a customer-centric culture in business, you know, very much focused on what the customer wants and serving the customer but things have changed and are changing, not that that one is not valid but there's a bit of an upgrade and there's a bit of a development there, which is in many domains, in many areas of life, the consumer, the customer, the consumer wants to be a producer too. And I think that's the shift right there and that truly creates a whole new level of, you know, community with new meanings of what that can imply, you know, for what that can imply. So, for example, if you think, I’m going to give you different examples across the board, right? I’m going to start with health actually, you know, with a doctor-patient relationship because I think it's a very interesting one, you know, like traditionally, the doctor, the figure of the doctor is, you know, the go-to person, who knows it all and tells you what to do, prescribes you whatever and you follow the instruction and that's it. But nowadays, I think with the internet but also many other factors, right, more and more especially the younger generations they also want to take charge for their own health, both on a preventative level but also on, I don't know, I think you call it allopathic level. So, like when you want to sort of cure any kind of disease and the best, one of the best examples for this is, you know, if you go into a cancer ward at a hospital, you know, I mean 30-40-50 years ago, you would go into such a ward and ask people, okay what kind of treatment are you doing? People would say, oh I’m doing chemotherapy. But you're going to a cancer ward these days, people will tell you the names, the names of the drugs that they're taking, the different experiments, what you have in America, what you have in Paris, what you have in London, what you have somewhere in India, they have, you know, conducted. If they are so inclined, you know, but, you know, they have conducted their own research and they sort of suggest, they kind of co-create with the doctors, you know, different possibilities, right? This is not an unusual thing anymore. People really get informed and even if they're not doctors themselves but they get informed then they, or they sort of decide to complement that with, you know, with complimentary therapies and techniques like Reiki, like yoga, like this, like that, right? So, that's one such example. Another example is in the world of magazines, for example, that you have not just the typical writer and reader interaction but now the reader makes comments too, sometimes they co-create the articles, sometimes they have their own blog in a magazine, there's social media, the whole thing, so there's a lot more of a co-creation that people want to participate. They don't want to just, you know, watch or sit quiet or whatever, they want to interact or when you go to restaurants and you're busy, you know, sometimes you even participate in the cooking or you’re drawing on the table or whatever it is. There are so many examples of this. I think one of them, one of the things to bear in mind is that the aspect of communication that most companies now, I don't want to say most companies but most innovative companies certainly, they are media companies too, right? They're googles, they're Facebooks, they are all these things because they want, they have that communication element as an integral part even if that's not the core business but it's an integral part of their business and that's certainly part of creating, you know, a true community and then I think another thing that people want apart from also wanting to be a producer but it's linked with that is they want something that will develop them spiritually, personally, personal development, personal growth. It will make them, you know, before you could talk about the, in fact, there's a book called like this, the experience economy, right, where people would imagine, you know, pay 15 euros for a coffee at La Piazza San Marco in Venice because you're not paying for the coffee, the actual coffee, you're paying for the experience of being in such a place, maybe with someone that is dear to you and it's a moment that you will treasure forever and you pay for that. Great. Now, we, I think are moving into a relationship-centric economy where that sense of true community is a lot more possible, you know, and it's not just the experience, it's the relationship that I have, it's that conversation that I had that really did it for me, that really will make me sort of remember this forever and it's part of an economy. I mean, that's certainly, the even luxury firms have picked up on this, you know. When you go into, I don't know, when you're going to a Gucci, a Chanel shop or whatever, you know, they are very invested, some of them, not all of them. They're very invested in having a sort of creating an intimate moment with their customers and that's the real luxury there as well, that you wouldn't get in a normal shop kind of thing. So, you could go on but I don't know if that answers. 

Radek: Yeah. For me, the key word is involvement is making people included, being inclusive in your work and this for me relates very well with another one, which is sharing leadership. So, you basically, as leader, you don't own the decisions, you include the team. Sometimes, you even share some responsibility for leadership to build naturally your successors to support your team to grow up to your level and beyond because in many ways, in many cultures, we have leaders which are usually more experienced in the company, more experience in the work they do. So, it resonates with me very well that it's very connected, this building community and sharing leadership and because I’m also a bit mindful about the time and there is one more, just to finish the list, we have also providing leadership and we have also displaying authenticity and I believe also, authenticity is one of the ways to provide leadership because there is plenty and I believe we will also have plenty of podcasts on leadership in the future. So, right now, I want to ask you about this authenticity. So, how do you imagine an authentic leader in their team how they can display this authenticity?

Nuno Branco: All right. So, I want to go, I’m going to try to reply to that mentioning something in response to what you said before about involvement because I’m going to use that door, right? When you're involving others, there's a degree of authenticity there already, a profound degree of authenticity as like, hey, these are my intentions, there's a coherence, a practice of coherence there so the authenticity is, let's say, a base, a clarity, right, in intention, in communication, in the involvement, in making people feel that they are part of the big picture, right? I think it was Stephen Covey, who wrote the seven habits of highly effective, well, years and years and years ago but some, so many of the points are still so valued that, you know, he said that if you get people together in groups to talk about solutions to certain problems, they will most likely come up with very similar, if not the very same ideas that they would have received from the top down, you know, after certain board meetings or whatever in a kind of very sort of structured hierarchical company kind of thing. So, clearly, they would feel a lot more involved if they have participated in creating those solutions themselves. They will be way more likely to execute them with enthusiasm if they are just given the instruction from the top down without any explanation as to why and so on. So, authenticity for me is very, let's say, associated with involvement and with transparency so authenticity is not just speaking authentically, right? It's a clarity that is there. It's there in the statements, it's there in the interactions, is there in the community that we have, that we develop over the course of time. Now, I realize that the word authenticity for me is a little, it's a tricky one. I don't dislike it but I think we have to be mindful, right, of how this word, having become a buzzword because you have books written on authenticity and so many people talk about this. We have to be mindful that yes, it's great to talk about authenticity but not just associated with serving an exclusively corporatist agenda, right? Because, you know, many times or I think the context in which authenticity is discussed, oh, we have to be authentic so that we can then get the deal because people perceive you as being authentic and then it's another strategy, right? For example that's on a kind of, you know, on a corporate level. On a personal level, I think we also need to be a little careful because, you know, imagine I’m talking to you and I’m very angry, you know, at that moment, well, what I feel authentically at that moment, you know, could sort of inspire me to say the most barbaric things and make terrible comments and you're like, you know, what do you want about, what are you saying? And I’m like, oh hey, I’m just being authentic. Well, no. So, I think one thing is the often the base authenticity and the temporary authenticity which we have to be careful about, you know, so it's because otherwise, you know, I might say something that I would then regret later. So, authenticity sometimes is about, crazy as it sounds, is about not communicating what we authentically feel in a given moment if that's just going to be pushing the destructive button kind of thing. 

Radek: Yeah, I think so. I think I just, you know, in this situation of being angry or whenever, whatever emotions take the take the lead of your of your behaviors the authentic response could be just like at this moment, I’m very angry and I cannot really, you know, move on with this conversation so maybe we can take a break and talk about it later on. It's whatever like social dis-authenticity is about being honest not necessarily about expressing everything and just being yourself still, not trying to put a new mask whenever you enter the office and then, you know, you're a joker in your home and you're going to the office and you're the most serious person out there. It's just tiring and probably this is one of defenses we build over time in the corporate world and also I see it in the training business, it's that there are a lot of beliefs, a lot of, you know, things, how we perceive the offer should be made, the negotiations should be made, how we perceive the clients should be spoken to or whatsoever, you know, this dear sir, Madam, kind of approach and. I’m very lucky to see the difference in that, that people are also after the pandemic maybe becoming more humane, more natural in how we connect and that's so easy.

Nuno Branco: I’m crossing my fingers, you know, for best case scenario kind of thing, you know, after the pandemic, as you mentioned. I’m not sure yet but I’m certainly crossing my fingers, you know, absolutely. I would just say that, you know, I think there's a very strong case to be made for authenticity because authenticity is about transparency, it's about clarity. I think it's the doorway as well to mindfulness, you know, mindfulness not just in being mindful and kind of conscious of the present moment, which is what that's about but also mindfulness in communication and so that we can invest in right speech, right? In saying things that will serve the greater good kind of thing, you know, and the conscious use of language, I think is a great place to start, you know. Innovative companies, nowadays, they're, I think looking for new vocabulary. Authenticity came out of that search, you know, came out of that desire or out of that, you know, aspiration and certainly we see, I mean I was invited recently to give training on positive communication for a specific banking consultancy like, you know, company that is interested in that like that wouldn't have been that common, you know, I don't know, 10 years ago or so. So, companies are looking for this kind of thing. The field is pregnant with this kind of desire and with these kinds of values, right? Understanding that we need to connect better, that we need to connect better because we need to not just to do business but if we focus on that connection, the business will then flow, that's without the stress of privileging business, you know, exclusively. 

Radek: And we are almost closing but I just can't waste the opportunity and I wanted to ask you one question that will be very difficult and proudly, but we have time. So, take time to think about it and let me just ask it and then I will maybe speak for five seconds more so we can think. Right now, we are in front of a weekend and then we will have another work week and generally, whatever the time will be when people will listen to us, they will have some work time, they will have some free time afterwards and I would like to hear from you some tips, some suggestion on how to connect better with our peers, you know, just a simple tip that we could implement straightforward after listening and on the weekend, on the weekday, every day that we can think about this connectedness make being more human to human in our relations what would be, I mean, your tip for us?

Nuno Branco: That's actually, you said it was difficult but I that's actually an easy one. And I think it's easy because I didn't have to come up with it. It's just something that, you know, there are authors out there that talk about this but I relate to this so much that I don't feel the need to reinvent the will on that one because I think that this says it all. I think the key, and I don't want to sound religious or anything, that's not my goal at all but I will. I will explain. I mean, the key there is to play pray for other people's happiness, you know. When you do that, so in whatever way, right, when I say pray, meditate in an organic kind of way like oh my god, I wish them the best, I hope everything goes well, even or especially, you know, when we're thinking of people that maybe we're not so fond of or people that we feel don't have our best interests in mind and so on but still understand that, you know, by wishing them the best, not only are we clearing our own path but we're actually expanding ourselves and we're understanding that, you know, we make mistakes. Human beings are very complicated, all of us, right? We make mistakes but it's understanding that those mistakes that we make don't define our essence, quite the opposite. We are disconnected from who we truly are when we perpetrate those mistakes and other people are no exception, right? So, that's key, you know, to really pray for someone's happiness and to wish them the best. So, before any meeting, any business meeting or any personal meeting to just, you know, just kind of think right, okay, who's going to be there, you know, and just kind of have a moment like closing your eyes and just kind of visualizing the best interaction possible and pray that when you're there, you can just uplift everyone's energy, that it's not so important if you get the deal or not or whatever. Ultimately, that's not what's going to feed you spiritually, you know. 

Radek: All right. I’m taking the challenge. I’m taking the challenge. Thank you for this. I believe it will set some right attitudes for the meetings, for the mood, for the joy of coming together with someone that you think good of, think good for, it should make life easier. Thank you very much for this and for the conversation.

Nuno Branco: Thank you so much. My pleasure, Radek. Always a pleasure to, you know, interact with you. I want to say publicly, you know, congratulations on your podcast and congratulations on all your initiatives, you know that I’m a huge fan. I’m a true fan as they say and yes, I wish you all the best in your undertakings.

Radek: Likewise. And we had a great practice of this thinking good of the other people. Thank you very much for that. And for everyone, have a great weekend ahead. 

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