The Lesson: If you are unable to connect with the people in your workplace, you may never be able to improve a workplace. So how is it that you’re supposed to connect with people? Some of the big ideas that is explored in this podcast include how to optimize our ability to connect (practice with the little moments!), The Pygmalion Effect (aka the self-fulfilling prophecy), the importance of centering for conflict resolution, and how our addiction to digital devices is leading to troubles in connecting and what to do about it.

Notable Book Excerpt: “The first rule of conflict management is don’t make it worse. So if you’re not gonna make it worse and you want to make it better, you have to connect … the relationship and the empathy transforms everything and that is especially important in the face of conflict. And you’ll never be able to do it in the face of conflict if you don’t practice it before there’s a conflict. So if you want to come up with solutions and you want to be creative, connect first with yourself and then with the people you’re interacting with – and this applies just as much to your children, your life partner, your friends, and certainly in the workplace.”

The GuestMichael Gelb is one of the world’s leading creativity teachers. He’s also a qi gong and aikido master who teaches us the art of creating connection; a best-selling author and keynote speaker; and he is the founder of The High Performance Learning Center, a firm specializing in consulting and training for organizations interested in developing more innovative cultures.

The Host: Brian Johnson is a philosopher and founder of, a website, app, and free video series that help people to optimize their lives so they can be their best selves. He studies self-improvement books, then breaks them down into bite-sized chunks and ‘Philosopher‘s Notes’ for busy people who want ‘more wisdom in less time’. He also offers Optimal Living classes and online training for your Hero’s Journey.

Podcast: Brian’s podcast, OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson, features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time (between 4-19 minutes each) to help you live your greatest life – and they are available on Stitcher, iTunes, and Podbean.

Books: Michael Gelb is the author of the national bestseller “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci” and “The Art of Connection: 7 Relationship-Building Skills Every Leader Needs Now”.

(LISTEN to the inspiring talk below) – Photo by Virgo Group, CC

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