Podcast: How to build better business relationships

Written on Jun 18, 2020

To survive in business, strong relationships are essential, but first you need to know the common blind spots to avoid. 



"Unfortunately, business relationships often go astray,” said Gleb Tsipursky, Ph.D. “They often end up in conflicts and misunderstandings where people don't know what's going on.” 

Tsipursky is the CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts, LLC, a consulting, coaching and training firm empowering leaders and organizations to avoid business disasters. He joined the State of Business podcast this week to discuss some of the cognitive bias that people take into business relationships and how to overcome them. 

In his recently released book,  The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships, Tsipursky writes that relationships are often about our emotions and feelings, but our feelings are not adapted to the modern environment. Instead, they developed in the savanna environment, when it was important to be tribal to survive. That meant that we needed to care about people who looked like us and who thought like us, because they were tied to our survival. 

Although the workplace might sometimes feel like a fight for survival, the stakes today aren’t quite that high, but our original feelings and emotions remain. We like people who think like us, so working with a wide range of people from different backgrounds and different ways of thinking can sometimes lead to clashes. 

“Sometimes you run into a situation where you have a misunderstanding and it escalates,” Tsipursky said. “It keeps going and going and going and suddenly, the relationship splits because you can no longer collaborate with this person.” 

One of the most important ways to avoid these issues is communication, he said. But, your style of communication might not match someone else’s, and you’ll need to find a middle ground. It sounds like common sense, but before you write a colleague off entirely consider where your relationship is failing and how better communication could fix it. 

“One of the most common blind spots with accountants is called the illusion of transparency,” Tsipursky said, which “refers to people being much worse at communicating than they think they are. We have a lot of research showing that people think that what they communicate is what the other person received, and they think they're much more transparent than they are.” 

To hear more about ways to improve your business relationships, listen to the podcast

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