10 episodes

Collaboration is an art and a science. It's a lot easier to talk about it than to live it. Collaboration is not a thing or a method that a team can "set and forget". Rather, it's an ongoing practice that's personal and relational and takes more than subject matter expertise. It requires courage and curiosity.

In this podcast, we speak to people in the field - leaders, teams, consultants, coaches - whom we consider master collaborators. We talk about their professional and personal journeys and insights towards becoming conscious collaborators.

Conscious Collaboration Conscious Collaboration

    • Business
    • 5.0, 4 Ratings

Collaboration is an art and a science. It's a lot easier to talk about it than to live it. Collaboration is not a thing or a method that a team can "set and forget". Rather, it's an ongoing practice that's personal and relational and takes more than subject matter expertise. It requires courage and curiosity.

In this podcast, we speak to people in the field - leaders, teams, consultants, coaches - whom we consider master collaborators. We talk about their professional and personal journeys and insights towards becoming conscious collaborators.

    Podcast Episode 10: Carlo Giardinetti – Self-Organizing Teams & Holacracy

    Podcast Episode 10: Carlo Giardinetti – Self-Organizing Teams & Holacracy

    A Conversation with Carlo Giardinetti

    A Conscious Collaboration Podcast

    In this episode, Yosh discusses aspects of self-organization and self-management with Carlo Giardinetti, an educator, educational leader, and Holacracy expert.

    Carlo is an expert practitioner of self-organization principles and a certified Holacracy Facilitator. After a career as a professional soccer player in Italy, Carlo moved into a fast-advancing career in the hospitality industry managing hotels and resorts in Italy, Tanzania, Kenya, Maldives, Egypt, and Ukraine. Now “living his third professional life,” he works in the education management space as Dean of Executive Education and Global Outreach at Franklin University Switzerland.

    During his tenure as Dean for the International Business School Lausanne, Carlo guided the adoption of Holacacy into BSL. Treating this transformation as a real-world change project as much as a research project offered invaluable insights into his understanding of how to best support self-organization in teams and organizations.

    Carlo’s research on self-organization organically touches aspects of adult development theory — connections we happily explored in our conversation.

    Show Notes / Highlights from this episode:

    * Collaboration is an ongoing, committed, intentional practice that requires personal commitment

    Collaboration is an act of functional generosity. People underestimate how much it takes in terms of personal change to become a great collaborator.

    * To become a great collaborator, we need to open up, to give to the group — such openness is an act of generosity, “I call that professional generosity”

    * But it’s also functional generosity – this kind of generosity isn’t just personal or moral – it “pays back” amazingly in terms of results and what the team or organization can accomplish

    * Side note: The core of functional generosity – the willingness to be open to input from others while being open with others – seems very related to the idea of reciprocity that came up in our podcast with Vincent Chang (See our post “Your Vision – Their Vision – Our Vision“)

    * Functional generosity comes at a cost

    Functional generosity is a learned trait. It starts with oneself and it takes effort to cultivate it.  

    * We have to train ourselves to allow that cost – it’s an investment into collaboration

    * What’s the “cost”?

    * Effort: It takes work to overcome attachments to our own ideas (See our blog article “why smart people defend stupid ideas“)

    * Political/Social cost: No one owns the idea – it’s not your idea vs. my idea but about the best idea for the organization. We have a desire to please or to avoid tension due to disagreement that can arise when we speak our truth. Even if it’s constructive, it takes courage to criticize ideas or to be open to criticism

    * We need to learn to welcome criticism

    * So, another aspect of functional generosity is learning to detach emotions when discussing ideas or processes

    * Of course, this is easier said than done and takes personal work

    When we avoid vulnerability or withhold disagreement, hopes, or requests, we basically withhold information. Less available information makes it harder to self-organize. 

    * Self-organization / Self-management doesn’t mean chaos

    • 36 min
    Podcast Episode 9: A Conversation with Dr. Paul Zak – The Neuroscience of Trust

    Podcast Episode 9: A Conversation with Dr. Paul Zak – The Neuroscience of Trust

    A Conversation with Paul Zak

    A Conscious Collaboration Podcast

    In this episode, Yosh explores with Paul his work on the neuroscience of trust – and discuss how understanding trust on a neurological level helps leaders and teams deepen collaboration.

    Dr. Paul Zak is a scientist, public speaker, and author of several books such as “The Moral Molecule” and “Trust Factor: The Science of Building High-Performance Organizations“. Trained in economics and neuroscience, he is a pioneer in the field of neuroeconomics – applying his research findings to the study of markets as well as organizational and team health. He researches and teaches at Claremont Graduate University.

    One aspect of Paul’s research focuses on the neurological mechanisms that enable cooperation and trust. His work led to a deeper understanding of the critical role of the neurotransmitter oxytocin which he can measure not just in laboratory but also real-life workplace settings.

    What I find fascinating about Paul’s work is that he and his colleagues “look under the hood”: They measure what’s happening in regard to trust and collaboration not just on a behavioral level but literally in the brain on a neurological/neuro-biological level.

    Understanding the neurological details of trust and collaboration allows to reverse-engineer processes that create opportunities for the release of oxytocin – which, in turn, will facilitate trust and thus cooperation.

    You can learn more about Paul’s work by visiting www.immersionneuro.com or oFactor, a neuroscience-based organizational trust survey.

    What allows us to be great collaborators is also what makes us prone to feeling social slides.

    Show Notes / Highlights from this episode – exploring the neuroscience of trust

    * Neuroscience 1.0 vs. Neuroscience 2.0

    * Neuroscience is a powerful lens to develop a deeper understanding of human behavior. Developing an understanding of the mechanisms and processes that drive behaviors has been a focus of Neuroscience 1.0

    * Human behavior comes in wide variations – and neuroscience can help us understand not only what we do by why we do it differently

    * Brains are constantly optimizing every second to increase the odds or survival and reproduction

    * Consistency of behavior – not variance – is really the outlier

    It’s incumbent on leaders to focus team members’ brain activity on shared objectives. That’s no easy task. Neuroscience 2.0 adds actionable insight to support coaching and team leadership. 

    * Collaboration is an ongoing, committed, intentional practice

    Brains are inconsistent and want to idle.

    * It’s “metabolically costly” to sustain a conscious effort to exhibit consistent behaviors

    * That’s another reason, from a neurological point of view, why clear objectives and milestones are so important

    * A servant leadership approach – empowering others and supporting them in pursuing their goals – is the most effective leadership approach

    Improving collaborative behaviors carries over into our personal lives. 

    * The neuroscience of trust

    We are built to collaborate… It literally feels good when we are connected with others and acting in aligned ways.

    * Our anatomy makes collaboration easy and enjoyable — due to an extraordinary density of oxytocin receptors and a dens...

    • 43 min
    Podcast Episode 8: A Conversation with Natalie Rast from Y7 Studio

    Podcast Episode 8: A Conversation with Natalie Rast from Y7 Studio

    A Conversation with Natalie Rast

    A Conscious Collaboration Podcast

    In this episode, Yael and Natalie discuss team growth and culture building – and the work Y7’s leadership team engaged in over the course of two+ years.

    Natalie Rast, SHRM-CP, is the Head of People at Y7 Studio. Y7, a rapidly expanding and widely popular yoga studio with many locations in Manhattan, L.A, and elsewhere, is on a mission is to create an inclusive and accessible space for clients while offering an approach to Yoga that’s disrupting the Yoga space. It which was recently named number 80 in the Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies List. After launching her career at Warby Parker, Natalie has gone on to build out the entire people department at Y7.

    A key success factor to Y7’s success goes beyond its brand promise – but lies in its culture that values authenticity, empowerment, and experimentation. This mindset does not only inform the actual yoga practice at Y7. There is a general orientation towards growth and a readiness to show up for the personal work that comes with it – which ultimately positively affects how the organization is run and how leaders at Y7 role-model collaboration.

    Natalie partnered with Yael to facilitate a series of workshops with Y7’s leadership team that helped it to engage in a process of authentic interactions, skill building, and “collaborative norming”. Both Natalie and Yael talk about steps on that journey.

    I haven’t seen these types of trainings work sustainably before. But now, when we need to have difficult conversations, we are having them. 

    Highlights from this episode

    * Bringing intention to how you go about your work is important for you and your team

    * Approach each work interaction thoughtfully

    * Think about the impact you can have on others in your organization

    * Realize that we’re the same people inside and outside of work

    * Work relationships can be healthy, just like our personal relationships are

    We bring our whole selves to work; this impacts our work and our team.

    * Support and trust start at the top

    * If the top management is not dealing with issues – be it a need to change or interpersonal dynamics – in an optimal way, it will trickle down and affect others

    * Support and trust can be felt on every level, but it must come from the leadership team

    * Working through the Forming and Storming stages of growth at Y7:

    * It’s important to go beyond the “what” (content and results-focussed) conversations and talk about the “how” and “why”, i.e. how are we doing/relating as we are acting on our sense of purpose

    * Trying to get things done together inevitably leads to friction

    * Begin having those difficult conversations

    * Anonymous one-on-one interviews in preparation of any team offsite help bring important issues to the fore; which allows us to then address the root of whatever is relevant

    * Laying the foundations of conscious leadership / conscious collaboration by drawing from shared theories and thus creating a common language for how we want to work together

    * Best Practices in Leadership at Y7:

    * Feedback training

    * Learning how to give and receive feedback upward, and peer-to-peer has made a big impact on the organization; more difficult conversations are happing and people are moving past the drama

    * Giving effective feedback affects every single aspect of a team; creating a tremendous amount of openness ...

    • 27 min
    Podcast Episode 7: A Conversation with Laura Quiros

    Podcast Episode 7: A Conversation with Laura Quiros

    A Conversation with Laura Quiros

    A Conscious Collaboration Podcast

    This podcast explores perspectives on what enables conscious collaboration in a given context or field. In this episode, Yael and Dr. Laura Quiros discuss what conscious collaboration involves vis-a-vis not just work style differences but in the face of more fundamental differences of race or gender.

    Dr. Laura Quiros is an Associate Professor at the Adelphi University School of Social Work. Laura began her work in the clinical arena and has transitioned to working with executive leadership. She helps connect leadership of corporate, non-profit and academic organizations to missions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Laura works to foster inclusion by helping to increase awareness and move towards action.

    As a Latina and Jewish woman of color, a mother, a daughter, a former associate dean, an associate professor of social work, a coach, a consultant, a friend and a partner, connecting with identity is simply a part of who Dr. Quiros is. The ways in which she has had to negotiate her interpersonal identity as a woman of color from a multicultural and biracial history, positions her in a unique place.

    Highlights from this episode

    * Personal and professional growth are one and the same thing

    * There is no distinction between the personal and professional self – they are all one

    * We are often unaware that we are bringing our identity (association with race, class, gender, religion, etc.) with us to work

    * Being conscious of your identity when you interact with others at work deeply enhances your ability to collaborate effectively

    As a Latina and woman of color, I feel my collaboration almost has to be conscious. It’s a not a choice. With a bi-racial and bi-cultural background, all my interactions have a conscious element because I am conscious of who I am and which parts I bring to this relationship. 

    * Being unaware that you are bringing your identity to work…

    * Can cause fractures in relationships

    * Puts you in danger of leading from ego and not authenticity

    * May create some unconscious negative non-verbal communication

    Conscious Collaboration enhances the authenticity of a relationship, which leads to more effective and creative work

    * Diversity is not inclusion

    * Inclusion takes place when we are conscious collaborators

    * There is a strong push for diversity in organizations, but the conscious work comes with the inclusion piece not the diversity piece

    * When we are aware of everything we are bringing to the conversation – even our identity, we are inclusive

    Diversity training is really looking at the “whiteness” of our culture; how white ideology has become the foundation of this country

    * How to make room for inclusion

    * There needs to be compassion and nurturing around the issue of diversity/inclusion

    * We need to be vulnerable

    * We need to be reflective in order to be conscious

    * Work through ambiguity with integrity, love, and compassion

    * Don’t stop after diversity training

    * Digging deeper by being reflective and noticing when you need to be more conscious

    * This work can be scary, but it is also very healing if you and your organization become more conscious

    * Unconscious messages of privilege, rank, and power come through in routine behaviors.

    Take notice of:

    * Whom you sit next to in meetings

    * How often you speak in meetings

    * Are some people (including yourself) becoming silent when certain topics come up?

    * Do you check in with those that were silent after the meeting?

    • 40 min
    Podcast Episode 6: A Conversation with Vincent Chang

    Podcast Episode 6: A Conversation with Vincent Chang

    A Conversation with Vincent Chang

    A Conscious Collaboration Podcast

    In this episode, Yosh speaks with Vincent Chang, architect and partner at Grimshaw Global, about collaboration in the context of architecture and why he considers receptivity and reflection key characteristics of a conscious collaborator.

    Grimshaw Global is an architecture firm originating from the UK. Grimshaw Global designs and executes large scale public space projects – such as the Fulton Transit Center in New York, the Frost Museum of Science in Miami, and the internationally acclaimed Eden Project in Cornwall, a closed ecological system of biodomes. Grimshaw Global’s philosophy involves creating designs that draw inspiration from the natural world while aiming at creating sustainable, meaningful spaces for people to connect.

    Vincent is an accomplished architect by vocation. (You can learn more about his body of work here.) He is also Grimshaw Global’s Group Managing Partner. Consequently, his perspective on collaboration deeply draws from different sources: his experiences in a senior leadership role as well as through his involvement in co-creating and delivering architectural design.

    Highlights from this episode

    * Architecture – as a field – is well placed to consider what collaboration is 

    * Finding the right balance between humility (understanding what you bring) and receptiveness (understanding what others bring)

    * Collaboration is more than cooperation – you know that when you see a product that’s beyond what you could have considered on your own


    * Importance of not bringing pre-conceived notions about a given solution to the process

    * Ideas can come from anywhere

    * But that requires a culture of receptiveness to allow fertility of exchange

    * Overcoming psychological ownership

    * A collaborator’s “dance” between leading and following

    As an architect and/or leader – in some ways, you are the director of that dance

    * Seeing the effort to “align interest” as a key activity of conscious collaboration / leadership

    * Collaboration as an ongoing commitment to practices and attitudes

    * Being involved in architectural projects is an intimate and personal experience – that will challenge you not just professionally but also personally — we grow from such an experience

    * Personal and professional growth at this time and age are more inextricably linked to each other than ever


    * It takes faith to “loosen the reins” – so that open space can get filled with something bigger, unexpected

    * It’s important to have an ongoing practice of reflection, to challenge my own thinking and my sense of contribution, and to re-earn my credentials and relationships

    * Wished for attitude to support a culture of collaboration 

    * It starts with oneself

    * “Generosity of spirit” – you need invest time to know each other more deeply – so you can appreciate individuals as individuals

    Enjoy listening and stay tuned for our next episode.


    • 28 min
    Podcast Episode 5: A Conversation with Rachael Peters

    Podcast Episode 5: A Conversation with Rachael Peters

    A Conversation with Rachael Peters

    A Conscious Collaboration Podcast

    In this episode, Yael had the opportunity to speak with Rachael Peters, the New York City Executive Director for Peer Health Exchange.

    Peer Health Exchange is a national non-profit where college students teach health education to students in public schools. The health education includes mental health, sexual health, substance abuse, along with the benefits of safe and inclusive spaces.

    Rachael is a member of the New York City Department of Education District Wellness Advisory Council and serves on the board of directors of Sadie Nash Leadership Project. Rachael brings to her work a deep commitment to social justice and health equity. She and Yael discuss how her background and values influence her leadership and her views on creating a safe and healthy places within the workplace.

    Highlights from this episode

    * Conscious collaboration

    * Rachael’s thoughts on how conscious collaboration connects with her and staff

    * What does it mean to bring your whole self to work?

    * How national events could alter how one brings their whole self to work

    * How one’s identity integrates into the idea of bringing their whole self to work

    * Creating conditions to allow one to bring their whole self to work

    * How Peer Exchange’s work plays into their work practices

    * Positives of integrating practices of sharing “roses and thorns” in a group setting

    * Loving Accountability in a work place

    * Expectations and Accountability

    * Positivity of having clear goals with support

    * Rachael’s growth since she has had the opportunity to work with this organization

    * Clear boundaries assisted with growth

    * How influences from work helped at home and vice versa

    * Benefits of Interacting at work on different levels

    * Being transparent / vulnerable helps to engage others

    * Respect and love from allowing others to “see” me at work

    * Offering opportunities for others to share can help them learn that they can bring their whole self to work

    * Leaning on others to help find resolutions when needed

    Enjoy listening and stay tuned for our next episode.


    • 32 min

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