Relationships as Valuable Accomplishments

Relationships as Valuable Accomplishments



This webinar is based on a group exercise conducted at our 10th annual Performance Thinking Summer Institute, an activity that proved both fun and insightful for participants. Dr. Binder will help you apply the models and logic of Performance Thinking® to human relationships. You’ll identify some of your important relationships; note which are very good, and which can be improved; decide what makes them valuable; and consider actions you can take to improve them.

This is not merely an academic exercise.  We’ve used this approach to help improve relationships between team leaders in a major software company, relationships between teachers and students in a tutoring center, and relationships that can make a big difference in operational efficiency and employee satisfaction in large organizations.

You’ll have fun and gain insights by applying a systematic performance improvement methodology to those all-important relationships in your life and at work.

Attendees will learn

  • How to identify specific valuable relationships in your life and at work.
  • How to describe the characteristics of each relationship that would make it “good.”
  • One or more relationships that could be improved.
  • Action steps you can take to improve your relationships.
  • Insights gained about how to improve relationships in a systematic way.


Dr. Carl Binder, CEO of The Performance Thinking Network, began as a behavior scientist, one of B.F. Skinner’s last graduate students at Harvard. He spent the 1970s conducting research, training teachers, and consulting to educational and human service organizations across North America, with a focus on fluency-based instruction. Shifting to corporate training in 1982, he joined the International Society for Performance Improvement where he met Tom Gilbert, Geary Rummler, Joe Harless, Roger Kaufman, and other performance improvement pioneers, who proved to be generous mentors. Founder of 4 consulting firms, he has continued to refine performance improvement models and methods, partnering with clients and stakeholders, developing performance consultants, and teaching leaders and managers to contribute to continuous improvement.

Over 40+ years, Carl has developed what is known as Performance Thinking®, a powerful but flexible accomplishment-based performance improvement methodology that his firm certifies others to apply in programs for different organizational roles. Adopted by clients on six continents, Performance Thinking has built a global community of practice. Carl has published several dozen articles and chapters, spoken at events worldwide, and received four Lifetime Achievement awards from the American Psychological Association, The International Society for Performance Improvement, the OBM Network, and the Standard Celeration Society.

Connect with Dr. Binder on LinkedInTwitter, and


Relationships as Valuable Accomplishments
The Performance Thinking Network

The Performance Thinking Network helps leaders, managers, and performance professionals to accelerate business results through the performance of their people. We combine the research-based Performance Chain model for analyzing the elements of human performance, with the Six Boxes® Model, voted “the best performance model in the world” by participants at the 2022 conference of the International Society for Performance Improvement, to teach a “logic” of performance improvement that can be applied across levels and functions in any organization.

Learn more at The Performance Thinking Network

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Webinar attendees qualify for a discounted rate on the three most popular Performance Thinking®️ programs and services: Performance Thinking®️ for HR Business PartnersExecutive Coaching with Performance Thinking, and The Open Performance Thinking®️ Practitioner Program.

To take advantage of these discounts, please contact Six Boxes here, use the code HRDQU23 in your message, and state what program interests you.

On-Demand Webinar Recording
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Hi, everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, Relationships As Valuable Accomplishments hosted by HRDQ-U, and presented by Dr. Carl Binder.
My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour.
If you have any questions or comments, please type them into the questions box on your go to webinar control panel there, and you can download today’s handout. And you can find that under today’s handout section, and shortly here, Dr. Binder will explain a little bit more in-depth about that.
And today’s webinar is sponsored by The Performance Thinking Network and HRDQstore. The Performance Thinking Network is a global community of individuals and organizations who use Six Boxes’ Performance Thinking to understand, communicate about an improved for human performance, to build a community of people whose shared experience will provide far greater insight and capability than the experience of any individual or subgroup – no matter how extraordinary – to push the limits of organizational productivity, profitability, and human engagement.
And HRDQ is based upon research at their public training tools. For more than 40 years, HRDQ has been a provider of research based training resources for classroom, virtual, and online soft skills training, to help retain employees and clients, make better decisions, improve performance, and much more. You can learn more about the Performance Thinking Network at, and HRDQstore, at
And I’d like to welcome today’s presenter, Dr. Carl Binder, CEO of the Performance Thinking Network. Dr. Binder began as a behavioral scientist, one of B.F. Skinner’s last graduate students at Harvard.
He spent the 1970’s conducting research, training teachers, and consulting to educational and human service organizations across North America with a focus on fluency based instruction.
As founder of four consulting firms, he has continued to refine performance improvement models and methods, partnering with clients and stakeholders, developing performance consultants, and teaching leaders and managers to contribute to continuous improvement. Thank you for joining us today. Dr. Binder.
Thank you, Sarah. That’s a great introduction. Thank you so much. It’s a real pleasure to be here.
This is: This is a little bit, Let me just back up for a moment. This is a little bit different than many webinars we’ve done. First of all, it’s actually going to ask you all to do something besides watching.
And we have a little form that I think is available for downloading, but, frankly, And you can see that in the slide now on the right, But frankly, because in order to use it during the webinar, you probably need to print it.
You might prefer to download it for future use, but the, if you look at the left side of the, of the screen, you can just take a blank piece of paper and kind of, you know, make your own form, as you can see in my sort of sloppy handwriting there. So this is a little tool we’re going to use as we go through this conversation.
A little bit about my background, really, Sarah already said it.
But I started out. I got turned on to behavior science in there.
When I was, still in college and I sent Dr. B.F. Skinner a fan letter, and he’s shockingly wrote me back and invited me to study with him his Harvard.
And since that time, I’ve been pretty much committed to taking, watching what it’s kind of academic, no technical behavior science, and making it available to everyone, if possible. And so, what we now offer in the Performance Thinking Network is a plain english, simple set of models that let you really apply behavioral science, and what some people call performance engineering to human performance improvement opportunities. I wanted the purpose of this webinar, as I say, it’s a little bit different than than many of the webinars we do. I want to give you just a little taste about our models that we call performance thinking models.
We named our company and and trademark our models, This, this wave maybe 15 years ago, because our clients at that time were telling us, you know, you’re giving us some tools and methods for performance, consulting, and talent development. But really, you’re teaching us a different way to think about performance.
And so the second bullet is relevant here, you know, everybody has and values, relationships, I think, but usually, people don’t sort of take a technical approach to relationships. They don’t think of them as we’re describing them today as accomplishments or work outputs.
Although, I think everyone would agree, once you think about it, both in your personal life and in your work life, Developing and establishing, maintaining, sustaining, good relationships, is a really important part of both our work and our lives.
So about five years ago, at our annual Summer Institute, or maybe, it was, I guess, was three years ago, covered always confuses me in terms of time.
But in any event, at our annual Summer Institute, which is a gathering that we have, every year here, on Bainbridge island, we had a session devoted to the idea that we can think of our relationships as valuable accomplishments. And we can approach them in exactly the same way that we teach people to approach other kinds of accomplishments, you know, in their work lives. And the other thing is, we hope this would be a little fun.
It’s not because we’re not all in the same room. I will hear you if you’re chuckling. But I will tell you that as we go through this, and when I’ve done it, both in person and also online, a couple of other times, people, people, you know, sometimes started identifying their personal relationships and considering what made them good and so forth. And there was a certain amount of laughter in the background and sort of amusement. So maybe we’ll have some fun with this.
What I want to do is just give you a really quick overview, what we call performance thinking. And the key element, really, for this session, is the performance chain, which is how we define the elements of human performance in any context, but especially in organizations.
Then want to talk about relationships as valuable accomplishments, which I’ve already suggested. But, I think it’s something you probably can agree with once you, once you see where we’re coming from.
But, again, it’s a kind of a funny thing in some ways to approach propose approach relationships, from A For lack of a better term, performance engineering perspective.
And then we want to talk about what makes for a good one, and, as I’m sure I’ll say, several times, as we know, each relationship, each type of relationship we have, may have different characteristics or criteria.
They make it good.
You know, the characteristics that describe a good personal partnership are probably quite different from a peer at work, from, Ace, a Senior, your relationship with a senior executive, with a customer, or distributor, or whatever. So, we’re going to talk a little bit about that, and then this is where I’m going to ask you to do some stuff take.
We’re going to take a look at some of our relationships and see if we can identify criteria, and talk about how we might even improve them, if we’d like to improve them. And that’s a little example of what we call performance improvement logic, and how we think through any performance opportunity, And then, hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity for questions and discussion.
So this notion of accomplishments in my history, at least, and in the field of human performance improvement, sometimes called human performance technology at the International Society for Performance Improvement, which was my home organization for several decades.
Tom Gilbert, or doctor Tom Gilbert, was a really important thought leader.
Quite a long time ago. As you can see, this book of his human competence was written in 19, are published in 19 78. It’s still being taught in a bunch of graduate schools. It’s still really important stuff.
He was all, he was a mentor of mine, also for some years.
And in his book, he had this somewhat iconoclast, that kind of statement, where he said, In the great cult of behavior, behavior itself is viewed as an end, rather than as a means to an end. Now, the word cult of behavior was sort of Tom Gilbert. It’s typical, You know, poke you in the eye to get your attention kind of thing. Because he was just saying all this, he was saying that managers, leaders, training professionals, HR professionals, pretty much everybody who’s looking at human performance, focuses on what we do on our behavior.
But what he said was, and this is the paradigm shifting part. We must enable people to produce accomplishments, valuable products, the behavior that’s, that was his big, no comment.
And in the in the lineage, if you will, of the International Society for Performance Improvement, you know, the acronym ISPI that some of you may have heard about, This notion of being accomplishment based, represents a huge paradigm shift. Because instead of trying to start out with what behavior we think people should exhibit or not, or what we need to teach or not.
We start out with the valuable products that we want that behavior to produce. And by doing that, we focus people on the actual value, and we also often make leaner or simpler to identify the actual behavior, the tasks, and tactics, the procedures, and activities that actually produce the desired accomplishments.
So, this kind of statement, or this perspective, led to our performance thinking models, And we are accomplishment based quite explicitly.
Now, I coined the phrase, Gee, it’s been almost 20 years ago now.
Probably work outputs as a synonym for accomplishments. And the reason I did this, and this may be more than you need to know.
But, first of all, if you look in the dictionary, the word accomplishment, often more of the definitions have to do with the completion of behavior than the product of that behavior. And so, that’s kind of a problem, because he was good, it was pointing to the product behavior. And secondly, a lot of accomplishments, the way, if you look at the literature of accomplish it, based performance improvement, going back probably, 50 years, you will see a broad range of descriptions. Sometimes, it’s big, old business results, like improved revenue, or whatever.
Sometimes it’s widgets on the assembly line and often, it’s everything in between, and some of those things are things, but a lot of times, they’re described with kind of passive verbs. The completion of behavior.
So we wanted, in our work, because we, performance thing is very flexible, but it’s founded on very precise elements. So the analysis, we describe them.
And so work outputs is a phrase that we that we sort of coined as an equivalent to accomplishments for two reasons. First of all, it sounds like a product of something work.
And secondly, it’s plural. So it’s very clear that these have to be things you can count.
So, that’s kind of this quick background about accomplishment based performance improvement. This is the performance chain, which is our sort of, fundamental, descriptive model for human performance.
And what we say, whether we’re coaching an individual, or managing people, or doing a large performance improvement project, or just about anything else that involves people’s performance, we always want to start at the end.
We always want to say, what are the organizational or business results, and sometimes societal results that we care about, and what we mean by that are the things that would represent success for the whole organization. And so that list of examples that you can see. Things like revenue, profit, customer satisfaction, market, share, and so forth. Those are things that an investor or an executive would look at and determine, you know, this, this organization did pretty well, because it’s doing well on these things. These are whole organization levels, success factors.
And so any conversation or any project, we ought to know what’s at stake in terms of those results, because because that will affect how we do the rest of it, and it will also connect this up with our stakeholders.
Once we know that, we take a look at performance, and that performance could be the performance of an individual, It could be of a team. It could be of a process.
It could be even of a whole big chunk of people, a business unit.
But fundamentally, the way we’re going to start with that is look at the valuable products, and as I said, what we call work outputs of their behavior of their activity. What do they contribute?
What are the things that they contribute to organizational results?
And so the list of words under there are not really a taxonomy. They’re not really mutually exclusive categories. What they are, words that we’ve identified over, probably 25 years that help people identify work outputs. Now, deliverables, that very straightforward, deliverables, you know, everybody gets that. They’re usually documents or widgets, or something very concrete.
But things like transactions, sales, or or or loans, or various other transactions. Those are things, even though they involve the exchange, usually of things between people. The transaction itself, the sailors, the load is a thing, it’s a product that activity.
Decisions are also really important outputs. A lot of people don’t think of them that way because they think of decisions as behavior, But really, if you consider it, you go through a whole set of activities. And then, finally, you make a decision to hire somebody or to fund some, something, or, or to make a change in something, and that’s really valuable product, and often, that doesn’t make it into people’s lists of outputs.
Milestones and progress indicators are just words that we use when we’re looking at processes, and we’re trying to tell people, or ask people, rather, what are all the things that are produced at each step in a process, Progress indicators went off. And where they’re small things like in a sales process.
Then we have relationships, and I’ll come back to that in a moment. Changes or innovations, or new things, prototypes, improved things.
Communication products, or we sometimes say products of communication, are the things that happen after, or the result of a presentation, or a phone call or a meeting.
Because if you think about it, phone calls, meetings, and so forth, Or activity their behavior.
What do you want to get at the end of that phone, call an appointment, a decision, a better relationship, a plan, same thing with a meeting, or other things. Those are activities.
So, what we really look for, for example, in good meeting plant planning, you know, how to start at the meeting with an agenda that defines what are we going to produce at the end of this meeting? What decisions, what plans, what agreements, etcetera, etcetera.
Solutions or answers are things that tech support, or customer service, or other people provide.
People who do or produce something are what many of us who are in the human performance, human human resources world do at the end of the training program.
You want to have people who can do or say, or produce something new and better.
At the end of a customer service gate, you know, conversation, you want to have a customer who’s happy, who, who got their solution, who doesn’t have to call you back, et cetera.
So those are kinds of outputs.
And then, of course, once we know what the outputs are, it’s a lot easier to identify the behavior, because now we’re in a position to be able to say, oh, what’s actually the behavior required to produce that? We can do task analyzes. We can observe exemplary performers. There’s a lot of ways we can get at that. But what’s beautiful about starting with workout puts her accomplishments is it narrows our focus on what really matters.
Then, finally, behavior influences are all the things that are in place, or we put in place to try to support behavior, and we’re not gonna really go into that, this time, that’s framed in our work by our six boxes model that you can look up on the web if you want to. Now, you know, it works from left to right.
Behavior influences affect behavior that hopefully produce work outputs, that meet criteria, and therefore contribute to organizational results.
But, of course, we plan, and we analyze. We manage it, starting with the end in mind. So, that’s probably not a new idea for most people.
So, this is our core kind of way. We look at performance. Now, relationships is the conversation today.
And so, this is, This is, it’s not new for us, anyway.
Now, but, maybe 15 years ago, when I win, I’d probably add this to the list.
I was when we were working at Microsoft. And I’m actually going to show you an example comes from that, because it was a really nice crisp early example. And we were working with a group of engineers in their organization, then called Engineering Excellence.
And they were trying to look at how do team leaders, leaders in software development environment, might be user interface guys, or test testing people, or coding people, or other people who, you know, work in teams.
And they have their team managers, And they were trying to say, what is a good working relationship between team managers in our software development business?
And so, we, we started working with them to define criteria, and it turns out you can do it.
And as you start to think about that, and then you look in other areas of performance, you realize that this same kind of approach that I’m going to step you through, can apply to lots of stuff. For example, we work a lot with sales, sales organizations, you know, big companies in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotech, and so forth.
Add a salesperson for, let’s say, a medical device of some kind often needs to have, like a half a dozen, different, good relationships, They need to have a relationship with the doctor.
With the nurse, with the materials room people, with their own colleagues who might provide support with different people. And each of those relationships is something that, they need to work two to.
two, develop, and sustain and make work. And so, it’s a rich area for, of opportunity for what we’re about to talk about.
Now, here’s a simple example. And this does reflect the Microsoft thing that I mentioned, ooops.
It’s A It’s, what’s the relationship? Well, it’s an engineering team manager is the performer.
And the work output is a relationship with another engineering team manager appear, basically.
And if you think about it, in a software development environment, and this would apply also in something like training development, or any other place where people are collaborating to produce something of value. If you have a good one, if you have a good working relationship, that’s going to contribute to the efficiency of your working together.
Probably to the quality of the product that comes out the other end, and probably also, to employee satisfaction. There may be other organizational results through which that contributes.
But if you reflect on your important working relationships, you realize that having them good versus not so good can make a big difference for the organization.
And then the last column, which we’ll spend a little bit of time on, with respect to your relationships, are criteria for good.
So what the folks, in this case, decided, this was not, are, we didn’t imposes on me. They thought through it. And what we want with criteria, is to be able to define characteristics of the relation of the thing, the output, this cases, the relationship, that are not really open for interpretation, that we can specify pretty clearly. So we’re not going to argue whether they apply. So.
So, they said, first of all, these two engineer, managers have to have mutual professional respect. And if you need to, you can ask them. Because what we know is, if you don’t respect the other person in some working technical relationship, it ain’t gonna work. You’re probably not going to work. So they said, that was a critical criteria.
Second one was that, on an ongoing basis, those two team managers work towards shared goals. and that’s behavior, but it’s behavior that characterizes the relationship itself.
And then another one was quick response.
So they wanted to respond to phone, e-mail, texting, whatever outreach, usually buy into business day, or at least within 24 hours, so that there was the work delays built into how they work together.
And then finally, they actively work to resolve disagreements quickly.
So, what they said, what if, if two engineering team managers have this relation meets those criteria, it’s going to work pretty well.
They may not even liked each other that much, but if they have these four characteristics, these criteria for good, that’ll be a good one.
So, you know, there’s a lot of different kinds of relationships, This, as I mentioned in the medical devices example, the medical device that sales representatives relationship with each of these people is going to be different, and they’ll have different characteristics. For example, I always get a kick out of the receptionist one, because we’ve talked to senior salespeople, exemplary salespeople in medical devices, companies, and elsewhere. And they say, one of the things they want to do when they’re when they’re calling unmet medical practices is to be sure that they have a good working relationship with the receptionist.
And for example, they want the receptionist to give them their cell number if they can so they can call them before they show up and, you know, bring in some Starbucks to have an extended conversation with the prospective customers and so forth. So so the characteristics of each of these that make up good is are different Then?
here’s some personal ones, and you can think about this too.
You can think about these different sorts of personal relationships you have and you can recognize that the things that characterize good ones will differ and so again.
It’s important to think about criteria for goodwin’s being specific So this is what we’re going to sort of zero in on initially when we talk about criteria for good work outputs It’s what looks? What good? looks like? That’s the old phrase?
People say well, I want to know what good looks like um, and and So that’s kind of what we’re talking about. They are characteristics of the work output itself.
And, and, and, and what that means in the case of relationships, by the way, which is not true with most outputs. Most outputs, like widgets, or documents, or decisions.
The criteria for them are objective characteristics of the thing.
But if you’re talking about a relationship as a thing, the characteristics of it are going to be how we behave in relationship to one another, offer, what characterizes the goodness of it. And then, as I mentioned, they need to be easy to agree on, because if you specified criteria, but they’re still fuzzy, and people are gonna argue over it, it misses the whole point. We’re trying to set clear expectations.
So, and I mentioned this, that criteria for good relationships are usually different for each type of relationship.
And they’re often behavior.
So here’s, here’s some different ones, it includes some of the ones from the Engineering Management one that I showed you, but no.
For example, a good working relationship, we work towards shared goals. We resolve disagreements quickly. We bring up topics of shared interest.
one of the things is, if you’re developing a relationship, For example, I work in the behavioral health world, too.
We have clients that are in the applied behavior analysis, behavioral health industry, which is a rapidly growing industry. And it’s about delivering clinical services to families and individuals mostly on the autism spectrum.
And so, so clinicians in that environment want to develop good relationships with the parents of their clients. And so, you know, they smile when they come in the room is a characteristic they ask. They ask questions. They follow, you know, there’s a work good working relationship with and the parents try out procedures that the clinicians suggest or another one is We trade jokes with one another. We have an amicable amiable relationship. There’s some personal and professional relationship where that’s kind of an important criteria that we, there’s some humor at ball. So we can, we can have lots of examples, but these are, these are ones that I’m trying to show you.
So that when you think about your own criteria, you know, you might have some ideas, is, as I mentioned, behavior. behavior that describes the relationship. You know, this is how we are to get is. what’s good about it.
So, let’s take a look at some of our relationships, and this is where, either having a printed out version of that form, or your own, sort of scratch. one, will, you know, your own sort of Sketch one will help, Let me step you through this. I don’t expect you to do it. Follow this procedure, but these are the steps we’re going to take. We’re gonna, I’m gonna ask you to give you a few minutes to list some of your important relationships.
And then I’m going to without, you’re overthinking it, identify 1 or 2 or 3 of them really good ones, and then I’m gonna ask you to think about what makes those ones good. What are the characteristics? The criteria to make them good. And then I’m going to ask you, are there any other ones that you didn’t check?
The not so good ones that maybe you’d like to improve, And what would they look like if they were good? And then what might you need to improve that? So that’s kind of where we’re going.
I’m gonna give you five minutes right now, and what I’d like you to do is on a piece of paper, be at this forum or just a blank piece of paper, to list, by name, You know. You know, your, your, your met, your manager, your. You know, your colleague in instructional design, your supplier, your, you know, your, your significant other, whoever it is, just list those. And I’m gonna just be quiet for about five minutes, and let you think through a few, just list a few relationships.
You may not actually need five minutes, so we might do it a little bit more quickly than that, but let me give you another couple of minutes, at least.
one more minute.
All right, dead air time, in a way. That. Good.
So, I’m hoping you listed a few native relationships by name or by category. Could even be with a department or a group. I realize it, when we’ve done this before, sometimes we’ve done in the room with Pitt in pairs and people were taught each other, but no event. You’ve listed some relationships. So, what types of, I’m curious, what are some of the examples? And, if you’d like to share, if you could maybe type. some of the examples that you came up with into the question box.
In your, go to webinar control panel.
Let’s see if anybody is up for listing.
A few of the relationships that they came up with.
Basia, Fair enough, with your department head, Yep. Those are all those are. Those are the ones you want to be good, right? Definitely.
Prefer your child, your mentor, your boyfriend or husband, children, All right? This is great. A lot of Goodwin Stepson. this is, this is great. I’m really glad that you put some personal ones in here, because a lot of times, people stay away from that. So these are good, these are some good examples, and other people can look in the question box, and see when you came up with, so thanks for that.
So, OK, so then, um, and so now, if you listed them, think about which ones aren’t just, which ones will work and great, You know, hopefully, 1 or 2 of the ones you listed are, you know, pretty darn good.
So, don’t overthink it, But check off a few that are, they’re pretty good, and I’ll give you a minute or two for that.
I Probably shouldn’t give you too much time because overthinking doesn’t help at this point. So OK, so hopefully you’ve got 1 or 2 that are pretty darn good.
So now, Presumably that was, that was fairly easy.
Usually people can sort of say, yeah, this is great, you know, or they are the problem.
So I’m wondering, did people hesitate, you know, was there it was just like a, a hard thing to do?
Uh, I’m sorry. I’m seem to be getting ahead of myself.
Yeah, so that’s my slides.
Any hesitation? Any comments about that?
Perfectionist, there you go. Yeah, I get that, can relate. That’s what I was saying. Don’t overthink.
So, now, what I’d like to do.
And I keep my computer keeps doing its thing when it’s, I didn’t do anything to it.
So, now, this is, this is perhaps the hardest part of this, and, to be honest, it’s a hard part in performance improvement to, you know, just to step back for a moment from this activity we’re doing now, if you take what we’re what we’re going through right now, and you’re doing any kind of performance improvement project, or effort or coaching, you know, exercise And you identify workout, but that’s pretty hard to start with.
Because, what I’ve learned is that, people, in a way, your relationships are easier to identify than things like decisions.
And, you know, other stuff that might be outputs at work. We find that people are much better at describing their behavior than they are, talking about the valuable products, the behavior. And so, it’s hard enough in the business context, sometimes, to define the outputs of a person.
And we have some tools for doing that, and so forth, But then what is the criteria for good ones?
And so, what you’re looking for, you’re trying to set up expectations so that you could look at that thing, whatever the thing is, and save us a good one.
You and your colleagues, or you, and your boss, for you and your friends or whatever can agree, Yep, that’s a good way. You don’t want to have to argue over whether the criterion applies or not.
So I’m going to ask you, in this case, to do the same thing to take one or more relationships that you think really are pretty darn good. And to sort of describe what the characteristics of them are that make them good.
And they will probably have to do with the behavior involved Sort of day-to-day in those relationships.
So, go for that. I’m going to give you a few minutes to do that.
I’m also going to excuse myself while you do this, because I’m working from my home because my office is being moved at the moment, and Habitat at once out. So hold on for a moment, please, and think about this criteria, and write them down.
These respective behaviors, that’s a good question, Dan. I don’t know. But if you talk about was, if you could objectively say we mutually respect one another, I’m sure we can turn it into behavior, and how we behave in relationship to one another.
So it doesn’t always have to be behavior.
But to say that you have mutually respect, you can probably know if I were if I were coming in as a third party and I asked you and the person you’re having a relationship with, in this context, I said, You guys, you have respect for this person. Does he or she have respect for you. They could probably answer pretty clearly about that. So I think it’s a, it’s not to open for interpretation if you ask the performers to speak.
It’s a good question.
So, some of you maybe already come up with some soap.
Keep working on this.
But if there’s any that you you all came up with that you want to type into the question box, it would be interesting to see what characteristics you came up with as criteria for goodness, why you think of certain relationships as being good ones.
Regular contact, It’s certainly in the list.
Reflective discussion happens, that’s very interesting between the two people. Yep. It makes sense to good one.
It’s always interesting to see what people come up with because it really does vary by, you know, who the relationship was with. Typically.
Candor. Yeah, Honesty candor. We’re both very straight with each other, we know yet.
Enjoy, enjoy your time ago. That seems pretty basic. If it’s a personal relationship for sure. And even in working relationships. You know, like, my experiences went up. For example, when I used to travel often with my whole team of consultants. You know, we had fun together, It was important to do that personal integrity, that’s one of those ones. The integrity thing, it’s one of those labels. It’s a little bit like respect, but it’s like, well, what does that mean? So, sometimes, I just want to make the suggestion.
I’m not saying, you know, I’m not trying to give you negative feedback here, but one of the things that we find with criteria for any output, including relationships, is it, they can often be improved. So, we write something down and we say, that’s still a little bit open for interpretation.
So, I always think of it is, the more precise, the more concrete, the more objective you can get the criteria, the more easily observed, the less open to interpretation, the better. So, you might take, you might take integrity and say, what does that really mean? How do we behave? You know, like, we know, we, we, we do, we maybe it means we behave consistently with what we say, et cetera.
So I’m just suggesting, working on criteria, sometimes challenging, able to disagree, yep, Non-judgemental. Yeah. So those are all pretty darn good things.
And, and what I was gonna suggest is that if I already said it, is try to make those concrete, try to make those really objected.
Because, what we often find is that, particularly, as we live with it, in the case of relationships, for sure, you’re literally living with it.
If you start to say, no, That’s actually what makes it so good.
You know, we, we find moments of joy with one another world, both smile or whatever, and maybe that’s still open for interpretation, but the more precise and concrete you can get, the clearer your expectations are.
And if we move this into a business relationship, let’s say its relationship with a customer, or with a colleague or a client, it’s really important to define what we’re trying to achieve in this relationship.
So, the criteria are important, so, OK, so you’ve shared some of those.
So now, if you have any of those relationships that you listed, it’s sort of so good, You know, like, maybe they could use some improvement.
So, when you think about that, sometimes it’s actually easier to look at things, work, outputs, or relationships that aren’t so good, and define what they would be like if they were better.
So, I guess my question is: are there any that you listed that you would like to see better?
And I think he can see other Participators in the question box.
Pretty sure that you can see that I’m just responding to Yao’s comment.
So, yeah, So what would some of the other ones that are not so good, what would you like them to be? What are the criteria for those?
Reflect on that for a few minutes, and, no, you take a couple of them.
But if you have 1 or 2, that you know could be better, so, what would the criteria look like for them that you would like them to meet in order for them to be better?
And then, really, the next step in that, and they kind of go together, is, what might you do to help move them in that direction?
So, let me give you just a few minutes, and I’ll be quiet to think through this.
Like, what would, How, what would it look like, if some of these were better with the criteria B, and then what might you be able to do to help improve that?
Yeah, OK.
Be honest. That’s I like that.
Somebody instantly.
Webinars seems to be stuck here.
And doctor Binder, did you say your webinar chat with the little stack?
Yes, the reality is that we received a few names.
Good idea, yeah, that’d be great, yeah, yes, we had better understanding and better communication, acknowledge their concerns, talk last and listen more.
Giving honest, straightforward feedback not to be so stubborn.
It would be great if they could read my mind providing solutions.
This is good. So, So, I noticed, as I listen to you, those are you, there are two things, which is kind of what I asked for, both. one, is what would it look like if it were good, and then what might you do to improve it?
And so there was a mix of those two things that you just said, So this is, that’s good.
So any others that people want to add?
We have a couple more coming in, here. We have an thinking in their position and trying to understand.
So that’s, you know, that’s a big one.
Those two. Those two combined, actually, I think those are two things, but, what I’ve noticed a lot in social media lately, and LinkedIn and so forth, a lot of discussions about empathy.
And, I think, frankly, that comes out of the last few years. We’ve all kind of suffered through whether it’s covered and people we know being ill or, you know, the challenges of that or whether it’s noticing on public media, how, how terribly old other people have suffered. But we’re fortunate the whole thing of empathy in a workplace of actually doing what, you know, actually taking the other person’s position, and, and sort of try to understand it. That may be a little vague, but I think we all can sort of do that. And so that’s a great example of how you could probably improve relationship depending on what the criteria are for goodwill. So, so, anyway, this is, this is kind of the process.
This is the exercise and, and what I think we’ve already seen in the image that Sarah has already shared with us, examples of what you can do, What you can do to improve.
So, I want to have a little bit of discussion time here, but let me, let me talks about some takeaways. This is obviously, a really quick and dirty exercise.
And it’s meant to reflect, on the one hand, what we call the logic of performance improvement.
Because what that logic is, again, if you think back about the performance chain model that I showed you, It’s that we want to know what’s at stake here. And then we want to identify the work outputs, and in this case, we decided to talk about relationships at work.
And once you identify the work outputs of the process or the people, or whatever the performers are, then we want to say, what, what’s good one? You know, what are the characteristics that would make this work worse count? What we’re saying is successful, good.
I mean, in other contexts, things like a good proposal, a good decision, a good widget.
No, a good work product of any kind. But in this case, we’re talk, But relationships. What are the criteria for good one?
Once you know that it’s dramatically easier, then just kind of working out of the blue to say, Oh, how might we behave?
What could we do to improve this work output?
And if you shift this from the discussion we’re having right now, let’s say, into a accomplish based coaching methodology, which we have a whole coaching program that we teach and it’s all about helping the person you’re coaching identify the work applets that are valuable, defining criteria, figuring out what behavior will be evolved to produce it, and then problem solving, using our other model with six boxes, to improve it.
And so, so you can imagine, in that context exactly the sequence of what I’d tried to step you through really quickly, identify the work output, figure out what good looks like, define the criteria in a way that are objective, figure out what behavior, that could be, the performer, or whoever it is.
In this case, you and your relationships could exhibit, or could try to improve it. And then, of course, if we’re a manager leader, performance professional or HR professional, see if we can arrange the conditions in your environment to optimize to support it, not just skills and knowledge, but expectations, and feedback, and tools, and resources, and recognition, consequences, et cetera.
So, so really, this exercise beside, I think, being kind of fun for most people, because it makes you think about your relationships, is also an simple example of performance thinking.
So, let me make a few general takeaway comments. First of all, this thing we’re doing here, is, you all jumped right in, Which is really cool. It applies to both personal, professional, personal relationships. So, you may or may not want to apply it in both contexts, but it’s not a bad way to think about, what can I do to make things as good as it can be.
The second thing is, again, This is specific to relationships in this case, but the criteria for good, as you probably noticed, as he went through, the, exercise, will vary from one relationship to, you know, my relationship with my son has very different criteria than my relationship with my significant other or with the personnel manager with my professional colleague, or you know, whatever. It is. And so we want to get specific about criteria, and frankly that’s true with any kind of output.
We want to get concrete and specific enough, so you can say, Yep. That’s a good one. You know.
And then this perhaps is obvious to you, but I think when, when those of you who shared specified, you know, kind of what some of the ones that aren’t so good and what you’d like to do to make them better, there is implicit in that for most people, but I think explicit, if you really follow through the steps that I asked you to.
Once you define the criteria for what goodwood look like, it generally helps you think more clearly about behavior, and, of course, in the work environment.
But I think also, in the personal environment, there’s exemplary people. I have some friends who are among the most compassionate, caring people I’ve ever known.
I have friends and colleagues who have great patience.
I’m not a very patient person, and so I observe them.
And I see how they, one of the, one of you, in the, in the, in the question box a few minutes ago, put something like, you know, talk less, listen more as one of the things I could benefit from. So, so once you define the criteria for a thing, it’s, it’s much easier usually to identify both through kind of just abstract task analysis, but also by observing exemplary performers, what the behavior might be for producing good work.
Relationships, of course, and this goes without saying maybe, but I think it’s worth saying anyway, not just in our personal lives, but in our business lives that are among our most precious accomplishments.
If you think about your history, as a, as a professional, as you know, in your work, I would bet, certainly, has been true, in my case, that there have been key relationships that happened for one reason or another.
And hopefully, I worked on, and hopefully, other personal work done, but made, really good, and changed our lives, or changed the course of our business, or changed.
You know, our trajectories in really important ways. And so relationships are really important accomplishments, and we can approach them as such.
And so, what I would like to propose, and this is kind of what I was saying at the beginning, this is kind of an engineering approach. You know, it seems a little bit, not very warm and fuzzy. But this same process of thinking may help to clarify what is sometimes a confusing topic for people.
So, those are, those are my takeaways.
We’ve got a few more minutes here, I think. I want to mention a couple of things that sort of on our plate. one is, I made some reference to the summer institutes that we do every year, and we are scheduling our 12th one for this June. And you can learn about it if you go to.
If you’d go to performance thinking dot com or six boxes dot com, and you can also see some folks, first thing that TV, you can see some testimonials from past years.
This year is a tough year because it looks like most companies and our colleagues are, are really concerned about uncertainty. So we’re not people sure if people, if it will be a huge group or not. but anyway, that’s something to know about.
Then the other thing to know about is we have our YouTube channel … dot TV, and we’ve recently been we’ve got a whole lot of webinars there and we’ve recently been putting out study guides for them because we’ve found some groups like a couple of ATD regions that are having study groups and people who do book Club things where you can also take a look at the webinars. And so, if you’re interested in this, you can use that QR code to sign up to get these free study guides by e-mail.
And then we have some discount.
We have a nice partnership with the HR DQ here where, if you go to, if you go to use me, if you go to either that QR code, you can point your phone or to that link, you can get some discounts on our executive coaching methodology.
You can, if you’re an executive and you’d like some coaching, you can learn about that and sign up for it, will give you a good deal for our practitioners certification, which is our performance consulting certification program, which is a very substantial program, that we take people through in 12 virtual sessions, And then we coach people through a real project in their organization, that typically returns a lot more on the investment than the cost of the program, and then our Summer Institute.
So you can, so, check out that link, for, uh, And it’s behaving by itself, check out that link for more information.
So, that’s, as they say, my story, and I’m sticking to it, um, I wonder if there are some questions, or comments that you might want to share in the question box.
Well, thanks, factor. Yes, you have any questions. We have about 10 minutes here to answer those, to make sure that you chat those into the question area. And our first question here is coming from Cynthia. And Cynthia asks, would you say that the criteria be considered as levels of relationships, including boundaries?
Well, that’s very interesting.
I hadn’t thought about it quite that way, but I think things like boundaries, for sure, you know, there’s, there’s so much like, I gotta be careful Not to go on and on about these things, but, you know, there’s so much language in our lives, in our world, and even professionally that are kind of fuzzy.
It’s like, for example, if you look at descriptions of competencies, in many cases, like, Well, what does I really mean in this situation versus that situation?
I would say things like boundaries, and some of the characteristics of levels of relationship.
Sometimes, we specify in a somewhat fuzzy way.
And so, we have a very clear idea of what it might mean, and I guess, what I think is that criteria by stating criteria and trying to make them so there just crisp, you know, is a good way to make those things clear.
And so I can certainly understand, like, thinking of levels or boundaries, in particular, You know? I could certainly think there’s obvious examples from the workplace where we know people, you know, a good working relationship is where people don’t invade might face or touch me without, you know, being given a cent or whatever.
But, there’s probably more subtle examples of this, too, in terms of levels or degrees.
Familiarity, or closeness, like Pink?
I think your question is a really cool question, that I’ve never thought about, exactly, this way, but it seems, to me that criteria do define sort of, boundaries and definitions, that you can make more explicit. You may have a feeling or an idea about something. But, by actually writing it down, saying, For this to work, it’s got to meet these criteria.
I think that’s, I think, I guess, I think I would say yes about your question, great. And we have another question here from Ivana, and Ivanna asks, How have you apply this work to education?
Well, you know an example of that. I mentioned, I actually buy early.
My early career was, after I was sort of behavior scientist, I spent 10 years researching and really special ed and training teachers and such. But then, I got into organizational performance improvement in the early eighties, and they’ve been doing that ever since.
However, as I mentioned earlier, we have a significant and growing kind of market segment in our business, which is, these growing, applied behavior analysis, behavioral health companies.
I mean, there’s some of these companies that start out with 3 or 4 clinicians and four years later, that it wouldn’t 20 states. Because there’s a lot of people diagnosed on the Autism.
So, one of the critical things that comes in that work, where clinicians and their supervisors are working with families, they’re working with parents, is relationship with the client, him or herself.
Relationship with the parent, Those are two critical relationships that, you know. You say, OK, well, you know, we got good. Parent satisfaction, well, how about if we try to develop a relationship with parents, so that they ask us questions? And feel free to do that, or, so that we smile, and we actually had some humorous conversations where we meet, or where the parent actually tries, and successfully, follows, procedures, we recommend, they use at home.
So, you can characterize the relationship between, let’s say, the parent of a student, and a teacher, or a clinician by defining crisp criteria, and then getting a little bit more clear about what it would do to take to get there. You can also define your relationship with the student themselves.
I have a have a colleague who’s who’s been doing working with kids for 50 years. I did my dissertation in her first grade classroom almost 50 years ago. And she’s still working with kids.
I’ve never seen a teacher who connected at the heart more more deeply and quickly with students than she does. And that’s kind of fuzzy what I just said.
But if you watched, and you saw kids who come in an approach, kids who smile, when they sit down to do work with her, kids who want to practice more. I mean, you see all these indications that this is a good relationship, you know?
So, I think relationship with the student, I also think that you can look at it in education, in terms of administration and supervision. Like, what is the classroom teachers relationship with the, with the principal.
You know, did they get the support they need and vice versa, you know, does it is it work in both directions or with the superintendent, or if we go to higher education, I know I spent an enormous amount of time when I was the college student in the offices of my professors.
And I had a relationship there, And I always encourage younger people who are in college or graduate school. I said, You know, what you really want to do is develop some good, collaborative learning relationship with professors who are interested in what you do.
So, I think relationship, I think, education is filled with valuable relationships, and if we can get crisp about what a good one is, we can probably work to improve them.
I don’t know if that answers your question directly, but I’m thoughts about it at least.
Great. And then this next question’s coming from Diane, who would like to now. Are there specific practices or strategies you recommend for assisting people who think differently to arrive at a crisp and clear and agreed criteria?
I probably don’t have a good answer to that.
The word that popped up as I was listening to it is negotiation or whatever.
I think what we find in the workplace, and this is honestly where I’ve had the most hands-on experience with this. I don’t, I’m not a clinical psychologist, I don’t work on human potential stuff. I have a lot of friends and colleagues that I talk with about this, and I’m sure I’ve thought about some of my own personal relationships in these terms, but mostly, it’s in the workplace. We actually try to apply this, and help our clients and the people who go through our programs, And in that context.
What we assume is, that if you’re working with somebody, and for that matter, if you have a personal relationship with somebody, you know, if you’ve got, if you’re married and you got kids, you got to work out details, you gotta figure out, you got to agree on stuff, right?
But in the workplace, when people say, Oh, I think I said, No, I think it’s that, usually what happens or very often, what happens is that, is that people are just looking at different parts of the widget, or the decision, or whatever the thing is.
And so it’s one of those things where, you know, the energetic description of it is you wrestle it to the ground. But essentially, what you’re trying to do is say, how about this?
Does that work? Can we agree on that one? Well, no, you’re still open to interpretation.
So I think the general strategy is you try out criteria, in particular, in terms of what it looks like to you, and what it looks like to them. And you may get to a point where they say, I want this, and you want that. And we’re not going to be able to figure this out.
But, I think usually, if you’re in a work environment where we’re all trying to get clear and work together, and be productive, and, you know, et cetera, I think everybody would like to be clear about it.
And so, it’s just like, like, for example, my son just started a new job, coincidentally, two weeks ago as a software developer, in a really cool financial tech company, and he told me that the first meeting he had with his manager’s manager, said, Know, this might be the most formal relationship you’ve ever had with me. On the other hand, he said, I’m just the Bozo, like all the rest of the teammates. And so, this guy was starting, it was obviously not a crisp thing, but he was starting to develop a relationship with my son, will be working for them.
I think, I think it just applies, and what you’d like to do is get clear about it as much as you can, And I don’t have specific practices, other than everybody trying to get to agreement.
Well, thank you for that reminder here, and that does bring us, that concludes our Q&A for today and brings us here to the top of the hour. Thank you so much for such an informative webinar today Dr. Binder.
You’re most welcome. It’s always fun to never tell, but it’s nice to get some comments and questions for other people, so I appreciate it a lot.
Yes, we had some great questions coming in from the audience today, and as a reminder, today’s webinar is sponsored by The Performance Thinking Network and Make sure that you check out those awesome deals being offered to read the Performance Thinking Network, we’re really excited to be working with them. And with that, that brings us to the end of today’s webinar. Again, thank you so much for your time today Dr. Binder.
Thank you, Sarah, and thank you everyone for participating.
Yes, Thank you all for participating on today’s webinar, Happy Training!

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