Ferrazzi says "Throw out the small talk!"

I attended a presentation by Keith Ferrazzi, author of “Who’s Got Your Back”, on building trust and more intimate relationships with your virtual team recently. I was watching the live stream on my computer while the speaker connected with his “live” audience. Kind of ironic, I know! But I’ll redeem myself by saying that the whole thesis of his talk was from his research on the New People Rules in a Virtual World. He said,

“Relational and collaborative behaviors were the behaviors that needed to be changed the most in order to unleash value.”


Ferrazzi is a major champion of rediscovering relationships as the primary drivers of business and a great inspiration to anyone that wants to see their business grow.

We know relationships are important, but it’s easy to lose sight of this in the ever expanding virtual world. So I ask, what are you really doing to develop deep, trusting ones in your business?

Look around you. How connected are you to your own colleagues? Are you curious about what drives them? What is it that brings them back to work every day?

Well if you don’t know, ask. You might find out something unexpected.

It’s a scary thing to ask. You have to give up the expectation of the answer, and begin to want to know everything about why Fred is the way he is, or that you know what Jane’s going to say even before she says it.

This idea is this: put your assumptions to the side for a moment and engage in a genuine open conversation with your colleagues. You’ll be excited to see what develops.

At the very least, take Ferrazzi’s advice and to a quick check-in before your meeting begins. The weather is soooo yesterday’s news.

Have you experienced relationships being deemphasized or replaced by technology in your workplace? Comment below to share your story.

Matthew Koren is a team management and leadership consultant and executive coach based out of Portland, OR. To learn more and receive great, useful content each month, sign up for my email list here.