Framework curated by Luke DeCoste, Entrepreneur-in-Residence and MindFrame Connect Advisor
Dr. Carole Robin’s life changing and transformational work on interpersonal relationships has started a movement in Silicon Valley and around the world. She has spent decades refining methods for building exceptional relationships while working with entrepreneurs and innovators at Stanford University, YCombinator, and Google. She recently shared some of her straight-forward frameworks for building relationships in an interview with MindFrame Connect.
Despite the importance of strong relationships, few of us are taught how to intentionally improve them. Dr. Robin wants founders to know that by developing specific skills you can intentionally move relationships along a continuum from dysfunctional to exceptional.
Interpersonal Relationships Matter
For entrepreneurs, relationships are key to developing your resilience, your leadership, and your business.
Relationships Build Happiness and Resilience:
Healthy relationships build both our happiness and our resilience. In the longest-running study on human happiness, close relationships were more important than money and fame in keeping people happy and preventing physical and mental decline.
Relationships make for Resilient Companies:
Social relationships are essential to developing and sustaining a business. “People do business with people,” Dr. Robin told us. “They don't do business with ideas, machines, products, plans, or money. They actually do business with people. So, until you get the people part right, you're going to be somewhat limited in how far you're going to get.”
Relationships Build Self-Awareness as a Leader:
Relationships are also key to increasing your self-awareness, a key component of being an emotionally intelligent leader. Through her work, Dr. Robin provides tools for entrepreneurs to better understand both their and others’ emotions so they can build better relationships.
Connect - Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues:
Dr. Robin refined her ideas through several decades teaching the “life-changing and transformational” interpersonal dynamics course to Stanford University students with David Bradford. Together, Robin and Bradford shared their ideas through a new book - Connect - Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues. The book has been celebrated by business leaders, including Bonobos Co-founder Andy Dunn who called it the most important book you’ll read this year, and Thrive Global Founder Arianna Huffington who called it 'A practical and timely book.' Bloomberg called it one of the best books of the year.
Dr. Robin is now furthering her lifelong commitment to developing business leaders by co-founding Leaders-in-Tech, an organization helping leaders of high-growth tech companies build high-performing and culturally healthy organizations.
Six Pillars of Exceptional Relationships
In Connect, Robin and her co-author Bradford share their six pillars of exceptional relationships. They argue that by learning these skills, you can move relationships along a continuum from dysfunctional – to exceptional.
In highlighting the importance of these six pillars, Dr. Robin told us “To the extent that you have them all and really deeply, you're at exceptional.”
To begin putting her ideas to work in your relationships and companies, check out her books’ website - Connect - Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues.
Connect’s Six Pillars of Exceptional Teams
We draw these best practices from the first-hand experience of program managers like you and our own expertise. This white paper is a comprehensive guide that will be your roadmap to building a world-class mentoring program.