Couples Therapy with My Boss

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Plunge in vs wait and see: What formative experiences inform each style, and how to move forward in an inspired pas de deux?


Episode 5 of How’s Work? with Esther Perel captures the survival strategies that thrust a nonprofit manager and her employee into a self-described “tumultuous” dance of action and reaction. The dialogue is witness to their mutual empathy, yet also to the dynamics that rouse one into full swing while sending the other into retreats of studied resistance. 
In Couples Therapy With My Boss, Esther peers into the past histories that each brings to the present and directs the pair to reconnect around their shared educational calling. 


What to listen for in this episode of How’s Work? with Esther Perel:

  • What assumptions do we make about the shared identities of our higher-ups and employees?
  • To root out the tensions between coworkers is to root out their origin: organizational, interrelational/relational, or personal or individual—or possibly a combo. 
  • Whether impulsive or deliberate, what decision making approaches and responses do we feel confer clarity and strength? And what are the trainings we draw on from our formative years?
  • How can a manager reconcile the need to set performance goals with the need to monitor an employee’s emotional health? 
  • What are the catalysts of productive energy—and when is an employee’s energetic questioning perceived as destructive pushback?
  • To invite a new conversation about the ideas and experiences that bind coworkers is to invite a new relationship with those coworkers.

Sharpen Your Relational Intelligence

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