A multigenerational take on connection & conversation in the world of work
Hosted by a Millennial, Gen-xer, and a Baby Boomer, On Connection takes on topics relating to organizational life, leadership, and how our quality of connection influences our ability to perform and feel personally fulfilled at work.
While topics around human connection have become more mainstream in the business world in recent years, it’s still a largely underutilized asset in organizations, and yet we know it is a critical leverage point for achieving results. A key part of improving our connections means honoring and valuing difference. We believe differences + trust = brilliance, so along with our generational differences, we will be seeking out various perspectives on topics related to life at work so that we can all be smarter and stronger together.
Our Latest Episode
March 30, 2022
The Younger Perspective: Millennials & Gen Z at Work
Gen Z, which is usually defined as those born between 1997 and 2012, is expected to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025. And they’re coming into organizations led by people from older generations who already have well-formed biases and expectations about them (including Millennials). While earlier in their career, the youngest members of our organizations bring a different view of work and the world, one we can get value from if we listen with an intent to learn.
March 2, 2022
How to Disagree
One of the hardest parts of human connection is managing disagreements. Disagreements are inevitable, at work and in the rest of life, and while it makes perfect sense that we tend to avoid and fear conflict, it can be really valuable. Mickey, Robin, and Emma Rose share what they consider to be the design of valuable disagreement, along with some practical steps for implementing it.
Feburary 16, 2022
Alignment vs. Agreement
Alignment is a term that gets thrown around a lot in leadership and org management, but how is alignment different than agreement? We think there’s an important difference, and hosting conversations designed for alignment not only increases value but will reduce disappointments, costs, and pain down the road.
Feburary 2, 2022
Practice Presence for Purposeful Leadership & Vitality
A leader’s ability to make a meaningful difference rises and falls with the quality of their presence. By presence, we do not mean charisma; we mean awareness. This awareness improves insight and action, but a lack of awareness assures that you are not fully connected to yourself, to reality, or to others—dangerous territory for a leader. Emma Rose is joined by Richard McDonald and Roger Henderson, two of Conversant’s resident “presence gurus,” to talk about why presence matters and practices that support greater presence in our professional and personal lives.
January 19, 2022
Change vs. Evolution: A mindset that matters
Change is a near-constant part of life, leadership, and organizational management today. We’ve found, though, that it isn’t actually enough to simply change. Instead, we think a mindset focused on evolution is more valuable. In this episode, Emma Rose is joined by Anne Murray Allen and Krista Spence, both Senior Consultants with experience leading, managing, and studying change. They talk about this distinction and what it means to adopt an "evolution mindset."
January 5, 2022
The Great Resignation: Facts vs. Explanations
The Great Resignation is just one of the COVID-era phenomena many people, especially organizational leaders, are concerned with right now. Everyone wants to know—why is this happening? There is a long list of possible explanations that have been given, but no single clear cause. In this episode, rather than analyzing the why we focus on how leaders can make decisions in the midst of pressure and uncertainty using a principle that can be applied across challenges of all kinds and scales: separating facts from explanations.
December 10, 2021
Achieving Interpersonal Flow
“Flow state” has been a popular area of interest since it was studied by positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi over 40 years ago. To experience flow is to be fully immersed in an activity, engaged to the point of hyper focus—being “in the zone.” While primarily studied in individuals, we started wondering—can you achieve interpersonal flow? Can a team be in flow? What can leaders do to make it more accessible for those they lead? Emma Rose is joined by Roger Henderson and Kell Delaney to discuss what we can do to encourage interpersonal and team flow.
November 17, 2021
Community: Why it matters & how to build it
Community is an important part of building vitality in organizations, or for any group of people that wants to achieve something together. We define vitality as “the capacity to live, grow or develop; the presence of intellectual and physical vigor; energy.” For organizations, we say that whoever masters vitality as a source of performance has an extraordinary competitive edge and provides a deeply satisfying life for themselves and the people they lead. In this episode, we focus on why community matters and how to build the kind of community that lends to personal and collective vitality.
November 3, 2021
The Conversations Are the Work
At Conversant we believe that conversation and connection are underutilized yet critical leverage points for achieving results. Whether it’s meetings, one-on-one check-ins, emails, or chat, studies show that leaders spend the majority of their workdays communicating. What if each of those conversations was truly valuable?
There is a design to conversations that drive value, and we can be students of that design, developing our conversational skills the same way an athlete works to get better at their sport. In this episode we talk about why focusing on the quality of our conversations matters, and the difference it can make on our work and our lives.
October 20, 2021
Joy at Work with Juan Mobili
Over the last year, we at Conversant have become fond of saying “joy belongs at work.” Not only do we believe work can be joyful, we believe joy belongs at work. These two words, however, feel counter to one another more often than not. How many of us describe our workdays as "joyful"?
Juan Mobili, leadership development consultant, executive coach, and long-time friend of Conversant, has recently reflected on joy in his poetry. Juan joined Robin and Emma Rose to explore this concept of joy a bit more: How is joy different from being happy? What is work without joy? How does joy relate to authentic leadership? How does joy contribute to organizational success?
October 6, 2021
Leading Through the Great Office Debate
Should we be remote? In an office? Is hybrid the answer? There’s no clear answer or one-size-fits-all solution, but we can learn from the leaders that are managing workplace policy decisions today.
This episode features three executives that have led very different approaches to this challenge: Chris Hanslik led an early return to the office for BoyarMiller, a Houston-based law firm. Kevin Hanes has been managing what a hybrid solution looks like for the cybersecurity platform Cybrary. And Sté Crispino leads Tribo, a Sao Paolo-based consulting firm that has always been remote, and she has a few things to say about building a strong culture in a virtual world.
September 22, 2021
A Multigenerational Perspective
In our first episode, we focus on why getting a multigenerational perspective on topics relating to work and organizational life matters, and the things we can be smarter together about if we allow each generation to mentor the rest of us in the ways they are uniquely able to contribute. We talk about how growing up in different times gave us different models for leadership and conflict resolution, and the silent biases we might each have about things like being in an office vs. remote work, hierarchical structures and power dynamics, mental health, and more.
New episodes every other week
Robin Anselmi / Gen X
Robin has a love of design that began with her early career in engineering, manufacturing, and financial services. She brings her practicality and process orientation to finding collaborative solutions with our clients. As CEO and President of Conversant, Robin is dedicated to changing the notion that communication and collaboration are ‘soft skills'. She is a strong advocate for connection (even love!) as the most powerful skill of leaders who want to see real and long-lasting business results.
Mickey Connolly / Baby Boomer
For over 25 years Mr. Connolly and his colleagues have explored how communication impacts coordinated action and organizational culture. Working in global commercial companies, police departments, and military organizations has led to a conviction: any group can achieve more with less time, money, and stress if they apply the “communication for action” techniques.
Emma Rose Connolly / Millennial
With a diverse background in B2B marketing, sales, psychology, hospitality, mental health, and wellness, Emma Rose is deeply passionate about what makes us human and the ways we connect. As the Head of Marketing for Conversant, Emma Rose manages from a strongly held belief that authenticity speaks volumes, and that there is magic in community and collaboration.