The Ultimate Question In #humanbiz

“I am because of who we are.”

Can one question transform the way people experience you as a human being? Can one question, asked in a warm and playful spirit of inquiry, validate even the least-friendly people you meet, and in doing, win you a new friend… or even a free cab ride in New York City?

Recently, Leaguer and friend Susan Mazza introduced me to a remarkable couple, two of her dear friends who she thought I should collaborate with on a project I’m exploring for Switch and Shift. And she told me, for the sake of this project, it’s the husband, Juergen, who has the skill sets most relevant to me.

But life isn’t all about relevant skill sets, is it? Juergen, delightful and remarkable creator that he is, did not just give one of the best TED talks I have ever watched (and I’ve watched hundreds!).

Watch this 13-minute talk by the other half of this extraordinary couple, Robyn Stratton-Berkessel. I think you’ll agree, this one simple question (which I have used on dozens of people since I first watched the video the other day) can change your day. And your interlocutor’s day. And maybe, one person at a time, if we keep asking it and spreading it… well, just maybe it can make our whole world just a little bit better.

(Can’t see the video? Check it out here)


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Copyright: chalabala / 123RF Stock Photo

Ted Coiné is a Forbes Top 10 Social Media Power Influencer and an Inc. Top 100 Leadership and Management Expert. This stance at the crossroads of social and leadership put him in a unique perspective to identify the demise of Industrial Age management and the birth of the Social Age. The result, after five years of trend watching, interviewing and intensive research, is his latest book, A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive, which he co-authored with Mark Babbitt. An inspirational speaker and popular blogger, Ted is a pioneer of the Human Side of Business (#humanbiz) movement. He is also a serial business founder and three-time CEO. When not speaking at conferences and corporate functions, Ted advises CEOs on how to become Truly Social Leaders, or “Blue Unicorns” as they put it in A World Gone Social, in order to bring their companies into the Social Age. Ted’s advice: “Change is only scary if it’s happening to you. Instead, bring the change your competitors dread. That is something only a Social Age business leader can accomplish.”

  • Hi Ted, I am honored to have you post about my TEDx video and to have you say “one of the best TED talks I have ever watched (and I’ve watched hundreds!),” I feel humbled and extremely proud. Yes, my talk definitely relates to the human side of business at many levels. It touches on the value of inquiry, listening, stories and co-constructing shared realities. It’s about being in relationship with each other and appreciating, at our core, we are in this together. Thank you, my new friend.

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