"GET BETTER: 15 Proven Practices to Build Relationships at Work," by Todd Davis, Simon & Schuster, 256 pages (nf)
Todd Davis is the executive vice president and chief people officer at FranklinCovey, where he has worked for over 20 years. He discussed his new book “Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work" with the Deseret News.
Deseret News: How did your work serve as inspiration for “Get Better”?
Todd Davis: So, because of the role I’m in, I spend a lot of my time working with and coaching leaders and others in all levels of the organization. I’ve done this for nearly the past 30 years in various roles, and I’ve been with FranklinCovey for over 21 years. As I have been a part of all these conversations and working with people from all levels, I pulled from literally the hundreds of principles and tools and paradigms contained in FranklinCovey’s world-class solutions, and I identified those 15 that I’ve seen repeatedly be the real good ones for accelerating people’s relationships — and therefore their careers and everything they do — or those same 15 that can become stumbling blocks, for me and for all of them.
While there were many (principles), I narrowed them down to 15, and that’s the premise of this book. It’s called “Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work.” These are the 15 behaviors that I’ve seen in my career be the real accelerators, or the stumbling blocks.
DN: Your book lists 15 practices that most significantly affect working relationships. If someone wants to apply these 15 practices into their job or into their life, what does the outcome look like for them?
TD: Each of the chapters begins with a question, so whether it resonates with you or not — have you felt that one role in your life comes at the expense of another? — well then practice No. 4, “Play Your Roles Well” might be a practice you might want to dive into. Instead of doing a mediocre job in 100 roles or 20 roles, you ask, “What are the five to seven most important roles in my life?” The application in this particular practice is to identify someone who is impacted or influenced by you in that role, and if that person were to give you a five-star rating, what would they say about you in two or three lines? That’s a particular application I walk people through with this book.
DN: Interestingly, you end the book with “Start with Humility.” Why did you end there? Shouldn’t that have been No. 1?
TD: Of all the practices, all of them are great, but if you are lacking in humility, you’re not going to make very much movement toward getting better. I’ve seen that be the missing piece with many people I’ve worked with, and when I’ve stumbled it’s because I’ve let my bad ego get in the way of something. I put it specifically at the end and emphasized it there because if I don’t start with humility, it’s all going to be for naught.
DN: Often CEOs and executives have the final say on everything. How can these leaders cultivate humility when they always have the last word?
TD: Well, we have organizations and structures for a reason, because somebody’s always got to make the final decision. But the greatest leaders — while they will have the final word — they will realize that the best answers and the most informative answers are out there on the front lines coming from the people who do the work. It’s the great thing about humility, that if I have true humility, I don’t need to have all the answers. In fact, I can be vulnerable because I don’t get my validation from the opinions of others. It is a struggle as people move up in their careers to become more confident and credible, but they need to have enough humility to really listen.
DN: “Get Better” mainly seems to target business and work relationships. Do these principles apply for friend and family relationships?
TD: The extended title of my book might as well be ‘Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work‘ ‘and at Home.’ These same 15 practices apply everywhere we go. A majority of the examples in the book leaned toward professional examples, but they are just as applicable at home as they are at work.
If you go
What: Todd Davis reading and signing
When: Friday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m.
Where: Barnes and Noble at Sugarhouse, 1104 E. 2100 South
Get Better 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work