The Power of Discovering What We Have in Common

Today’s article is the seventh in a series learning from the book by Paul Smith, Lead With A Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire.


Have you ever felt distant, or aggressively competitive, or even had a downright dislike for someone, only to find out later that you have things in common which eventually bridged the gap and you are now friends, if not close friends and supportive colleagues?


It happens all the time. Far more frequently than most of us might admit.


In chapter 10, titled “Encourage Collaboration and Build Relationships,” Smith explores the important truth and reality that, “When people have the opportunity to discover common values, they’re able to build more productive, collaborative relationships.” It’s true in every organization in the world, regardless of whether the organization is small, large, local, regional, national, or global. And, that reality is true for your organization!


Throughout this chapter, Smith uses stories to provide excellent examples of people finding common values and then building more productive, collaborative relationships. The author also provides specific techniques and examples of how leaders can purposefully and intentionally bring their people and teams together to more quickly and effectively find common ground. The result is exactly what a good leader wants and needs: more effective collaboration and more meaningful and deeper long-lasting relationships.


People are far more likely to contribute their best when they are an important part of a team with whom they have meaningful relationships and common values. Smith writes:


“We don’t tell our personal stories because we work with strangers. They remain strangers because we don’t tell our personal stories. You have to break the cycle. Challenge people to tell their stories, and you’ll never work with strangers again.”


Applying the wisdom contained in chapter 10 will make any leader a better leader!


NielsenCopyright © 2013 by Dan Nielsen –

National Institute for Healthcare Leadership –

America’s Healthcare Leaders –

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