Intimacy in the Workplace

Intimacy in the Workplace

By Vanessa

Outside my work at Strevas, I work as an Intimacy Coordinator for film and television and I have been reflecting today on the intersection of the two roles I undertake as a facilitator and IC. There are two main places where the work overlaps: the first is the more obvious and is about open communication and the second is about what David Maister, Charlie Green and Robert Galford wrote about in their renowned book The Trusted Advisor. In order to be considered a trusted advisor, they came up with an equation:

Trust formula

I want to focus on the “I” word here today, which is one often overlooked in business.

Charlie Green explains intimacy in this short video below and there are a few key points to pull out. There is a distinction he makes between “personal” and “private” interactions. Intimacy in the work context focusses more on the personal: what are the other person’s aspirations, dreams, fears? It’s about leaning in and listening to that. Connection is what this is all about:

That led me to think about Brené Brown’s brilliant Ted Talk from June 2010, The Power of Vulnerability, in which she says, inter alia, “connection is why we’re here”.

Lawyers are typically brilliant on the Credibility and Reliability fronts – they’re well-educated, they deliver work to deadline and people rely on their research and findings. If we can encourage lawyers to embrace vulnerability and move towards Intimacy with their clients and colleagues, we can continue to ensure their connections are as powerful as their transactional work. This is where the lawyer surely moves from being in a best supporting role to Rainmaker.