Three Skills From “The Culture Code” by Daniel Coyle

There are three vital skills one needs in a group, according to New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle — and those three skills are explored in his latest book, “The Culture Code.”

Every business needs a solid company culture. And in his book, Coyle offers some straightforward tips with basic comparisons about how to implement a solid company culture using three ideas: building safety, sharing vulnerability, and establishing purpose.

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Building safety is the first core feature of “The Culture Code.” Safety in Coyle's context means that one bad apple spoils the bunch — when one teammate is exhibiting bad behavior, others start to mimic it, and the whole team is spoiled. To tackle the bad apple, Coyle says, create "belonging cues" that make them feel like they're brought into the dialogue and that their destructive behaviors are muted by compassion. These belonging cues include one's energy, eye contact, body language, vocal pitch, and more.

The next touchstone of culture is sharing vulnerability, which goes beyond just the emotional aspects of vulnerability. Group vulnerability is being alright with stating that you're having trouble and reaching out for help whenever possible. By turning teammate relationships into supportive and mutually-inclusive exchanges, employees will feel like they can trust everyone around them. Vulnerable leadership and overcommunicating expectations are two ways that Coyle says this synergy can begin.

Lastly, a team works best together by establishing purpose. Coyle tells readers to ask themselves why a group is built and what the goal of the group is. Teams should focus on "mental contrasting," he adds, identifying a goal and potential obstacles to achieving that goal. The ultimate task of any team is to build a "high-purpose environment" that prides purpose over all else — the way this is achieved, Coyle concludes, is by providing framing, creating roles, having consistent rehearsals, emphasizing speak-up culture, and then reflecting using a feedback process.