I have already placed my order for Paul Zak’s, “The Moral Molecule.”  It’s released on May 12, 2012 and I’m interested in the book even though the author has the title wrong.  He should have called it “The Relationship Molecule,” or “The Trust Molecule.”  The molecule he’s talking about is oxytocin and it is considered the “feel good” chemical controlled by subsystems in our brains.

I love when we can remove some of the mystery about our inner workings – it gives us access to be better leaders and better people.  Those of you who have attended the Applied Leadership Seminar have heard me talk about oxytocin relative to trust, conversations, and relationships.  Here are some points noted in the seminar:

  • We trust people who are self-regulated, calm, and focused.
  • The power of having messages converge within an organization is the culture of trust that results.
  • It’s obvious to everyone when you are being careful in a conversation – and nobody will trust you.
  • The benefit of being authentic in our relationships is that it builds trust.
  • Without trust you cannot lead.
  • Being trusted is the most significant prediction of individual satisfaction in an organization
  • To shift from the Constructive to the Esprit phase of team development requires a high level of trust among team players.

Now here’s the de-mystifying revelation and the fascinating part of all of this — Our only access to oxytocin in ourselves and in others (yes, we can cause others to release it) is through relationships, and these require an active state of conversation.  Paul Zak goes so far as to suggest that these conversations must be face-to-face to get the most access to oxytocin.   Now, he’s talking my leadership language!

See the attached WSJ article for more insights about “The Moral Molecule.”


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