When Rachel Cook started her company, Seeds, she wanted to create a culture that valued open, clear communication. She was looking for an alternative to the ego-driven communication style she had experienced in the male-dominated field of stock trading. Rachel decided to institute a practice of holding one-on-ones with each person on her team, every single week. She encouraged her employees to use this time with her to talk about any uncomfortable interactions or other concerns from the previous week. By being receptive to her co-workers’ feedback no matter what, she was able to create a place in these one-on-one meetings where each team member felt safe speaking honestly.
The result of this practice of prioritizing regular one-on-ones is that the team has extremely productive and positive communication in their work together, even in times of conflict. Another unexpected benefit for Rachel is that, as she received all of her team’s feedback openly, she gained a very accurate picture of her own strengths and weaknesses. This accurate picture is critical to the success of any CEO.
Rachel Cook prioritizes the feminine values of connection and openness. Her company’s chances of success are increased by having the full benefit of all perspectives on the team.
P.S. Check out Seeds, an incredibly creative social venture which funnels more funds toward micro-lending through mobile gaming. Only a woman could have thought of this!