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Brains, hormones and time - the invisible causes of better workplace culture

Eat Sleep Work Repeat

Bruce Daisley

Workplace Culture, Social Sciences, Management, Work, Culture, Business, Science

4.7991 Ratings

🗓️ 24 February 2023

⏱️ 56 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Are there forces at work that might impact the way work feels? Could we use those forces to make work better?

This discussion with Robin Dunbar and Tracey Camilleri took me to places I hadn't expected to go. That hormones, our brains and time would play a part in the relationships we forge at work isn't something that you would expect to find in a company's culture document, but as you'll hear today they forge a vital component of better team work.

Hormones are triggered by emotional interactions with other humans. Uniquely they only tend to work face-to-face. Hormones can help us build affinity with others in a powerful way that is often overlooked.

Brain-size impacts the connections we have with those people. At the core of human experience is our closest one (or two) relationships. There’s a small circle of 4 or 5 people who sit at the heart of our lives, and up to 15 who make up the majority of our time.

And that time is critical for the strength of those connections. We spent 40% of our time with our 5 closest relationships, and 60% with the top 15. By spending time we can become close friends with people in our lives.

The Social Brain by Tracey Camilleri, Samantha Rockey and Robin Dunbar is out now.

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This is Eat Sleep Work Repeat.


It's a podcast about workplace culture, psychology and life.


Hello, I'm Bruce Tasley.


Thank you for listening.


I had the biggest listening figures ever actually last week for the podcast, so obviously


an enforced absence produced a bit more appetite for these things so I was delighted with that thank


you for that and if you do enjoy the podcast please do share it with other people I never


bore you with things like that do I never ask for


for iTunes reviews so count your blessings that that's the only time you're gonna get it.


Okay and got a good episode today I mentioned when I was sort of putting these episodes together.


My objective really was to try and get to groups with how work is changing and how we can try to address it.


Last week I chatted to Amy Gallo with a perspective of trying to work and today is more of the same I've got a really fascinating discussion with two of the


authors of a brand new book and it was largely the themes of the book that provoked me into thinking


that this would be helpful.


The book's called The Social Brain, The Psychology of


Successful Groups. It's by Tracy Camiliary, Samantha Rocky and Robin Dunbar. And you'll


know Robin Dunbar is a former guest on this podcast


he's famous for ideas like Dunbar's number which is all about how human beings


brains are one of the limiting factors and brains form a part in the way that we've set up and


establish relationships with other people. We can only trust 150 people, we only have one or possibly two people at the heart of our relationships, five people


who we spend 40% of our time with, we spend 60% of our time in total with the top 15 people


in our lives, all of these things are related to


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