‘Solving the People Problem’ with best-selling author, Brett M. Cooper – How to embrace workplace differences and elevate your business

‘Solving the People Problem’ with best-selling author, Brett M. Cooper - How to embrace workplace differences and elevate your business

Written by Staff Writer



President & Co-Founder of Integris Performance Advisors, Brett M. Cooper is renowned for influencing thousands of people in government, non-profits, and corporate America to work together in more productive, more effective, and more human ways. He is a best-selling author of Solving the People Problem: Essential Skills You Need to Lead and Succeed in Today’s Workplace (2020), and was listed as number 1 on Entrepreneur’s 2021 Must-Read list. Brett’s professional goal is to help others build work relationships that really work, and he lives by the philosophy that the best way to get what you want is to help others achieve their goals. 

In this week’s Business Unusual Podcast, Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media sits down for a profound interview with Brett, as the two discuss how workplace cultures are shifting in the ‘new normal’, how teams need to honour each members’ differences in order to come up with more efficient ways to communicate with each other. Brett dives into the different types of behaviours found in cohesive teams, assessing communication styles through the ‘DISC Analysis’, and the growing importance of soft skills. 

How well do you understand and honour the differences in people? Take the DISC EQ Survey today, using access code ‘unusual’, and you’ll receive a personalised report that shows your areas of strength and your opportunities for improvement, along with specific ideas for how to apply and expand your knowledge and skill. For more information, please click here.


Key takeaways to listen out for in this podcast:

  • In order to change the culture of any organisation, we need to look at the real issues surrounding leadership, management and team dynamics.
  • An organisation will be better off once differences are accepted and honoured – embracing different points of view will diversify and strengthen the workplace. 
  • ‘People’ are not the problem! ‘People problems’ can be solved once work relationships are solidified. This is a process that requires effort and understanding between all parties involved.
  • Vulnerability-based trust is essential. Team members need to know that it’s okay to make mistakes, apologise, step back and evaluate what went wrong, and then do better the next time around. Your staff cannot fear messing up due to strict, authoritarian leadership. 
  • Conflict can lead to ‘bad fights’ (arguing and bickering) or ‘artificial harmony’ (fear of judgement met with no communication at all). Business leaders need to get more comfortable with their team members – this requires empathy, open dialogue, productive conflict, and being open to everyone’s ideas and opinions. 
  • Research shows that conflict at work occurs due to personality clashes. This can be prevented by discovering your own communication style, and getting to know your team member’s styles.
  • Studies show that employees who work for managers with low emotional intelligence are 4 times more likely to leave their company. Emotional intelligence plays a key role in communication, and it is a skill set that can be learned.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re good at marketing, sales or advertising – If you can’t communicate or work with people you and your business will be in trouble. 
  • Team building exercises are important to boost morale and motivate each other. Sharing personal stories and providing productive/constructive feedback will get your team to the next level of trust – better results and business success guaranteed. 
  • Hard skills are becoming less important. Emotional and social skills (soft skills) are now considered ‘essential skills’ for navigating through ‘the new normal’. Organisations need to invest more in these skills to ensure success and longevity in 2021 and beyond. 


*To listen to the full podcast, please click here.


Brett M. Cooper is the President & Co-Founder of Integris Performance Advisors – assisting organisations with Leadership Development, Balanced Scorecards and Lean Improvement. He is also a keynote speaker (virtual & stage) and a business advisor. Brett’s areas of expertise include Leadership Development, Public Speaking, Executive Coaching, Training, Management Consulting, and Business Consulting. He is also a best-selling author, taking the top spot on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 9 Must-Read Books for 2021 list, and was voted Amazon’s #1 Best-Seller. 

Brett is a Board Member at Partners in Sustainable Learning, which is an organisation bringing developmentally sound early childhood education to marginalised communities in the developing world. He is a Leadership Challenge Certified Facilitator, receiving this certification via The Leadership Challenge, A Wiley Brand. Brett also completed the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification programme via GoLeanSixSigma.com.



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