My latest video discusses my 2018 book Better Business Relationships. It offers some practical insights to help you improve your business relationships at each stage of the DACRIE model – Diversity, Adaptation, Communication, Relationship formation, Internal Relationships and External Relationships. Better Business Relationships – The building blocks.



Hi – I’m Kim Tasso

And I’ve been asked to talk about how to build better business relationships – both with your internal colleagues and external clients and contacts.

In just about every business there is a need to get on with people – to forge strong relationships. After over decades in business I realised that building better business relationships was fundamental to just about everything – leadership, motivation, team building and selling.

(BOOK) In my book – published at the end of 2018 – I reviewed over 100 psychological and management models that provide practical help you to build better business relationships

Writing that book – and having it published – was a long held ambition. It was my sixth book – and it was published by Bloomsbury.  It bought together two major strands of my work life – my ongoing passion for psychology and over 25 years working in business.

Better Business Relationships – The building blocks

In the space of a short video I thought I’d look at one or two key ideas in each of the six areas of the model I developed:

D A C R I E which stands for Diversity & Difference, Adaptation, Communication, Relationship development, Internal Relationships and External Relationships (Diagram)

The essence of business relationships is that whilst we might think everything we do in business is RATIONAL – as human beings EMOTIONS play an enormous part. So that’s why I wanted to blend the rational business expertise with the psychology content to help us better understand and manage emotions.


(Manolo Blahnik and Cocorose red star shoes)

One of the most wonderful things about people is that we are all different – different ages, background ethnicities and different personalities to name a few. A bit like shoes really – some fun and frivolous, some serious and functional.

I recently produced a short video about different personalities – dogs, cats and bears- which you may like to watch – that features Bertie my dog

Neuroscience shows that the more diversity in a group the better the decisions they make.

But while difference and diversity is good – it can make it harder to work together.

Our view of the world is not the only one – so we need empathy to see things from the other person’s point of view.

There’s a Native American saying “O Great Spirit, grant that I may not find fault with my neighbour until I have walked the trail of life in his moccasins”. We need to step into the shoes of others.

We need to learn how to see things from their perspective. To see the world through their eyes. It may be difficult and uncomfortable – just like wearing a different pair of shoes.

Of course, empathy is a key part of emotional Intelligence (or EQ). How we perceive and manage our own emotions and how we perceive and manage the emotions of others. In effect, it is a skill set for relationship management. There’s lots of material on my web site about emotional intelligence (for example – What is emotional intelligence? )



Charles Darwin famously said “It is not the most intellectual or strongest of species that survives – but the one that is able to adapt and adjust to the changing environment”.

That is SO true today in our pandemic lock down world.

70-90% of our lives are driven by habit and it takes energy to try new behaviours and to change – not until our survival anxiety becomes greater than our learning anxiety.

I made a short video recently about our emotions during the change process which you may like to check out. I also wrote about the difference between planned change management and personal transitions. 

And I also mention the research that shows there is an adaptive third of the population.

One of my fave books on change management – by Chip and Dan Heath – offers a really simple model for planning any change.

First the rational rider, then engage the emotional elephant and then agree the first small, specific step of the new behaviour


(2 ducks facing each other)

Communication is the lifeblood of relationships – no communication = no relationships.

Communication is a really big topic – speaking, telephones, writing, digital communications, social media.

Nerves from eye to brain 25 times larger than ear to brain – 85% of information is absorbed visually.

Of course – a huge area here is NVC (Non Verbal Communication) – and I hope to produce a video on this topic soon.

And another important skill here is active listening.

Research shows we 34 times more likely to accept a request for help if you are face-to-face – real challenge during lock down. This topic is covered further in a book by Heidi Grant on Reinforcements – how to get people to help you

(Ducks turn around) Stories are 22 times more likely to be remembered than facts or figures alone

Persuasion science – Robert Cialdini six drivers in his great book – and lots of more recent ideas in the science of nudging

Another important idea is “What’s in it for me?” – we need to focus on the benefits to the other person. We need that empathy – to walk in their shoes again.

A simple shift in your language from “Me” and “We” to “You” has a powerful effect.


(Hands sculpture)

Neuroscientists show we are wired to connect. We need social contact and relationships.

150 is Dunbar’s number for the number of close relationships we can manage.

There are various models for how relationships form – formation, divergence, convergence and association.

You may be familiar with the team model – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing.

Daniel Goleman – one of the original writers on emotional intelligence identified six core competencies for relationship management.

All relationships experience difference, divergence and difficulty – managing conflict is a key skill in relationship management.

Thomas and Kilmann identified five different conflict handling or negotiating styles: avoiding, accommodating, compromising, competing (or duelling) and collaborating.


(Totem pole for Tribes)

We all need to get on with our colleagues at work – our bosses, our peers, our team members and those in other teams. Think of it as our work family or tribe.

Lots of material in positive psychology showing that happy people are more creative and productive people

Psychologist Nancy Kline – showed we need a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to critical feedback to create an appreciative environment. It’s important for creating psychological safety – there’s a lot of material around on this (for example The Fearless Organisation).

There’s an interesting experiment by a Harvard Professor called “the Pygmalion effect”. It showed that students of teachers who were told that students were high achievers did much better than a control group. So the moral of the story is that if you think your people can step up, then they probably will.


(Bee for networking)

External relationships is another big topic which spans from confidence to networking to presentations and selling.

But key skills here are the ability to create rapport and trust.

Rapport is being on the same wavelength – and when you are you tend to mirror and match behaviours – and maybe even achieve neural coupling as well.

Trust has an important part to play here – and there’s both rational and emotional trust.

The trust equation – developed by Charles H Green and David Maister – suggests that you must maximise credibility and reliability and intimacy (that’s the empathy message again) and minimise your self-orientation.

As Dale Carnegie said in How to win friends and influence people “You can close more business deals in two months being interested in other people than you can close in two years trying to get others to be interested in you”

So – DACRIE – some thoughts on how to develop Better Business Relationships

Thank you for watching and listening….