Interviews and memes about work and relationship building
Relationships are the lifeblood of work. You can’t get anything done without people. I interviewed Beri Meric about how he’s fostered connections with tens of thousands of CEOs and executives.
Beri is Founder and CEO of IVY, a global community with the mission of accelerating human progress and unity by enabling business leaders to elevate their lives, organizations, and societies.
Most people are done with school by the time they’re thirty, our professional and personal responsibilities are just starting to pick up the pace. Beri says a school-like environment is even more important later in life.
IVY’s programs serve 10,000 CEOs and rising leaders, providing immediately actionable learnings and transformative peer to peer connections. Every week, Beri connects his audience with three world-renowned luminaries to supercharge their performance, relationships, and impact.
Beri is a Harvard Business School MBA, earned his BA in Economics and International Relations from Brown University, and previously worked at Morgan Stanley in Mergers & Acquisition and Firm-wide Strategy.
Read on to get his best tips for strengthening your relationships.
Beri says there are two keys to unlocking human potential: learning and deep peer to peer connection. We need people to turn learning into action, he adds.
“The more we learn about the world and ourselves, the better we can strategize and plan. But without being able to connect properly, even our best plans, we’re not going to get very far. It’s just so critical to be able to turn learnings into action with other people. We need each other to accomplish even the smallest tasks, and that’s why I’m a big believer that the combination of learning and community is the ultimate thing. So everything we do at Ivy and everything I try to do in my life, in and out of work, is to enable people to learn better and connect better so that they can be better.”
Adults don’t always have access to a community like a college, so professionals need programs like IVY to make new connections and form partnerships. Your professional network is where your best opportunities come from, and also how you execute on them.
Beri’s business school classmate became his co-founder at IVY. His first employees and investors were all friends and friends of friends. “The importance of relationships has been at the heart and soul of everything we’ve done and everything I care most passionately about”, Beri says.
He’s hosted thousands of events with tens of thousands people in attendance. But surprisingly, Beri hates small talk and “networking events.” Despite being highly extroverted, he always felt uncomfortable “networking.”
Beri takes a different approach. He recommends asking the right questions to accelerate your depth of connection with people. Data is important in interpersonal relationships just like it is in business, and better questions get you better data, Beri says.
Beri’s biggest success and failures have come from the juxtaposition of his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. His strength is that he loves people, is very curious, and is good at getting to know people. His weakness however, is in cultivating and maintaining relationships. Beri has worked to support people beyond just when in the same room.
He shares two tips for strengthening relationships. The first is to set recurring events with people so that you meet with them without having to plan. Beri’s second tip is to partner with someone who can help you follow up on new conversations. He has about 10-15 conversations with people everyday, and at the end of each day, he sends a voice note with notes and next steps to his colleagues who then acts on them.
Asking others good questions is a great way to accelerate connection. Asking yourself good questions is just as important, Beri says.
Citing a conversation he had with Jim Kwik, a leading brain coach, Beri explains that we have around sixty-thousand thoughts per day. There are a few thoughts that direct all the other thoughts.
Beri suggests you come up with a question that you want to bring to every interaction.
“Anxiety usually comes from the fact that you’re way too concerned about what’s in it for you and what you might win or lose based on that interaction. If instead you can focus on whoever it is you’re going to interact with, what they need, how you can be of service to them, how you can make their life better, it just makes so much of that anxiety go away.”
Beri recommends you pick a question that brings the best out of other people and elevates the person and situation you’re facing so that you leave everything better than you found it.