Esther Perel on Relationship Skills and Workplace Dynamics at SXSW 2019

Esther Perel on Relationship Skills and Workplace Dynamics at SXSW 2019

SXSW LLC, 2019

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging


Once upon a time, you had to check your emotions at the door before entering the office in order to maintain an air of professionalism. But today, a “relational revolution” had invaded the workplace, unleashing the power of emotions. If you’ve ever clashed with a colleague or if you present your best self at work and take the dregs home, couples counselor Esther Perel offers some enlightening insights. In a delightfully playful presentation and Q&A, Perel examines the parallels between romantic and workplace relationships. Understanding those dynamics will help you navigate relationships in both your private and professional lives. 


Workplace relationships constitute the new bottom line.

Up to 65% of start-ups fail due to interpersonal problems between co-founders. The caliber of your workplace relationships determines the standard of your performance and output. Nevertheless, people don’t invest the same time and energy amassing “relational intelligence” as they would other workplace skills, such as coding. Alas, unlike performance, workplace relationships can be difficult to quantify and nurture. And while relationship skills were traditionally perceived as soft skills, “today, relationships have fast become the new bottom line.”

Thanks to a “relational revolution,” displays of emotion are now permitted at work, while romantic relationships have become more clinical.

Romantic and professional are simultaneously undergoing radical transformations, which exhibit three parallels. First, expectations have heightened in both realms...

About the Speaker

Esther Perel is a psychotherapist, couples counselor and creator of the podcast Where Should We Begin?

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