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

I had a wonderful discussion with Robin Dunbar and his co-author Tracey Camilleri about the invisible ingredients of human relationships. Specifically the role that hormones, brain-size and time play in the connections we build. It invites us to question whether we could use those forces to make work better?

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 spend 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.