October 21, 2022

Welcome back, friends. At Optimal, we’re a fan of a human-centric, holistic approach. That’s why, after our leading blog series on WHAT we do at, we’ve decided to give you the WHO IS WHO at Optimal HQ. The folks that make us tick, that build our foundations and hold us accountable. After all, we’re nothing without each other.

So far, we’ve explored The Great Return by Joe Slavin, How Optimal’s AI frees up time for the best bits of the job by Gary Elden, Torin Ellis on the DEIB journey employees want, Dave Rees on how Optimal’s solution Destroys Dyslexia and hallucinatory musings on HR Tech Vegas by William Tincup.

Lots to catch up with if you fancy some light reading.

Next up, Ashlie Collins. Ashlie is an advisor at Get-Optimal and a start-up guru dedicated to humanising and healing the way we all work. In her blog, she introduces us to Relational Intelligence (RQ) and exactly how she helps us with it here at Optimal.

All yours, Ashlie.

Relational Intelligence (RQ)

Ashlie Collins

When I first encountered the statistic that 65% of startups fail because of relationship conflict across the founding team, my chin nearly hit the floor. 

I don’t know why I was so surprised.

After following friends out of a cushy (but unfulfilling) corporate job many moons ago, I experienced this same phenomenon. My colleagues and I made it across the finish line when we exited our first company in 2014, but - we were limping.

The unresolved issues from our first endeavour followed us into our second attempt. I ultimately bailed because I hadn’t resolved my “stuff” and wasn’t quite ready to drop my defence mechanisms. 

They are still going, but I felt pretty crappy about it all. As I reflected upon my choices, I couldn’t help but ask myself…

How would this journey have been different if we had all cultivated Relational Intelligence (RQ)? 

Might we have had the strength not to sell out the first time, making a much more significant positive impact with our technology? 

Could we have scaled much more quickly and with so much less internal and external tension the second time around if we had honed our RQ skills in between attempts? 

Could we have avoided some of the physical and mental suffering that each of us had been experiencing (in our way) for so long? 

What would it feel like if we had the tools to support each other better - recognising our reactions for what they were and guiding each other through so that we could focus on what mattered - making a difference in the world?!

So, what is Relational Intelligence (RQ) exactly?

RQ skills help you adjust your approach and have the effect of making all human interactions more effective. Think, self-awareness, the capacity to relate to others, cognitive accuracy, emotional regulation, intelligence and empathy. 

With an active practice of using these skills, you can gain visibility into the motives, conflicts and strengths of any group of people.

In hindsight, it’s evident that the downsides of a lack of RQ skills aren’t just limited to founding teams. It extends across all parts of our interactions in the world.

Seriously, how many times have you been frustrated with a co-worker? 

How often have you engaged in a game of blame across functions when things get heated? 

How often have these tainted relationships taken energy away from your work - from serving your mission? 

How often have you mistreated someone or decided out of alignment with your values because you hadn’t resolved your “stuff”? 

Do you have the tools to recognise what you are bringing to the table and adjust? 

You don’t have to admit the answers to these questions out loud. 

I’ll confess, back at the start; I didn’t have the tools or support I needed in the RQ department. I am also guilty of being the drama (without accepting responsibility) - especially when pressure was at a boiling point in the rev-gen engine. This affected how I made my decisions, my results and my focus on serving our mission. I know I’m not alone. 

But quite frankly, it doesn’t need to be this way anymore - for anyone - but least of all, the brave souls out there new to enter the arena and are trying to make the world a better place. 

Folks like the team at Get-Optimal. 

I met Daniel Fellows, Get-Optimal’s CEO, during our shared time at Indeed. When he asked me to be an advisor, I wanted to help him with his mission. 

I said yes without figuring out how best to put my experience to use for him and the Get-Optimal team. Sure, I could punt some F500 decision-maker contacts and make some sales intros, but was that the most valuable offering of my unusual combined experience?

It just didn't feel like enough. Not for what they are trying to do. 

Fast forward through one pandemic, my third startup early entry experience, much psychotherapy and psychology training and my first solo-founding journey, and I have finally landed on what feels right: 

I’m here to ensure that the Get-Optimal team has the RQ they need to avoid becoming one of the 65%. I’m helping them collectively avoid the suffering my previous teams faced (and so many others still endure) so that they can calmly and joyfully focus on their mission to drive action from employers and remove bias from all job advertisements. With this, humanity can realise genuinely diverse and inclusive workplaces. 

Think of me as a Chief Relationship Officer of sorts. 

I am no longer available for standing idly by while 65% of worthwhile missions fail - because of things we can heal! 

When things get tough, relationships get strained, or folks feel stuck, I will be there with the therapeutic tools and resources the team needs to cultivate healthy relationships with themselves, partners, and customers. 

So here’s to the Get-Optimal team for having the strength to accept their complex thoughts and feelings (we’ve all got ‘em), commit to unblocking themselves and putting themselves out there each and every day in service of the greater good! 

Do you have their strength? If not, get it - humanity needs you too!

Ashlie Collins

Founder, Humane Start-Up

About Get-Optimal

Work with us at Optimal, and your response rate for open positions will soar by a minimum of 24%. Let our AI choose the most readable parts of your job ads to display, and you’ll save the precious time you would have spent combing through old or plagiarised job ads to ensure you’re conveying the correct image in the new world of attracting suitable and diverse candidates. No longer will applicants be put off by the vacancy or how it’s been advertised. Optimise once and post in multiple places - your new ad is provided in a downloadable, editable form to drop into whichever job board or multi-poster you like!

We are also integrated with Bullhorn and Salesforce. We ensure your ad is Diversity & Inclusion compliant, meaning you’ll be the top choice commercially and win business over other, less enlightened competitors.

Ready to join forces? Why not book your demo today and get started with Get-Optimal?