The Foundation of Everything
Take a step back and look at your company. Do the people seem genuine? Do you feel as though they are making significant progress in reaching the organization’s goals and ambitions? Do you believe in your people, your process, and your mission? How do you foster trust within your company, especially during a crisis like COVID-19?
Trust has three foundational components, like a 3-legged stool. Each leg is essential and depends on the others to work together. If one leg breaks, everything collapses. The same goes for trust if one of the components begins to wobble— trust is in jeopardy. The three foundational pillars of trust are authenticity, logic, and empathy.
“A true leader is one who is humble enough to admit their mistakes.”
– John Maxwell
Did you ever experience being in a conversation at work and feeling that the person you were talking to was not being completely honest with you? Our human nature can quickly zone in and identify those not being real with us. To avoid a problem with authenticity, BE YOU – ALL THE TIME around EVERYONE – Voice your thoughts and opinions, respectfully. Pay less attention to what you think people want to hear and give more attention to what you need to say. For companies to emerge from this crisis successfully, all ideas need to be explored to reimagine and decide the best strategy. Leaders need to allow the office to be a safe place for everyone to speak when creating a culture of trust. A leader is not expected to know all the answers— welcome comments and ideas. Allowing an environment for fresh perspectives helps build an authentic team and ultimately leads to trust within the organization.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”
– Dale Carnegie
Most problems concerning logic are not about the quality of the logic, but about the ability to communicate the reasoning in a decision-making process. Likely, we all have sat in team meetings where one person dominates the time by taking us on a long journey through their experience and often is interrupted and never makes a definitive point. Many people like to tell a long story before getting to the point. To communicate logic clearly, start with your point in a crisp, clear sentence and then make your supporting statements. This approach allows for greater clarity and prevents you from being interrupted before making the critical point you needed to make. If everyone in an organization has clarity on the decisions, real progress can be made, and trust becomes foundational.
“Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.”
– Brené Brown
Would your employees say that management is listening to them? Not just hear them, but attentively LISTEN. The best listeners provide eye contact and lean forward in the conversation with no distractions (put away the cell phone). Listening is critical for building empathy. For most companies, this is the leg that “wobbles” due to demanding schedules. However, during a pandemic, this is a critical time to listen. Each of us is experiencing this crisis differently. We are all facing unique circumstances and challenges. Listening to your team to better understand them and their situation fosters a healthier relationship to build trust.
Trust is the foundation of everything we do. It can be earned and built. It can also wither and break. If a company develops and operates in a culture of trust and transparency among all stakeholders, it can make unprecedented progress in reaching its goals. With a foundation and culture of trust, companies experience better productivity, enhanced morale, lower staff turnover, ability to handle challenges, willingness to take risks, enhanced creativity, optimism, teamwork, higher client satisfaction, better company reputation, and higher profitability. Be real, start with your point, and know you are not alone. It works, trust us.
Does your organization want to learn more about building a culture of trust that can help you to unprecedented growth? You’re not alone, and we are here to help.
Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You, By Frances Frei and Anne Morriss (Authors)
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, By Patrick Lencioni (Author)
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, By John C. Maxwell (Author)
Nancy Hintz is a Senior Human Capital Advisor at BEST Human Capital Advisory Group. Nancy has over two decades of diverse experience in chemical, biotechnology, manufacturing, and nonprofit industries. This broad base of knowledge helps her serve an array of clients in identifying top executive leadership. According to Nancy, “Clients need more than just candidates. They need solutions. I strive to help my clients identify the right solutions by listening to their needs, utilizing behavioral-based assessments, and asking the right questions.” Nancy is also the Executive Director of the Million Meal Movement, a nonprofit based in Indianapolis.
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