Do you ever wonder what X factor or DNA sequence charming and powerful people embody that allow them to attract and directly impact very important people? These are the women and men who are able to build consensus, drive critical initiatives and in a nutshell get things d.o.n.e. throughout their lives. What is the crucial ingredient to their sustained success?
It is true. Infinitely successful people are able to establish and build trust with those they surround themselves with AND they entrust those around them to support them in achieving their goals. How does one build trust?
In two simple steps: Disclose and Seek Feedback. Rinse and Repeat.
By consistently following this two step process, as proven by the Johari Window, you will build a highly personalized relationship bond based on increased awareness of commonalities and shared values and empathy for one another. Every time I teach or address a new group, I begin our session by sharing part of my story that they might not expect to learn from me and I ask them to tell us something about themselves that they have not shared before. Immediately, anxiety decreases, affinity grows and the conversation is deepened and as a result our ‘learning lab’ has been established within the first ten minutes. I explain that I am the learning facilitator but that everyone in the room has as much to teach one another as and we will work to share our wisdom collaboratively. This participative teaching style results in everyone feeling of equal value and a shared ownership of this learning experience. It also takes the unreasonable expectations I used to put on my own shoulders that somehow I was supposed to have ALL the answers.
So what is the application for this phenomenon in the day to day workplace where many of us fall into a trap of trying to do everything ourselves, not letting our guard down and as a result, implying that others are not to be trusted and that there is only one way to get things done?
To highlight this scenario, I am going to share with you part of an interview I conducted with Sales Executive, Enrica Carroll for my forthcoming book, The “Suite” Spot:
Katie: How did you stop trying to unconsciously be all things to all people?
Enrica Carroll: “Surrounding yourself with the right people is critical and enabling. But it also requires you to stop needing to do everything yourself, or insisting that it be done your way. It demands a leap of faith that others can do what you did and do it as well or better. Of course, this is all easier said than done. The truth is, that even though I had many good people around me, in retrospect I realize I micromanaged too much and found it very difficult to relinquish control. I would handle it differently if I had it all to do over again.”
What I so appreciate about Enrica’s omission here is that in hindsight, she is able to acknowledge that this is a three part challenge:
First is the need to let go of the control of some of the little and big details throughout your life.
Second is the need to turn these responsibilities over to people whom you entrust enough to get those things done in a satisfactory manner.
Third is the grace and faith to accept that while those things may get done a bit differently than you may have done, this is okay.
When we become overly invested in a pattern of getting things done OUR WAY, we decrease the opportunities to let people into our life where collaboration typically leads to a greater compound effect. A pattern of ‘my way or the highway’ reflects a distrust of those around you and only leads to greater likelihood of isolation and decreased influencing capabilities.
If you would like to become more influential at the office and beyond, here are some questions you can practice using in an effort to build greater trust:
“I would really appreciate your insights on my recent work. I always find your point of view valuable.”
“How can I best support you?”“I have been a bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of X project lately. Would you like to grab a cup of coffee and brainstorm on how we can best partner on its outcome?”
What are some of the ways you build trust in your relationships?