How Do You Cultivate Trust?

I was recently in a meeting where the owner of the business was talking about trust. It was music to my ears when, at the same time, he and I mentioned transparency… a main ingredient in the trust recipe. Successful leaders (and I believe leadership is within all of us and occurs at all levels), whether they are leading an organization, a group they belong to, or leading their family, have enhanced success when they are transparent, that is, open, honest, and clear.

Trust is a foundational element in everything we do. It is the cement that holds everything together. It takes time to develop trust. We have to be willing to show vulnerability.

According to Management Concepts, “When you trust someone, what you make vulnerable can range from concrete things such as money, a job, a promotion, or a particular goal, to less tangible things such as a belief you hold, a cherished way of doing things, your ‘good’ name, or even your sense of happiness and well-being.”  (Side note: To learn more about vulnerability look at the works of Brene Brown.)

Think of someone in your life that you trust. What is it that allows you to trust them? What exactly is it that they do?

I look at what people say, but more, what they do. In other words, do their actions match their words? I believe that when the words and actions match, that is “being in integrity.” Is the person honest? Are they being transparent?

Trust builds for different people in different ways. Some people trust quickly, and then, if there is a break in that trust the relationship shifts; while others look for the other person to earn their trust, experience by experience, forming a strong foundation for their relationship.

When we trust, we feel more comfortable and tend to share more. We are more willing to take risks and feel more confident with the people we trust. How much we trust and the way we trust depends on the relationships and experiences we’ve had.

As you build trust in your relationships, it generally is reciprocal and easier to trust with each experience. Collaboration is built on trust.

It is clear that without trust relationships don’t grow. Growth is sustained as time goes on, and, when someone breaks a trust we see it as a threat, and we then have less confidence in that person. Moving through the disappointment, we go into a protective mode that can drain and deplete our energy. The result can be very damaging, because of the loss – we can be temporarily less productive, have a lower morale, and even question our own judgment.

The upside however is great. Trust makes it easier to go through change and transition. We are less resistant and stronger in our beliefs.

What does trust look like to you?

Here are a few criteria to look at:

Mutual Respect: one of the most important blocks of our ABC’s. It is a behavior that is found in healthy relationships. When there’s mutual respect, it reduces stress, conflict, and increases communication, productivity, knowledge and understanding.

Character of a Person: consists of qualities that make them distinct from other people. In this case, being trustworthy, honesty, being a good person.

Reliability: being dependable, meeting commitments, and following through.

Consistency: always accurate and fair; what is said and the message delivered doesn’t contradict what was previously said, and the message is clear and the same.

Sincerity: as the saying goes, you say what you mean and you mean what you say; when someone expresses an opinion, it is known to be truly their own.

Competence: the ability, skill, and capacity to carry out what you say you’ll do.

Trust Your Gut: In different situations we get a signal from our gut intuition, something either feels right or it doesn’t. This creates a feeling of dissonance or resonance. It can make us wonder if we can trust or not.

Don’t ignore the signal that you feel in your body.

I feel dissonance in my gut. Others may feel it in other parts of their body. Don’t ignore this feeling. Use it as a guide. Trust yourself!

Multi-tasking Can Drive You Crazy!

Feeling like you need to catch your breath? The beginning of 2019 has certainly gotten off to a fast start. Are you busy or too busy? Feeling overwhelmed or exhilarated? Are you being productive?

To ensure that “busy” doesn’t turn into an energy depletion, too much on your plate, or feeling out of control, try these tips:

Assess your situation

Be aware of how and where you’re spending your time. Answer these questions and make sure you are satisfied. Does your schedule conflict with your priorities?

Are you spending too much or too little time to get things done? What do you do to monitor your to do’s?

How do you set priorities?

Remember the four quadrants in Steven Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? Important, Not Important, Urgent and Not Urgent. Don’t put everything in urgent because when you do it loses its importance. Make a list of your needs. The list might then be affected by due date or whom the response is to. Assess the value. Be flexible.

Say ‘No’

Be bold. If you can’t take on another task, say ’no.’ By saying ‘yes’ when you would rather say ‘no’ you are saying ‘no’ to yourself because the time has to come from something you are doing. You also don’t want to take on too much and have something fall through the cracks. That is a reflection on you, especially if it happens more than once.

Be Aware

Notice your energy level. It’s great to be busy, but too busy depletes your energy. Ask yourself when you have the most energy in the day and do your hardest or most time-consuming tasks then, so you don’t run out of steam. Choo-choo ahead!

Dealing with Distractions, Multi-tasking, and Clutter

Multi-tasking can be a huge problem. We are expected to multi-task even though our brains are wired to do one task at a time. The reality, unfortunately often, is that in our professional and personal lives we are expected to do several tasks at one time.

Since this is often the reality of the situation, choose three tasks. Then allot time to work on each so that you can go deeper than touching the surface of multiple tasks.

“Too much” gives us a feeling of clutter and that overloads our senses and makes it difficult to focus and manage. Take baby steps and keep moving forward.

Turn off any technology you can, like noises pinging us that another email or text is waiting … it’s too much of a distraction…and, an annoyance.

The constant phone and email interruptions don’t help, and neither do all the meetings we attend. Again, take baby steps forward so that you feel like you’re accomplishing something instead of having that heavy feeling from clutter and overwhelm.

Dealing with Email

Dealing with endless email is a complaint I hear over and over. So it doesn’t turn into clutter, choose several specific times of the day to look at your email. Email can use up a great deal of time. Estimate how long it takes to respond. Generally speaking, a shorter reply is acceptable if you answer sooner.

Here are two ways of thinking. You can answer emails first thing in the morning. Make sure you have the discipline to then move on to something else in a reasonable amount of time. Or, consider doing a couple of tasks first and then going to the email…set a timer on your technology so you don’t lose track of time.

For me this come has into play since my book was published. I love the coaching, speaking engagements, webinars, etc… and it also takes a lot of prep time. I was at that point where I needed assistance with some of the administrative and technical support for my book so that I could work on the client related prep work. Prep work takes a long time. I assessed my situation and decided that I would hire a virtual assistant.

Task Management Systems

If you prefer a task management system there are plenty out there. Find the one that is right for you.

No matter what you decide, it’s important to feel productive. Carry on!