Building Higher Trust 7 Trust and Solving Problems

January 25, 2021

All teams need to solve problems from time to time. How easily these problems are solved and the quality of solutions has a lot to do with the level of trust on the team. In this article I will describe why the level of trust has such a major impact on solving problems.

The speed to get to a solution

High trust groups are able to focus on the specific problem at hand. They define what the real issue is with precision and do it quickly. Once the nature of the problem is crystal clear to everyone, then a solution is just around the corner.

By contrast, low trust groups are working around interpersonal issues between team members, so it is difficult for them to even agree on the nature of the problem. The group can become splintered and end up arguing for hours on what the issue really is.

As the acrimony becomes more apparent, the group can actually move further away from the original problem and end up with two problems to resolve. All of this dither uses up a lot of time, and tempers become even more frayed.

The Quality of solutions

The quality of the solution is also highly impacted by the level of trust within the group. With a high trust group, people are not afraid to voice their ideas knowing they will not be ridiculed if they propose a rather creative solution.

In low trust groups, members are holding back for a number of reasons. They may be fearful that their ideas will not be considered seriously. They may keep quiet thinking that the power person should come up with potential solutions. They may have been shot down in the past. There may be a personal gripe with one or more other members of the group.

A low trust group will have a much more difficult time finding excellent solutions to problems than a high trust group.

Bonus Video

Here is a brief video on Trust and Solving Problems.



Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations



Building Higher Trust 6 The Transactional Nature of Trust

January 15, 2021

Trust between people is transactional by nature. Think of it like a bank account. We have a balance of trust in each direction.

That balance is the result of all transactions that have happened in the past. Hopefully the account balance is positive.

Now, everything that transpires between the two individuals makes an impact on the balance.

If a trust “deposit” happens, then the balance has increased. If a “withdrawal” was what one person observed, then the balance for him or her goes down.

All day, every time we interface with another person the trust level is being modified on a moment-to-moment basis depending on what is going on. There may be deposits in both directions or withdrawals in both directions.

It is also possible that a deposit in trust from person A to person B results in a withdrawal of trust from person B to person A.

Recognize that many of these transactions are so small and fleeting that we hardly notice them at all. Even just the tone of voice on a phone call or some body language in a meeting will impact the trust level.

There is a very dynamic and complex system that is playing in the background 100 percent of the time.

If an action has a huge negative impact on trust for one person, then the account balance is overdrawn and it will take a lot of remedial work to bring the balance back to zero. In that case, numerous deposits in trust will be required before the balance starts to go up again.

The Five C’s of Trust

I believe that people are constantly observing each other to determine what I call the Five C’s of Trust. These conditions form the substance of the transactions that impact the trust balance. They are as follows:

Competence is about applied knowledge. Does the person display competence or is he or she prone to bumbling things frequently?

Character is about having integrity. Can you rely on the other person to do the right thing at all times?

Consistency is about being predictable. Can you count on the same reaction to a stimulus tomorrow that you see today? An inconsistent person leaves people guessing, and that does not build higher trust.

Congeniality has to do with whether the person is a pleasure when interacting with other people. A negative or judgmental person will usually have a negative impact on trust.

Care is about having empathy for other people. When we demonstrate that we care for other people, we are building higher trust.

We must recognize that external conditions may make the five C’s more difficult to demonstrate at times. For example, when COVID 19 struck, and most people had to work from home, it was more of a challenge to demonstrate consistency.

Many people were faced with taking care of children while trying to get their work done or attend a zoom meeting.

Recognize that the phenomenon of trust is not static; it changes with every transaction, no matter how small.

Bonus Video

Here is a brief video on The Transactional Nature of Trust.


Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations


Building Higher Trust 5 Planting a Seed of Trust in the Frist 10 Seconds

January 6, 2021

Developing a full mature trust between people takes time, because people need to see consistent behaviors. However, it is possible and extremely powerful to plant a seed of trust with another person in just a few seconds.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book entitled “Blink” where he described how human beings have a remarkable ability to size one another up in just a few seconds.

He called these encounters “thin slices” after the phenomenon where if you slice something thin enough, you can actually see through it.

First Impressions

We take in a huge amount of data about another person in a few seconds, and it is all going on subconsciously.

We make an initial decision about the trustworthiness of an individual, and that first impression has everything to do with how quickly the relationship develops into full blown and lasting trust.

Observe the Body Language

The way we accomplish this remarkable feat is by observing the body language of the other person. Through several layers of data, we deduce how much this person can be trusted, and that initial feeling starts us out on a path to high or low trust.

The interesting thing is that most body language signals we send are done subconsciously. We may put on a smile consciously, but if it is not genuine, then the incongruent body language will send a signal for the other person to be on guard.

It is very difficult to manipulate your body language so you send consistent signals. If you are faking a genuine desire to meet the other person, it will show in numerous ways all over your body. The other person will pick it up on some level either consciously or subconsciously.

Eye Contact

One important consideration is eye contact.  You must maintain at least 70% eye contact when first meeting someone or else the seed of trust will not get planted.

If the seed of trust is planted well during the first 10 seconds, then the relationship will take off toward high trust at more than 10 times the rate than if the seed was not planted. That is a significant advantage for any relationship.

Bonus Video

Here is  a brief video on Planting a Seed of Trust



Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014).

In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.



Talent Development 21 Data and Analytics

December 30, 2020

Section 3.7 in the CPTD Certification program for ATD is Data & Analytics. Section A reads, “Skill in selecting and/or using data visualization techniques, for example flow charts, graphs, plots, word clouds, and heat maps.”

The old cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words is really true. This is especially true when a lot of data is involved or there is a level of complexity.

Trying to explain the relationship between different concepts can be tricky in words, but the mind can quickly absorb a large amount of data immediately in a picture and draw a conclusion. This clarity of thought saves a lot of time in training, and it helps to keep people fresh.

Death by PowerPoint

Many trainers practice “Death by PowerPoint,” where they show numerous slides with a lot of words and then read the words to the audience, sometimes turning their back on the audience to read the screen.  People zone out quickly.

A real example

Let me share an example of a picture being more powerful than a word description. I compared the level of trust in an entire organization from data gathered at different levels in the organization.

I measured trust as perceived by the top leaders in the organization, the middle managers, the supervisors, and the lead operators.

First I will try to describe my observations in words, then I will show that a quick glance at a chart makes the whole concept much easier to absorb.

I asked leaders at several levels in an organization to rate their company on how much trust there is. The rating was 1 = low trust and 10 = high trust.

I then noted that leaders at the top of the organization (senior leaders) rated trust much higher than lower levels. People at lower levels perceived less trust in the organization.

A strange anomaly

At the Supervisor and Group Leader levels, a curious “hole” in the data began to emerge in the area of 5-6.

I puzzled over this hole in the data for quite a while. I now believe that when confronted with the challenge to identify the level of trust on a scale of 1-10, most people immediately considered 5 or 6 to be “average” (whatever that meant to them).

Then they thought, “well, we are somewhat better or worse than average,” so that gave rise to a cluster of votes lower than 5-6 and a cluster that were higher.

That word picture is pretty difficult to follow and remember, but a chart showing the same data is rather easy to interpret. The digits represent the number of people at each level that voted for a particular trust rating.

A chart spells it out more clearly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you agree that this single diagram makes the complex situation much easier to understand and remember.

With the COVID 19 Pandemic of 2020, it is even more important to use visualization techniques. We are living in a hybrid world, with some people at the office and most people still working from home or satellite locations.  Even if the vaccines are effective in controlling the virus in the future, most futurists predict we will never go back to a full in-person workforce. 

There will likely always be a significant portion of people working from home. For these people, the ability to show concepts graphically will be increasingly important.

When you develop training programs, make sure to include visual aids that are easy to digest. Also, go easy on the number of words used to keep people from zoning out.

 

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014).

In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.

 


Building Higher Trust 4 The Bilateral Nature of Trust

December 27, 2020

Trust between any two people goes in both directions. Rarely is the trust level exactly the same from one person to the other and vice versa.

Trust is also a highly dynamic condition. An activity or message may increase trust from A to B while simultaneously decreasing trust from B to A.

When two people are in a relationship, let’s say a marriage, the level of trust should be close in both directions. If one person has significantly lower trust in the other person for an extended period of time, the relationship is in real trouble.

Later in this series we will deal with the various ways trust is impacted and suggest ways to build higher trust consistently or repair damaged trust.

Lesson learned from a child

My daughter taught me a valuable lesson about trust when she was just four years old.

When I would come home from a trip across the country or to another continent, she would demand that I twirl her around and around. She kept me doing it until I would become so dizzy I could hardly stand.

I recall one time my wife walked into the kitchen and saw my condition. She asked, “How many martinis did you have on the plane?”

It was all very comical, but years later I realized that her trusting me to not drop her made it essential for me to not let her down.

If trust in one direction begets more trust in the reverse direction, we have a clue as to how we can build higher trust others have in us. Simply find some way to show more trust in them.

This is a simple philosophy of building higher trust that I call “The First Law of Trust.” Try it and you will see it really does work in most circumstances.

Bonus Video

Here is a short videoon the topic of Bilateral Trust



Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014).

In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.