Timing matters. Trust matters. If you are not sure you have all the information, take time to dig deeper before you make a critical decision about people.
Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to two individuals who I had all but given up on. At one time, not so long ago, I felt each relationship was irreparable. When someone feels this way about you, and perhaps you feel it too, it is so easy to just break. One thing bonds people together strongly enough to avoid that break: Trust. We trusted ourselves and each other enough to dig deeper.
Why is this “wow!”? What changed? Did one give in to another’s demands? Actually no, and this is another aspect that is so powerful. What trust does is allow difficult conversations to be shared, and those conversations can lead to repair. To an outsider it may seem nothing. But truly this is huge. We are in business to build value. A leader cannot do that if he or she is not trusted or if he or she does not trust the team. But it goes even further than what may seem to you very touchy-feely stuff (which it is)… trust, or lack of it, and retaining people (or not) have a significant impact on the business bottom line…
Why is this important? Trust, and taking the time to dig deeper using objective methods, can ensure that you (the leader) are not making hasty decisions that will tear down value, and immediately and negatively impact your business bottom line.
If you aren’t building trust you will experience loss. If you are not tracking what goes right and wrong, throughout the year (and why)—and if you do not have the right data to identify the real causes (and rarely are we correct when we assume what someone’s intentions are) you cannot possibly make good decisions about people.
When you are unsure, it often makes the most sense… even to the business bottom-line… to retain a person and re-fit them in a role that plays to their strengths and supports your Strategy best. Also consider how you can adapt your style to support a better fit for all.
Congrats! Wow! Trust has allowed us to dig deeper, retain people, and build value.
Thanks for this thought-provoking post, Lori. “Take the time to dig deeper before making a critical decision about people”: so true, so wise, but so often forgotten. Your post reminded me of something I use to ground myself in dealing with people. It comes from a book I read a while back called “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” — not the greatest book, but it did have some sage advice I’ve carried with me. Lack of trust is one of the 5 dysfunctions as I recall. The author’s advice for those times when you’re dealing with someone difficult who seems to be consciously trying to complicate things for you is to afford them your MRI: Most Respectful Interpretation. Carry your MRI into the conversation with them; assume they don’t know the impact of what they’re doing, assume they are NOT consciously trying to undermine you, acknowledge they are a valuable person who just isn’t delivering constructively at the moment: the MRI is based on the fundamental trust you’re talking about.
Keep up the great thinking.
Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Ethan. It is so natural for us to put all conversations only into our own perspective, blocking our ability to consider a different view. What you speak about is putting first a desire to understand. Excellent! You may enjoy the book “Difficult Conversations” by the Harvard Negotiations Team. They do an excellent job stressing the importance of feelings…even in workplace conversations. -Lori