Last week in Episode 20, we looked at the four dimension of interpersonal trust and talked about the biological differences between female and male leaders. It’s one thing to understand the barriers to trust, but have you considered building team trust with vulnerability?
It’s hard to build trust! You might think that it takes a long time, maybe years in some cases, to develop trust. But the reality is trust is present as soon as you reach transparency and vulnerability. So what is vulnerability? I would define it as simply honest communication between team members that is not regarded for its potential to generate retribution. It’s not politically focused or selfish and may mean putting myself at risk in favor of supporting others. It’s not taking into account what I should say or saying what I think you want to hear.
Patrick Lencioni says these vulnerable statements convey the presence of trust:
“You were right and I was wrong.”
“I made a mistake.”
“Will you help me?” or “I need help.”
“I’m not sure.”
“You are better than I am at that.”
As a leader, it starts with you. Your team won’t be vulnerable if you aren’t. You have to take risks without a guarantee of success.
Three traits Marshall Goldsmith says are present in every great leader:
So, do I justify my bad decisions or actions because of my circumstance or the situation I’m in? Or do I believe others make a bad decision or do bad things because they are predisposed to being bad? We think that other’s success is attributable to their luck, the incredibly unlikely circumstances that favored them while we believe that our success is due to our character – we are good, talented, hard-working, etc…
A great way to overcome this way of thinking is getting to know people! Mr. Lencioni recommends that we take a few minutes and give team members an opportunity to share something personal and relevant. You don’t want it to be something silly and you want it to be shared in just a couple of minutes. Here are some topics you could consider:
- where you grew up, how many siblings they had, and a childhood challenge
- your first job, or your worst job
- the biggest mistake you ever made
- share two statements: one that’s true, one that’s a lie and let everyone else guess which is which
- share about someone who influenced your life
I would love to hear if you have used these or any other questions with your team and any results that you are willing to share. Put it in the Comments below!
I highly recommend checking out the following article from Ramit Sethi on considering when being vulnerable is and isn’t effective:
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