In this post, we continue with a brief overview of Stephen M. R. Covey’s 13 trust building behaviours. Again these are a very brief summary of those explained in Covey’s book, The Speed Of Trust – The One Thing that Changes Everything (2006). All to often we talk about the need to build connections and Covey offers concrete strategies that you can implement to increase trust. Like he said you can’t buy your way out of something you behaved yourself into, but you can behave yourself back into a trusting relationship.
Let’s pick up with #8.
8. Confront Reality (p. 185- 191)
– What’s the cost of not addressing the elephant in the room? Covey (2006) asked if you’ve ever been part of the meeting after or before the actual meeting? What could you accomplish if you addressed what he called the “undiscussables?” (p. 185). As uncomfortable as it may be to face the issues head on, it will in the long run create stronger relationships.
9. Clarify Expectations (p. 192-199)
– This one will cost you the most if you don’t deal with it up front. It means that we all need to be on the same page. We need a shared vision (p.193). Make the time with your team and your family to clarify what you expect and the standard to which you expect it to be done. How many times, for example, have you asked a family member to do something? Clean your room…. only to find out it’s not done the way you wanted it or to the same standard….perhaps the results really say more about my instructions than the results say about my daughter’s attempt to clean her room. She’s 7. We have different standards of what it means to clean your room. I really need to work on clarifying my expectations in a pro-active rather reactive way.
– Educators often talk about the importance of before, during and after strategies. If people aren’t producing a product your are happy with, it may not be because they are purposefully choosing to do poorly. They may simply have not spent enough time in the before stage. Clarifying expectations and knowing where you are going before you start is important in ensuring that everyone successfully ends up at the same end point. Plus it saves time and money.
10. Practice Accountability (p. 200-207)
– Covey (2006) reminded that there are two key parts. First, you must hold yourself accountable. Using Jim Collin’s metaphor, Covey explained that we must close the window and look in the mirror. As a leader, you are part of the success and the failure. Second, you will have to hold others accountable. If you don’t, other members of the team will become frustrated (p. 204). What this means is that you must have clear expectations and have provided feedback, so that you can have a conversation about being accountable.
11. Listen first (p. 208-214)
– Are you really listening? Are you actively seeking to understand a different perspective before you add your response? Or are you just waiting and thinking about your reply while the other person is talking? (p. 209).
– Through a number of challenging personal experiences including a health scare of my own, I’ve been reminded several times that life is all about perspective. Our experiences shape our stories and impact how we see those around us. We all have insights to offer based on our life experiences. Learning to listen … to truly actively listen, will open up a new world of perspective, insight and innovation.
- Covey offered these key insights:
- You have to actively listen with your whole body and your brain. When people feel that they are heard, you they become more willing to listen to your ideas. (FYI, your body language tells people if you are listening or not)
- Listen before your make up your mind. If you don’t it will show in how you listen.
- Listen to understand what matters most to your people, you don’t know everything (and just because you are a leader doesn’t mean that you do need to know everything. Some of the best leaders I’ve worked for simply said that’s a great question let’s figure it out together.)
- Remember once you’ve listened others, you also have to listen to yourself.
Cloud (2013) noted listening as the “glue that makes of the rest of this work” (Boundaries for Leaders, p. 97). Nothing replaces active listening, “people’s deepest need is to be know and understood before they can join someone or be led by them. They want to know that you get it” (p. 96).
Lastly, Covey (2006) included one of Peter Drucker’s Eight Practices of Effective Executives.
Listen first, speak last.
(Speed of Trust, p. 210)
12. Keep Commitments (p. 215-221)
– Covey explained that this is the “Big Kahuna” of behaviors. The quickest way to build trust or lose it. Roger Merrill explained, “when you make a commitment, you build hope; when you keep it, you build trust” (The Speed of Trust, 2006, p. 215).
– Building trust is simple. Think carefully about the commitments you make, keep them and repeat the behavior. Nothing builds trust faster than following through on what you say you will do (p. 221).
Covey also included a poignant reminder, “family members are often the most important commitments of all” (p.220). I’m thankful to be surrounded by role models that don’t hesitate to remind me of the ne
13. Extend Trust (p. 222-229)
– Covey explained that this behaviour is different. Now you actually have to extend trust to others (p. 223). He advised us not to be foolish in how we trust others but to extend a smart trust based on the situation and the people involved (p. 229). Trust in the end will take you farther.
So how do you build connections within your team?
Have you created a culture where people choose to go above and beyond because they know you value what they do and trust them to make it happen?
It’s always a work in progress. Learning how to be a leader is never done. What matters is that each day you have an opportunity to practice and build better connections. As Talley Goodson said at the Color By Amber Summit 2016 conference,
“the only competition you truly have is the person looking back at you in the mirror.”
- Boundaries for Leaders – Dr. Henry Cloud
- Daniel, B. K., McCalla, G., & Schwier, R. A. (2002). A Process Model for Building Social Capital in Virtual Learning Communities. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Computers in Education (Vol. December 0, p. 574). Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved from http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=839212
- Daniel, B. K., Schwier, R. A., & McCalla, G. (2003). Social capital in virtual learning communities and distributed communities of practice. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 29(3), 113–139. Retrieved from http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/viewArticle/85
- Gradin, Carla
- Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
- Speed of Trust – Stephen M. R. Covey
- Super Better – Jane McGonigal
- Talk Like TED – Carmine Gallo