THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - T

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - T

Image: Trust Restaurant, San Diego, CA USA

Image: Trust Restaurant, San Diego, CA USA

I’m sharing one word today.

It’s worthy of this prestige, it’s position is at the top of the Ts.

As we travel the leadership alphabet in my game, The Language of Leadership, we have landed at ‘the’ word, which I hear myself discuss and use every day.

The word is TRUST.

Trust is a beautiful word. The mere mention of the word releases hormones, creates a chemical reaction in our body which drops the shoulders, loosens the facial muscles and helps us smile.

However, our communication builds or busts trust.

The words chosen in conversations will prime the brain for trust, partnerships and mutual success. Judith Glaser wrote Conversational Intelligence (2013) which I devoured. With an understanding of how our brains operate we learn the importance to empathise with others, to discover more about others by being curious, asking questions and to be open to be influenced by others to get to trust.

When a leader trusts their team members, they’ve enabled them to do their work and the leader can focus elsewhere.

When parents and teachers trust their kids, they are enabling them to be accountable, growing with the experience.

When a neighbour trusts a neighbour, they can relax on holiday knowing that their home will be taken care of, with a constant eye on what’s occurring in their absence.

When you have trust in your relationships, you can be yourself, knowing that you’re accepted for what you do, say and believe in.

Leaders who trust their leaders, will go that extra mile to perform additional tasks or ensure that the quality of the product or service is beyond expectation.

I recently read that to be an agile leader, you ‘give trust to your team’ opposed to their need to earn trust. I reread this a few times and the reasoning was based on the need to be fast and that it was part of the process to potentially fail fast, learn and move forward.

This reminds me of the switch from saying “No” to my kids, to saying “Yes”, for the majority of the time. I gained their buy-in, their trust, to the requirements of the “Yes” almost every time. For example, I used to say, “Yes you can go for a swim after you tidy the toy room and finish eating your lunch!”

When we give trust to adults we are saying that you are an adult and I have your back.

Relationships + Respect = Trust.

In every relationship, there is a choice to respect each other. That respect shows up in fulfilling agreements. If I offer you my hand to shake and you respond with a firm shake while looking into my eyes, my brain will trust you.

As leaders, we can encourage people to have a go rather than earn the right. For over 20 years, I was encouraged to have a go, to trust myself because my managers and leaders trusted me. I never let them down because I knew that it was OK to do my best even if it wasn’t enough.

What about you? What does your trust look like?

Here’s a challenge for you: when you next meet someone new, rather than judge them, be curious and discover more about the person by asking lots of questions; let them do the talking. In doing this, your brain will release Oxytocin – the bonding chemical which wants you to reach out and trust them.

So, we’ve traveled from A - T. You can catch up on my previous blogs on my Thoughts page.

ARE YOU ACHIEVING EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS?

 

ARE YOU ACHIEVING EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS?

If you are achieving extraordinary results, I suspect you trust and are trusted by others. No matter what you are doing in life.

If you have the interest and agility to increase your results, consider the conversations you’ve had today; yesterday and the day before. If you deconstruct these conversations, what would you uncover about yourself? And, if you placed the results on a dashboard would the dial point to connected, productive or creative? Or would the dial move to the opposite side of this gauge – pointing to sceptic or resistor?

Judith E. Glaser, author of Conversational Intelligence – How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results, advises her readership and clients over the past 30 years that we’re probably speaking to and from the wrong brain – the Primitive Brain. (Who would have known?!)

By using your Executive brain, you’ll notice that this connection will alter everything: the way you phrase your greeting, ask your questions and how you offer or make comments. Rather than create distrust, this newish brain will build trust. And trust is the anchor in your relationships to weather all situations.

Whilst some of us might think our conversations are powerful, we may be failing to see the impact these interactions have on others. We need to heighten our awareness and increase our use of the Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) skill which connects intentions with impact.

Judith’s goal is to help you move from operating at C-IQ ‘Level I – transactional’ (how to exchange data and information) and make the quantum leap to the learnable C-IQ ‘Level III – transformational’ (how to co-create conversations for mutual success). Put simply, change to a listener rather than a teller.

Your Conversational Dashboard ... where's your dial pointing?

Your Conversational Dashboard ... where's your dial pointing?

The new language is co-create – working together, cutting through bureaucracy, hierarchical levels, removing the need to be right all the time, in an effort to build a successful culture. This is done by influencing each other’s neurochemistry, while we express our inner thoughts and feelings to strengthen relationships while making sense of the world. Too easy!

Which brain do you operate from?

We have five brains according to the research which Judith shares liberally – each brain having an influence on our conversational ability. The Primitive brain, which hosts the fear mongering Amygdala, operates differently to our Prefrontal Cortex (Executive brain) which is activated when we feel we can trust others.

 

chemicals.jpg

As leaders, we unconsciously drip-feed our teams with ‘conversational cocktails’; resulting in the team being drunk with happiness, excitement and enthusiasm, or, all too often, they start acting like angry animals.  The ‘cocktail’ is a mixture of biochemicals triggered by what you do and say. The chemicals, oxytocin (bonding), dopamine (when you’re right) and serotonin (happiness) are released if your conversation is at ‘Level III’ – when you and the team are working to achieve a mutually successful outcome.

When what we say, what we hear, and what we mean are not in agreement, we retreat into our heads and make up stories that help us reconcile the discrepancies.

So, when what we say, what we hear and what we mean are not in agreement, we retreat into our heads and make up stories that help us reconcile the discrepancies. We make “movies” and generally fail to connect.

If you were to replay ‘the movie’ of a recent staff meeting, what would you see and hear? Would you see the same people sitting in the same spots, hear the same people speak and see the agenda following a similar pattern? To make a change, Judith recommends commencing with a ‘Rules of Engagement’ activity which talks to the Amygdala, calming it down to be more fully engaged with the meeting intent. Similarly, when we host a workshop or conference – we break the ice with this style of activity to build trust in the group – we talk to the Amygdala!

The term ‘intelligence’ was brought alive with the advance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ); which is differentiated by Judith: “Emotional Intelligence is about self-regulation whereas conversational intelligence is about co-regulation”. I get this and it will be the EQ leader who will ease into becoming a C-IQ leader. One who will masterfully observe their inner world of desires whilst observing the impact of their actions on others.

I am currently reading Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s my 30th book. I’m a little behind with reviews as I found writing about Conversational Intelligence a challenge. I’m not totally sure why, the content isn’t new to me – it’s probably deciding what to share with you and what not to include!

Please take the opportunity to read this book. It’s a definite ‘must read’ to learn how to train your brain and ultimately achieve extraordinary results in your endeavours.

I have been inundated with questions about my reading project, in particular, my ability to read so many books. Well, I do read, I don’t listen to the books and I know that I am a disciplined person who enjoys learning what others are learning. I believe you must keep ahead of the amazing information and practices which others are successfully applying in their Leadership Practices.

I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!

Have you rained on someone's parade?

I was waiting to run the #City2Sea in Melbourne and the conversation in my group was centred on 'who isn't here'. It was cold, pouring rain and puddles were appearing. We were all accounted for in our team however we suspected 2000 people wouldn't arrive because of the rain!

More often than not, it's other people who rain on our parade. The unthoughtful quick comment, the doubting facial expression and the killer rejection body language. I often bite my lip when I hear and see other people fall guilty to these practices and thankful that I can catch myself before I follow suit.

I suggest we're all guilty of raining on other peoples' parades; we believe we know best and that we're helping out by advising against others' ideas and I recommend we impose a fine of $100 every time we hear ourselves say "we've tried that before"!

As we age (gracefully & gentlemanly) let's learn to poker face our way through conversations or better still artfully ask questions to help the poor souls decide for themselves if it's a great or grotesque idea / solution. As we we'll know, the learning is in the doing especially the expensive mistakes.

I decree that I won't rain on anyone's parade today!