Thirteen Behaviors that Build Trust in Relationships

Building trust is a process of modeling behavior shared vision and repeating messaging

Building trust is a process of modeling behavior shared vision and repeating messaging

What behaviors build trust in relationships?

Think about a time you were part of a really effective team that excelled at pulling together to achieve a shared outcome. What were the attributes that made it successful?

Research shows that teams who collaborate to attain a common end goal are usually high in trust. Success often relies on a group with a sense of shared values, vision and purpose. When all stakeholders are given opportunities to have input, they are inspired to build something together, so as change leaders, how do we work to create a culture of trust? Recently I read Stephen Covey’s book called; “The Speed of Trust,” which looks at trust from three perspectives.

  • Trust as an economic driver that boosts productivity and results. Emotional deposits and withdrawals as an example.
  • Trust as the #1 competency in leadership
  • Trust can be learned

So who is a high trust leader? It is a person with high credibility, solid interpersonal skills with the ability to cultivate trust in teams and throughout organizations and knows that trust is critical to productivity and cost. The four cornerstones below are key for leaders to establish trust.

  1. High Competence -This combines the education and experience we bring to the table
  2. Integrity (Character) – Consistent alignment of thoughts feelings and actions with values principles and goals
  3. Intent (Character) – Self-reflection that examines why we do the things we do
  4. Results (Competency) – Make us credible

13 Traits of Strong Trust Leaders

  1. Talk straight so everyone understands your point of view
  2. Demonstrate respect – how you treat the one has an effect on the many
  3. Create transparency (act with authenticity and no hidden agendas)
  4. Rights all wrongs – Demonstrate accountability and humility
  5. Show loyalty to every person – Credits others for success, always speaks of others as if they are present
  6. Deliver results  (vs activity)
  7. Continuous self-improvement and commitment to learning
  8. Confront reality with tact – acknowledge unspoken and confront the issue(s), not the person
  9. Clarify expectationsvalidate, acknowledge and demonstrate flexibility to renegotiate when appropriate
  10. Practice Accountability and hold others accountable. Clearly communicate progress of self and others
  11. Listen first with intent to understand (instead of respond) what is important to others and to ensure they feel understood
  12. Keep commitments (according to research, this is the number one way to build trust)
  13. Extend trust to others
 As someone who works in change management, a good exercise might be to go through these behaviors, ask your team their thoughts about them and talk them through. If everyone agrees and has input, it could offer a basis for creating something together. It’s part of what makes change management initiatives successful.
Thanks for visiting my blog, leave a comment below and feel free to share this information with others.
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Achievement, Accomplishment, Work Ethic and Success

What is achievement really? How do we get it? Where does it come from? Is it an end goal? A process? Does it take work ethic? Does it mean success? Does it make someone “accomplished” ? Find out here: Projects, perspective, insight, success.

272 steps to forgivenessDecember of 2012 I published a successful academic paper called; “Best Buy Strategic Management Analysis” which I co-wrote with some exceptionally talented people in my cohort. During that time, the company was experiencing revolutionary change, juggling reputation management issues and more. The CEO had resigned, the company founder, Dick Schulze, had written a letter to the board with intention to buy the company back and run it. The competitive market was rapidly changing, they pulled out of markets in China and the UK and had brought in new CEO, Huber Joly.

Recently, our paper reached 29,000 views in less than two years and we are proud of that. It is an accomplishment and for me, professionally, it highlights the kind of work I am capable of. The in-depth research of this globally expanding company, evaluation of their internal environment and external market conditions was a great learning experience. Read more of this post

Quantum Creativity and the Power of Intention

The window of intention

I’ve been thinking about intention lately. How often do we find ourselves slipping into “automatic thinking” ? What does our window of aspiration look like and how do we frame it?

Doing vs. Being | Acting vs. Reacting | Ideal vs. Real |

Intention leads to quantum creativity because for many people, creativity restores order. Some of the most important things that we do in life come from our creativity, which invokes possibilities of new beginnings.

The human condition causes individuals to make flawed assumptions that people do not change. But those of us have done deep self-exploration, know that we get to make a choice to be even better today than the day before.

I am not who I was five or ten years ago because of my curiosity and creativity. They have shown me the excitement to learn and grow that exists around each corner. The good news is that this world is full of random variables that can help us reach and exceed our potential every day, and we have the privilege of being able to share that with others.

Intention – Creativity – Restoration

Thanks for visiting my blog, feel free to leave a comment! Below are some quotes about intention, enjoy!_

Read more of this post

Transition – Defining “Between”

Transitions - Adapting to ChangeToday’s post is about “between,” which comes in many forms. It made me consider the various ways we process and deal with change. Regardless of its application (professional, emotional or personal), the techniques for recognizing and approaching transition differs for each of us.

Sometimes it flows and feels natural, as captured in the photo for this post. A young man who is between testing for his next belt level in karate and receiving a new status because he is ready and has done the work. He has practiced to learn the movement and techniques with precision and accuracy, and he knows that along with his sense of accomplishment come confidence and the long term rewards that follow.

In graduate school, we are taught that we should expect resistance when it comes to change in the workplace. Opposition is a natural part of the process during transformation and frequently rears its head when people do not understand why change is necessary, or there is not consistent support, repetition and communication of the messaging.

OD experts explain there are symbolic rituals necessary for organizational change that brings everyone along, so they feel as though they are part of the process and have input to the outcome. It is a blueprint that incorporates the right guidance systems so human capital can collectively take a step back, acknowledge their current reality, say goodbye to the old way of doing things while working together to build a future. [1] (Kanter, 2008) The change will be more successful when all stakeholders understand their roles, contribution and call to action.

In our personal lives, navigating transition is more complex because not everyone is given the coping mechanisms for recognizing and dealing with change in healthy ways.

When it comes to how we work through transformation as individuals, there are times when we need to sit with discomfort and uncertainty for a bit as part of our reflection. Often our experience can provide answers and this world is one full of endless possibilities. Although there is a school of thought that might agree it is easier to give help than to ask for it, leveraging our support system is a resource we cannot ignore.

Discomfort is healthy when it motivates us to use our courage and move towards something better. Transition can be the beginning of something exciting and new that will provide opportunities to grow, learn, unlearn, re-think, re-learn, heal, innovate and re-invent.

Awareness of our own resistance to change could come in the form of anxiety, physical discomfort, fear, anger, sadness, insecurities, etc. In time, we learn the best way to overcome any of that is to get input, learn from it and then practice new behaviors until they feel normal.

Someone I know spent a great deal of time trying to work through a process like this. He shared what worked for him while he was struggling. His solutions are below.

Write down the following and reflect on the questions below, one at a time:

  1. “Yes, this change is hard.” (Make a list of what makes it hard for you)
  2. “How can I objectively examine the pros and cons of this situation?
  3. What part of my fear is getting in the way?
  4. How can this experience be my teacher?
  5. What can I do to move forward?

Once those issues had been examined, he found a trusted source to share it with that we will call “his people.” The ones he knew would not judge, give uninvited advice, or try to fix him or the situation. A trusted resource who would just listen. “His people” are the ones who have earned the right to hear his stories. It took practice, but it was amazing to see how the consistency of repeating the action over and over helped him grow.

So if you are finding yourself “between” something and are feeling in transition, perhaps his process could work for you as well. And who knows, you just may be happy you did. Thanks for visiting my blog, share your story or ask questions below, I’d love to hear from you!

[1] Kanter, R.M. (2008). Transforming giants. Harvard Business Review, 86(1), 43-52.

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The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Prompt. Danielle Hark of Broken Light Collective challenges us to photograph between. This week, capture something between two things, reflect on the process of transition, or interpret this word in your own way.

6 Successful Ways to Influence and Lead Change

6 simple ways to get buy in and influence othersMaking meaningful connections is important in leadership. We easily get caught up in “do-and-move-forward” mode which gets in the way of slowing down to value the relationships we have built and continue to grow. 

It helps to remember that people rally around causes and values that resonate with them, especially when leading through times of change. We have been trained to continuously scan internal and external environments and there is no question it takes time to figure out how to bring others with us through the journey that is change. Our role is to anticipate resistance, lead with confidence and have empathy for and redirect individuals who may get emotional. Modeling the behavior is a given and we can’t over communicate the key messaging that is required. Below are 6 simple things we can do to lead and influence people and organizations in times of transition.

1. Reciprocate – Random acts of kindness and helping others in unexpected ways sets the tone and people will respond in return.

2. Leverage scarcity – Have conversations about opportunity and consequences of not following through.
3. Authority: Lead by example – Rituals and setting goals play important roles in bringing others along. That happens when as leaders, we engage in conversation that covers:

• The past (this is where we were, what can it teach us)
• The present (this is our current reality)
• Vision (lets create the future together)

4. Consistency in messaging – People learn in different ways using various processes. We can’t over-repeat the message
5. Practice optimism because it is contagious. Seek synergies and commonalities. What do you like about how you work well together with peers?
6. Consensus – Ask for commitment because when people make a pledge, they are more likely to follow through.

Do you have other thoughts or stories about commitments? If so, make a comment below. Thanks for visiting my blog!

The Universe as a Subtle Teacher |The Daily Prompt

Magestic SnowWhen my son was just 3 years old I recall pulling into the driveway after a full day at the office. It was early April and there was a fresh, light dusting of snow. The air was crisp and the neighborhood quiet. Often, getting out of the car after a long day at work was a chore because my mind would be whirling, as I processed the events of the day.

I unbuckled my little guy from his car seat, pulled him out of the car, grabbed my purse, his diaper bag, my laptop case, etc. and headed towards the door. I was in “full speed ahead” mode, focusing on the tasks at hand, thinking we needed to hurry. I had to fix dinner, do laundry, get him in the tub, prepare for the next morning, read a children’s storybook  and in the blink of an eye, it would be time for bed.

As I walked up to the house I was stomping in the fresh snow and he was following not far behind. I got to the door, turned around and said; “Come on little man, let’s get in.” What I saw caused me to take pause for a second.

There he was, his little self concentrating on the ground, stepping his tiny boots into my big footsteps of the fresh snow. For a moment it brought me back to my own childhood and I was reminded how quickly the time flies, that the universe is so big and is a subtle teacher.  I calmly waited,  and it was a wonderful feeling that put a smile on my face.

As we work to navigate the world and teach our children about faith, family and staying on the right path, one would think that we teach and they learn. But little moments like that of those footsteps, remind us that the most valuable asset we have is time and we become the student. They teach us that how we use that time, is up to us.

Later that night I picked up one of my meditation books and the quote at the beginning of the entry read:

The journey is bigger than we are no matter where we are in our search to know God.” –Earnie Larsen

Wow.

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This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt Topic; “Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure  – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself. Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEARNING.

You’ve Got the Power | My Law Starts Here

If I could enact a single law, it might read something like this:

Holding Hand

Compassion over judgement – Act thoughtfully and approach every human being, including yourself, with loving kindness. Acknowledge your own bias and seek to understand before jumping to conclusions. Everyone has a story to tell and asking someone about theirs may be really insightful.

Love your family in word and action – Family consists of those we choose to involve in our lives. Life is short, time slips away quickly and living with regret is daunting. The good news is every person has the gift of this very moment, so step forward, make a choice and seize the day!

Let go of the anger  In every life situation, have the courage to take a step back and ask;

  • What is really going on here?
  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What is my role in this situation?
  • Who or what do I need to forgive?

Practice Gratitude each day and sprinkle in a little fun.

Be kind to yourself – Cliche I know, – treat others the way you want to be treated. But how about this:

Treat yourself  the way you want to be treated.

What would that look like and if you had the power to enact a single law, what would it be? Please comment below.

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This post was inspired by The Daily Prompt: You have the power to enact a single law. What would it be? Photographers, artists, poets: show us RULES.

The Road….

Unconditional Love

There are people who will say Valentines Day is a novelty, but I think it’s an opportunity to reflect, create a memory or perform a random act of kindness, because sometimes even the smallest gesture can go a long way.

My mom never forgets a Valentines Day. Last night she came over with the tulips you see in the background of the picture, made dinner and then did some religion homework with my son.

She gave me the red heart ornament in the picture years ago on a February 14th. It says “Kakie” and on the back Love, Mom.  Time has worn the ink from changing the oil in the decanter.

The faded letters on the ornament and the flowers are both signals for me. One, a gentle reminder about being present, new life, spring and what lies ahead. The other is to pause, step back, appreciate those around me and celebrate the journey. We didn’t get here alone and couldn’t have accomplished all that has been without others. Look how far we’ve come. For many of us it can seem quite remarkable.

Life puts gifts at our feet which we don’t recognize at first. Sometimes we stumble over them or we get in our own way. It’s okay because we are all flawed and I think there is beauty in that. Somehow we always manage to get back up, brush ourselves off and move ahead.

We are exactly where we are meant to be at any given moment and we have all of the tools we need. Today, give yourself permission to slow down, take a deep breath, find gratitude and share it with someone.

I would love to hear stories about small gestures that meant a great deal to you  Share them below and thanks for stopping by. Happy Valentines Day.

Stuck in Spin: Stopping the Glorification of ‘Busy’

There are times I find myself off in my own personal “never-never” land. It is a place I refer to as “stuck in spin” and it’s where many of us wander off to once in a while. The first time I came up with the name for it was when my son was in second grade. I had just picked him up from school and as I drove down the road my brain was in full self-chatter mode. Something brought me back into the moment when I realized that he was sharing the exciting things like what he learned in school, what they played in the gym, who made him laugh, etc. I thought:   Am I going to blink and miss my son’s childhood because I was not paying attention? This time is going so fast.  

I could say I wrote the book when it comes to being busy, but then again, couldn’t we all? Me: Full time Executive MBA Student in a one parent household who has been working as a contract project manager off and on for the past few years to diversify my resume. I have wondered about my future and this process of reinvention all while being the Cub Scout and soccer mom, Catechist, the blogger, MBA candidate, writer, author, speaker, job seeker and social media marketing consultant and strategist.

I recently found a quote on Pinterest that said; “Stop the Glorification of ‘Busy‘ ,” which came to me through Robyn Flach. Robyn is a person I know through the social media community here in the Twin Cities. The quote got me wondering how to get out of my “stuck in spin” space when it happens?

At the end of the day, we all have a lot going on as we create our futures. While that is exciting, what really counts is that we are of service to others and fully present for the people in our lives, including ourselves. I talked with a good friend about this and he shared something he pulled from storage in his garage. Notes from a seminar he attended with renowned psychologist, John Selby many years ago. I closed my eyes and my compadre read each statement below three times.

  1. I choose to enjoy this moment
  2. I feel the air flowing in and out of my nose
  3. I also feel the movement in my chest and belly as I breathe
  4. I am aware of my whole body at once, here, in this present moment

That’s it. I don’t have to say all four of them every time, but I can practice. All I have to do is 1. say it 2. do it. Any place, any time.  I can even do it with family and friends to model the behavior because when we teach, we learn. After completing this meditation, I felt centered, present and whole. It is a choice, but also takes practice. One of my favorite quotes of all time:

What we learn, we practice. What we practice, we become. What we become, has consequences.” -Earnie Larsen

Please share below, what helps you get grounded and in the moment? How do you work to stay fully present in the lives of those around you? Thanks for joining the conversation!

Day 19: Centering, Possibility and Discovery? Right Here.

When was the last time you did one of these? 

  • Looked up and remembered – with intention, to slow down
  • Sought out someone in need and took time to celebrate them, with them
  • Turned to a friend or family member and simply said: “Whats on your mind?”
  • Gave yourself permission to take a break and have a little fun
  • Bought a cup of coffee for someone in line behind you
  • Accidentally” dropped a $5 bill in front of a kid at the store and said; “Say, that’s not mine, looks like you dropped something there.”

Lift your head and scan the environment, what patterns do you see? Pay attention and listen, because we all need reminders that this life is about making connections. We never get anywhere without others and when we surround ourselves with a supportive community, they help bring us back to our center. It is the essence of positive karma.

I was recently told about a book by Thomas Crum called; “Three Deep Breaths: Finding Power and Purpose in a Stressed-Out Life.” I can’t wait to read it! The premise behind the book, as Crum states,  is as follows:

“Science has shown us that there are three “C’s” of a stress resistant immune system:

  1. A sense of CONTROL over your response to life events
  2. A sense of COMMITMENT to something beyond your ego (i.e., family, service, religion, or life philosophy).
  3. A sense of CHALLENGE and learning opportunity when confronted with a stressor.

The Three Deep Breaths technique is a mind-body process which allows us to achieve the three C’s while balancing our autonomic nervous system through the breath.

Breath # 1: The Centering Breath
Breath in the present moment, with balance and energy

Breath # 2: The Possibility Breath
Breath in the “me I want to be” with power and purpose

Breath # 3: The Discovery Breath
Breath in the mystery, let go of judgment

The Centering Breath gives us the calm and balance we need to respond appropriately rather than react negatively in stressful situations. The Possibility Breath reminds us of a purpose higher than our egos. And the Discovery Breath turns a stressful situation into a crucial learning opportunity.”

As another resource to stay grounded, I created a board  on Pinterest called “Meditation” Enjoy it and pay it forward by sharing it with someone who could use a lift today.

Please comment below. What are some interesting things you or those you do to refocus and feel centred?

Four things I am grateful for today

  1. Meditation
  2. Validation and support systems who remind me I am centered, strong and resilient
  3. That children are teachers who center me, remind me about possibilities and the wonder of discovery
  4. My optimism and ability to re-frame possibilities

Day 16: Your Neighborhood – Ten Second Leadership

21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for:

When I was a kid, I was mesmerized by Mr. Rogers because he was stability during a time there was confusion in my house which no one talked about because they didn’t know how. They loved us and wanted to protect our little souls. But with Mr. Rogers, there was understanding and hope that came with the numerous times we would hear him say; “I like you just the way you are.”

Mr. Rogers said we leave a little of our selves with every single person we meet. The ability to keep this idea top of mind takes true, authentic leadership and those of you who know me have heard me say that I believe when people make a difference in our lives, tell them. Can you imagine the humanity that would come in a world of individuals who remember to let each person know they count?

 I can, because I am here to tell you today you matter and to thank you for stopping by to join the conversation.

What about you?  Your thoughts count. This is an open forum,
please leave your comments below.
This post was inspired after watching the documentary called:

Mr Rogers and Me. PLEASE watch the trailer below. I ordered it OnDemand and the reflection that came as a result was moving and profound. If you buy it and watch it, I bet you can’t do it without a few tears to the eyes.

Three things I am grateful for:

  1. My community of family, friends, educators, mentors, medical professionals, leaders, coworkers, cohort, Benjamin Wagner and of course, Fred Rogers. 🙂 All of whom nurtured me into being.
  2. Every single person I have met who has chosen compassion over judgement
  3. My ability to pay it forward
And of course, thanks to Benjamin Wagner for his brilliant talent

How did I end up here?

In the face of uncertainty, I do my best to begin from a place of gratitude. As I began setting up this blog I found myself thinking, “How in the world did I end up here?”  It’s because of the one thing in life that is constant. Change. For many years I worked in roles that included marketing, communications, program management, project management, training and leadership development in the financial services industry. I learned the value of getting the right message, to the right people, at the right time, through the right medium. I am grateful for the many gifts those experiences gave, the lessons it has taught and the lessons it continues to teach me. Read more of this post

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