I read (ok, scan) dozens of eNewsletters and blog posts each day. I often think, "Oh, I wish I'd said that!" One blogger I find offers bits of wisdom on a fairly regular basis is author/speaker/teacher Seth Godin. Sometimes what he shares isn't really new to me, but the way he words it goes right to the heart of the matter as a fresh reminder of something I already know.
I love having current and pertinent data to use when making decisions. Sometimes that is research done by a highly respected research organization like Pew Research. Or, analysis done by media outlets such as the New York Times or National Public Radio. Sometimes it is informal research gathered through a small group poll that I have put together using a tool like Survey Monkey. But, all the data in the world doesn't really matter unless we have worked at building trust with those with whom we interact.
This is especially critical if you are a leader, whether of a business a classroom or a not-for-profit organization. It applies to those serving on Boards of Directors or Church Councils as well as to those who are in executive leadership roles. It is important for those who take on more informal leadership roles. Trust and relationship matters!
But, in these challenging COVID-19-isolation days, how do you build and maintain trust? The techniques may be a bit different from what we're used to, using Zoom instead of an in-person meeting, for example, but the essentials remain the same:
- Listen more than you talk.
- Engage people you know as well as people you don't know, but you'd like to know.
- Ask questions of those with whom you interact.
- Name what is on your mind....transparency is key!
- Invite others to share their ideas, their priorities and dreams!
- Navigate both old & new technologies by using the others' preferred means of communication....handwritten notes, emails, text messages, social media, video...whatever works to build a bridge to effective communication.
If you use this acronym to remind you of the various ways you can authentically connect and build relationships with people, you will find that this also builds trust. The data is useful, of course, but it changes constantly as our world changes. The trusted connections and relationships you build can last forever.