Productivity Coach’s Corner: Building Trust at Work

It’s your job as their trusted leader to make it easier for people to do their best work. Practice asking these three questions, and see how it improves your interactions this week.

Effective leaders know there’s much to be gained (and learned) from listening, but they don’t always have the time to “go there.” Three questions make it easier to build trust at work.

  1. What do they need? When meeting with someone, it’s easy to fall back on traditional “negotiation skills” as you seek the end goal. On your way to the meeting, consider the other person’s needs, and where he or she is coming from. This is a way to build rapport without really having to “do” anything.
  2. How can I notice them? Most of the people you interact with are starving for positive attention. Notice what people are doing and catch them doing something right. Acknowledge them with an example of how their work is helping the company.
  3. What “worry” is on its way? During an especially difficult part of a hike I was on last year (the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim, 52-mile/ two-day Grand Canyon event), one hiker was struggling. He did not stop talking about hard it was. So I asked him to tell me what he could imagine his kids (ages 9 and 13) would be doing in a decade. He refocused his energy! For two hours, he thought and talked, hiking through the difficult uphill section of the climb.

It’s your job as their trusted leader to make it easier for people to do their best work. Practice asking these three questions, and see how it improves your interactions this week.

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