How to Break the Cycle of Distrust on Your Team

How to Break the Cycle of Distrust on Your Team

Trust in the workplace is an interesting topic.  Trust starts with communication, specifically with the ability to handle Tough Conversations. Tough Conversations are those involving anything that makes us uncomfortable, sparks emotions, requires vulnerability, etc.  For example: questioning your boss discussing performance issues asking for a raise proposing a major process change correcting a coworker, or asking for clarification on how anonymity is maintained on employee surveys The less a team is willing to step into these Tough Conversations, the more space they leave for stories about the motives of others.  The more the stories grow, the more trust shrinks and before long, voilà! The cycle of doom takes hold. Consider the annual employee survey when trust is missing: In this cycle: Employees feel management doesn’t care, doesn’t listen, and does whatever they want regardless of employee input.  The perspective on feedback is that it’s a waste of time and makes the person offering it a target. Management feels employees are disengaged and not aligned to organizational objectives.  The perspective becomes a need to micromanage and control versus empower and grow. Solution: Avoid or break the cycle of distrust and learn to handle your team’s Tough Conversations. Tough Conversations are complex and unfortunately not something covered in grade school or college.  We get very little training on how to handle them effectively with candor and skill.  Most people just wing it. Here’s some tips on how to begin: Accept that everyone is different. We all bring different Strengths, blind spots, experiences, and knowledge. Avoid blame. It’s judgement and doesn’t move conversation forward. Be curious. Seek understanding. Clarify intent, yours...
3 Steps to Get Your Communication Back on Track

3 Steps to Get Your Communication Back on Track

Any of the following familiar? You feel more like you’re talking at the team instead of with the team. The team complains about communication. Not enough of the right and too much of the wrong. You get 100+ emails a day, they never stop and the only thing you have to show for it is increased anxiety and frustration You over-communicate initiatives, goals, and updates with minimal results Seek first to understand, then to be understood. – Stephen Covey Try the following 3 steps: #1 Know Thyself. We each have our own unique filter for how we see, hear, and understand the world.  Genetics, talents, experience, education, situation, and motivation are unique for each of us.  At Trybal Performance, we utilize the StrengthsFinder tool to help individuals define and understand their filters for the world around them.  Regardless of the tool you use, find something to help you gain insight into you.  Ask for feedback from those around you.  Reflect on when your communication was most successful and least successful.  Get curious and seek to understand you. #2 Know Thy Team Make it a point to understand the individuals on your team and help them understand you.  Often, we assume our filter is right and everyone else should have the same.  Based on those assumptions we communicate with little serious thought to how those around us receive and process the information we’re delivering.  We also don’t clearly help those around us understand how we see, hear, and understand what they’re sending our way.  Openly discuss and evaluate team communication.  What works and what doesn’t?  Get curious and seek to...
The #1 Tool You’re Missing in Your Tough Conversations

The #1 Tool You’re Missing in Your Tough Conversations

The overload of information, opinions, stories, and accusations in our world today is overwhelming! Lines are drawn. Emotions are high. Feelings are hurt. Anger grows. We’re all seeking to understand each other.  Well, maybe not exactly…though we can all agree we are seeking to be understood ourselves. True communication is a two-way street. Unfortunately, it’s often turned into a one-way street where  we are either pushing our message on someone, or someone is pushing their message on us. In many cases, there’s a game-changing tool missing from our communication toolboxes. This tool is so powerful, when wielded correctly it has the ability to transform tough conversations into building bridges. Here’s the great news - we all posses this must have tool, we just need to deliberately utilize it. Curiosity is the key to conversation mechanics. Getting curious during tough conversations can help you: Harness the power of conflict Turn disagreement into a learning opportunity Shift from accusations and stories to understanding Make Facebook great again Curiosity is an AMAZING tool! We just have to remember to dig it out and use it, even when sometimes we feel like using a hammer. Imagine the next time you make a statement at work or home and instead of getting strange looks or arguments, someone simply asked, “Can you help me understand?” What if disagreements at work quickly turned into sharing knowledge in search of the best solution instead of a battle of authority? What if conflict was healthy because each time it arose, it was used as an opportunity to learn from one another instead of a battle to get our way?...
[Lucrative Lookback] How to Work With Difficult People Who Make You Cringe

[Lucrative Lookback] How to Work With Difficult People Who Make You Cringe

We’ve all met our fair share of cringeworthy people - you know, the folks who never seem to know where the line is. Or, the ones who are blatantly hypocritical and don’t seem to know it. Or, the coworker you really wish would at least pretend not to be on their phone while they’re talking to you. Or…the list could go on for days! In this week’s Lucrative Lookback, we’ll consider how we can change our experience with these “difficult people” to preserve our sanity and create a work environment where we can do more than just survive. We may find that a little perspective goes a long way. What’s even better? We’ll explore how to work with these difficult personalities in 250 words, or less! Think about this… To date, we don’t have computers as sophisticated as the human brain. Each of your coworkers has potentially more computational power than any of the computers at your company! Perhaps you’re thinking, “Not my coworkers! Some of them just have difficult personalities. They could never be as sophisticated as a door knob, much less a computer!” Now, consider this quote by Albert Einstein: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” People have unique Strengths that act as their filter for how they think, act, and feel. If everyone had exactly the same Strengths and thought exactly the same way, life would be pretty boring and new ideas would be rare at best. There’s power in diversity and seeing it...
3 Ways to Have More Valuable & Successful Conversations

3 Ways to Have More Valuable & Successful Conversations

We can now communicate a million and one different ways:  at work, school, home, via email, text, phone, twitter, IM, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. It makes connecting as easy as the click of a button, which means miscommunicating is just as easy – if not, easier! Connecting can be great AND it can be overwhelming, especially when we feel like we’re spinning our wheels. We communicate the same way hoping to achieve a different result in our relationships at work and home. What can you do to start getting some traction and actually have successful conversations? Know Yourself Learn Others Apply It! Know Yourself “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” -Abraham Maslow What do you need for successful communication? Really think about this for a minute. Reflect on communication situations (email, meetings, one-on-one) where you were completely satisfied that you received the information clearly, completely, and it created the coveted path to action. What about that conversation made it successful for you? Was there specificity in the information that provided direction (data, facts, details)? Was the history/context of the project or situation provided? Were all viable options described and addressed thoroughly? Was there a clear priority or goal? Did the other person express the priority of each task up front? If you find yourself unsure of your communication needs, StrengthsFinder is an excellent tool to help you sort this out. Learn more about it here. Once you’re clear on your communication needs, share them! Don’t expect others to magically figure out how best to communicate with you.  It’s your...