Trust-building requires regular self-reflection
Last week I talked about 3 reasons why you need to build trust in your team. To help you do that, I suggested spending a few minutes in self-reflection each week answering 3 questions. The third question was: How aligned do you feel with your values, ethics and morals?
When you lead with integrity, I reminded you that your actions align with your values, ethics, and morals. You are leading with integrity when you do what you say you're going to do. The further you feel from your values, ethics, and morals could be a big warning sign that others will begin to lose their trust in you.
The team lost trust in me when I wasn't in tune with myself!
When my team started losing trust in me, I didn't understand what was causing the quickly dwindling trust. It wasn't until my coach asked me to identify my values, I started to put the puzzle pieces together.
While I said I valued some things, I didn't consistently demonstrate that through my behaviours, which means that I was not trustworthy.
When we say something and do something else, it causes people to step back and question our actions and our motives. When we advocate wholeheartedly for one thing but then turn around and do something completely different, it sends a confusing message to people. Or perhaps it sends a message that is loud and clear: Don't trust her!
Things changed when I began to dig deeper into my values.
Over the years, I have gone back to my values regularly. I identify where they show up, how they show up, and I work to use them to make decisions, guide my behaviour and as measurements to see if I am on track. Let me give you an example.
I used to think that family was my top value. The problem was that having "family" as my guiding Northstar meant it often got in the way of work. Because of that, I made decisions that did not align with me, saying it was #1. As a result, I constantly felt the inner turmoil of being off track. What's more is that others could clearly see both that I was not in integrity and that I felt crappy as a result, regardless of what I said.
Yes, I'm heading to the city again. Yes, I'll miss awards day at school. I know it's a bummer, but this meeting is crucial. I'll call my daughter at night and talk to her about it.
Can you feel the disconnect?
At the same time, I valued good quality work. I was an overachiever with high expectations for myself and others. This value often got blurred with perfectionism. Because I wasn't doing the self-reflective work to see where good turned to perfectionism, I often stretched myself beyond what was reasonable and expected that in others.
Finally, I valued wellness. I had done work to become physically and mentally healthier. I tried to ensure I worked out and ate healthily. But so often, that didn't fit into my schedule as easily as I'd have liked. To do so meant I'd have to give up other things, things that were of value to me.
I had too many top values!
In addition to my family, good quality work and wellness also valued lifelong learning, spirituality, honesty and nature. How on earth could I put all of those at the top, lead well and enjoy life? It certainly wasn't working for me.
Do you know and understand your top values?
How about you? What are your top values? Can you name them, and do you honour them in a way that feels good every day? If not, that may be where you feel much of your inner turmoil.
What's changed for many of my clients and me is getting a clearer picture of our values. It's not just a word, but as I say, it's verifying what that value means, how it shows up and knowing how to use it to guide your life.
I verified my values!
Doing the work in Values Verification, I realized that my top value is excellence. It encompasses being a good wife, mom and grandma. It also means I want to do the work to be in excellent health, do excellent work for you and be an excellent human being making an excellent contribution to the world. That means I can't be perfect at any one of those things, and I need to continually come back to all of them during self-reflection to make sure I am on track.
Clarity of values helps make decisions
I had a message from one of my adult kids the other day. They asked if they could have an hour of my time, during my workday, to talk about something very important to them. After considering things for a minute, my answer was:
However, when my daughter called me when she went into labour a couple of years ago, I was in the middle of a coaching call. The coaching call ended early, and I put excellent mamma at the top of the list quickly.
Those decisions were "easier" because of the work I've done understanding my values.
Verifying values has helped many of my clients
An example from a client is that they realized their top value is "simplicity."
The goal to lead with trust and integrity is to align your values, ethics, morals and how you speak about those with your actions and behaviours. To do that effectively, you need to have a clear understanding of your values.
When I turned things around, I realized three things:
The work I needed to do was to get reacquainted with my values, what they meant to me, and how to use my values to make decisions, drive my behaviour and leave my team. That's why I created the Values Verification course.
Are you ready to get clearer on your values?
This week in The Training Library, I'm encouraging the members to revisit the course Values Verification. Values are our internal compass and help us lead and live with integrity. To learn more about the Values Verification course, click here.
Feedback from students
These clients have completed the Values Verification course inside of The Training Library. Upon completion of the course, this is what other students had to say about what they learned about their values and how they see them differently:
Let me know how it goes!!
p.s. I'll end with a quote from Brene Brown "Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; it's choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them." Make sure you understand your values so that you can practice them!!
When my staff told me that I lacked integrity in 2009, what they were saying was they couldn't trust me. Comments on the performance appraisal prove that.
Don't just say you are supportive, but actually, be supportive!
My team lost trust in me
While they had been able to trust me in the past, the arrival of a large new contract changed that. Previously, I'd managed everything on my plate and did it with a level of confidence. But increased responsibility, travel, staffing, scope and budget all left me scrambling to hold things together.
Because of that:
I'd moved into survival mode
The one-word response I had on my performance appraisal in 2009 indicated I'd moved into survival mode!
What do you feel were your accomplishments over the past year? Survival!
It was time for me to rebuild trust!I was frustrated, hurt and discouraged by the feedback. Previous performance appraisals indicated I had strong trust with the team. How could things have plummeted so fast?
Here's the thing about trust. It's not static. It ebbs and flows based on relationships. When it drops, leaders need to double down on building it back.
Trust is all about relationships
Trust is something felt between people. And when you have a strong relationship with someone likely the trust is stronger. Likewise, when your relationship heads to rocky ground, your level of trust is likely to drop. When it's time to rebuild trust, it starts with rebuilding relationships.
Without trust, my team was falling apart!
When my team lost trust in me and felt I was out of integrity, they didn't feel they had a strong leader. Therefore, as trust in our team eroded, I lost followers.
The fact that I was losing followers was one reason I needed to focus on trust. There were others as well. If you are curious about other pitfalls of dwindling trust, tune into this week's podcast, where I share three reasons why you need to keep trust on your radar.
Listen to the episode here.
I had to put trust-building back on my radar!
Through coaching, I learned to build time to build relationships.
I spent time reflecting on the effectiveness of my trust-building activitiesI kept an eye on how I was doing at regaining trust through regular self-reflection. I journaled. I brought issues up in coaching. I planned my time with staff more intentionally.
If you want to build trust in your team, I encourage you to do the same!
If you want to keep trust strong in your team, do this:Put self-reflection time on your to-do list each week. When you take 15 minutes to consider what you've done to build trust, consider your answers to these three questions:
1) Where do you land on the surviving to thriving continuum?
The closer you are to survival mode, it is often that the level of trust in your team drops. In survival mode, we focus on getting things done and hanging on to appointments, tasks, reports etc., before we drop the ball on something. When we are in survival mode, we tend to spend less time building relationships, which is again key to trust.
Check where you land on the Surviving to Thriving continuum here.
2) How do your relationships with your team feel?
When you sense you are avoiding someone on your team or feel as though they are avoiding you, it's a good time to question your level of trust between the two of you.
3) How aligned do you feel with your values, ethics and morals?
When you lead with integrity, your actions align with your values, ethics and morals. You are leading with integrity when you do what you say you're going to do. The further you feel from your values, ethics, and morals could be a big warning sign that others will begin to lose their trust in you.
When you keep these three things top of mind, you were more likely to create a trusting work culture that thrives.
Tune into this week's podcast to listen for the three reasons why you must keep trust on your radar for you, your team and the clients you serve.
Putting time in to build trust may feel like more work, but TRUST me, in the end, it will help you to feel more on top of all you are responsible for!
P.S. If you want to make sure you are leading with integrity, start with verifying your values, what they mean to you and how you know when you are aligned with them.
We all know we have way too much work to do. However, saying no to that work isn't as easy as it sounds.
Saying no doesn't always involve the word no
There are many things we need to say no to and various ways we could communicate our no. These are all ways you may need to say no more often:
Here's why we struggle to say no
What gets in the way of this is not that we know we want to and probably should say no. Rather, it's our pesky thoughts that get in the way. Those thoughts keep us trapped in the pleasing, perfecting, performing and proving cycles.
How to get better at saying noTo get better at saying no to too much work, we need to uncover what thoughts are getting in the way. To do that, let's go through the Inner Guidance Cycle.
Take a few minutes to pause. Slow down so you can do some self-reflection.
In the Pondering step, we look at:
This moment of self-reflection allows our underlying beliefs, assumptions and values to become more evident. That gives us insight into what might be getting in the way of us saying no. Armed with the new understanding, we can pivot our perspective, create new beliefs, and honour our values more clearly.
The last step of The Inner Guidance Cycle takes us out of pausing and self-reflecting and puts us back into action. It's time to communicate our no!
To get a deeper understanding of The Inner Guidance Cycle, check out these free resources. Then grab Mastering Confidence: Discover your leadership potential by awakening your inner guidance system to go into a deeper dive of The Inner Guidance Cycle to boost your confidence.
I took Faith through The Inner Guidance Cycle
I talked to Faith the other day. She was frustrated because her staff passed over things for her to review. Reviewing is Faith's job. Doing it for them is not.
Because Faith wants everyone to like her, wants to ensure her program produces good quality work and is a bit of a perfectionist, she does do the work for her team rather than reviewing the document.
As Faith and I worked through The Inner Guidance Cycle, and she became aware of those thoughts and how they created that frustration. That new awareness helped her begin to shift her perspective.
Faith began realizing that, yes, it may take longer in the short term, to turn around and give feedback on what the employee needs to work on in the document; she was actually allowing them to grow. Faith realized that while the expectation was they pass it onto her for review, her team's unwritten rule has become just pass it on to Faith; she'll fix it up.
Without in mind, Faith could go back, proceed, and review documents without doing them. We spent the rest of our coaching session creating a framework for her to say no to doing the work and practicing how she'd communicate.
The Steps for Saying NO
If you want to get better at saying no to too much work, do this:
Step # 1 - Work through The Inner Guidance Cycle, discovering what underlying thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and values might be getting in your way of communicating your No.
Step # 2: Prepare and practice communicating your No
Step # 3 - Confidently and bravely communicate your No
Learning the Framework for Saying No to Too Much Work!
If you're looking for a framework to help you state your no, mean it and stick to it, check out the new course mini-course in The Training Library: Saying No to Too Much Work!
This new course builds ideas from the Willpower Essentials course helping you to learn:
To access Saying No to Too Much Work, join The Training Library as a monthly member. As a member of The Training Library, you will receive fresh, relevant, and new content every month to keep you engaged, excited and expanding your leadership capacity.
My goal is to help you become a competent and confident leader who is also happy, content & balanced. Learn how here.
A final reminder:
Leadership isn't always easy. Sometimes we have to have the short-term pain of having the uncomfortable conversation of saying no for the long-term gain of an amazing team and feeling fulfilled on our leadership journey! You can do it! I'm cheering you on!
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.