By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to infuse added trust in your relationships. Reading time: 2:47
Balancing each other on the SeeSaw, the two elementary school girls personified a key leadership skill: trusting each other. Completely.
With that well-secured bond of trust, each can soar to new heights with the reciprocal action of the other.
But without that bond of trust linking these partners, one can come quickly crashing down when the other simply steps off the SeeSaw and walks away. At the wrong time.
And does the other wrong.
That’s why the most trusting leaders always FIRST discern the consequences of their own actions on another. Then they project those behaviors on to themselves with a greater sense of emotional intelligence. Indeed the most trusting leaders FIRST see themselves in the other person’s shoes.
After all, it takes two to dance the Tango of Trust. What you give, you get. What you sow, you reap.
No wonder the most trusting leaders focus on seeing EYE-to-EYE with their trusted partners. They see EYE as an insightful acrostic standing for the three-legged stool upon which all trust sits:
E for Experience
E for an Experience that is shared between the two trusting parties. Together they have been battle tested. Together they have been successful, safe and secure. Together they have both trusted and proven trustworthy.
Together they enjoy a high degree of predictability with each other and a strong sense of compatibility. Together they have proven their accountability and their availability. And together these two trusting partners have earned a reputation for being there for each other 24/7. Fully connected.
Y for Yielding
Y for Yielding, yielding control to each other on a regular alternating basis. One is on the ground while the other is hanging on in mid-air and the yield reverses. Up goes down and down goes up.
The resulting vulnerability makes the trusted leaders that much more trusting of each other. In fact leadership shifts back and forth between them. So when one is leading the other is following.
Both the leader and the follower are mutually influential, their leadership passing back and forth between them depending on the task and who has the competency to deal with it.
Significantly, in giving up power to each other on a regular alternating basis empowers them even more. Their alternating control beams even more significantly with the force of an alternating current which carries electricity farther than the more controlling, batteries-required, direct power.
E for Expertise
E for Expertise, a shared sense of know-how and bravura between you and your trusting partner. You are confident in each other’s skills and comfortable in each other’s proverbial arms to perform as expected under deadline pressure. No surprises. No betrayals. No knives in the back.
With their EYE of TRUST well-focused on each other, the two trusting partners dance the Tango of Trust with a greater sense of premise and promise to each other. They mean what they say and they say what they mean. They have an inherent sense of integrity and accountability that others can fully rely on to perform at their personal best BECAUSE of their trusting relationship and trustworthy behaviors.
The more they dance the Tango of Trust, the more they trust each other; the more they dance the Tango of Trust the more they believe in each other, and the more they dance the Tango of Trust the more synergy they generate together.
The Trust Hormone
Sometimes that synergy ignites an added benefit: the Trust Hormone, oxytocin. When you are in a trusting state of mind, your body senses it and naturally produces oxytocin, a hormone that calms and relaxes under the right trusting conditions. That’s why when you fully trust someone you feel more relaxed, more secure, more content.
How do you establish the right trusting conditions? You don’t. You can cultivate it but not orchestrate it. You can fertilize it but not decide to MAKE it grow. Like respect, reputation and love, trust is something you earn over time. From others.
In fact Ken Blanchard and Fred Finch observe in their book, Leading at the Higher Level: “At its best, leadership is a partnership that involves mutual trust between two people who work together to achieve common goals. When that occurs both leader and follower have an opportunity to influence each other.”
No matter how rich you are, you can never have enough financial acumen, enough –creditability– to purchase trust on your own. And no matter how smart you are you will never have enough believability, enough persuasive prowess, enough –credibility –to garner trust on your own.
Trust can only be given to you-if you proven trustworthy. You can’t claim Trust. You can’t appropriate it. You can’t appoint it.
You can only prove yourself worthy of it. You can only dedicate yourself to someone who will anoint you with their trust. Then and only then can you ride together. And confide together.
On the Seesaw of Trust.
Trust in others to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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