Increasing Your Dependability: The Key to Trust and Confidence

In my new book that is in the works even as I write this blog, I cover five non-negotiable characteristics that organizations seek. 

Here is the first:

Characteristic #1: Hard Working = Smart Working

At the top of the hard working list is dependability. People who take ownership of all aspects of their job are the people who not only have a clear vision of what is expected, but also look further to see what more needs to be or could be done.

I want to drill down into the concept of dependability.

Do You Influence or Are You Influential?

We have for too long now believed that influence is the practice of what we “do” to people. We persuade them. We negotiate with them. We manipulate them. We intimidate them. We coerce them. We feel if we get them to do what we want, we are influential.

However, these are external actions. While they may influence others, they don’t make us, at the core, influencers. 

The goal of every leader is to be influential, not by merely using tactics but as an expression of who they actually are.   The good news is that real influence - being influential - can be cultivated, learned, and enhanced. Essentially, becoming influential is a process.

How To Stop Lying: The Subtle Dangers of Lying Part Three

In our first article in the series, we learned how we ever so subtly try to maneuver the truth (or simply tell a bold-faced lie).

The second article provided the reasons why we are motivated to stop short of the full truth.

In our final article in the series, we’ll learn how to stop lying and how to start being truth tellers. I’ve included the summary reason why we are tempted to lie along with realizations that help us not succumb.

How To Avoid Breaking Trust: The Subtle Dangers of Lying Part Two

In our previous article, we looked at how we lie. Sometimes is not outright or bold-faced, but a subtle maneuvering of the truth, which is still a lie. Today, we shift to the root reasons of WHY we lie.

Why We Lie: The Main Reason

The main reason we lie comes down to a single word: FEAR!

We are afraid that the truth will damage us, our cause, or our case in some unfavorable way, so we exchange the truth for a lie.  Fear is one of the greatest motivators of all time. (Note, I am not saying it is a positive motivator, simply a powerful motivator). Fear drives us to do irrational things.

One author states, “In short, fear is a motivating force arising from the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it.”

Lying is typically a flight mechanism attached to fear. We don’t like what is presenting itself, and so we attempt to manipulate the truth for our own protection or gain. 

How To Avoid Breaking Trust: The Subtle Dangers of Lying Part One

The story is told of a country store owner who was in the back of his store. He saw his young clerk at the front talking to a customer. He was horrified as he heard the young man tell the woman, “No, ma’am we don’t have any of that and looks like we won’t for quite a while.”

The store owner ran to the front frantically and blurted out, “Yes, we have it on order, and it’ll be here next week. Don’t you worry about it.”

As soon as the woman left, the owner reprimanded the clerk. “Don’t you EVER tell a customer that again. You have to cover up the fact that we are out of it with the statement that it’s on its way, even if you know it’s not on order.”

“Yes sir,” dutifully responded the young clerk.

“By the way, what was she wanting?” asked the store owner.

“Rain,” responded the clerk.

Telling a small or large lie has become second nature to many of us. We are even encouraged by our superiors or co-workers to stretch the truth. While lying may serve to offer a short-term relief, it ultimately breaks long-term trust, something that is much more problematic than a short-term problem fix. As one of the Seven Influence Traits™, lowering our trustability lowers our integrity AND our ability to influence.

We don’t often see that we are lying because we simply maneuver the truth, obscuring areas we don’t want uncovered.

Increasing Trust and Trustworthiness: Practical Tips for Growth

Roughly half of all employees don’t trust their leader. That statistic is rather shocking when we consider trust is the foundational piece of any working relationship.

Distrust leads to expensive and sometimes terminal problems. A recent Harvard Business Review poll revealed that the terms most used to describe an environment where trust is lacking as “stressful,” “threatening,” “divisive,” “unproductive,” and “tense.” When asked how a high-trust work environment feels, the participants most frequently say “fun,” “supportive,” “motivating,” “productive,” and “comfortable.”

Trustworthiness is the ability for others to confidently rely on you when they are in a position of vulnerability.

Here are 7 practical ways to increase trust.

On Reading Intentions: A Parable

A Parable

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Joe went to his office party. They had great festivities and even gave away a free frozen turkey. Joe, who had only been employed by the company for 9 months, happened to win the frozen turkey.

Like he always did after work, Joe waited at the bus stop to ride the bus home to his flat from work. He carried his briefcase in one hand and cradled the turkey under his arm like a giant football.

He noticed a man, disheveled and slightly dirty, sitting on the bus stop bench. They gave each other a nod.

The wind whipped up, and Joe’s hat blew off his head. The disheveled man caught it and handed it back to Joe as they both laughed. Soon they were engaged in conversation where Joe learned that the man’s name was Jeremiah. He was a short-term laborer working on a project for the week. He had five kids and struggled to make ends meet.  In fact, he wasn’t getting paid for this job until next Monday.

Soon, Joe’s bus pulled up with the brakes hissing. As Joe stood up, he thought, "I have money for my own turkey, plus I’m a single guy; I can find something."

As Joe stood up, he handed the turkey to Jeremiah and said, "Here. Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy."

Jeremiah actually felt his eyes filling with tears as he thought about his kid’s excitement about having a real Thanksgiving dinner.

Joe arrived as his flat, grabbed a drink, and sat down on the couch reflecting on his day. 

Jeremiah got home and called the kids together. They rushed excitedly around the turkey. He started to unwrap the turkey, only to have a puzzled look on his face. The turkey felt so real, but as he continued to unwrap it, he realized it was not a real turkey at all.

He gazed at it and was confused. Joe must be one of the cruelest men in the world.

How to Coach Trustworthiness in the 21st Century Leader

Part Six in our series on the Seven Commitment Traits and coaching leaders.

In our initial articles, we have looked at how to coach several of the Seven Influence Traits. Today, we move to the sixth of the Seven Influence Traits™ - Trustworthiness.

Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Without it, all else is doomed to failure. With it, people will go to remarkable lengths for the leader.  

Servant Leadership and The Seven Influence Traits: Part Three

Through examining how servant leadership is tied to each of the Keller Seven Influence Traits® and strengthening each of these traits, a crucial step will be taken in creating a healthy culture of servant leaders.

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