Communication is the real work of leadership. –Nitin Nohria
The key to business success is relationships. Without high functioning relationships with employees, customers, vendors, and stockholders, your chances for success are nil. At the core of any relationship is a very small word and a very big concept: trust. Without trust, communication breaks down, conflict escalates, productivity declines, business suffers, and mostly individuals suffer.
What is the source of trust, then? It’s simple, really: good communication. And we’re not talking about how people pronounce their words! Trust is being able to rely on your teammate’s character, skills, ability, and integrity. It is also, knowing and trusting the leader has well-defined roles, goals,
and systems for sustainability and growth. Trust is knowing your team has your back.
When building a team, trust enables you to maximize the skills and talents of each individual and then bring those talents together to do something bigger than any one person can do alone. The one thing that gets in the way of having a high performing team is the lack of productive conflict, which leads to a lack of commitment and accountability. If you are not having productive conflict about ideas and issues you lack trust and simply stated are not a high functioning team.
The best tools to build trust and ensure good communication is through industry standard scientifically based assessments of behavior, motivation, and communication style. In our company, we use the TTI Talent Insights assessment to make sure all of our teammates know each other’s style and adapt their style to open up communication to the team.
When there is trust and stellar communication, you will find higher job satisfaction, decreased turnover, less interpersonal conflict, greater efficiency and productivity, commitment and ownership of the job, a greater sense of reward at work.
Remember trust is indeed earned and it is either growing or eroding. It is not something you “get” and then forget. It must be invested in and worked on daily, weekly, monthly, annually in order to maintain and grow it.
Steps to Start the Process:
1. Know your own leadership style. Take a TTI Talent Insight and get a master certified coach to debrief it with you. Be clear on your strengths and aware of your blind spots.
2. Focus on Emotional Intelligence. The number one attribute of leadership is emotional intelligence: The wisdom of knowing how people are individually wired and how you can build a team from strengths that supplement your gifts.
3. Build a team. As soon as you can begin to let go! Let other people help you and give them authority equal to their responsibility. Continually invest in your people. It is tempting to overlook this in start up mode but if you are a natural task master you will only get so far so add to your wonderful talent of systems and processes the discipline of building a culture of trust and communication.
4. It all starts with you! If not now, when?
When you have trust you can then have clarity. With clarity and focus on the right thing, the right way, while focusing on key relationships, it will result in faster growth that breeds long-lasting results.