Building trust requires tact.  It also requires intentionality.

Last night I had the privilege of working with 30 different leaders in the Cincinnati community.  All of these leaders are influencing their sphere in a unique way.  It is an honor to have the opportunity to learn from over the next seven weeks and beyond.  They may not know it, but they have already taught me quite a bit.

In our time together last night, we agreed that building strong rapport is imperative to demonstrating effective leadership.   Strangely enough, that concept reminded me of icebergs…

Icebergs and Leadership:

Most of you have heard that icebergs only display approximately 10% of their make-up above the surface.  To see the other 90% of the picture, we have to go beyond the surface.

The same is true in leadership.  The numbers may be slightly different, but the idea is similar.  As leaders, it is our responsibility to build trust with our people.  In order to do that, we have to look at the whole picture.  We must go beyond “surface-level” to get a deeper understanding of the person following us. 

How To Go Deeper?

1.       Showcase Sincere Interest

·         It starts with a sincere connection to others.  We can do that by asking questions and finding points of commonality.  

2.       Ask Deeper Questions

·         How can we understand what drives people?   What are their values?   We can understand these things by simply asking better questions.  Example: Tell me about a person or a situation that had a profound impact on your life.

3.       Seek to Understand

·         It seems obvious to most of you, but we must listen to the answer after we ask the question.  To help you, you may respond to their answer by summarizing or paraphrasing for clarity. 

4.       Live It!

·         Leadership starts with you.  If you are not effectively leading yourself, who would want to follow you?  Who wants to be led by a hypocrite?  Show your followers what top-notch leadership looks like with actions that align with your words.

Return Value:

When you do these 4 things to establish deeper connections with your followers, you will create an environment that elicits willing engagement rather than just compliance. 

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