Our next conversation in the discussion of Leadership is the vital topic of trust. How do we create a level of trust in our organization which will propel us to the next level of production and profitability? In his book, Captain Michael Abrashoff points out key steps to make this happen. Below is how we recommend to apply this guidance and advice to our daily industry practices.
Once guidelines, procedures and best practices have been set, Leaders must have the courage of their convictions. As a Leader (and this is tough) you must give away responsibility, stand back and allow others to be successful…or not. Captain Abrashoff shares that trust is a king of jujitsu: You must earn trust and you earn trust only by giving it.
Let that sink in for a moment. You must earn trust and you earn trust only by giving it.
In our industry, where repeat and referral business is based on relationships and relationships are based on how well we perform…this could be a challenging concept to wrap our heads around. Here is what we must embrace:
Never Pit Dog Against Dog.
We work in an extremely competitive industry where many survive, yet only the strong and savvy thrive. It is because of this competitive spirit that often trust may be challenged. Within your office or team internal bickering and back-biting should not have a place. This behavior creates a culture and atmosphere where few are motivated and both production and retention are negatively impacted.
When members of your tribe increase communication and stop questioning motives, trust thrives. With greater trust, higher productivity is guaranteed. Trust is much like your bank account. Continuous, consistent deposits are required if you want trust to grow. Once your balance of trust is high enough, you can afford a few miscommunications and errors (as long as unintentional) and the Team will not be damaged.
Even the Worst Screw-Up may be Redeemable.
I’m often surprised by how many professionals confuse a mistake or an error with a tragedy. For me it’s quite simple. A tragedy is death. Other than death, I have always lived and led by the belief that there is nothing in this life than cannot be resolved as long as all parties are willing to discuss and give a little.
People In your path have to see that you believe in them. Trust is about allowing people to screw up and grow. As a parent, we do this every day. We allow out kids to grow, exercise their muscle of free will and make mistakes. Hopefully, we mentor and guide them to better decisions with a lesson in why making better choices will benefit them and enable them to avoid confusion, disappointment and potentially harm. What if we did this in business? What if we gave others the permission to fail?
Not sure about you, but I’ve made many mistakes in life both personally and professionally. I’ve been the recipient of extreme grace. What if we extend that? What if we give those we work and serve with the permission to fail forward, grow and benefit from the experience?
Welcome the Bad News Messenger.
Bottom line, if you shoot the bearer of bad news, you will not find out about challenges until they are well out of hand. You should be open approachable for both good and bad news. A true climate of trust is one in which all participants are willing and open to deliver news to the Leader regardless of the nature of its content.
Protect Your People from the Lunatics.
While there are many differences between the military and civilian life and business, one thing that is in common is that lunatics abound! As a Leader, it is important to protect your people from as much of the crazy as possible. The best way I have found to do that is to develop and implement strong processes, procedures and systems. This includes not only “how” to do things, but what to say. Scripts and dialogs are critical for each practicing professional to adopt and utilize. If you have trusted systems and procedures (including spoken language) they protect you and provide a safe boundary or border between you and the lunatics. A great Leader will help you design, and then hold you accountable to, a system that protects both your personal and professional reputation.
Trust Always Makes Money.
For the past million years (that might be an exaggeration), NAR has conducted a survey of consumers and asked, what is the greatest characteristic you need to see when selecting a REALTOR®? For the past million years (or there about) consumers have responded with the same characteristic. Trustworthy. Enough said.
As move onward in the exploration of Leadership and how we dominate the market and industry by serving at a higher level, trust is essential. Remember, it’s a bank account…deposit often.
Be a resource, not a sales pitch.