Establishing, maintaining and even growing trust in times of difficulty
While people may be stressed, concerned and even distraught over what will happen to themselves, their role, their friends and family, this is a time when feeling safe, secure and in-the-know are all tremendously important.
How can this happen when things are changing rapidly?
Consider this: LET Trust Build. Meaning, use the following: logic, empathy and transparency.
“Logic” does not mean telling someone “It’s common sense” or “It’s a no-brainer,” as expressions like those are not about linear thinking. Instead, logic means to share facts in a way that tell a story and share references that are similar for a relatable experience.
“Empathy” is not the opposite of logic, nor is empathy the same as sympathy. Empathy is about considering who that person is, where that person is in his or her career and family situation, and empathy is attempting to consider how the current situation may be influencing that person. Please do not say “I understand” or “I know” in response to concerns. Empathy is often heard best when people hear, “Considering you have heard X, perhaps it is best we speak about Y,” or “It sounds like your biggest concern is XYZ.”
Saying things such as “Relax,” “don’t panic,” “settle down” and other quick statements can seem aloof, where an empathetic leader listens, shares thoughts without gossiping or adding to concerns.
“Transparency” is all about sharing what you know and admitting what you don’t know. There is value in saying “While we are considering things, a decision has not been made” when you are in talks versus saying “I have no idea what is happening.” Watch the “they” talk and speak instead about “we.” Be direct, and when things change, resist waiting to offer what is happening.
When we LET trust build, we are able to process through difficult, new and odd situations as well as possible.
Debbie Lundberg is a certified life coach, certified leadership coach and certified image consultant who speaks, facilitates, trains and coaches throughout the country. She is author of Presenting Powerfully, serves as an honorary commander at MacDill Air Force Base and is a board member for the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Learn more at debbielundberg.com.