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An Update on Trust

A few months ago, I wrote about trust and the work I needed to do to become more trustworthy on my team. I had recently been promoted, with a new focus for my day-to-day work and a number of changes on the team itself. I attended a training about executive coaching, received more assessment results, and felt I had a much clearer sense of myself and how others saw me.

I endeavored to do two things to increase my trustworthiness:

  • Slow down – Taking time to ask the personal questions and engage authentically in relationship building, even when I feel I have an urgent request.
  • Be vulnerable – Admitting mistakes or concerns. Finding ways to be a little less polished and put together. Acknowledging when I don’t know what we should do next.

Over the last 8 months, I’ve worked hard to show up differently in my interactions, in addition to the above actions, here are some other things I’ve tried and what I’ve learned:

Adopting a broader view
This required me better understanding my organization, the strengths and challenges it faces in the marketplace (of which I still have a lot to learn), and how the work my department did could better contribute to the larger organizational goals. I had an opportunity to work with senior leaders more, which gave me a unique view and a chance to share what I learned with team members.

Giving my opinion less
This started as listening more, waiting longer in conversations to see if the points I wanted to make would be made by others, and then supporting those ideas when they did come up. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one with good ideas, and supporting others contributions helped build my relationships with them.

Seeking to serve more
When I did share my opinions, I worked hard to offer them for consideration rather than provide them as truth. It enabled me to take it less personally when people disagreed or refrained my offering. My perspectives served the group’s work rather than my own goals.  

Accepting changes
I’ve learned that many senior level leaders don’t love the word “no” and I’ve found I’m more successful when I try to make their vision come to life. That doesn’t mean I blindly follow, but that I offer my opinion and perspective in a way that honors their ideas and direction and adds practicalities that may not be known or considered.  

Here’s what’s incredible: it worked. By being more intentional in my behavior each day, showing up with a more positive outlook earlier, apologizing faster and more authentically when I did something I didn’t want to do, and actively finding ways to make things work, I have better relationships and a better reputation than I did before.  

And I still feel like myself, just a better version of it.


*Leadership Lesson*

“One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment. – Robert E. Quinn

Personal change starts with effective feedback. Identify areas you’re concerned about or want to change. Find people you can trust to be honest with you to let know how you impact others in those (and other areas), and what they would recommend you do differently.

Then choose a few things to try, share that with others and see what impact it has.

*Meet the Author*

Kenna’s life work is about helping people work better together – and she’s starting to realize that this is not just professional work but personal too! Kenna fills her time with meaningful relationships with her husband of 11 years, 2 year old daughter, incredible family & friends and significant work at City of Hope, Alliant International University and Leadership Inspirations while carving time for herself.