Description: Understanding the people with whom you collaborate through engaging in frequent, meaningful interactions in an atmosphere of equality.
Thinking Partner Notes
What’s the fiction: The only benefit of understanding coworkers is a heightened ability to exploit weaknesses. Share nothing and avoid exploitation.
What's really true: It’s essential that leaders build a high degree of trust amongst teammates; you can’t do this without honest interactions.
Things to try: 1) Practice sharing your vulnerabilities with your teammates; 2) Practice asking your teammates to teach you in areas where they excel and you do not; 3) Practice engaging in casual conversation with teammates - inside and out of the office; 4) Practice identifying what subjects/topics (i.e. family, spirituality, the arts) are meaningful to each of your teammates.
Next steps: 1)Select a collaborator who isn’t on your core team or a sometime collaborator who you do not have a deep relationship with; 2) Consider the ways in which your actions might have influenced their willingness to trust you or their reasons to mistrust you; 3) In your journal, list out the actions that you think this person might require of you to either establish trust where it doesn’t exist or strengthen the trust that they already have in you; 4) Schedule some time to meet with this person to have a conversation on trust; 5) Engage in a frank conversation on trust; explaining that your goal is to establish a foundation of trust in your collaboration and confirming/refuting your perspective on how to achieve trust; 6) Close the conversation with a mutually agreed-upon action plan on how to strengthen trust in your relationship.