This was a question asked by a reader on a previous blog:
I would like to request a blog post on how you did your TALKING, in order to motivate people to be DOING as a leader. I know you have written about trust in "Trust is everything" (15th of September), but perhaps an article on how you DO the talking more specifically.
So here I go:
I believe in trust - on so many levels. If you trust someone, then you also want to confide in them, to share you thoughts and ideas, to discuss with them and to be completely honest. I guess this is not news to anyone who have experienced the opposite - either at home, at work or with friends. So a MUST is to establish some form of trust between you and the people you want to move in one direction or another.
I think my very first and foremost action is spending enough time with people around me to have them trust me. That goes for everyone I meet. In a company, privately or even during a coaching session. I try to let people have a sense of who I am - and hopefully they will like what they hear, see and feel. I am also a strong believer in authenticity. I believe that people can FEEL if you are being true or not. In leadership I think this is crucial. So I speak from the heart, also when it is not popular, when I have made a mistake - and apologizes.
In order to really address the question from the beginning, then this is the core. Of course it is easier said than done. But my core values are: respect for others, personal integrity, freedom, openness and honesty. Those values goes hand in hand with creating trust. And if people trust you, have a sense of who you are and feel your authenticity, then they also start to discuss with you. And the topics that really matter to them. Not just some bullshit management, hearsay or flip-flop talk. No they actually start sharing with you - and hopefully the colleagues what their biggest dreams, hopes, worries and very specific daily problems they are struggling with. When a large group of people begin to adapt that kind of behavior it spreads like you wouldn't believe. People WANT to trust each other. I guess they are just so used to management bullshit, hidden agendas and lack of personal involvement.
A trick - or rather a strategy - I use is a lot of meetings. Meetings with entire departments without their bosses present. Meetings with all the leaders across the organization. Morning meetings with all staff in the company. And lot's of blogging about not just WHAT we want to achieve, but WHY! I am such a sucker for Simon Sinek - and his very direct approach to address the WHY.
I do not know if I have answered the question that initiated the blog, but I hope that I have shed some light onto how I see this. The Talking vs. Doing. Basically: trust, authenticity, clear values, direction and heavy involvement. Try it out, you will be amazed what you can achieve.