It starts with trust

Did you know that 50% of CEOs worldwide consider lack of trust the major threat to their organisational growth? Yet, discussions about business growth mainly involve marketing insights, strategic market positioning, digitalisation of products and processes and sales efforts.

Start with building and measuring trust, and growth will come.

I was working with a business leader, let's call her Meaghan, of a medium-sized digital agency earlier this year. She had plans to double the size of the business within the next three years but felt she was getting too heavily involved in the day-to-day business to focus on strategy.

Meaghan said: 'My team is good but not good enough to reach the goals we have set. In our coaching sessions, we focussed on her as a leader. She realised she needed more insights from her team, so we gathered their feedback. As it turns out, there was a lack of trust in the agency's work environment.

Her team members, all highly qualified individuals, felt that Meaghan is an inspiring leader but that she would often lose her temper when stressed and would be quick to look for blame. They also said that she would sometimes shut people down in meetings which created fear within the team to contribute. And thirdly, they appreciate her high expectations, but she had little regard for the challenges individuals had, especially during the difficult lockdown times in 2020.

The problem lay in her interactions with her team members, not their lack of talent.

Developing the Leadership Skills to Build Trust

I had Meaghan complete a DISC Flow Leader assessment to understand her behavioural preferences, how developed her Emotional Intelligence is, and how that translates into her leadership style.

The report showed that she had a strong preference for the Dominance DISC Behaviour Style and a Commanding Leadership style, but her Emotional Intelligence was not highly developed.

I was not surprised by this outcome at all.

 

The Trust Triangle

Frances Frei and Anne Morris's simple trust framework demonstrates that trust is based on authenticity, empathy, and logic in your interactions with others. When there is a lack of trust, you can almost always find the reason in one of these drivers.

In Meaghan's situation, authenticity and logic weren't a problem for her team members. They said, 'you never know which Meaghan shows up, but it's always the real one.' They also trusted her decision making and expertise.

Where it went wrong was communication and empathy. Meaghan's often unproductive way of communicating and lack of emotional intelligence broke the trust and resulted in her team members feeling disempowered, disengaged and stressed.

We know that when Emotional Intelligence is less developed, we are less able to manage our DISC behaviour style, and our limitations are more likely to come through on a daily basis. Stress and pressure only exacerbate this.

As a leader, that can translate into exactly this scenario. A leader's job is to communicate effectively with everyone in our team and modify our behaviour to their preferences to build engagement and trust.

Reviewing the feedback and her DISC Flow Leader report with Meaghan gave her a renewed perspective of what was holding the business back from growing. She realised that her team had the potential to lead the growth, but she needed to build trust and empower them.

We know that when Emotional Intelligence is less developed, we are less able to manage our DISC behaviour style, and our limitations are more likely to come through on a daily basis. Stress and pressure only exacerbate this.

As a leader, that can translate into exactly this scenario. A leader's job is to communicate effectively with everyone in our team and modify our behaviour to their preferences to build engagement and trust.

Reviewing the feedback and her DISC Flow Leader report with Meaghan gave her a renewed perspective of what was holding the business back from growing. She realised that her team had the potential to lead the growth, but she needed to build trust and empower them.

 

Meaghan committed to working on her leadership. We de-briefed her report in detail to understand her strengths and limitations as a leader and set up an Action Plan using the in-built template to help Meaghan be mindful of her leadership style and develop her Emotional Intelligence.

 

 

 

 

 

We also had every member of her team complete a DISC Flow Core report. We held a workshop to have an open conversation about the entire team's behaviour style and communication preferences. This gave Meaghan a brand new perspective on every team member and gave her the data and tools to help work on her empathy and communication.

Meaghan told me she uses her report regularly to look at the tips on meeting each of her team's needs depending on their style. She has a deep belief in their capabilities to lead the growth and is now focused on the strategy to drive the business forward.

If you want to bring the power of DISC Flow into your organisation or coaching practice, our upcoming certification dates are listed below.  Places are limited, so enrol now to join us.


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