The Key to Culture Change

People-Whispering Tip: Not All Trust is Created Equal

DiSC Assessment Application:  The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, Complimentary Discovery Conversations, Everything DiSC Virtual Certification, and The Work of Leaders Book

Transformational Coaching Tip: Tips for Championing Execution Through Momentum


People-Whispering Tip:

“Trusting your individual uniqueness challenges you to lay yourself open.” James Broughton

“Trust is a great force multiplier.” Tom Ridge

Not All Trust is Created Equal

Most people would agree that trust and teamwork are essential elements for a successful organization.  When trust and teamwork are present, people are happier, more productive and tend to give their best personally and professionally.  Yet what we mean by trust can be very different depending upon our perspective and perceptions of the world.

As you know if you have followed me for any length of time, I am a fan of Patrick Lencioni’s work. I am very excited to be able to bring my clients “The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team” cocreated between Everything DiSC Solutions by Wiley and The Table Group, Lencioni’s leadership consultancy.   If we begin with how Lencioni talks about trust, he makes the distinction between predictive trust and vulnerability-based trustPredictive trust is trust gained by knowing what a person is likely to do or say.  If you have worked with someone for awhile, you can often predict what their behavior and opinions might be about a course of action.

Yet vulnerability-based trust goes a bit deeper.  It is the trust earned when someone is appropriately vulnerable and shares their strengths, weaknesses, and even mistakes.  It is the kind of trust where leaders and team members are comfortable being transparent and honest.  They can say things like, “I messed up” or “I need your help” or “I wish I had your skill in a particular area,” etc.  So much energy is wasted in organizations today with people “putting up the good front” in order to appear as if they have it all together. People also waste time and energy by pretending to be something they are not.

Another factor that gets in the way of building trust is the human tendency to think that other people and their negative or frustrating behaviors are intentionally designed to make our lives miserable while our own foibles are due to external factors out of our control.  Obviously, when we only give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and yet assume the worst of others, it can break down the trust on a team (or in any relationship for that matter)!

One way to deal with this understanding is to look to the DiSC behavioral style profile for insight to see that not all trust is created equal.  In other words, there are elements to trust beyond just being trustworthy.  Let me explain more fully what I mean.  I first learned about the different aspects of trust from a colleague I greatly admire, Keith Ayers, of Integro Learning in Australia.  Keith and his colleague Ralph Colby conducted research to determine what needs to be present for trust to develop in a relationship. Their conclusions about the elements of trust are outlined here.

The Elements of Trust are:

Congruence:  I say what I mean and I mean what I say.  I walk my talk honestly and ethically.

Openness:  I am receptive to others’ ideas and opinions.  I am willing to discuss what’s on my mind.

Acceptance:  Who you are is OK with me.  I do not judge other people.

Reliability:  You can count on me to keep my commitments.

Of course, while it is important to be conscious of using all of the elements of trust, special emphasis must be placed upon meeting the expectations of the person whose trust you wish to gain based upon their DiSC style.  Just like learning to adapt your behavioral style in order to cross the bridge into another’s world by speaking their language instead of yours (more slowly and loudly!) behaviorally, you want to apply the same concept when it comes to gaining trust.  Stated another way, each DiSC behavioral style judges others’ trustworthiness by their own strength in building trust.

For example:

  • People high in Dominance are straightforward and trust people who are straightforward and direct.
  • People who are high in Influence trust people who are open like themselves.
  • People high in Steadiness trust people who are similarly accepting and nonjudgmental.
  • People high in Conscientiousness trust people who are reliable and who do what they say they are going to do.

The implications of this are vast!  If I am a “High D” and am working with a “High S” for instance, it may be hard for me to be accepting and nonjudgmental.  Likewise, it can be hard for a “High S” to be direct and straightforward for fear of causing disharmony and conflict.

It takes conscious effort for all of us to become aware of the impact of our behavior and decisions on the trust level of our team members but the effort is so worth it.

The potential outcome of doing so is a high-performing team where results are achieved in a fun and energizing way.  That’s the kind of place we all want to work not only for the business benefits but for the impact our happiness at work has on the overall quality of our lives.

For assistance in creating this high energy, empowered, successful work environment, please reach out to us at (404) 327-6330 or email Laura at Laura@lauraadavis.com.


DiSC® Assessment Application(s):

1) The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is now available!

Best-selling author Patrick Lencioni has joined forces with Wiley (formerly Inscape Publishing) to offer this excellent process for building effective teams.

Teamwork is the lifeblood of an effective organization.  Unlocking the code to getting groups of people to work together in high-performing and joyous ways is the key to a profitable and sustainable corporate culture.

The process consists of an individual and team assessment based upon Lencioni’s time-tested, proven model.  The accompanying Facilitator Kit walks you through his research-based model to uncover where your team’s strengths and areas for growth and development lie.

To take advantage of this well-designed, time-tested method to unleash your team’s potential, call our office at 404-327-6330 or email Laura@lauraadavis.com.


2) Complimentary DiSC Discovery Conversation

Interested in a Test Run?

Schedule a complimentary DiSC discovery coversation with me with no obligation. During this 30 minute discussion, we’ll discuss your business objectives and challenges, talk about your organization’s leadership capabilities and see if Everything DiSC Solutions are a fit for your organization.  Email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com to schedule a time.


3) Everything DiSC Virtual Certification Coming Soon!

Do you:

  • Wish you had the secret decoder ring to get along with your boss, your coworkers, and even your significant other, family members, and friends?
  • Want to deepen your knowledge and understanding of human nature?
  • Feel conversant in the DiSC Model so that you can connect easily, solve problems together, and work through conflicts with anyone even those “difficult” people at work?
  • Know how to approach people and relate to them according to their needs?
  • Convince, influence, or lead others in the best possible way?
  • Work cooperatively as a team member?

An understanding of DiSC can help you in all of these areas.

A new Virtual Certification program will be released this April. Some of the features of this process include:

  • Multi-level Learning Platform
  • Self-Paced Study Modules
  • Discussion Board Capability
  • End of Course Assessment and Certification

Stay tuned for further details!


4) The Work Leaders: How Vision, Alignment and Execution Will Change the Way You Lead by Julie Straw, Mark Scullard, Susie Kukkonen, and Barry Davis

Recall this book from my friends and colleagues at Inscape/Wiley introduces the Vision-Alignment-Execution model which synthesizes the 3 fundamental responsibilities all leaders have. Leaders must craft a vision, build alignment, and champion execution. Of course, there is a lot of skill required in each of these areas which is what the book is all about. First a few definitions are in order:

  • Crafting a Vision:  imagining an improved future state that the group will make a reality through its work.
  • Building Alignment:  getting to the point where everyone in the group understands and is committed to the direction of the organization.
  • Championing Execution:  ensuring that the conditions are present for the imagined future to be turned into a reality.

Stay tuned for future webinars and trainings which will delve into the VAE model so you will know how you can begin to apply it to your leadership challenges.

For more on how to increase your organization’s effectiveness using the Work of Leaders profile and/or training materials, please call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

  The Work of Leaders book recently released by Wiley


Transformational Coaching Tip:

Championing Execution Through Momentum:

Since I am highlighting the Work of Leaders book in this ezine, I thought it might be helpful to take each driver for each aspect of the VAE model in turn and offer some tips for how to implement it in the real world.  Stay tuned for future editions of this ezine to learn about the other drivers to master in your leadership journey.

The three drivers of Championing Execution are Momentum, Structure, and Feedback.

Championing Execution is relevant at all levels of an organization.  The first driver of championing execution is Momentum.

Tips for Momentum:

  • Lead by example – never ask people to do more than you are willing to take on yourself.
  • Commit your team to deadlines related to external events to stay on track.
  • Reduce the time between meetings on projects.
  • Challenge your priorities to make time for initiating action.
  • Focus on choosing the single most important new initiative every day.
  • Recognize proactivity and help people see new initiative as part of their jobs.

For assistance in applying any of these best practices into your workplace for more powerful, effective results, feel free to call us at 404-327-6330 or email Laura at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

One comment to The Key to Culture Change

  • David Duran  says:

    Great article. I’m a big fan of Laura and her coaching. Trust is sorely lacking in the business world yet vital to “extreme” success. This is demonstrated in athletic teams. Trust is categorized as “chemistry”. A team with good chemistry will prevail over an equally talented team most times; often over a team with better talent but lest chemistry/trust. I only slightly disagree with the definition of “Acceptance”. We all judge. But I equate judge with evaluate. We have to judge a person’s motives, character, work ethic, etc. But you can judge someone and still accept them, no? It is based on our judgments that we develop trust. Someone may be very different than me, but if I judge them to be capable, likable, transparent, open and vulnerable I still trust and like them.

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