Trust. There is no Neutral


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The Monday MOVE Idea

Each Monday until the launch of my upcoming book MOVE, I’ll be sharing an important idea from the book. This week: Trust — There is no neutral.

Most people are pro-trust.

You don’t see people walking around saying that they don’t think trust is important, or that they think trust is a bad thing.

But what you do see is that many leaders take trust for granted. They don’t think about trust in a way that they believe they must do things on purpose to build or maintain trust.

They just don’t see trust as an action item.

The thing about trust is that there is no neutral.
You are either building trust or you are destroying it.

If you do nothing, trust will bleed out of the system because people will not see you showing up, personally doing and investing in the things that build trust.

Even if you are not doing anything bad, you are still letting trust degrade by your inaction.

Without a specific focus and consistent actions to build trust, trust will bleed out of the system, and your transformation is likey to get stuck somewhere during the long Middle, where even the most important strategies lose momentum.

In MOVE I share many important ways to be building trust throughout your whole transformation so that people feel confident and motivated to stick with it.

Read MOVE

I’m really excited to share the important ideas, and all the tools I put in my upcoming book MOVE to help managers at all levels get your team to execute your strategy more decisively.

MOVE will be available February 28, but you can download a free preview now or pre-order your copy now.
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What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.

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About Patty
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Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Building Trust and Motivation



This month’s Professional Development webinar was on the topic of Building Trust and Motivation.

building trust

If you missed it you can download the recording.

Members of Azzarello group can download this webinar for free.

Don’t leave trust to chance!

Most people would say that trust is a good thing, and that it is good for motivation and business. But I did this webinar because I also see that many leaders leave trust to chance. It’s important to remember that trust doesn’t happen automatically in an organization.

The only things that happen automatically in an organization are entropy and employees getting nervous.

You need to do stuff on purpose if you want to maintain a positive atmosphere of trust in your organization — which you need to do because trust drives action.

This is a very useful webinar to download if you want to:

  • Understand the value of trust and how it works in a company
  • Learn how 5 specific behaviors that build or degrade trust
  • Motivate and develop a loyal team without a lot of money
  • Make your communications more effective to drive action
  • Build a more authentic (and comfortable) leadership style

The webinar

In this webinar: Building Trust and Motivation you’ll get ideas for understanding how trust works in an organization, the big opportunity and advantages gained from getting it right, and the risks of getting it wrong. And of course, I shared lot’s of practical ideas for what to do!

There is no neutral…

You are either building trust or destroying it. There is no neutral. If you do nothing or leave trust to chance, trust will bleed out of your organization.

You need to invest in behaviors that build trust on purpose, every day.

Here’s a summary of what the webinar covers:

  • The trust bank account – how it works
  • 5 things that build or degrade trust
  • Your role as a leader in building trust
  • Communications that grow or damage trust

1. Trust is Personal Authentic

It all starts with one person trusting another person. There is no trust initiative you can roll out and expect people to hop on board.

Some leaders engage in a personal authentic way, and others don’t.

For all of the introverts out there, this is not about sharing your deep personal secrets at work, it’s about not being or treating others like work robots. People trust people. People don’t trust work robots.

In the webinar I shared some personal stories of hits and misses and some ideas to make connections that build trust in way that feels authentic and comfortable. For awhile early in my career I thought that being all work made me credible and powerful. It didn’t.

2. Consistent, Effective Communications

There is nothing more important to building trust than communicating. Consistently.

We talked about what people need to hear from you and how you can make sure that your communications don’t undermine what you need your team to focus on.

You need to show up. Clarity, consistency, reliability are all trust builders. Absence of communication is the #1 trust destroyer. Don’t expect people to just know stuff. Communicate.

3. Clear Measures and Follow-through

Treating people equally destroys trust.

In the webinar I gave several examples of how to differentiate between high, average and low performers.

Fairness builds trust. Remember everyone is watching.

4. Context and Connections

One way I see a lot of leaders miss opportunities to build trust or actively rob the bank account is by keeping the important information and connections only to themselves.

Share!

5. Recognition and Appreciation

Acknowledgement goes a long way. In the webinar I shared some stories about how I learned about the value of acknowledgement, and the tremendous pay off it has for putting equity in the trust bank account.

Sadly, acknowledgement is a rare commodity among many business leaders. I’m not sure why because it’s so very damaging to skip it, and it’s so very effective (and totally free) when you do it consistently.

I shared some ideas for how to make sure you are not missing opportunities to give acknowledgement and make connections for people in a way that is very useful and rewarding.

Want some help?

To get some help with this and learn the specific ideas and techniques that we talked about, download the webinar: Building Trust & Motivation, now.

Members: Download the webinar for free.
Non Members: You can purchase this individual webinar or podcast (links below).

There are some other really useful webinars in the Member Library related to this topic.

Members get these additional webinars for free:

So if you are not yet a member, you might as well join and get them all for free!

Let me be your mentor

Members of Azzarello Group basically get me as their mentor.

Every month you get new insights and tools in the form of these webinars, as well as the chance to call into a monthly members-only coaching hour where you can get direct personal coaching from me.

People tell me that membership gives them a totally new way of thinking about their career, getting promotions, solving difficult problems with bosses, peers, employees, and other annoying people, communicating better, being more influential, becoming a stronger leader, and enjoying their work more. I love to hear this, and I love to help!

If you join now, you’ll not only get this webinar, but all the other webinars in the Member Library.

AND you’ll get the opportunity to participate in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls with me.
Check out what we talk about.

AND as a member you’ll get to download your copy of the Career Year of action Guide (a $30 value) for free.

Membership is a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.

Join Now
Join Now.

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Other Options:

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ABOUT PATTY:

patty blog image
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor.
She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

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Free eBook Download

Get the webinar

The right (and wrong) way to have a skip level meeting


skip level meetings

Don’t count only on filtered information

As a manager, it’s vitally important that you talk to people at all levels in your organization — not just the managers who report to you.

It’s not that your managers are maliciously hiding information from you…But if you never experience the business from the employees’, sales rep’s, and service people’s perspective (the individuals doing the work) you won’t be good at your job.

For example, I came to relish customer visits, not for the customer contact, but for the ride in the car with the sales rep!

I learned more about the business from being stuck in traffic with sales reps and service people than from any other source. And it was information that was just not coming to me from my managers.

Some leaders resist talking to individuals for these reasons:

1. The are concerned that they are going around the mangers who report to them, and this feels wrong
2. Their ego tells them, “I am a big shot, so I don’t talk to the people doing the work, I only talk to other big shots”
3. They are afraid of what they will hear, or that they will lose credibility if word of the broken things in their own organization is spoken
4. They think they don’t have time to do this

Stay connected to reality

Well, I hate to break the news, but any existing bad issues are already being spoken of, and you will definitely lose credibility if you’re the only one who doesn’t know about them.

Even if you want to act like a big shot and avoid these conversations, you simply can’t do your job well without this source of information.

How to have a skip level meeting that is good for everyone:

Step 1. Inform

Inform your direct reports that you will be talking with their teams. Tell them your plan is to ask everyone in your organization “What should we be doing better or different? What should we start or stop doing? How am I doing? What would you like to see differently from me?”

Make it part of the culture that you are going to spend time talking to individuals.

Step 2. Listen & Learn

Here are some examples of things I learned from talking directly to the team members.

**I learned that there was one manager in my organization who was a bully. This manager was great at managing up, so I couldn’t have seen it without talking directly to the team.

**I learned that there were three different projects that were duplicate efforts. I didn’t see this because my managers weren’t talking to each other about it! So that was two problems to solve — duplication and poor communication.

**I learned that the customer satisfaction survey scores were high because the questions were being tuned to get the right answers, not to get the real opinions of the customers. Either stop the useless survey or create an effective one.

**I learned that employees were frustrated that a decision had not been made and they were spinning their wheels waiting for direction. But the decision had been made, so I learned that I had a communication issue.

Because I listened to the team’s ideas, experiences, feedback, and concerns directly, I was able to do my job as a leader far more effectively. I knew what to do!

You simply can not get this level of clarity by only talking to your direct reports.

By the way, employees are very appreciative and become more motivated when you take the time to ask their opinions.

Step 3. Never EVER assign work

Skip level meetings are often viewed as a negative thing, and some managers are very sensitive if their boss talks to their employee.

Skip level meetings are actually a very positive thing for the whole organization. The problem happens when a skip-level manager talks to an individual, then assigns work to the individual.

If you never assign work directly, you won’t have any trouble with skip level meetings. Simple as that.

Even if you are 100% certain that a task should be the #1 priority for this individual, you must resist the urge to ask him or her to do it directly.

Skip-level work assignments cause chaos

Directly assigning work to individuals without involving their manager can wreak havoc. Here are a few examples:

**The individual can become stressed and confused. Should they do what their boss says? or what you say? They might be afraid to ask either of you for clarification.

**The individual may just start working on your new thing, not knowing that their manager has actually already assigned that new thing to someone else.

**The individual may start working on the new thing, and drop something critical that their manager has also promised you. You could be shooting yourself fin the foot.

**The manager who this person works for will get surprised one way or another and feel out of the loop.

**You thought you were sending a simple message to the employee, “Do this important thing”, but what you have really done is send a message to the manager, “I don’t trust you. I felt the need to do your job for you”.

There’s a very simple fix:

You go to the person’s manager and let them know you had the conversation and you now want this new task done. You can then just say, “please let me know when you get this work assigned and confirmed”.

This gives your manager all the insight and power they should have, and you still get the critical work done without causing any chaos and bad will.

No time for this?

You don’t have time NOT to do this.

The alternative to the example above is never learning that this critical task needed to be done.

Of course you need to count on your managers for most decisions and assignments involving their teams, and you should not get in their way most of the time.

But remember, you are in a position as a result of the level of your role, to have insights that your managers do not have. Sometimes you will be able to put the picture together in an important way that your managers can not. And it’s really important that you don’t miss this opportunity.

It’s interesting to me that this is kind of the opposite thing to managers who are addicted to detail. It’s not useful to try to out-detail your managers, but it IS useful to bring your boarder perspective into the conversation from time to time.

As my roles grew to lead organizations of thousands, I could no longer talk to everybody, but I still made sure to put time in my schedule to talk to the people doing the work, either 1-1 or in groups. I did this every week.

It is always very sad when I talk to a GM who tells me “everything is fine”, and then people above, around and below them, tell me that the GM is clueless. Don’t let this happen to you.

Ask. Learn. Don’t assign work.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page.

Was this useful?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.



ABOUT PATTY:

patty blog image
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor.
She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download

Critical Business Conversations



This month’s Professional Development webinar was on the topic of Critical Business Conversations.

If you missed it you can download the recording.

Members of Azzarello group can download this webinar for free.

Critical Business Conversations

Conversations move business forward

As I work with executives at many companies, one of the things I notice that makes the most effective leaders and teams really stand out, is their ability to have the right conversations.

Avoiding uncomfortable conversations and hoping that the right actions will sort themselves out, is usually a disaster waiting to happen. But even at best this misses a huge opportunity to go faster, create improvements, reduce risk, and generally make everyone feel proud about what they are doing.

In this webinar I highlighted some key critical conversations (that many leaders tend to avoid) that have a big payoff. And I provided suggestions and scripts for how to have them effectively.

This is a very useful webinar to download if you want to:

  • Be a better manager
  • Build rapport and respect with your boss and peers
  • Set realistic expectations on your commitments and strategy
  • Lead your team to execute more reliably
  • Increase motivation and personal buy-in on your team
  • Manage pay and performance discussions with your boss and team members

In this webinar: Critical Business Conversations I gave you not only approaches and strategies to drive the conversations that make your business and career move forward, but also some specific scripts and words to use.

Members of Azzarello group can download this webinar for free.

If you are not a member, you can learn about membership and join, or you can purchase this individual webinar below.

The webinar

This webinar covered insights and outlines for conversations to:

  • Engage and motivate your team
  • Say NO with credibility
  • Make sure your strategy will be implemented by your team
  • Have right discussion about missed deadlines and accountability
  • Discuss pay and performance with your boss and team members

Effective Conversation is not a soft skill

Many leaders make the mistake of lumping quality conversation into the category of “soft skills” and then thinking either, “I have not time or no interest in soft skills.” or, “We just need to make then numbers. I only care about the bottom line“.

Good conversations have very little to do with soft skills and very much to do with executing effectively and removing risk. Conversations drive aligned action — which is what you need if you are worried abut the bottom line.

1. Engaging and Motivating Your Team

So many leaders seek my help to increase the engagement and motivation of their team.

Getting your team to buy in on a personal level requires a personal conversation — which involves asking them what they really think.

I realized that in my own career, executives loved working for me because no one else had ever asked them what they personally think!

Sitting down with your team both 1-1 and as a group, and being genuinely interested in what they really think, goes a long way toward genuine engagement and motivation. You get smarter, and they get motivated.

In the webinar I shared some of my favorite questions to get this type of discussion going.

2. Saying NO with Credibility

Being able to succeed on your commitments requires that you are able to say NO to other things.

But to be able to say NO, and maintain your credibility requires the right conversation.

In the webinar we talked about how to focus the discussion on reality and what you CAN do, and how to present various levels of work with the associated various levels of budget.

It’s critical that you don’t sign up to change the world, with a budget to sharpen the pencils.

The conversation is a challenging one, but I have always been better off standing up for reality, than making impossible promises.

The YES (avoiding the conversation about reality) might make you feel safer in the moment, but then at some point you won’t deliver — and that is a conversation you DO want to avoid!

3. Make sure your strategy will be implemented by your team

In the webinar we talk about the role and the importance of unstructured team conversation about strategy.

When a leader broadcasts his or her strategy and then requests plans and proposals back from the team, this highly structured method of communication misses the part where people really get to say what they think, raise questions and have the opportunity to engage on a personal level.

If you skip the team conversation about the strategy you want them to execute, you’ll be sending your team off with a lack of true alignment, and potentially weak or passive aggressive support. Big gaps, questions and doubt about what you are trying to do will remain. It’s always better to know if you lack support than to not know and be surprised later.

You can effectively address concerns and issues about the strategy, and probably even improve it, but not if you never actually talk about it.

We talked about how to have the strategy conversation in a productive way, so that you can get the debate and concerns out on the table, but then also how to change the strategy conversation to execution, when it’s time to move forward.

4. Addressing missed deadlines

It’s surprising to me how many organizations report having trouble to deliver on time, but yet don’t do anything when they miss deadlines.

There has to be some kind of consequence. You don’t have to fire someone for every missed deadline, but you must have a conversation about it.

Is this unconfortable? Yes. But it should be uncomfortable, you missed a deadline!

In the webinar we talked about a simple and productive way to have this conversation — to address it, learn from it, and avoid it in the future.

5. Pay and Performance

Both as a manager and as an individual, you are better off if you are the one driving these conversations. Of the 25ish years that I worked for a boss, I drove this conversation with my boss for probably 19 of those years.

Keeping alignment on expectations between employee and boss is vitally important.

This does not have to be an uncomfortable conversation. In the webinar, I provided some suggestions for how to have a business-focused, data-driven version of this conversation to make sure there are never any surprises.

Want some help?

To get some help with this and learn the specific ideas and techniques that we talked about, download the webinar: Critical Business Conversations , now.

Members: Download the webinar for free.
Non Members: You can purchase this individual webinar or podcast (links below).

Here are some additional, useful webinars related to this topic

Members get these additional webinars for free:

So if you are not yet a member, you might as well join and get them all for free!

Let me be your mentor

Members of Azzarello Group basically get me as their mentor.

Every month you get new insights and tools in the form of these webinars, as well as the chance to call into a monthly members-only coaching hour where you can get direct personal coaching from me.

People tell me that membership gives them a totally new way of thinking about their career, getting promotions, solving difficult problems with bosses, peers, employees, and other annoying people, communicating better, being more influential, becoming a stronger leader, and enjoying their work more. I love to hear this, and I love to help!

If you join now, you’ll not only get this webinar, but all the other webinars in the Member Library.

AND you’ll get the opportunity to participate in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls with me.
Check out what we talk about.

AND as a member you’ll get to download your copy of the Career Year of action Guide (a $30 value) for free.

Membership is a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.

Join Now
Join Now.

Other Options:

Purchase just this webinar ($19.99)
Purchase just this podcast ($9.99)


ABOUT PATTY:

patty blog image
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor.
She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download

Motivating Without Money



This month’s webinar was on the topic of Motivating Without Money

If you missed it, you can download the recording.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 8.50.21 AM

This is a very useful webinar to download if you want to:

  • Increase performance and momentum in your team
  • Build genuine loyalty, support and engagement
  • Create a work environment that makes employees feel confident
  • Find out what specifically motivates each individual
  • Communicate in ways that create clarity and buy-in

Money is the easiest, but not the best motivator

There is no doubt that money is a motivator, but it is not the best one.

For starters, money only works when you have it!

Money does not buy long term motivation, it only rents effort.

If you instead do the things that build genuine motivation and loyalty, your team will stick with you through good and bad (lean) times.

Then money (when you have it) can be a wonderful reward, not the sole reason for being there at all.

Getting people on your team to personally care. Really.

True motivation is about getting people to care on a personal level.

We talked about the things people really care about and how to create more meaning in the work. (which by the way is the #1 motivator for most people).

Creating meaning for people requires the right kinds of discussions and communication and showing genuine appreciation for the gifts and skills of each individual.

In the webinar we talked about how to make your employees feel like super-heroes so they are doing great things for the business and loving it.

Appreciation and respect take effort

Money is easy. (If you have it.) Creating meaning takes personal effort.

As a leader, I have always found that being consistent about showing appreciation and respect makes a huge difference.

In the webinar we talked about how to create an organizational habit around recognition. It’s really important.

Create Clarity

One of the biggest de-motivators is uncertainty. When people don’t have a clear picture of what they should be doing or why their work matters they start to worry.

When people are worried, they are not motivated.

If you are not communicating regularly and clearly, people will be worried.

We talked about the specific things you need to communicate to make sure you are removing uncertainty, and keeping motivation high.

Remove Negativity

Just know that it’s your most negative, lowest performer — not your most positive, high performer — that sets the tone and the performance for the whole team.

Negative attitudes and energy from even one person can destroy motivation for the whole team. You need to deal with it.

What the webinar covered:

Money is only one (and not the best) way to motivate people

This webinar covered how to get people to care personally, using non-financial motivators.

We talked about:

  • How to make your employees feel like superheroes
  • Ways to increase genuine, long term loyalty
  • How to turn your communications into consistent motivators
  • How to motivate people in personal in ways that matter more than money
  • How to create an organization that is good at recognizing important contributions
  • And more…

Worksheets

The worksheets included in this webinar are:

  • Inventory of Motivation Issues and Response
  • Recognition Log for Staff Discussions
  • Your Communication Schedule template

Get the webinar now

Member Free Download

If you are a member of Azzarello Group, you can download the webinar for free.

Or Purchase

If you are not a member, you can: purchase this webinar,

or you can become a member and get the webinar for free..

If you are tempted to purchase this webinar, that’s great.

But you might want to consider getting a membership to Azzarello Group — it’s a much better deal.

With a membership, you can get access to everything in the member library for a whole year for just $179.

BECOME A MEMBER NOW

As a member, just around this topic alone, you can also get additional webinars for free on:

So you might as well join and get them all for free!

Additional benefits for members

Take a look through the Member Library and see all the other great webinars and resources you get too.

Plus, as a member, you get live coaching from me in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls where you can ask your own questions.

Become a Member

BECOME A MEMBER NOW
Membership a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.

Other Options:

Purchase just this webinar ($19.99)
Purchase just this podcast ($9.99)


ABOUT PATTY:

patty blog image
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor.
She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download