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- I may be able to believe what she says
- She may do what she commits to
- She may be competent
- I’m not going to trust her to do anything beyond the exact thing we’re working on right now.
- I won’t let her get close to me or know what I’m thinking.
- I’m not sharing ANYTHING about what I care about with her.
- Some degree of intimacy is fundamental to the assessment of care in a relationship. Think of the people you believe have your interests at heart. In every case I’ll bet they have in some way honestly shared with you some of what is important to them – their values, hope, dreams, and/or concerns. This is how intimacy is established, how it grows. If you want people to believe you are concerned about their interests, listen to what is important to them, and tell them what is important to you.
- Listen to others, to what they say, and what they are trying to communicate. You may have known someone who listened to you as if you were the only person in the world, who gave you his or her complete attention when you spoke. They let you say what you had to say and didn’t respond with words of judgment. They probably also looked you in the eye, and may have asked questions and responded in ways that told you they heard what you meant to say. If you can be this kind of listener for others, they will trust that you care. Listening while mentally preparing your response is not listening.
- Before you speak or act, ask yourself these questions: Will what I am about to say or do serve the people I work with, work for, my employees, and my company as well as me? Why do I believe it will serve them? If you recognize that what you are thinking of doing is really only going to serve you and will likely damage the interests of others, ask yourself if doing it is important enough to risk losing their trust. Trust lost is devilishly hard to regain.
- Ask the people you work with what their interests and concerns are, and point out where you both have common interests. Listen!
- Tell the people you work with what your hopes and desires are for the work you’re doing together. Ask them theirs.
- If you manage people, clearly tell them what you expect from them and what they can expect from you. Then follow through (in many companies, this is the missing bit…). This may sound a lot like the behavior of sincerity and reliability, and to some degree it is. Exhibiting the behaviors of reliability and sincerity are ways of demonstrating that you have their interest in mind.
- When you make decisions or take action, let people know you understand how it affects them, even if the effect is adverse. Tell them why you are doing what you’re doing and identify the interests your actions serve.