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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Build Unity and Cooperation—Creating a Culture of Trust


Over the next week I’ll be doing an in-depth review of Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Ask the Right Questions by Barry Cohen (McGraw Hill, September 2009).
This is the FOURTH of several posts on Just Ask Leadersship.

Build Unity and Cooperation—Creating a culture of trust.

The author argues that if leaders remain the answer givers, not the seekers of truth, the results can be that people lose faith and trust in the leader, which ultimately hurts or destroys the organization. Leaders need to trust the wisdom of the group—when directed at the organization’s best interests. Respect the opinions and ideas of others in order to get their respect, honor and buy in. Heed this advise to give and get respect: LISTEN….LISTEN…LISTEN. Here are a couple of questions from this chapter:

a. How do I get everyone to contribute?

--ASK THEM. A simple answer but it’s not so easy to implement. There are technologies available these days to help that (Turning Point) and others. You can also, have a third party coach collect the data and report it back to you. You can simply pass out index cards and ask for ideas and or solutions. Pick someone from the group to collect them and read them back to you. If you want direct, honest, trusted feedback, start by asking for it.

b. How do I align each employee’s needs with the needs of the organization?

--The author describes what we all know: People want to work they way that they like, not your way. Give them a task that they agree on and believe is both important and doable, and get out of their way. Don’t be like the impatient gardener, ripped up by its roots the young plant to see if it were growing! Ask followers periodically to review the mission, values and vision to see if they agree with them. Fine tuning the organization is not only helpful but healthy for continuous growth and prosperity.

c. Other questions asked in this chapter include (along with neat stories, research and anecdotes): If I have a better idea, should I share it with my team? Why am I the only one who talks in meetings? How can I get everyone to contribute? How can storytelling build unity?

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