Set Aside Your Huge Desire to be Right

By Lissie Shaver

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cartoon of two people trying to communicate

Seek first to understand—before trying to solve—problems

The last company I worked for was very corporate and every employee had to go through “Speed of Trust” training. There were 7 steps in the course but the one I remember the most and apply in my personal and work life is “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

This includes setting aside your own selfishness, your huge desire to be right, and your need to get your point across and listen to the other person.

If you can hear them, hear where their frustration is coming from, or their fear, or their anger, then you have a strong chance of not only fixing a problem, but walking away with a greater appreciation for one another and a new level of trust.

Elevated communication is about the quality of the dialogue

I recently read an article on how to build trust with your employees and fix broken communication. It spoke of an “elevated communication” which is less about HOW information is shared and more about the dialogue.

“Elevated communication is well-intentioned, selfless, and other-focused. It enables—not inhibits—others. It breaks through the noise and builds trust, which makes employees more engaged, and encourages innovation, productivity, and great work.”

Basically, you will earn trust if you can sincerely care about the people you work with.

This doesn’t mean you have to know the personal gory details of every aspect of their life, but know what’s important to them, thank them for their hard work, and try to hear where they are coming from.

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