Scenario 5

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The successful implementation of your project will depend on working closely with a number of other project teams.

Most of your relationships are good but there are two project leaders who seem to question all your actions:

  • Emilio always copies in your boss and his own boss on any emails that he sends to you
  • Noriko questions your plans and asks for further evidence that this is the correct approach. She also wants lots of details on how you will carry out even the simplest of tasks.

What could be the reasons for these 2 people behaving in this way?

For Emilio, it could be that he lacks confidence or that he wants to impress his boss. Or perhaps his boss is a control-freak who requires Emilio to copy all emails to him.

For Noriko, it may be that she is a perfectionist or craves certainty.

However, the perspective I would like to focus on is trust.

These behaviours are typical when there is low trust. As a leader, one should consider to what extent your exemplary leadership behaviours are visible to these people:

  • model the way
  • inspire a shared vision
  • challenge the process
  • enable others to act
  • encourage the heart

Then consider the 5Cs of trust:

  • what evidence do they have of your competence – are they aware of your track record and do you consult with others to get the best results?
  • do they feel that you care about what they want too?
  • have you set clear expectations of what you expect and what they can expect from you?
  • are you communicating openly and quickly?
  • have you conferred trust on them?

Do you have any experiences to share in the comments below of trust being gained and lost?