Sign & Digital Graphics

May '18

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72 • May 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S RUNNING THE BUSINESS If your sales staff was persuasive in getting you to second-guess your- self, perhaps your self-trust is in need of bolstering. In such a case, you may have rationalized your decision to lower the price as a demonstration of the way you're able to trust others. But be honest with yourself as to why you really decided the way you did. Who is most qualified to set profitable prices for your products— you or your sales force? Self-trust begins with consciously understanding your val- ues, beliefs and convictions in the face of opposition. If you don't trust yourself, how can you conceivably trust others or have others see you as trustworthy? Stephen Covey, noted author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," writes: "Everyone has the wis- dom, knowledge and answers within themselves. Personal trust is the foun- dation of character or personal integrity." Here are several suggestions Dudley and Cooper offer to further develop self- trust: • Set aside quiet time to listen to your inner thoughts. That "voice" will be calm and genuine. Record those thoughts in a journal. • Ask yourself often: "What outcome do I want?" "Am I looking at the big pic- ture?" and "Are my actions consistent with my set of values?" • Become more aware of the link between your intentions and your feel- ings and actions. Voice your intentions out loud, but in private. Hear your voice as you try to convince yourself of your thoughts. Being Trustworthy, Trusting Others In Situation 2, many business own- ers would wrestle with the issue of dis- cussing a business decision with their employees while maintaining a degree of trustworthiness. The inner struggle might include the following questions: When is the "right" time to announce an operational change in a way the staff will accept? How can I clearly explain what I hope to achieve and still respect the needs of others? I know I will need my employees' insight and perspective to make the right decision. Will I stir up a "hornet's nest" by just hinting at the possibility of moving to a larger place? Situation 3 presents an equally sensi- tive issue—trusting others. How much of the lifeblood of your company are you putting in jeopardy if you disclose con- fidential information to the very people who could have the greatest impact in your success? Do you give access to just some and withhold the information from others? What are the best and worst things that could happen? Does the potential gain outweigh the poten- tial risk? As I am sure you've figured out by now, there are no clear-cut answers to the scenarios offered. And, obviously, they're only three out of the infinite variety of situations that confront business owners and managers every day. When faced with such gut-wrenching challenges, we occasionally commit the mortal sin of not taking the time to ask the tough questions or seeking the wis- dom of mentors or advisors. When we fail in this way, we're demonstrating not only a weak ability to trust others, but a lack of trustworthiness. Dudley and Cooper call this issue put- ting the " US" back in TRUST, and offer a variety of ways we can come both to trust others and to become trustworthy ourselves: • Get to know people as people— their hopes, dreams, fears and expecta- tions. Listen carefully to the tone of their voices and observe body language; place less importance on the actual words they speak. • Show leadership by being visible. Yogi Berra—former NY Yankee catcher, Baseball Hall of Famer and notori- ous coiner of apropos, yet distorted, phrases—once noted wisely that, "Much can observed by just watching." • At first, seek to understand. Spend more time asking questions than talking. • Deliver on your promises, becoming predictable and dependable across situ- ations and over time, and demonstrate sincere concern by expressing empathy... not just in words, but in actions. • Audit your company's "trust account," wherein "deposits" are the things others do that inspire you to trust them, and "withdrawals" are those things they do that lead to mistrust and doubt in your eyes. • Consider what your own "trust account" statement would look like in the eyes of others, based on your actions. An Old Adage, Revisited I've often stated the belief that people buy from people who they like, trust and with whom it is convenient to do busi- ness. Try treating your employees as if they were your customers, by seeking each day to understand their needs and motivations so they can better "buy into" your company's vision. Given the intricacies of self-trust, being trustworthy and trusting others, is it any wonder why trust is a critical issue in today's workplace? On a daily basis, people's words and actions can bring trust into question. With a shrink- ing workforce over the past fifteen years, and with a volatile economy, businesses have turned to addressing the issues sur- rounding empowerment and motivation, both of which are built on trust. The challenge of understanding trust in the workplace will not get easier going forward. Take the time now to become a student of trust, before situations like the ones described above present themselves and you're forced to take a "crash course" on its wisdom and power. Good luck. SDG Make it Your Business CONTINUED Self-Trust Being Trustworthy Trusting Others

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