Building trust @ work
Today I used the power of humility to get buy-in from a stakeholder whom I needed to help get my project off the ground. Our previous few meetings had been rough and our work seemed to be overlapping and diverging. I decided yesterday that I needed to find a way to work together so that we could get both our goals accomplished. Through talking to a co-worker, I realized that part of it was my fault — I lacked clarity on his role/scope and was asking a lot of questions that he wasn’t able to help with. Today, I started off our meeting with an apology about causing churn due to lack of role clarity on my end. I also shared some of the challenges that I was seeing in getting the workstream started and sought his advice. Once he started sharing his concerns and advice, I listened intently and addressed each of those one by one while reassuring him that I was here to work with him to find a solution that would fit both our goals and be minimally invasive to his team and workstreams. Once that trust was established, he opened up and even offered to help me get started using a template he had created from one of his old teams, and said he would be happy to set up time with me again to brainstorm how to use the template. Moral of the story — have the humility to ask someone you trust to assess the situation (e.g. this was a role clarity issue), make a decision to work together with the person, put your ego aside, prepare for your next meeting with talking points, set the talking points in your back pocket, open your heart and ears, and really listen to what they are saying and what their concerns are. People can sense your earnestness and sincerity in wanting to do the right thing. Once that bridge is built, getting to win-win solutions becomes so much easier!