Five Steps to Create Cultures of Trust!


Conversational Intelligence is our hardwired ability for understanding how to create cultures of trust. Learn how to build trust with these five steps!

Conversations are not what you think they are. We think they are about talking, sharing information, telling people what to do, or telling other’s what’s on our minds. Conversations actually go deeper and are more robust than simply sharing information. To build trust and empower others, we need to understand the three levels of conversations and how to move from power over others to power with others.

In the article, “Go the Distance! From Distrust to Trust Using Conversational Intelligence”, best-selling author and expert on Conversational Intelligence, Judith Glaser suggests that, “many individuals, teams, and organizations operate in a perpetual state of distrust and fear” and that, “daily we see headlines that suggest we are becoming mired in distrust, at high costs to our organizations. As our trust bank accounts are depleted, we run out of currency to invest in the future. And trust is not a currency we can easily print to offset the deficit.”

So how do we build trust? Glaser’s answer is her Five-Step TRUST Model to create cultures of trust:

Step 1: Transparency.

Be open and transparent about what’s on your mind.Transparency quells the reptilian or primitive brain, which reacts to fear, threat, and loss. When we create conditions favorable for trust, people begin to talk openly about their threats and fears. We start reconnecting with others. Transparency is also about sharing our intentions so people don’t read into them. So, talk about the doubts and fears that stand in the way of building trust. Communicate openly with others to quell threats. This sends messages of trust that the amygdala understands: “I trust you will not harm me.”

Step 2: Relationship.

Extend the olive branch, even with people you may see as a foe. Connect and engage to build relationships . Extending trust sends messages of friendship to the brain that shift the energy toward appreciation.

We now know from researchers at the HeartMath Institute that focusing positive energy toward a person (Heart Appreciation) shifts our attention and intention to seek connectivity, reduces the fear of power-over energy, and builds xpower -with connectivity.

When we refocus on heart appreciation, we create greater heart coherence—when the heart waves reflect a smooth wave. This feeling is then transferred or picked up by others with whom we engage. Rebuilding relationships activates the heart brain, and we pick up positive signals of friendship in our conversations. We sense: “I trust this person to have my best interest at heart?” Partnering Conversations shift relationships from judgment to respect and create the conditions and agreements that enable people to collaborate productively.

When we feel that others respect and appreciate us, the mirror neurons located below the prefrontal cortex are activated, enabling us to identify with others and create a bridge of empathy with them. We activate our ability for bonding, collaborating, and experiencing high-point emotional moments, meaning that the levels of oxytocin are increasing as we interact. This influx of neurochemicals reinforces trust.

Step 3: Understanding.

We learn what is really on people’s minds by seeking to understand their needs and emotions and seeing the world through their eyes. When we stand in their shoes and understand their perspective, we are in a better position to honor them. I believe understanding means we “stand under” the same view of the world. People naturally trust us more when they believe that we have their best interest at heart. Seek to understand their context and perspective by listening without judgment to how they hold their reality.

Step 4: Shared Success.

Create a shared vision of success with others. When we have a common view of success, we start to intuitively trust that others will make decisions similar to ours, and we trust they will work out conflicts fairly. Ourneo -cortex functions to help us shape strategies for success. When we are attached to being right and advocate only our point of view, we give the impression we have an agenda. Entrenchment in our point of view leads to distrust, driving conversations that elicit protective behavior. Trying to persuade others to want our success only creates resistance.

Step 5: Testing assumptions and telling the truth.

Test perceptions and assumptions about reality. Close the gaps between what you expect and what you get with others. Step into the other person’s shoes, and see the world from his or her perspectives—empathy is the highest level of trust that we experience together.

When truth is discovered together, one view of the world emerges. Engage the prefrontal cortex—the executive brain—by shaping conversations that let you see the world from another’s perspective. When you test assumptions, tell the truth and rebuild trust, you can see the bigger picture. You’re not attached to being right and finding fault. As you see people or thing in a new way, your mind opens up to new insights and awareness—you access the truth. Truth-telling starts with being able to see the truth about your own behavior.

Are you ready to start building trust and empowering others through your conversation? Join us at F4SS Connect 2017 where Judith Glaser will present on Go the Distance! From Distrust to Trust Using Conversational Intelligence.

Lauren Wilson


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