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Trust shows up frequently as a corporate value, a desirable commodity. It is inscribed on our money (“In God We Trust”) and in our nation’s official motto. But for something that is valued so highly, organizations struggle to explain what Trust is. They seem unclear about how to get it, how to nurture it, and how it erodes. They often make decisions that seem blind to the impact of Trust on their members.

Organizations often expect their employees to think of Trust in terms of actions:
“I can depend on you to do what you say.” …


Part of our Joy Research from The Change Decision involves validating a Joy Assessment. That assessment has ten criteria against which we believe Joy at Work can be measured. You can hear more about that research and the specifics of the Joy Assessment in an upcoming free webinar. You can sign up for the free webinar here. In this post, we want to focus on one of the ten Joy Assessment criteria: Belonging.

In particular, we want to measure belonging. Although we believe there is much that humans can simply intuit about joy attributes, such as belonging, we have found there is power in using the analytics to gain insights that might not otherwise readily reveal themselves. …


It’s more than just a semantic quibble

The words leader and manager often are used interchangeably, and with that slipshod usage, their individual meanings can be lost. Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis are often quoted as saying:

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“Management is doing the things right and Leadership is doing the right thing”

This points to deeper insights. Management is about making things happen. It is literally about manipulation. The words management and manipulation both come from the Latin word manus, meaning hand. If done well, there are efficiencies gained and improvements made in every aspect of what the manager’s organization is doing, but that success is circumscribed. Great managers are still working under constraints that have been given to them. They can be awesome but only with what is given to them. Leadership is about seeing beyond the confines and setting a vision for something better. The origin of the word is very different. It comes from Proto-Germanic, laidjana meaning to go. …


The Demon

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There’s a demon out there in your business. It hides inside the algorithms of analysts and the balance sheets of accountants. The demon lurks in the hearts not only of entrenched employees who see diminishing possibilities and little future growth but also of ambitious employees who see emerging possibilities but struggle to find purchase from which to launch their careers.

That demon is the fear of change.

For the employee trying to make their mark, change can disturb what seems like the fragile base from which they wish to advance their career. For the employee well- entrenched in their position, change can destroy the foundation upon which they have created their future. …


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Joy Research

Since the start of 2020, we have engaged in a fascinating project: Joy Research. This plays into informing the mission of The Change Decision — to bring Joy at Work. We have been interviewing CEOs and senior leaders about how leading teams, managing change, and group decision-making impact Joy at Work. There are so many enlightening elements of this research that we are going to do a free Webinar. If you’d like to hear the full story, please sign up here. This post is a taste of what we have found. …


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If ever there was a time for introspection, it has got to be now. A pandemic that is devastating the world economically and psychically. A lockdown that has driven so many of us to isolation both physically and emotionally. An uncertain future as to when this will ease up and what it will mean once it does.

The first step is to handle this is to get past the freak out stage. Here are some very personal thoughts about how not to freak out in a global pandemic. The next step is to do something practical. Something that strengthens you for the future. If you are a leader of others, then something that strengthens your team and the humans themselves that make up your team. The trick is to fill out. Fill out yourself. Fill out your team. …


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As we go further into the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of low-level anxiety is increasing. The end is uncertain. We may have much further to go. Although many have a low probability of danger from the virus, the very existence of a global pandemic coupled with consistent news stories and press conferences that describe terrible scenes of overwhelmed hospitals and exhausted medical staff all fuel the anxiety that seems to be within us all. On top of all of this, the economy has slowed and tens of millions are out of work, furloughed, or dealing with reduced hours. I’ve had two significant experiences with persistent low-level anxiety. …


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As we all scramble because of the COVID-19 outbreak of the coronavirus to move to virtual work that means virtual meetings. Anything that has not gone well with our in-person meetings is going to go even more horribly with your virtual meetings. Every distraction, every unfocused agenda item, every meandering conversation without conclusion or action, will be all the more so in a virtual environment. So let’s use this time of COVID-19 driven separation to make our virtual meetings fantastic. They can be a source of trust-building as discussed here. They can even be a way to bring Joy at Work, even more so because so many are anxious about the future. Now is the time for leaders to step up and be the voice that provides calm and guidance. …


With the coronavirus raging across the world and organizations asking people to stay home, we will all need to learn how to work better virtually. There are certainly practical tips for conducting a meeting virtually that you can review here. Also important in a virtual work environment is building trust.

“One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.”
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E.M. Forster

But what is trust? And, why do we want to build it? These may not have easy answers to the simplicity the questions suggest. Let’s start with trust. We place our trust “in” things and people, as in, “I’ll put my trust in this old car,” or “I’ll put my trust in Angela,” or even “I’ll put my trust in God.” We talk about “my trusty pen,” or “umbrella,” or “screwdriver.” But how do we know we have trust? The one key characteristic of trust is that it is something given, as in, “I give my trust to you.” It cannot be taken or really even earned. The origin of the word itself is from Old Norse and means strength. In giving trust, you are giving your strength to another. …


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The coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a stunning impact on so many aspects of our lives, business included. For a rapidly growing number of companies, working virtually will be the norm for at least the next few weeks. It wouldn’t be crazy to expect longer. Whether you are an organization experienced in using virtual meeting technology or an office-only organization that is now being forced into the virtual world by the spread of the coronavirus, establishing a way to conduct a virtual meeting can create an amazing experience that dramatically boosts the productivity and usefulness of your meeting. …

About

Edward Cook

A former Navy pilot, now Analytics professor at the Univ. of Richmond and President of The Change Decision consulting on managing change to achieve Joy at Work!

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