Build Trust Fast(er)

I once had a chance to be in a room with a C-level executive at Nike. It was all fun and stuff when she was telling us her stories.

The moment she locked her eyes on me and asked me an objectively harmless question, I peed in my pants.

How do you build trust in the first one-on-one meeting with your team member? These first meetings are fragile- You want trust, they want proof.

Yet most advices suggest us to ask question and listen. I disagree, especially if you are a boss and if you want to #bossbetter.

What we need to work on is to know when to flex between asking and sharing.

The Share First Approach:
By sharing first, you set the tone of the meeting.

“So David, tell me about you” and “Hello David, I would love to introduce myself to you” feel very different.

The Ask First Approach:
If you prefer to ask first, be sure to sprinkle in your sharing often. The goal is to relate, find common grounds, and prompt elaboration with your team:

“Oh wow you decided to leave. It must be hard for you! One time, at band camp …”

Lastly, when sharing and asking, be sure to explore hobbies and failures. This refines the tone of the meeting- boss is ready to be authentic and vulnerable.

And the question she asked me was …. “What do you think?”