Posts Tagged ‘trust’

guidesuccessfulnegotiationNegotiations are the most difficult, dynamic, and even uncomfortable aspects of doing business. Reaching a deal that adds to the bottom line and builds lasting trust demands a thorough understanding of the process. In The Negotiation Book, Steve Gates draws on his 20 years of experience to help readers gain the skills and adopt the mindset of Complete Skilled Negotiators. He highlights the importance of self-awareness, emotional detachment, insight, and creativity to reaching a deal. He presents practical steps for maximizing opportunities in every negotiation while still building trust with the other party.

The author believes that:

  • Negotiation is one of the most challenging aspects of business. It sets up adversarial relationships that must be overcome to reach a successful deal. However, skillful negotiation contributes significantly to a company’s bottom line.
  • Whichever party has the most flexibility has the most power. Larger parties, particularly those with strong brands, have power over smaller ones. Skilled negotiators understand power and what factors influence its balance.
  • Skilled negotiators have 10 key traits: nerve, self-discipline, tenacity, assertiveness, instinct, caution, curiosity, numerical reasoning, creativity, and humility.
  • Skilled negotiators check their egos at the door, yet understand how ego drives the other party. They remain calm and manage their emotions.
  • Every negotiator enters each negotiation with a particular amount of authority to make a deal. More authority brings greater risk. Negotiating with someone who does not have the authority to make a deal is counterproductive.
  • Personal and organizational values necessarily influence negotiators. Those values may not be shared between the parties, which may place the party striving for a value like fairness at a disadvantage.
  • Negotiators always deploy certain tactics in making a deal. Skilled negotiators understand how their values impact the tactics they are willing to use. They also understand how the other party’s values determine the tactics available to them and recognize those tactics when they are used.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com


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The 10 Laws of Trust.jpgIn The 10 Laws of Trust, Joel Peterson examines the importance of trust in the corporate world and beyond. He presents 10 easily followed concepts to building, maintaining, and even repairing trust. Peterson differentiates between high- and low-trust organizations and, through case studies and examples, shows that it is the high-trust environment that is the most successful. He asserts that not only does trust work, but it makes for good business.

The image of the take-no-prisoners, exceed-at-any cost, Machiavellian businessman may not represent the best corporate leader. Trust as a basis for business comes naturally for some, and integrity, while a morally comfortable way to do business, might also be the most effective way. The following are the 10 laws of trust in business:

  1. Start with personal integrity. Integrity should be practiced at work and in all other interactions, both personal and professional. True integrity involves syncing words with actions, avoiding hypocrisy, and doing the right thing habitually.
  2. Invest in respect. Leaders must model and freely give respect, which is another component of trust. It builds reciprocity and should be extended to all employees.
  3. Empower others. Respect can mean allowing others the room to make mistakes, which helps them grow and achieve. If employees know that they are free to explore and will still be trusted even if they fail, they will push themselves.
  4. Measure what should be achieved. If employees or others know what is expected from them, then they have a way to measure their achievements. Uncertainty breeds distrust.
  5. Create a common dream. In addition to individual goals, everyone should be aware of the long-range, shared goals of the organization. Knowing that every individual plays a part toward achieving the communal goals promotes trust between team members.
  6. Keep everyone informed. Leaders need to clearly convey information to those working alongside them. Some of the most successful companies are transparent to a fault.
  7. Embrace respectful conflict. Conflict, if encountered in trust, should be viewed as an opportunity for growth. If the aims of the business are paramount, all interaction moves toward the common goal.
  8. Show humility. Humility encourages the free exchange of ideas. Sometimes the best ideas come from those lower on the company ladder. While this fuels innovation, trust is needed for employees to air their ideas and for management to hear them.
  9. Strive for win-win negotiations. Each party should not come to a discussion with an aim to win, but instead see it as an opportunity for both sides to win. A working relationship should be viewed as ongoing, not something to be ended on the battlefield of the conference table.
  10. Proceed with care. Betrayals will likely happen, and when they do, the leader of a high-trust organization should find that its previously built alliances sustain the organization. Rebuilding trust can occur, and it happens more easily when an atmosphere of trust has been well established.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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Last week I talked about the need for company leaders to respond appropriately to crisis by keeping internal and external stakeholders in the loop. While a significant part of leadership success falls to communication skills, communication alone is not enough. Leaders must instill a sense of credibility among employees and stakeholders in order to make their messages truly effective. Employees need to know that those in charge are trustworthy and base their decisions on what is best for the company and its workforce.

In this video from The Washington Post, General Petraeus outlines what it means to be a credible leader. Some of the key characteristics of credible leaders include:

1. Sharing risk with followers. Leaders need to lead by example, and employees need to see them living the values they promote to others. If leaders can create a “we’re in it together” mentality throughout the organization, workers will trust their guidance and decisions.

2. Empowering others. Leaders can encourage creative thinking and more effective delegation by learning to empower employees. Giving employees the initiative and resources needed to carry out a project will lead to a happier and more productive workforce. Giving them appropriate guidelines to work within will ensure that the project gets done the right way, but it also gives employees room to innovate and try new things.

3. Being truthful and not evading questions or responsibility: The essence of credibility lies in trust. Credible leaders must be open and honest with employees if they want to gain their trust and respect. They will admit when they have made a mistake and will use the lessons learned to shape future actions. Leaders should also make themselves available to employees in order to clear up issues and promote a sense of accessibility.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Credible Company, The Transparency Edge, The Leadership Challenge

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