Open mind and open ears

Develop trust with your employees. Employees, some just inherently, do not trust management. They feel that whatever it is we’re doing is for personal gain.

Others who are part of thevision, part of the plan, understand what you’re doing andrealize that they also aregoing to benefit from it. Thosepeople who distrust management, there’s not too muchyou can do.

Listening is important andgetting the facial expression.As certain events happen, youcan tell what rings their bell,what’s important to them bytheir expression or some reaction they make. If the reactionis, ‘That sounds good,’ or, ‘Idon’t care,’ then the one whodoesn’t care, you need to workon finding out why it is they’renot part of whatever it is you’retrying to do, the action you’retrying to take, why don’t theycare. That builds trust.

If people know that you havea personal interest in whatthey do, how they conducttheir lives, what their personallife is like, how their childrenare, that builds inherent trustin the decisions that youmake in management. We’rewith these employees morethan they are at home. It’simportant that you stay rightin front of them and try tobuild that trust, but that takestime.

It has to be real. When Icome into the bank, if someone’s daughter’s been sick Iwill ask, ‘How is so-and-sodoing?’ Let them know if theyhave to leave, that’s certainlyunderstandable. Let themknow you’re part of their life,you care about them just asmuch as you do your ownfamily, you want to make surethey’re happy and familycomes first. It’s just being trulyand honestly a people person,that you do care about themand you’re interested in theirlife, and you say that. Thatbuilds trust and enthusiasmand success.

Have a sense of humor. A senseof humor is important. Notcatty where you hurt somebody, but coming up with a little sense of humor in seriousmoments sort of cuts that air,and everybody relaxes andyou can get on with whateverit is you want to do. There aretimes to be serious, but occasional levity in the conversation or deliberation relaxesparticipants and creates anonguarded atmosphere ofopen communication.

Life, and certainly management, would be too boringwithout humor.

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