The constant energy spent on persuading, arguing, coaxing and convincing others is exhausting. If these describe your management habits, be aware, they are also draining energy from your audience. Why not invest your energy instead in the art of influence that impacts, effects and sways others, while also generating the energy to move them forward? Unlike the assault of persuasive argument, influence requires more action that words.
The actions that fuel your influence are the actions that build your credibility. Steven M. R. Covey’s exploration of trust-building fosters tangible results in relationships and business. His reminders speak to what draws people to us – without our use of exhausting ‘begging or bossing’ techniques that are often interpreted as our incompetence or self-promotion.
We are reminded, in Covey’s The Speed of Trust work, that when your consistent actions reflect your credibility, you gain the unquestioned confidence of others – and your confidence in yourself grows also. There are no shortcuts to this, and to raise the bar to reality, you must target actions that build trust in both your competence and your character. Covey’s model divides core trust-actions between these two areas of your behavior.
Credibility of Character
Integrity includes those actions that show you live in harmony with your deepest values and beliefs; this requires both humility and courage. Actions reflecting integrity include making and keeping commitments to yourself first, standing for something you will live by, and showing openness to examine yourself and consider other viewpoints.
Intent is about displaying that your motives are rooted in your genuine concern and care for others; your agendas and behaviors consistently reflect your desire to act in the best interest of everyone involved. Examining your motives, generously choosing to give credit, and discussing your motives willingly and regularly are some uncommon actions required to display your intent.
Credibility of Competence
Capability inspires trust as we consistently display our credibility through our talents, attitudes, knowledge and even our style of getting things done. All of these tasks require wise action: it is smartest to know and feed your strengths, to show your relevance with high-value contributions, and stay the course to your vision that will keep your contributions effective.
Results are simply our track record. They build trust as we get the right things done in the right ways, as we define results accurately, and as others can see us promoting a culture of learning and holding ourselves accountable to grow – even through our mistakes.
Is your energy drained from your efforts to persuade others? Does trust need to be built or repaired? Let’s talk about the roadblocks you see and the advantages you could see with increased trust: count the cost of changing nothing.
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