What a week in US politics. You may have heard of a deadline-meeting hint of hope on Saturday when the threat of a federal government shutdown was averted at the 11th hour, after a bipartisan House approved temporary funding to keep agencies open through mid-November. That move, spearheaded by now former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, resulted in his blistering expulsion from office on Tuesday. Chaos was the word of the week, and it still reigns. In conversations by pundits on both sides of the aisle, there is a great deal of focus on McCarthy and how his chameleon-like ways left everyone wondering: “what can we trust coming from this man?”
In today’s headline – the cost of losing trust – there’s a message about what happens when you choose to be someone for everyone and wind up with a persona few people determine trustworthy. Today’s insight demonstrates you have a choice to be clear about how you show up and how one client is taking full ownership of his decisions. And I offer a tool using 7 questions from the Harvard Business Review, Want your employees to trust you? Show you trust them. Let’s dive in!
The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #17
The cost of losing trust
When members of both parties expressed their wariness with former House Speaker McCarthy, it didn’t look good prior to Tuesday’s vote, as reported by Politico.
Here’s Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff on MSNBC,
I don’t know what happens to McCarthy’s speakership, but frankly the problem he’s having is we don’t trust him. He broke his word with the president over the debt ceiling deal. His own conference doesn’t trust him.
Very similar words from Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz on CNN,
One thing everybody has in common is that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy.
There was plenty of speculation that even with this high level of distrust, Democrats might decide to vote ‘present’ – allowing McCarthy to stay in power. But according to several sources, when McCarthy called House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Monday night there were no requests or offers of any concessions.
Paul Kane, Congressional Bureau Chief for the Washington post wrote,
Instead, Democrats said that the McCarthy they knew and liked from his days about a decade ago, when he held a junior GOP leadership post, had become unrecognizable compared with the man who gave in to so many hard-right demands.
Republicans who voted to expel him echoed a similar sentiment, according to Kane.
Over and over, they said, McCarthy would make a commitment to them for some legislation or favor, only to learn that he had some other commitment to another set of Republicans that was in direct conflict.
Lawmakers are known for their shifts in opinions, and there was a time when collaborating across the aisle was viewed as a necessary part of their jobs.
But on Tuesday these members of congress said McCarthy was shifting so fast, and without what they believed was clear focus, they decided their best option was to cut ties with him and agree to no longer save him.
Why it’s so important to own what you say and do
Anytime your job involves navigating change from individuals who are very comfortable with the status quo, you face upheaval.
When Jerry began our coaching journey, he was feeling challenged by his team as they were implementing new working structures returning to the office three days a week. Upper management informed him that he was in charge of outlining where the team was going – how the organization is changing – and how his senior team members could partner with younger members of the team to discover what is now expected of them.
Jerry chose to own this role. When he got pushback, he was clear that for them to have success, these areas were critical for their performance as well as providing a safe environment for their customers.
By standing firm with the direction, he says his biggest surprise was when one of his team blurted out, “why didn’t we do this months ago?”Jerry recognized that with clarity and consistency, his team wasn’t so reluctant. In fact they began offering ideas for improvements. They could see how he trusted them to follow through, and therefore had little issue trusting his plan.
How to retain the trust of your team
Trusting your leaders can be tricky – unless those you are called upon to trust do the same for you. That’s the gist of a piece in the Harvard Business Review, Want your employees to trust you? Show you trust them.
Here are 7 questions consider as it relates to trusting and being trusted.
Observing this week’s chaos stings because I know I’ve been ‘that’ chameleon, trying to say ‘yes’ to anyone who comes my way.
Now I’m much more focused on the time and intentionality it takes to build trust. Here’s how I work to earn the trust of those with whom I am connected.
- You can count on me to be true to my word.
- I’m clear about my commitments.
- You know what you get – I’m direct and consistent.
- I respond to requests with authentic kindness.
- When I err, in judgment or in deed, I admit my mistake.
Truly this is my goal and sometimes I hit the mark, other times I fail miserably. What’s in my control is what I share with you. How you receive it? Up to you.
I leave you with the words of Madeleine L’Engle,
People become trustworthy when they are trusted.
How do you build trust? I’d love to hear from you.