Start With Why

start with why

Who We Are Vs. What We Are Buying

“[The] art of leading is about following your heart” (p. 59).

“Great leaders and great organizations are good at seeing what most of us can’t see.  They are good at giving us things we would never think of asking for” (p. 60).

“When we are inspired, the decisions we make have more to do with who we are and less to do with the companies and products we’re buying” (p. 74).

“It’s hard to make a case to someone that your products or services are important in their lives based on external rational factors that you have defined as valuable….However, if your WHYs and their WHY correspond, then they will see your products and services as tangible ways to prove what they believe” (p. 74).

“The goal of business should not be to do business with anyone who simply wants what you have.  It should be to focus on the people who believe what you believe” (p. 80).

The Importance of Trust

“Trust is not a checklist.  Fulfilling all your responsibilities does not create trust.  Trust is a feeling, not a rational experience.  We trust some people and companies even when things go wrong, and we don’t trust others even though everything might have gone exactly as it should have.  A completed checklist does not guarantee trust.  Trust begins to emerge when we have a sense that another person or organization is driven by things other than their own self-gain.  With trust comes a sense of value — real value, not just value equated with money.  Value, by definition, is the transference of trust.  You can’t convince someone you have value, just as you can’t convince someone to trust you.  You have to earn trust by communicating and demonstrating that you share the same values and beliefs” (p. 84).

“Leading…means that others willingly follow you — not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to….Those who lead are able to do so because those who follow trust that the decisions made at the top have the best interest of the group at heart.  In turn, those who trust work hard because they feel like they are working for something bigger than themselves” (p. 85).

Tribes

“Cultures are groups of people who come together around a common set of values and beliefs.  When we share values and beliefs with others, we form trust….That’s what a WHY does.  When it is clearly understood, it attracts people who believe the same thing” (pp. 88, 89).

“A company is a culture.  A group of people brought together around a common set of values and beliefs.  It’s not products or services that bind a company together.  It’s not size and might that make a company strong, it’s the culture — the strong sense of beliefs and values that everyone, from the CEO to the receptionist, all share” (p. 90).

“What all great leaders have in common is the ability to find good fits to join their organization — those who believe what they believe….Starting with WHY when hiring dramatically increases your ability to attract those who are passionate for what you believe” (p. 93).

The Role of a Leader

“The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas.  The role of the leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen” (p. 99).

“When people come to work with a higher sense of purpose, they find it easier to weather hard times or even to find opportunity in those hard times” (p. 101).

“[Only] when individuals can trust the culture or organization will they take personal risks in order to advance that culture or organization as a whole.  For no other reason than, in the end, it’s good for there own personal health and survival” (p. 104).

“For those within a community, or an organization, they must trust that their leaders provide a net — practical or emotional.  With that feeling of support, those in the organization are more likely to put in extra effort that ultimately benefits the group as a whole” (p. 104).

“The question is, how do you get enough of the influencers to talk about you so that you can make the system tip?” (p. 114).

“Regardless of WHAT we do in our lives, our WHY — our driving purpose, cause, or belief — never changes” (p. 136).

“As a company grows, the CEO’s job is to personify the WHY.  To ooze of it.  To talk about it. To preach it.  To be a symbol of what the company believes….As the organization grows, the leader becomes physically removed, further and further away from WHAT the company does, and even farther away from the outside market….[The] CEO’s job, the leaders’ responsibility, is not to focus on the outside market — it’s to focus on the layer directly beneath: HOW.  The leaders must ensure that there are people on the team who believe what they believe and know how to build it” (p. 157).

“The leader sitting on the top of the organization is the inspiration, the symbol of the reason we do what we do.  They represent the emotional limbic brain.  WHAT the company says and does represents the rational thought and language of the neocortex” (p. 158).

For a summary, see: http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en

Thank you, Prof. Windes!

 

Dr. Windes,

Thank you for teaching me how to make a professional resume.  I have received a number of resumes that have ranged from terrible to professional…and have been further assured that a professional looking resume plays a significant role in leaving a first impression.

Thank you too for teaching me how to send professional emails. As many of these resumes have been attached to emails, I have also seen a wide range in the accompanying messages. I have found myself being most impressed by the people who have written with professionalism and have addressed me with respect as a potential employer…. On the flip side, I have received messages with mistakes in them or that are lacking professionalism that spark in my mind a thought of “this person isn’t the right fit for the job” even before I open their resume. These are just a couple of things that I have noticed recently that have reminded me of how grateful I was to have taken Professional Communications with you.  The lessons that you teach in that class are extremely important and truly do make an impact in the working world.

— Evan Geels

CECE: A Vision — Why, How, What

WHY

The Bible tells us we are uniquely created in God’s image to work and do good works.  Gallup tells us if we are engaged at work, we are 4.6x more likely to experience holistic well-being. Unfortunately only 15% of us are satisfied at work and most of us are not engaged emotionally on the job.  Holistic well-being is not a normal experience.

How can this be?  Why the disparity between what is and what could be? 

As Is

  • Lack of Engagement

There aren’t enough good jobs.  When there are good jobs, there is overt and systemic discrimination and structural segregation.   The disparities in wealth and opportunity are enormous.

But at least some frustration is the result of a dualist culture of work, even among Christians.

Is work the result of humankind’s fall into sin or was work meant to be something better?

Is our faith one of confessionalism (separation) or contextualism (conformity)?  Is there not a middle ground — a both…and?

If our faith is one of transformation, is being an “agent of renewal” limited to the time we are “off the clock?”  Is work not redeemable? Is work not a very significant part of life?

  • Lack of Alignment

Gallup also reports that we are 6x more likely to be engaged at work if we are using our strengths.  Thus another, related, contributing factor to work dissatisfaction is the lack of alignment or fit between our gifts and our job.   Without that fit and without our engagement, we are not reaching our potential.  If we are not reaching our potential, we are not creating as much value as we could and without that value there is less capital to invest in creating more jobs.  

We are all connected by systems.  Thus we are all part of the same community.  That community is a reflection of God.  The theological word for that connection is “Trinity.” 

To Be

Both mindset and fit can be addressed in college.  And should be.   A liberal arts education can be a tool to expose students to different types of work and work cultures, perspectives, and thinking.  A Christian liberal arts education can be a tool that exposes students to the idea that work is an opportunity for worshipful transformation of our economic system, including job creation, job design, and the organizational cultures they reflect. 

The idea of preparing students for work aligns with Trinity’s mission.

  • Trinity’s Mission

Trinity’s mission is “to provide a Biblically-informed liberal arts education in the Reformed tradition….In all programs, including the liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional preparation, we strive to offer the highest quality of instruction to prepare students for excellence in further study and careers beyond Trinity.”  

  • CECE’s Mission

Congruent with Trinity’s mission statement, the purpose of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment is to:

(1) Complement Trinity Christian College programs by further empowering students to discern, develop, and deploy their gifts and calling via experiential learning, mentoring, and reflection

(2) Become “agents of renewal” in the city and in higher education: to build a strategic beachhead via a disruptive innovation — paid student employment that increases the value of Trinity’s pre-professional education by reducing financial burden and increases quality of professional program education; and to become a self-funding social enterprise

(3) Concentrate the collective wisdom of Trollnation (our secret sauce!) on serving the community.

(4) Resolve paradoxes: the employment/experience paradox:  Students can’t get a good job without good experience and they can’t get good experience without a good job; the scholarship/work and liberal arts/professional program paradox: Students can’t do work without good scholarship and they can’t do good scholarship without doing good work.

(5) Provide the College a strategically important program and the marketplace and students something unique: experiential and integrated project-based learning.

HOW

  • Develop the Student
    • Hand-on Learning via interdisciplinary initiatives and high level experiences  that involve learning from and loving our neighbors on campus and in the city.
    • Coaching and mentoring from faculty and practitioners (Subject Matter Experts); objectively seeking to understand our gifts and how to better use them
    • Prayer and Reflection; subjectively seeking to hear the voice of God and how to make our “general” calling “specific” and “immediate”
  • Create Value
    • What we provide students and our neighbors and alums has value, and what they provide us has value as well.  Some of that value can be measured.
    • We wish to capture what we can of that value so that we can become an economically sustainable organization.
    • Thus we strive to develop the student and serve our constituents well.
  • Apply and Enhance Critical Thinking Skills via Project-Based Learning
    • While some projects can extend over years, we work in 2-3 month chunks of time.
    • Our process is to analyze situations and provide theory and data-supported recommendations to authentic problems/challenges.
    • Our underlying project-based learning philosophy is to learn from and loving their neighbors.

 WHAT

  • Interdisciplinary Initiatives
    • Community Empowerment Initiatives
      • Internal: Experiences geared toward serving individual students and the Trinity campus community.  Examples:
        • 20/20 — An exercise that encourages people who know our students to share stories of when students were at their best to expose students to their gifts and virtues.
        • Speed Interviewing — An exercise that encourages students to learn about various business functional roles, challenges, and culture by interviewing practitioners.
        • Etiquette Dinner — An activity that helps student learn about professional business behavior.
        • Conversations on Career and Calling — Events involving generations of alums and students reflection on the experiences of a well-known practitioner.
      • External: Experiences geared toward serving Individual Student and the Chicago Community.  Examples:
        • A Servant Called You — A practical tool to help us think about how to learn from and love our neighbors.
        • Community Health Initiative — In partnership with Trinity’s Nursing Department, Business Department, and the Honors Program, a community-focused health education activity involving surveying and serving communities (on campus and off) to better understand health care needs.
        • Fundraising Tournament — In partnership with Trinity’s Student Life Office and faculty from various departments, a community-focused activity involving Trinity students and students from local high schools to raise money (Empowerment Fund) for a person or organization in need.
    • Entrepreneurship Initiatives
      • e-boost Chicago — In partnership with Chicago Semester and E-Club, an intense event seeking to give student entrepreneurs a boost by surrounding them with experienced practitioners
      • A Servant Called You — A framework for helping students think through service learning projects.
      • Idea Lounge — A space for encouraging interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial initiatives (reserved through Trinity Business Department).
      • e-Club — A student organization that beleives there is an entrepreneur in everyone.
  • High Level Work Experiences: START (Select Trinity Advisory Research Team) Scholars
    • START Consulting — Select junior-and senior level students (“Dream Team”) hired to lead a faculty and practitioner-coached professional strategy consulting organization with a triple purpose: develop students, serve clients, and be a resource engine for CECE 
    • START Interns — Select junior and senior-level students participating in high level, employer-paid management-training-oriented internships
    • START Entrepreneurs — Select junior-and-senior level students hired to work on their own startups and mentored by practitioners

Through interdisciplinary initiatives and higher level academic/work project-based learning experiences students can learn both more of God’s creation and how they may both fit into it and honor God through their work in it and be blessed by doing so.

Tony Dykstra Named CECE’s First START Scholar Consultant

 

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment is pleased to announce that Tony Dykstra has been named its first START Scholar Consultant.   As the first START Scholar Consultant Tony will be employed to:

  • Create an interdisciplinary team of talented Trinity Christian College students
  • Partner with experienced practitioners
  • Develop client relationships
  • Lead a team of student strategy-oriented consultants
  • Serve for-profit and non-profit organizations

In addition Tony will assist CECE’s director by helping to recruit prospective students and representing CECE at various events.

The Troll Scholars Consultant appointment is for the Fall 2016 semester.   To qualify, candidates must be Trinity students with a successful track record in leadership and consulting, and the heart to make a positive difference guided by Christian values.

Tony is a Junior Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing double major and a member of men’s golf team.  He is co-founder of Trinity’s E-Club (Entrepreneurship Club) and serves as its president.  This summer he worked as in intern in San Diego, CA.  Last year, as E-Club president, he played a significant role in Trinity’s dodgeball tournament which raised money for the Empowerment Fund.  Proceeds were used to purchase a standing wheelchair for Katie Vree, a junior nursing major.

 

 

Why Trinity Business?

Immersed in the City and Grounded in Vocation

Trinity is an academic institution.  But we aren’t in the knowledge business.  We are in the people-development business.  Knowledge acquisition is necessary for holistic learning as is hands-on learning, rigor, and a collaborative, community-oriented environment.

We know that students don’t know and shouldn’t feel pressured to know what is going to be their career or major as first-year students.  What makes us distinct is that we empower students to discern, develop, and deploy their gifts and calling while they are at Trinity and part of the Trinity community.   We do this by offering a solid business core and several specialized majors.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Business

Our Bachelor of Arts in Business program gives students the freedom to enroll in our business core courses and pursue a major or minor in non-business discipline.

Specialized Programs

Accounting

Our Bachelor of Science in Accounting program provides students with the learning experiences to discern if accounting is an appropriate career path for them.   In the process, Trinity’s accounting majors posted the highest average pass rate and highest average score among CPA exam candidates in Illinois.

Entrepreneurial Management

Our Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Management, along with our Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment, offers students the experience of working through the process of starting a for-profit, non-profit, or social enterprise organization and prepares them for managing within especially innovative organizations.

Finance

Our Bachelor of Science in Finance program helps student experience and understand banking and finance, and includes courses in securities, asset allocation, global finance, and tax.  Complemented with internships in downtown Chicago and the surrounding area, students develop the knowledge, skills, and values to discern, develop, and deploy their gifts and calling in this specific and important business field.

Marketing

Our Bachelor of Science in Marketing program focuses on creativity in business and strategic decision making in product and services marketing.  To help discern their gifts and calling for marketing-related work, many of our students enhance their project-based coursework with internships in downtown Chicago, including through our Chicago Summer program.

Fall 2016 Projects

In the Fall 2016 Semester Trinity Business is excited to work with Providence Bank & Trust, Providence Life Services, Palos Area Chamber of Commerce, and Chicago Semester as well as startups foreverU, Glacier Peak, Referral Plus, and  ESS Universal Ltd among others.

Why do we do work?  We engage in projects to empower students to discern, develop, and deploy (D,D,D) their gifts and calling.   This work includes Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment-sponsored Interdisciplinary Initiatives and Trinity Business Coursework as well as Troll Scholars Consulting, Internship, and Entrepreneurship experiences.

Here we go!

Tom Iwema Named CECE’s Second START Scholar Entrepreneur

 

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment is proud to announce that Tom Iwema, founder of IKG Property Mainenance, has been named our second START Scholar Entrepreneur.   As a START Scholar Entrepreneur Tom will be afforded time to work on his startup, IKG.  In addition he will assist CECE’s director by mentoring other entrepreneurial students and representing CECE at various events.

The START Scholar Entrepreneur appointment is for the Fall 2016 semester.   To qualify, candidates must be Trinity students with a successful track record in leadership, a start-up beyond the Customer Validation stage, and the heart to make a positive difference.

Last academic year Tom was a member of the Future Founders Fellowship Program.   His businesses specialize maintenance and restoration, including mold remediation, floor care, painting, and snow removal.

CECE will be making its home on Trinity’s campus, in the former Molenhouse Student Center.

A Beginning For CECE

Why

We were created to work and do good works according to the gifts and opportunities God give us.  This is a life calling.

We seem called, therefore, to empower people to Discern, Develop, and Deploy their Gifts and Calling.

How

We are looking for people who want to help us complement Trinity’s academic and co-curricular programs (such as Business, Chicago Semester, Nursing, Student Life) and empower students through experiential learning and mentoring.

What

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment is developing a ladder for students toward fulfilling, transforming work — good work according to the gifts and opportunities God gives them.  The steps in this ladder include:

  • Interdisciplinary Initiatives; for example:
    • Community Heath
    • Fundraising
    • Story Writing
  • Student Clubs and their Leaders; for example:
    • E-Club (Entrepreneurship Club)
    • NSO (Nursing Student Organization
    • Honors
  • START Scholars:
    • Consultants
      • Social Media
      • Marketing
    • Interns
    • Entrepreneurs

Please contact Steve VanderVeen to learn more.

6601 W. College Drive, Groot Hall 270
Palos Heights, IL 60463
Email: steve.vanderveen@trnty.edu

How To Become a Functioning Team

(From Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team)

When we fail to Focus on Results, we…

  • Fail to grow
  • Fail to win
  • Lose achievement-orientated people
  • Encourage people to focus on themselves
  • Are distracted

When we Avoid Accountability, we…

  • Cause resentment
  • Encourage mediocrity
  • Miss deadlines
  • Burden the team leader

When we Lack Commitment, we…

  • Create ambiguity about goals and priorities
  • Contribute to a lack of confidence
  • Ignore “the elephant in the room.”
  • Revisit previous discussions

When we Fear Conflict, we…

  • Conduct boring meetings
  • Encourage a political environment
  • Ignore controversy
  • Fail to engage team members deeply

When we Lack Trust, we…

  • Hide weaknesses
  • Are slow to ask for help
  • Are slow to contribute
  • Hate meetings

 

How to Overcome The Five Dysfunctions

(From Patrick Lencioni’s Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team)

Build Trust

Trust is not the ability to predict the behaviors of others.  “Trust is all about vulnerability.  Team members who trust one another learn to be comfortable being open, even exposed, to one another around their failures, weaknesses, even fears…Vulnerability-based trust is predicated on the simple—and practical—idea that people who aren’t afraid to admit the truth about themselves are not going to engage in the kind of political behavior that wastes everyone’s time and energy, and more importantly, makes the accomplishment of results an unlikely scenario” (p. 14).

“The idea of putting themselves at risk for the good of others is not natural, and is rarely rewarded in life…” (pp. 16, 17).

“The key ingredient to building trust is not time, it’s courage” (p.18).

Trust-building Tools

Personal histories.  “At a staff meeting or off-site, go around the room and have every member of the team explain three things: where they grew up, how many kids were in their family, and what was the most difficult or important challenge of their childhood” (p. 19).

“When team members reveal aspects of their personal lives to their peers, they learn to get comfortable being open with them about other things.  They begin to let down their guard about their strengths, weaknesses, opinions, and ideas” (p. 20).

The personal history exercise helps everyone overcome “one of the great destroyers of teamwork:” the fundamental attribution error.  “The fundamental attribution error is simply this: human beings tend to falsely attribute the negative behaviors of others to their character (an internal attribution), while they contribute their own negative behaviors to their environment (an external attribution)….“As a result [of going through the personal histories exercise], there is a far greater likelihood that empathy and understanding will trump judgment and accusation when it comes to questionable behavior” (p. 21).

Construct Conflict

Conflict: “productive, ideological conflict: unfiltered debate around issues of importance to the team” (p. 37).

“If team members are never pushing one another outside of their emotional comfort zones during discussions, then it is extremely likely that they’re not making the best decisions for the organization.”  Conflict is the median between “artificial harmony” and “mean-spirited personal attacks” (p. 38).

Tools for Constructive Conflict

“The best way is simply to talk about it.”  What is their conflict profile based on Myers-Briggs?  How was their view of conflict “shaped by their childhood or maturation process?”  “The point is that when people self-identify and publicly declare their outlook on conflict, they become much more open to adjusting it to whatever the team norms need to be established”  (p. 42).

Get Buy-In

“Let’s be clear about something: commitment is not about consensus….It’s about a group of intelligent, driven individuals buying in to a decision precisely when they don’t naturally agree.  In other words, it’s the ability to defy a lack of consensus” (p. 51).

Tools for Getting Buy-in

Commitment Clarification.  “With five minutes to go at the end of the meeting—any type of meeting—the leader of the team needs to call a question: What exactly have we decided here today?…By being extremely explicit about what has been agreed upon, a team will be able to identify discrepancies before a decision has been announced” (pp. 54, 55).

Commitment to Key Principles.  “Teams must commit to rules of engagement around timeliness at meetings, responsiveness in communication, and general interpersonal behavior.  But beyond behavior commitment, there is the commitment to other principles such as purpose, values, mission, strategy, and goals” (p. 57).

Commitment to Thematic Goals, a Common Cause.  “At any given time, all the members should know what its top collective priority is, and how they can each contribute to addressing it” (p. 57).

Practice Accountability

Accountability is “the willingness of team members to remind one another when they are not living up to the performance standards of the group…. For peer-to-peer accountability to become part of the team’s culture, it has to be modeled by the leader…. That means being willing to step right into the middle of a difficult issue and remind individual team members of their responsibility, both in terms of behavior and results” (p. 61).

“The most important challenge…is overcoming the understandable hesitance of human beings to give one another critical feedback….When teammates stop holding one another accountable, what ultimately happens over time is that they lose respect for each other, and those good feelings begin to fade” (p. 63, 64).

Tools for Practicing Accountability

Team Effectiveness Exercise.  “During an off-site meeting, or any other session where you have well over an hour available, have everyone on the team write down their answers to two simple questions about every member of the team, excluding themselves:

  • What is the single most important behavioral characteristic or quality demonstrated by this person that contributes to the strength of the team?
  • What is the single most important behavioral characteristic or quality demonstrated by this person that can sometimes derail the team?

Once everyone has finished jotting down their answers, the facilitator starts by putting the leader of the team up first” (p. 65).

Meetings and Accountability.  “First, team members must know what each of the others is working on in order to hold them accountable.  The best way to do this is…asking team members to each take no more than thirty seconds to update the team about their three top priorities that week….Second…the team must track progress against its goals and highlight any shortcomings before they become problematic” (p. 67, 68).

Focus on Results

“What is it about us that makes it so hard to stay focused on results?  It’s this thing called self-interest.  And self-preservation.  We have a strong and natural tendency to look out for ourselves before others, even when those others are part of our families and our teams.  And once that tendency kicks in on a team, it can spread like a disease, quickly eroding the roots of teamwork until eventually even trust has been destroyed.  How do we avoid this?  The key lies in keeping results in the foreground of people’s minds” (pp. 69, 70).

See the Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w42Sfbh91vU

The Trust Equation

FromThe Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford

 

 

 

 

 

“Most professionals, when asked to talk about trust, instinctively focus on credibility and reliability….[But] trust has multiple dimensions.   I might trust your expertise, but distrust (profoundly) your motives (i.e., self-orientation).  I might trust your brilliance, but dislike your style of dealing with me (your intimacy)” (p. 70).

Credibility

“Credibility isn’t just content expertise.  It’s content expertise plus ‘presence,’ which refers to how we look, act, react, and talk about our content.  It depends not only on the substantive reality of the advisor’s expertise, but also on the experience of the person doing the perceiving (p. 71).

“Among the four components of the trust equation, credibility requires a moderate amount of time to establish.  For the rational component of credibility (believability) we can examine someone’s logic, or check someone’s claims against the direct experience of others (i.e., references).  This doesn’t take long.  The emotional side of credibility (honesty) takes longer to evaluate, because it takes longer to assure oneself that all dimensions of an issue are being covered….[While] most providers sell on the basis of technical competence, most buyers buy on the basis of emotion” (p. 72).

“The best service professionals excel at two things in conveying credibility: anticipating needs, and speaking about needs that are commonly not articulated” (p. 73).

Some tips on enhancing credibility (pp. 73-74):

  • Tell the truth as much as possible
  • Don’t tell lies or exaggerate
  • Speak with expression; show you have energy
  • Don’t just cite references, introduce clients to each other
  • When you don’t know, say so
  • Do all your homework
  • Love your topic

Reliability

“Reliability is about whether clients think you are dependable and can be trusted to behave in consistent ways.  Judgement on reliability are strongly affected, if not determined, but the number of times the client has interacted with you” (p. 74).

“Reliabilty also has an emotional aspect, which is revealed when things are done in a manner that clients prefer, or to which they are accustomed” (p. 75).

“Advisors who rate high on reliability will not just deliver their work on time and on spec.  Nor will they simply be consistent, even at a level of excellence.  They will also be expert at a variety of small touches that are aimed at client-based familiarity.  Sending meeting material in advance is one example; staying current on client events and names is another….Strategies for reliability include setting up a series of deadlines or opportunities to deliver discrete work product components within a short and usually agreed-upon period of time” (p. 76).

Some thoughts on reliability (pp. 76).

  • Make specific commitment to your client around small things and deliver!
  • Send materials in advance, saving meeting time
  • Make sure meetings have clear goals, not just agenda, and deliver!
  • Review agendas with your client before meetings
  • Confirm scheduled events

Intimacy

“The most effective, as well as most common, sources of differentiation in trustworthiness come from intimacy and self-orientation.  Both of these are relatively scarce, compared with credibility and reliability.  People trust those with whom they are willing to talk about difficult agenda (intimacy), and those who demonstrate that they care (low self-orientation)….The most common failure in building trust is lack of intimacy….Intimacy is about ’emotional closeness,’ concerning issues at hand….It is driven by emotional honesty, a willingness to expand the bounds of acceptable topics, while maintaining mutual respect and by respecting boundaries.  Greater intimacy means fewer subjects are barred from discussion” (p. 77).

Self-Orientation

“There is no greater source of distrust than advisors who appear to be more interested in themselves than in trying to be of service to the client.  We must work hard to show that our self-orientation is under control….The most egregious form of self-orientation is, of course, simple selfishness, being ‘in it for the money.’  However, self-orientatino is about much more than greed.  It covers anything that keeps us focused on ourselves rather than on our client” (p. 80).

How self-orientation shines through (p. 81):

  • A tendency to relate stories to ourselves
  • A need to finish others’ sentences for them
  • A need to fill empty spaces in conversations
  • A need to appear clever, bright, witty
  • An inability to provide a direct answer to a direct question
  • An unwillingness to say we don’t know
  • Name-dropping
  • A recitation of qualifications
  • A tendency to have the last word
  • Passive listening

Ways of ensuring self-orientation stays low (p. 82):

  • Treat your client like a friend
  • Think about the client as if you were responsible for her/his success
  • Be honest with yourself regarding level of interest; if disinterested in work, change to work that interests you more

Trust is required for long-term relationships.  Love and sacrifice of self interest are key.  Ironically, if we love ourselves, we will love and make sacrifices for others.