Trust is in crisis globally … distrust is rising in Australia in line with world trends. So how do you build a healthy, thriving, productive workforce in times of unprecedented change?
The fine line between protecting what you have and creating what you aspire to, is the primary dynamic in shaping a culture. What this means is, your leaders are either limiting or expanding the growth of your culture. The level of trust in any culture has a huge impact on engagement …
BELOW THE LINE – RESISTING
When people are resisting they close down and protect themselves. Growth is thwarted by fear driven ‘below the line’ actions which result in an unsustainable culture.
- A culture stops growing first and foremost through toxic residue in the space. At this level, people protect themselves and their turf and may cause others to move into protective behaviour.
- These people are unconscious of their impact on others. They are unconscious of the strong negative currents they are releasing into their environment through high levels of cortisol (toxic chemicals) from the brain.
- They’re affecting their own health and the health of others around them through the negative energy space they’re creating.
- People at this level may work to actively disengage others around them to keep the status quo intact. When a person is communicating from this position of entrenchment, it’s like having their foot nailed to the floor.
- Others around them adopt the group opinion as ‘this is the way we do things around here’ rather than disrupt anything.
- With low levels of engagement there is little emotional involvement or connection. The mode is auto pilot. With no room for movement, everything is stagnant … nothing shifts.
ABOVE THE LINE – GENERATING
- Generating begins when people begin to move away from protecting themselves to partnering with others. They start being proactive and participating with trust based ‘above the line’ actions.
- As everyone shifts into higher levels of generating, scepticism starts to fall away, ego positions are let go of, and those who were sitting on the fence waiting to see, open up to experimenting.
- The highest level of generating is co-creating with all others for mutual success to build a sustainable culture.
- As people start to build trust, things begin to move forward. While engagement is increasing, it may be sporadic, occurring at irregular intervals, or only in a few places.
- The point is, it has created a lift into positive territory. The level of connection has become shift-able which means some people are choosing to look at positive options through partnering.
- A few shades of optimism start to emerge in different pockets within the culture.
- This level is the tipping point as a critical mass of people within the culture are consciously choosing to proactively build trust and strengthen connection with each other.
- Task and relationship are brought together with an intent to convince and persuade others towards win-win solutions.
- People set out to engage and influence others which is useful at the level of decision making.
- Optimal engagement occurs when a culture on mass lets go of paradigms of communication from the past, and people shift from being I-centric to Creating WE in any conversation.
- When high intention, high impact and high influence are brought together, self-directed teams expand any conversational space through a stronger ability to bond with others for optimal engagement and high performance.
- They release high levels of oxytocin (a bonding hormone) which promotes healthy exchanges.
- When creating deeper connection and transforming fear into trust, people begin to explore uncharted territory and co-create for mutual success with each other. This is where they have the tools to move the ball forward. This is where the heart of innovation happens.
A 10x TRUST Sustainable Culture
A foundation of trust is essential to navigate challenges and reach for aspirations. A culture will flourish and be sustained through transformational exchanges.
This is what’s necessary today to build a healthier, more resilient organisation in the face of unprecedented change. The cost of inaction is a gradually depleting environment.
Ref: Conversational Intelligence – Judith E. Glaser Bibliomotion 2013.