trust and collaboration

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TRUST AND COLLABORATION

Trust and collaboration are essential business leadership skills. You crave the brain storming energy and productivity it creates; but, at the same time trying to wrap your arms around it feels like catching a wave – the tighter you try to hold on, the more you find yourself holding gritty sand and sticky seaweed. Today’s guest, Jill Ratliff, is an executive coach who will share how we can reliably improve workplace trust and collaboration.

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What You’ll Discover About Trust and Collaboration (highlights & transcript):

leadership through trust and collaboration* What good leaders do in stressful moments to promote trust and collaboration [1:31]

* How trust and collaboration starts with positive energy [3:40]

* Why problems aren’t the problem when it comes to trust and collaboration [5:21]

* The leadership story of NFL running back Dorsey Levens

* The importance of “know where you hold and where you fold” [11:16]

* The leadership traits that foster trust and collaboration [16:06]

* What the best bosses do to build trust and collaboration [18:53]

* And much MORE.

INTRODUCTION

 

Hanna Hasl-Kelchner: [00:00:00] Trust and collaboration are essential business skills, you crave the brainstorming energy and productivity it creates, but at the same time trying to wrap your arms around it feels like catching a wave. The tighter you try to hold on, the more you find yourself holding gritty grains of sand and sticky seaweed. Now wouldn’t it be nice to improve workplace trust and collaboration? Of course it would. And today’s guest is an executive coach who will tell us how.

 

Announcer: [00:00:31] This is Business Confidential Now with Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, helping you see business issues hiding in plain view that matters to your bottom line.

 

Hanna: [00:00:42] Welcome to Business Confidential Now, I’m your host, Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, and today’s guest is Jill Ratliff, an executive coach and leadership speaker with more than 20 years of Fortune 100 human resources management experience. Jill is also a longtime mentor with Path Builders, an organization that helps high performing women accelerate their careers. More recently, she’s written the book Leadership Through Trust and Collaboration, which is perfect for today’s topic. So welcome to Business Confidential Now, Jill.

 

Jill Ratliff: [00:01:16] Thank you, Hanna. Thanks for having me.

 

Hanna: [00:01:19] It’s wonderful to have you now. One of the things that you write about is that the most important skills in leadership are gaining trust and knowing how to collaborate under stress.

 

Jill: [00:01:30] Absolutely.

 

WHAT GOOD LEADERS DO IN STRESSFUL MOMENTS TO PROMOTE TRUST AND COLLABORATION

 

Hanna: [00:01:31] What is it that good leaders do in stressful moments that promote trust and collaboration?

 

Jill: [00:01:37] Well, you know, I think that the place where trust is broken and the place where we fail to lead effectively is when the situation or the circumstance that we find ourselves in is greater than our capacity to maintain equanimity, calm, clarity, focus and kindness. Right.

 

Jill: [00:02:01] So the root of trust and collaboration is relationships. Right. And then the ability to build them, have them, maintain them and to be able to lead in adversity. Because honestly, you know, when things are going well, we don’t need help. When things are going well, our personalities aren’t a problem. When things are going well, performance coaching is easy. So for me, adversity is the jewel of leadership. It’s the mettle that tests your own leadership development and your ability to lead in those kinds of environments. I love that lane and it’s where a lot of my work sits.

 

Hanna: [00:02:42] Ok, so you’re working with a leader. The sauce has hit the fan. There’s a mess. How do you coach them to stay calm and everything’s going to be all right? I mean, those are highly stressful times and sometimes people could react a little better than they do. But most people aren’t ready to sing Kumbaya and toast marshmallows.

 

Hanna: [00:03:12] Yeah, there’s stuff that needs to be done. There’s cleanup that needs to be done. It’s not about pointing fingers of blame, but it’s like, “hey, chop chop, we got to get going here.” Yeah. How do you counsel them when everything inside them is screaming white hot, “Hey, let’s get on it”? And yet that emotional outburst may or may not be the best way to express themselves at that point in time.

 

HOW TRUST AND COLLABORATION STARTS WITH POSITIVE ENERGY

 

Jill: [00:03:40] Yeah, well, the truth of it is it never is the best way. How I counsel, I start with helping people understand it’s all about energy. Right. Meaning that it’s quantum physics. Right. If you have a negative situation, negative energy is very strong. Right. When you walk in a room and someone’s upset or something’s wrong or there is a challenge, what does it feel like when you walk in that room? You know it immediately, right.

 

Jill: [00:04:05] And even if you’re in a group of people where five people are doing fine and one is really upset, or concerned, or off, it tends to cause the other people in the room to follow that negative energy. And then when we get that way, literally inside our brains, we lose the capacity to think clearly and to problem solve.

 

Jill: [00:04:26] So what you have to understand as a leader, and this is one of the key foundational principle of my work, is that as a leader you came to solve problems. That’s what you get paid to do. And when you run an organization, when you are promoted into management, you basically you just got the job title: problem solver. Because that’s what the company is paying you to do.

 

Jill: [00:04:49] So, one, you have to think differently about adversity at work and problems because how could it be any other way? I work mostly with organizations and leaders that are leading business transformation and change. And I think we all know that leadership and the role of leadership in today’s world is to navigate transformation and change. We used to have the transformation once every couple of years, we’d have to take our organization through. Now they roll one on top of another. It’s sort of constant pace of change.

 

PROBLEMS AREN’T THE PROBLEM

 

Jill: [00:05:21] So it’s just a foundational skill as a leader to understand (1) problems aren’t the problem. They come every day, all day. It’s your job to help solve them. (2) The energy you bring into a room when there’s a problem is everything about creating the ability to problem solve effectively with others. So if you’re not able to do that and you’re the leader, then clearly you’re going to waste a lot of time and set back the process of problem solving.

 

Hanna: [00:05:50] All of that is perfectly logical.

 

Jill: [00:05:51] Yeah

 

Hanna: [00:05:52] Makes a lot of sense.

 

Jill: [00:05:53] Yeah. So you ask, how do you do that?

 

Hanna: [00:05:56] Yeah. Well, why don’t they do that? I mean why isn’t that the accepted norm instead of somebody exploding . . .

 

Jill: [00:06:04] Because when . . .

 

Hanna: [00:06:05] . . . everybody, you know, diving under the table.

 

Jill: [00:06:08] Yeah, because we weren’t taught. Think about it. How did you learn how to solve problems? What to do when things, when your situation or circumstance you’re in, are greater than your capability? You learn from your parents. We’ve learned by watching how the people, the adults in our lives when we were young solve problems. Unfortunately, they weren’t taught either. It’s not a curriculum that we teach people.

 

Jill: [00:06:32] So part of my work, I start with three fundamental ways to think about work and the very first one is self-mastery. You have to understand that before you can lead anyone else. You have to be able to lead by example in the first place. You have to be able to lead by example in adversity. So you help people start looking at, and understanding challenging moments, in situations like “this is game on.” This is where you build your leadership muscle.

 

THE LEADERSHIP STORY OF NFL RUNNING BACK DORSEY LEVENS

 

Jill: [00:07:01] I can make the point by sharing a story about a guy named Dorsey Levens, who’s a running back with the Green Bay Packers. He played in two Super Bowls and he is in the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame. Forty-five years old, and he has a mental toughness and sports agility training company.

 

Jill: [00:07:20] My son, who’s a professional athlete, his organization hired Dorsey to train my son Scott. And after a couple of weeks of training, he said to Dorsey, “You know, you should meet my mom. You two think so much alike.” And Dorsey tells the story now, “Yeah, sure. I’d love to meet your mom. You know, I’ll work on that.” And he put it off and put it off and put off. And then finally, Sasha said, “Dorsey, I don’t think you understand. I think you really need to meet my mom.” And so Dorsey says later, just to be nice to Scotty, agreed to meet me for a cup of coffee one morning and we were going to meet from nine to nine thirty. This was his idea.

 

Jill: [00:07:54] At noon, we were still sitting there and then Dorsey came to work with me. And what he said is, “you know, as an NFL running back, I thought I was tough. I thought I understood adversity and I thought that I wouldn’t have survived in the NFL. He goes, but what you’ve taught me that I didn’t understand that why I was successful as a running back is because I could take a hit and keep on going. It was yards after contact that they measured my success by. And the truth of it is if the defense parted company and I ran straight into the end zone every time and scored, nobody would cheer for me.”

 

BUILDING TRUST AND COLLABORATION THROUGH ADVERSITY

 

Jill: [00:08:29] And it’s that way in life. As leaders and as teams that get in the foxhole together, when we solve problems for our organization or for our team, and we overcome, that’s where we cheer ourselves. That’s where we grow. That’s where we build confidence. So when we look at adversity or challenge as a problem, that shouldn’t be happening. It’s hilarious. Right.

 

Jill: [00:08:54] In business today, how could we go through a transformation, throw everything into the air, have competition like we’ve never had before, have challenges in the world like we’ve never had before, and somehow think that we’re all going to get together, under that kind of pressure and not have challenges. So we have to change the whole way we think about adversity at work and managing other people’s stress when you’re a leader.

 

Jill: [00:09:19] So step one is you can’t begin to help people under stress if you do not understand where you hold and where you fold. And what I would say is, it’s a skill. It is not a personality trait. You learn how to do it with a few simple tools and then practice. And the more you practice, the better you get at it. And I’m telling you, it is a superpower. If every leader knew how to do it, we would change our cultures overnight in our companies.

 

Hanna: [00:09:47] Well, I’m sure there are a lot of employees and, you know, the entrepreneurs that are listening who are like, yeah, that’s why I started my business, because I was working for somebody like that that just didn’t get it right. But then they don’t want to fall into the same trap.

 

Jill: [00:10:04] Exactly . . .

 

Hanna: [00:10:05] Right.

 

Jill: [00:10:05] Exactly.

 

Hanna: [00:10:05] So when you talk about knowing where you hold and where you fold, I love that phrase.

 

Jill: [00:10:14] Yeah.

 

Hanna: [00:10:14] Let me ask you this, though. How do you figure that out? Because it’s really hard to admit.

 

Jill: [00:10:21] Yeah.

 

Hanna: [00:10:22] Our weaknesses, right? I mean, nobody wants to admit, like, yeah, I really suck at that.

 

Jill: [00:10:27] Yeah. Yeah.

 

Hanna: [00:10:29] Especially when you’re a leader because you’re supposed to know it all. You’re supposed to have the answers, right.

 

Jill: [00:10:34] Yeah, well, that’s the first fallacy.

 

Hanna: [00:10:36] Right.

 

Jill: [00:10:36] Right. You know, I remember when I felt that at some point, I thought by age 60 for sure, I would have figured it out. Right. I just thought by then I’m going to be on the [inaudible], I’m going to know it all. And then you realize, like the older I get, the more I know how much I don’t know.

 

Jill: [00:10:53] There’s a humility and there’s a comfortableness in your skin and there’s an absolute innate competence that comes when you can look in the mirror and go, “thank God, I don’t have to know at all.” There are so many smart people right below me, beside me, all around me, on a podcast. There’s a billion ways to get answers to questions you don’t know.

 

WHERE DO YOU HOLD AND WHERE DO YOU FOLD?

 

Jill: [00:11:16] But if you do not have the courage to ask or to humble yourself or to give up the idea that anyone knows it all, then obviously you’re behind the eight ball. Right? So I think that it’s very funny, I work mostly with CEOs and C-Suite, so pretty senior leaders. It’s so funny, when I start working with them, they ask the same question. “How do I know when I hold and when I fold. Where do I even start?”

 

Jill: [00:11:40] So the first week, all I ask them to do throughout the day is notice any time of the day when something does not feel good, period, like a papercut. Just how do you know it doesn’t feel good? Well, calm or confident or stability or contentedness is neutral. I feel fine is the answer. And then above fine. Yes, I feel great. I feel hopeful and optimistic. God, I’m so excited. So all the emotions that go all the way up to bliss and happiness on that scale.

 

Jill: [00:12:10] Then below “I feel calm or stable or confident” is I feel frustrated. I feel annoyed. I feel angry. I feel overwhelmed. I feel whatever. And then it goes all the way down to depression, grief and all sorts of other really negative things. Right. So like just notice when you’re above the line or below the line, that’s all. And when you’re below the line, just notice what it is that put you there. Did somebody say something? Were you thinking something that made you crazy? Did something happen? Did somebody do something at work or circumstance come up that you felt shouldn’t have happened. Just noticed what it is. That’s all just notice.

 

Jill: [00:12:44] Then next week when we talk, I want to see what you saw. What felt good? What didn’t feel good? And we’re just going to talk about that. And where it doesn’t feel good is where you’re folding. It’s where you have an opportunity to look at that situation differently. And I’ve had so many CEOs and senior people say, gosh, I had no idea how many times in a day that happens like a lot. So that’s how you know, where you hold and where you fold. It’s where the circumstance or situation throws you off your game, meaning you’re less than as capable as you could be to lead in that moment because your emotions and your energy is negative. Honestly it’s simple quantum physics.

 

Jill: [00:13:26] Any negative energy is going to precipitate or create more negative energy. So if your situation is negative or you’re the one that’s negative, you’re not going to get a positive outcome from whoever you’re with or whatever problem you’re trying to solve. So you have to know how to, (1) recognize that situation just got negative, (2) how to pause, hold, stand still for a minute, rethink and regroup, and then (3) act in a positive manner or at least take a step in a positive direction to not make that situation or circumstance worse than it already is, and then bring people along that way.

 

Jill: [00:13:58] But it’s just practice. It’s a practice of what I call notice that you’re in it, choose a different way of responding than reacting and three, practice. And what you’re going to notice is we all have common themes. My themes are different than yours. But you will notice in your life that, wow, when I looked at it over a couple of weeks it’s a pattern It’s this kind of person that just triggers me every time. Or it’s these kinds of situations just trigger me every time. Once you see your pattern, it’s not that hard to change them.

 

HOW TRUST AND COLLABORATION RELIES ON RELATIONSHIPS

 

Jill: [00:14:34] To me, a lot of this work about leading, about and trust and collaboration and interacting with people at work, is about relationships. Right. And how to build effective ones. But we don’t even know how to build a great relationship with ourselves when we’re stressed, much less anyone else. So that’s kind of how I approach the work, to look at the work, as around what I call the human operating system, which is self-management. Know how to master your own emotions and thoughts first in adversity. Two, relationship mastery: how do you help other people, no matter what state and condition they are in, from a position of strength? And then three, how do you master change and transformation when things have gone the way you didn’t think they should go? Right.

 

Jill: [00:15:22] Because guess what? You don’t get to decide how things go at work. There’s a lot of other people playing that game so you don’t get to choose.

 

Hanna: [00:15:30] Yeah, absolutely.

 

Jill: [00:15:31] So you have to be able to meet the changes and the setbacks and the disappointments and the decisions other people make that no one asked your opinion. You have to be able to meet those uncertainties and those decisions of other people and know how to navigate those to always keep going forward as a leader. That’s your responsibility.

 

Jill: [00:15:54] I have simple tools in each of these areas. I just teach people the skill of doing that. And then it’s just a question of practicing and what’s super fun about it is, when you do, you start realizing, “oh my God, we’ve made this so much harder than it is.”

 

LEADERSHIP TRAITS THAT FOSTER TRUST AND COLLABORATION

 

Hanna: [00:16:06] Understood. Understood. So in your experience, what traits do people gravitate to in leaders that makes them want to follow someone? Because we’re talking about trust and collaboration. And I appreciate what you’re saying about, “hey, get a grip on it for yourself first. The self-mastery. Right? OK, but where does the attraction come in? And I don’t mean in a sexual way, but I mean in terms of. . .

 

Jill: [00:16:37] No, no, no, no. I get what you’re saying . . .

 

Hanna: [00:16:39] . . . people saying “Hey, I’m going to quit my job. If you’re leaving, I’m going with you.” That kind of thing. That that level of commitment or loyalty, if you will, where people say, “yeah, I want to continue working with you.” I will move if I have to do so. What is it?

 

Jill: [00:16:55] And it happens. Right? And it absolutely happens. There’s a section in my book called Best Boss Ever. And I started thinking over my 30-odd year career, I’ve had a lot of bosses and I thought, who are my best bosses ever? And then I thought, oh, this is going to be an impossible task. And then I sat down and I realized it wasn’t that hard. I could pick five that stood out over probably 50 bosses I’ve had over my lifetime.

 

Jill: [00:17:19] Then I took each one of their names and I wrote in on a piece of paper and I said, “why did I pick that person?” And then I looked at all five and there were different reasons. But then I looked at what was the theme of all of it. And you know, what it comes down to in the end, these are people who made you feel a certain way better about yourself. Right?

 

Hanna: [00:17:39] Right.

 

Jill: [00:17:42] The best bosses have an ability to be able to make you feel as though they see you, hear you, appreciate you, and hold a vision of you and your performance greater than you can hold of yourself at that time. Right. And so some of the simple things, right they’re simple things, their character traits are sort of where you are going, right? They are an ability to deliver a kind message to you.

 

Jill: [00:18:19] I’ve had to fire thousands of people in my role as a CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer). Right. And I’ve had so many people say if I had to get fired, I want to get fired by you, because no matter how hard the feedback is you have to give somebody, there’s a kind way to do it. Too, you have to not cross the fence and try to solve other people’s problems for them. You have to understand when somebody has a problem, sometimes you just tell them, “hey, I think you’ve got this, go think about it, work on it, look in this area. Guide them rather than become the person who tells them what to do. 

 

WHAT THE BEST BOSSES DO TO BUILD TRUST AND COLLABORATION

 

Jill: [00:18:53] Best bosses give you time. What’s the most valuable resource any one of us have in today’s world? Period. It’s time, right? When an employee needs your ear or needs something or needs your attention and you pick up the phone and call them; look in our Covid world today, right, and you take the time as a leader to pick up the call, even if it’s a 10-minute call and you’re not calling for any reason other than to check in and see how that person is doing, you’re giving them your time and that creates great loyalty.

 

Jill: [00:19:22] So bottom line is, there’s just some simple things. They are not hard things to do, but you have to decide. And here’s the tool I would have people take before you decide what you need to do as a leader. You got to sit down and decide who do you want to be as a leader. And then you’ve got to decide you’re going to be that regardless of the circumstance, whether it’s good or bad, neutral, you’re going to be that leader and you’re going to do what a person who is that kind of leader does in any circumstance. And then obviously you’re going to have the loyalty and commitment of your people.

 

Jill: [00:20:06] The model Be/Do/Have, Zig Ziglar brought it in, Tony Robbins picked it up. I mean, I don’t know how many other leadership people have picked it up, but it’s so profoundly simple. Be/Do/Have is the only way that works. But what most people do is think I want to have responsibility at the high level, what do I have to do to get that? And then when that happens, I’ll be happy or I’ll be successful. But that model actually doesn’t work as a leadership model. You have to flip it around the other way.

 

THE KEY TO BUILDING TRUST AND COLLABORATION

 

Hanna: [00:20:36] Very good. Now, if you had to boil down the key elements necessary to build trust, would they be the same?

 

Jill: [00:20:43] Yeah, they would be the same. So what’s the definition of trust? If you ask people that most people don’t know? The definition of trust is a belief in the strength or capability of a thing or a person. And the operative word there is the belief in the strength or capability of a thing or a person. So if somebody trusts you, it’s that they believe in you. And if they believe in (1) you have to be competent at your job. And so, again, if you can’t handle stress or circumstances or situations and you can’t think clearly in a crisis and your credibility is damaged, your trust is damaged. 

 

Jill: [00:21:23] And then (2) belief is this odd word. Right? That is an emotion. It’s a feeling, not a thinking thing. So how many times have you heard as a leader, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” When I say that to a leader, everybody nods their head yes because that’s pure wisdom. Right? Like everybody nods their head. Yes. Oh, that makes so much sense. But then watch whether leaders actually exercise that very foundational piece of wisdom when there’s a problem.

 

Jill: [00:21:55] They got the answer and they think they’re right. They just charge in and they start telling everybody what they know when people are upset, or confused, or off, or the performance is off. You’ve got to start with these people. They have to know that you have their back, that you actually care about the fact they’re struggling, that you care, that this is a difficult situation.

 

Jill: [00:22:14] You got to start with care first before you start telling people what you know or what you think they should do. It’s just not that hard. But when, and we all do it, when everything’s going great. But where we lose it is when something’s off. And then we forget that we’re supposed to do that. We charge right in on our white horse like we’re the be all end all answer person for everything. We disabled people in the process. We don’t even give them the chance to rise up.

 

Hanna: [00:22:40] Well, there’s probably an assumption like “well they know I care” and

 

Jill: [00:22:44] Right.

 

Hanna: [00:22:45] . . . time is of the essence. So they know, I’m assuming, and we just have to solve this –  BOOM. So but.

 

Jill: [00:22:52] Yeah, but think about it. Yeah. It doesn’t work. They’ll even think about it in your family.

 

Hanna: [00:22:56] Right.

 

Jill: [00:22:56] You know, your parents love you. But does it hurt when they yell at you and they lose their crap and they start screaming at you? Yeah. Still, you might know your parents love you, but it’s still not helpful when they can’t act reasonably, responsibly, and calmly, regardless of the challenge.

 

Hanna: [00:23:14] Absolutely.

 

Jill: [00:23:15] And the problem is, see, I hear what you’re saying. There’s a sense of urgency in business when suddenly a million-dollar client just cancel our contract and whatever. There’s clearly a sense of urgency. Well, what people don’t understand is negative or frenetic or scattered thinking or behavior does not solve that problem faster. It just doesn’t. It slows it down. Right.

 

THE POWER OF EQUANIMITY

 

Jill: [00:23:37] There’s a power in equanimity. There’s a power in the ability to not get triggered. Things don’t get done better or faster because you’re yelling. People become shut down. They become disengaged, they become fearful. They’re problem-solving abilities do not improve when you escalate the intensity in the room.

 

Hanna: [00:23:58] Understood. But the person who’s escalating the intensity wants to get it done their way and say they don’t care about whether they shut somebody down. It’s like, here’s the answer, boom. Go do it.

 

Jill: [00:24:09] Right. Right. But now we’re back to that’s just not a good leader. So we’re talking about leadership, that’s why I’m saying. Leadership, I cannot tell you the millions and millions and millions of dollars I spent on leadership programs for my organizations over time. You pick them send everybody you name, trust me – Colorado, climb mountains, go to Harvard. So many leadership programs. But if I had to do it all again, I would throw all of them out and I would spend all my money on a course called Lead by Example. And I would teach people how to do that.

 

HOW TO BREAK DOWN SILOS FOR MORE TRUST AND COLLABORATION

 

Hanna: [00:24:41] Understood. And I can appreciate why. Our time is running short, but there are two other things that I wanted to discuss with you. And OK, fine, we’re focusing on the individual. They need to build themselves, understand themselves, control the emotional aspect because it can trigger other people. It is counterproductive. All that’s good. How do they break down silos?

 

Jill: [00:25:09] Yeah, well, I think it’s the same question, right? It’s the problem we have in our world today. Right. And the challenge with silos is right and wrong and perspective. If you’re looking at it through only one perspective and you’re saying I’m right, you’re wrong, you’re not ever going to break down silos. So the answer to breaking down silos and as a leader is finding the common ground. There’s always a third option. I’m quoting Arianna Huffington. Right.

 

Jill: [00:25:33] Where we’re stuck in this duality, this binary way of thinking. Right, wrong. Go left. Go right. It’s good. It’s bad. I’m right. You’re wrong. But there’s always a third option. There’s always a third option. You bring people together. You as a leader, keep people focused on what do we have in common. And by the way, if you work for the same company, it can’t be that hard to find what you have in common. And then you step back from what you have in common to the problem that you have at hand, and then you brainstorm how you get needs met. Right. And how you come up with the best solution that includes.

 

Jill: [00:26:06] As a leader, you have to let people know that, “hey, I want all the best ideas on the table.” I’m going to hear everybody. We’re going to take into account what people say. But at the end of the day, you know, it’s your job as a leader to make that decision. And you have to let people know that that’s going to happen.

 

THE ROLE OF KINDNESS IN BUILDING TRUST AND COLLABORTION

 

Jill: [00:26:22] There’s a simple model I can tell you about if we have time. It’s denial, rejection, acceptance, and alignment. When decisions made by the person who gets to make that decision because they’re accountable to make that decision, you can respond with denial: I can’t believe they did that or they didn’t do.

 

Jill: [00:26:39] You can respond in rejection where you just overtly or covertly reject the right to make that decision or to go along. You can be in acceptance, meaning you comply with the decision. Or you can get aligned with the fact that you gave it your best shot. You gave them your best feedback. You gave input. Now at the end of the day the decision has been made and you’ve got to get behind it and you’ve got to help it be successful.

 

Jill: [00:27:05] And those kinds of people get advanced at work, that get promoted at work, that ultimately become the best leaders that we have in our organizations, because they’re always looking for the possibility. They’re always looking for the win. They’re always looking for how do we get better. Any anything else is what I call an oar in the water.

 

Jill: [00:27:27] If you’re a leader in an organization and you can’t work your way to alignment in a healthy and productive way and know when it’s time to get on board, you’re just putting your oar in the water. And my team, when I had people with oars in the water, I would sit down and talk to them and say, look, “I love you as a person. You have great talent, but I can’t lead this organization with your oar in the water. I need your support. So you got to talk to me and tell me what you know, what do you need that you’re not getting? And if I can give it to you, I will. And if I can’t, I need to ask you to get on board and if you can’t that’s OK, but you can’t stay on this team.” So you just have to learn how to have kind but clear conversations with people to gain alignment.

 

Hanna: [00:28:06] And also . . .

 

Jill: [00:28:07] You got to be stable and calm come, right, and clear.

 

Hanna: [00:28:10] . . . and also focus . . .

 

Jill: [00:28:11] Focus. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah.

 

Hanna: [00:28:14] . . . focus on the greater good . . .

 

Jill: [00:28:16] Totally.

 

Hanna: [00:28:16] . . . which is terrific because that’s also a way to model collaboration, isn’t it?

 

Jill: [00:28:20] Yes. And it’s the highest form of human motivation to belong to something greater than myself. That is the highest form. That’s why sports are so popular, because people can attach to a team, they get to be a part of something greater than themselves. They get to win with their team. Right.

 

HOW A SENSE OF BELONGING IS ESSENTIAL TO TRUST AND COLLABORATION

 

Jill: [00:28:40] And there’s just that form of feeling like I belong, it’s a basic human need. Right? Maslow’s hierarchy. I belong. I’m part of something greater than myself. As a leader, boy, if you can figure out how to do that, it’s just magic. It’s just magic. But you have to be intentional. You have to know that’s what you’re trying to do and that’s your job. And then you have to be authentic about it because people can see right through a platitude, or they can see right through something that doesn’t really have meaning for you.

 

Jill: [00:29:07] That goes back to the Be/Do/Have model. Honestly, you have to decide who you want to be as a leader and what’s motivating you and what you believe in that’s greater than you. Or how do you represent your vision or the company’s vision in a way that is inclusive for people on your team, and then you got to help them see that it is, and then you can just be kind. Honestly, if we did nothing more than learned how to be kind in adversity, we’d be way ahead of where we are now.

 

Hanna: [00:29:34] Absolutely. And I think that sums it up perfectly. There you go. Thank you, Jill.

 

Hanna: [00:29:40] This really has been an interesting conversation. Jill’s book, again, is Leadership Through Trust and Collaboration. Of course, it’s available at your favorite bookseller and Amazon. So thank you for joining me today, Jill.

 

Jill: [00:29:53] Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it. Appreciate it.

 

Hanna: [00:29:56] That’s our show for today. But don’t go anywhere. I have a really easy ask for you. Would you please open your podcast app and give us a five-star review and leave a comment about what you love most about the show? I do read them all and it’ll take you less than a minute. And while you’re at it, share this episode, tell someone about it, because the best way to grow our audience is by word of mouth. And if you want the detailed show notes, links to connect with my guest or stuff that we talked about, even if you want to ask a question, have a show idea. Come on over to BusinessConfidentialRadio.com.

 

Hanna: [00:30:28] I’ll catch you on the next episode. And in the meantime, have a great day and even better tomorrow.

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Guest: Jill RatliffJill Ratliff

Jill Ratliff an Executive Coach and Leadership Speaker with more than 20 years of Fortune 100 Human Resources Management experience.

Jill also is a longtime mentor with Pathbuilders, an organization that helps high-performing women accelerate their careers, and an opinion columnist for CEOWORLD magazine.

More recently she’s written the book  Leadership through Trust and Collaboration, a practical guide to learn why current strategies to build leaders aren’t working – and what can be done to improve them. It includes profound new ways of thinking that simplify how the best leaders lead in challenging situations.

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Contact Jill and connect with her at Jill Ratliff Executive Leadership, on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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