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It’s Week #29 of 2016. This latest article is part of a series drawn from our 3rd annual 2016 Trust Poster….now hanging in hundreds of offices around the world. Get yours today!

52 Ideas That You Can Implement to Build Trust

Randy Conley offers this week’s advice. Randy is both a Top Thought Leader in Trust and a member of our Trust Alliance.

Listen with the intent to be influenced.

Listening is one of the most valuable skills a leader can employ to build trust, yet it’s also one of the most under appreciated and least developed leadership competencies.

Most leaders would agree that listening is important and they even understand many of the basics, even if they don’t practice them: don’t interrupt, give the speaker your undivided attention, ask open-ended questions to draw out more information, and paraphrase occasionally to ensure understanding. These are all necessary and valuable skills.

What’s more important, however, is your mindset and attitude about listening. You should listen with the intent of being influenced. Most of us listen with an agenda. We enter a conversation with a preconceived idea of where we want the conversation to go and the desired outcome we’re trying to achieve. That signals to the other party that what they have to say really doesn’t matter much because we’ve already made up our mind about the final decision. That’s demoralizing and erodes trust with the people we lead.

Instead, listen without an agenda. Open yourself to be influenced by what the speaker has to say. Look for opportunities to incorporate their ideas and suggestions into the final outcome. Listening in this way builds trust because it communicates to the speaker that he/she is important and what they have to say is valuable and worthy of consideration. Listening with the intent to be influenced also causes us to speak less, which is the major roadblock to effective listening.

My grandpa was fond of saying that the Lord gave us one mouth and two ears and we should use them in that proportion. Listen with the intent to be influenced and watch trust blossom in your relationships.

Will you choose to implement this valuable advice in your organization this week? If not, ask yourself “why not?”

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its seventh year, the program’s proprietary FACTS® Framework ranks and measures the trustworthiness of over 2000 US public companies on five quantitative indicators of trustworthy business behavior. Barbara is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine.

Copyright 2016, Next Decade, Inc.

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One Response to “Trust Requires Listening Without an Agenda”

  1. July 18th, 2016 at 11:28 | #1

    Listening with the openness to be influenced. What a wonderful insight. Thank you.

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