Video of article written for izvents.com on Advancing through trust. Do you think about personal improvement and career development? Maybe these words can help you. Maybe.
Trust is currency in the business world. How them can an individual optimize trust into professional advancement? Read more (if you know how) 👉 http://www.izvents.com/words/advancing-through-trust
We need to be intentional about the messages that you share – it’s not as though everyone waits in the wings for the eloquent words to spill from your lips before they move on with their personal or professional lives, but when you speak as a person in a position of leadership people are listening (even if reluctantly). There is a difference between hearing and understanding, much like there is a distinction between people hearing the content you are delivering and comprehending fully the intent of what you are attempting to communicate (read more about this phenomenon HERE).
Content and tone are important when communicating as we always want to present a clear vision of how we can collaborate so that we can conquer. If you have to share some negative information there are means to deliver that message without being negative. For example, if sales are down, there is a difference between, “We are failing and corporate is going to fire us all if we don’t get it right in 30 days!” While this may be true, the likelihood that this inspires anyone to stay on the ship and bail water with you is low. “We have made some positive growth in areas X and Y, where we can be more effective would be to focus our efforts in area Z. I believe by doing so we can improve our numbers for the health of our office and make a positive impression on corporate.” No example is perfect but the role of a person in a position of leadership is to communicate information in a manner to helps the team to grasp the vision and see a clear path to what they can do to help the team improve. Often the tone of delivery is as important as the message.
Leaders should not shy away from tough conversations, truth is essential to building trust and accountability in the team. Leaders are looking for ways to inform and inspire their teams at the individual level as well as for the group. Understanding when to pull someone aside to speak to them as an individual and when to address the team as a whole is important, as choosing incorrectly can have consequences. As a general rule, the toughest conversations are best to have in private. Choosing our words includes checking our messages for clarity and consistency with our values. Choosing our tone requires taking a moment to ensure we are presenting pathways to success rather than just focusing on our obstacles. Being honest about where we are is important, but in leading we want to uncover the actions that will bring us to where we need to be.
Clarity requires follow up. When the content of a meeting or a message veers into potentially negative territory or the tone could be perceived by some as negative, it is important to follow up with individuals to ensure all parties understand the intent of what was being communicated. Every team member is an individual and even in good teams messages can get mixed or confused. A good leader will both make a habit of following up with individuals as well as have a sense for which messages may be taken differently than intended by others. A great follow up question is to ask, “What are you hearing me say?” or, “From what we have discussed, what are you thinking we should do with that information?” Collaboration from the top down to the bottom up is a sign of health within a team and will go a long way to ensuring everyone is empowered to move the vision forward.
If you as a person in a position of leadership are not intentional about the messages you deliver, no matter how small they may seem, you are setting yourself up for trouble (read more an this HERE). Whether you believe a meeting or conversation went well or not, the habit of following up with team members on an individual level will go a long way to building clarity as well as accountability within the team. We want our messages to be clear, but the simple fact remains that not everyone hears or processes information the same way, so the next best thing is to follow up.
A few quick questions to keep our messaging on point:
Through my work over the past 15 or more years in property restoration, I have appreciated the good work that our friends at Restoration & Remediation Magazine (R&R) do. Through their monthly publication, blog posts and collaboration with industry professionals R&R and their parent company BNP Media produces resources that help bolster the efforts of the restoration community. We recently saw a post from Restoration & Remediation Editor in Chief Michelle Blevins regarding a conference that the BNP Media group will be producing in October of 2018, Preparing to Respond, so we wanted to follow up to learn more about this endeavor. Our thanks to Michelle for taking the time to share with us.
Jon Isaacson (IZ Vents): How long has the R&R team been discussing the concept of an annual conference and what was the catalyst for deciding to take this adventure on?
Michelle Blevins (BNP Media): We have actually be talking about this for a couple years now! However, with so many other conferences and events in the restoration industry, we wanted to be sure we were doing something different and something needed, not just trying to add another event to everyone’s already very busy schedules. Everyone’s time is so valuable! R&R is part of BNP Media, a publishing company based in Troy, Michigan; we have an incredible events staff here that has been putting together top-notch, high quality events for decades. Once we honed in on the focus of the conference, we knew the event planning and marketing team would have our back, and they sure have! We are still a full year out from the event, and are confident it will be a success – and valuable to everyone involved.
What is the target audience for the Preparing to Respond conference?
This is a great question! I want to be sure people understand this is NOT about storm chasing, at all. Disasters, big and small, hit close to home more often than they hit far away. I could tell countless stories of restoration companies caught up in disasters at home - like a restoration company in the Carolinas that ended up being at the center of Hurricane Matthew’s devastation, or hit by a tornado outbreak – like Hattiesburg, Mississippi, or the wildfires happening right now in California. The list goes on and on. Some communities are hit with major spring flooding almost every year! At some point, nearly every restoration company will need to know how to “scale up” to respond to a disaster of some magnitude. This conference will teach them how.
Who are the initial collaborators that are assisting you with putting this together?
As I said in the first answer, BNP Media has a fabulous events department. So on top of myself, our National Sales Manager Darlene Balzano, and Publisher Randy Green, we have a whole events staff working on the day-to-day details of this event to make sure it goes off without a hitch!
For those interested in coming what are a few key things you believe they will come away with that will make the trip a worthwhile investment?
I believe they will come away with three key things:
Obviously our nation and our industry has been hit with a heavy storm season this year and you all have been doing a great job of trying to capture the stories and efforts from our property restoration community. Are there a few positive stories that stick out to you from the most recent hurricane response?
Oh my gosh, when I saw the photos of water rescues from Blake Moak at ServiceMaster by Century in Houston, Texas, all I could think is: that is why this industry ROCKS. Isn’t this an industry full of people with servants hearts? When the water was too high after Hurricane Harvey hit to start the drying out process, Blake and his team used trucks and boats to rescue people stranded in their homes. I know other companies did the same. I’m really looking forward to hearing more success stories from Irma and Harvey once things settle down a bit more. In fact, I hope to have a panel of contractors at Preparing to Respond who are willing to share their successes – and failures – doing CAT work.
Read more from R&R regarding positive stories from catastrophe response - Lessons From Hurricane Matthew
Are there a few cautionary tales that stick out to you as well?
From these recent storms, no. But in just the 2.5 years I’ve been in the industry, I’ve heard several stories from people who have lost everything doing CAT work, or who have thought they were going to lose it all. These are also stories we hope to share at Preparing to Respond to help prepare other contractors for the realities of catastrophe work – like just how long it can take to get paid. There are ways to safeguard yourself and your company, and still do catastrophe work!
Read more from BNP Media regarding Cautionary Tales from catastrophe response - The Big Gamble
What are some of the newer resources from R&R that people may not be aware of.
Jon – you ask the BEST questions! First, we currently have a landing page dedicated to information related to responding to Harvey, Irma, and Maria (HERE). Secondly, we have a super awesome new microsite, if you will, dedicated to odor removal HERE. Seriously, that page has anything and everything you could ever need to know about removing odors of any kind!
Read more from Michelle and the team at Restoration & Remediation magazine through the website links in the interview above, follow them on Twitter @RnRMag or LinkedIn. You can also read our prior interview with Michelle for the LFMC facilities management networking group HERE.
Trust is currency in the business world. How them can an individual optimize trust into professional advancement?
Whether you are in the hunt for a career or looking to advance in your profession, the currency with the highest rate of exchange for both employment and advancement is the same – trust. Trust requires hard work and consistency to establish but is even harder to regain if you have devalued your trust ratio with poor or inconsistent performance.
At the core of proving your trustworthiness are three simple concepts (many parents will resonate with these values):
1) Do what you’re told
2) Do it when you are told
3) Do it with the right attitude
Regardless of where you are at on the ladder, there is usually someone on the rung(s) above you. Trust in its most basic form is the transaction of turning a request/order into an action. For example, your boss instructs you to do something and you do it. There was trust that you could understand the instruction, trust that you were a person that may be capable of accomplishing the task and trust that you would be a person that would follow through to completion.
When you are hired by an organization, they trust that you can fulfill certain functions. If you have the desire to move upward within the organization, you need to communicate that you are capable of additional responsibilities. Your ability to move forward is proportionate to your ability to master your current tasks. As you desire to communicate your advancement potential, take an inventory on how well you have completed your current functions – doing what your are told, when you are told and doing so with a good attitude.
If you have never been asked to do something outside of your everyday functions, this should be a red flag for you. What are the options? Is there really nothing outside of what you’re already doing that the organization needs help with? Not likely. Are you so important in your current functions that they cannot spare you for any other task? You are important, probably not that important. The lack of interest in you likely means you haven’t communicated that you are capable or trustworthy in some fashion.
If you haven’t been asked in a while, you may want to rewind the tape and see how you performed the last time your were approached with an opportunity. So often when our vision is on the big assignments, we miss the small steps that get us there. A good organization will give you chances to grow through a process. This process of maturation in an organization better prepares you to grow at a pace you can maintain.
Regardless of what you are being asked to do, as long as it’s not illegal, recognize this as your moment to do what you are told, when you are told and to perform with a good attitude. Every opportunity to perform a task outside of your regular duties is an opportunity show the leaders in your organization what you’re capable of (often times a few small steps/tests at a time).
What if you have been doing all this and you are still getting all the crap assignments? Either the organization is telling you what your communicated value is – you will have to judge whether this perception of you is accurate or not. If you believe you deserve more then you may want to request a review and ask some questions about your performance as well as what your opportunities are within the organization. The other option would be to walk yourself through an honest self evaluation and enlist the feedback from people you trust to give you sincere constructive criticism. If your self evaluation and the input from those you trust have led you to a place where you are confident that you have done all in your power, it may be time to find another team to work with.
Professional advancement is built one step at a time, establishing trust by mastering the tasks you have been assigned as well as taking advantage of the opportunities for additional responsibility that come your way. We often counsel people that life is about opportunity not convenience, as often the opportunities you will get to move yourself forward will likely come at many of the most inopportune or inconvenient times. You need a big picture perspective for setting your goals, but don't have your head so far in the clouds or your heart so far down the track that you can't see or take advantage of the opportunities that are right in front of you.
Jon Isaacson. Green belt in the puzzle art of business. Helping people clarify their vision, optimize productivity & follow through w/ creative solutions #MTWSL
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