October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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16 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 your values, beliefs, and convictions in the face of opposition. If you don't trust yourself, how can you conceivably trust others or have others see you as trust- worthy? Here are several suggestions Dudley and Cooper offer to develop self-trust: • Set aside quiet time to listen to your inner thoughts. That voice will be calm and genuine. Record those thoughts in a journal. • Ask yourself often: "What outcome do I want?" "Am I looking at the big picture?" "Are my actions consistent with my set of values?" • Become more aware of the link be- tween your intentions and your feel- ings and actions. Voice your inten- tions out loud, but in private. Hear your voice as you try to convince yourself of your thoughts. BEING TRUSTWORTHY, AND TRUSTING OTHERS In Situation 2, many business owners would wrestle with the issue of discussing a business decision with their employees while maintain- ing a degree of trustworthiness. The inner struggle might include the following questions: When is the right time to announce an op- erational change in a way the staff will accept? How can I clearly explain what I hope to achieve and still respect the needs of others? I will need my employees' insight and perspective to make the right decision, but will I stir up a hornet's nest? Situation 3 presents an equally sensitive issue—trusting others. How much of the lifeblood of your company are you putting in jeopardy if you disclose sensitive information to the very people who could have the greatest impact on your success? Do you give access to some and withhold the information from others? What are the best and worst things that could happen? Does the potential gain outweigh the potential risk? When faced with such gut-wrenching challenges, we occasionally commit the mortal sin of not taking the time to ask the tough ques- tions or seeking the wisdom of mentors or advisors. When we fail in this way, we're demonstrating not only a weak ability to trust others but a lack of trustworthiness. Dudley and Cooper call this issue putting the "us" back in trust, and offer a variety of ways we can come to trust others and to be- come trustworthy ourselves: • Get to know people as people—their hopes, dreams, fears, and expectations. Listen carefully to the tone of their voices and ob- serve body language; place less importance on the actual words they speak. • Show leadership by being present and visible. Yogi Berra—the late New York Yankee catcher, Baseball Hall of Famer, and no- torious coiner of apropos, yet distorted, phrases—once noted wisely that, "Much can be observed by just watching." • Seek to understand. Spend more time asking questions than talking. • Deliver on your promises, becoming predictable and dependable across situations and over time, and demonstrate sincere concern by expressing empathy; not just in words, but in actions. • Audit your company's "trust account," wherein "deposits" are the things others do that inspire you to trust them, and "with- drawals" are those things they do that lead to mistrust and doubt in your eyes. • Consider what your "trust account" statement would look like based on your actions in the eyes of others. AN ADAGE, REVISITED In my writing, I've often cited the belief that, "People buy from peo- ple who they like, trust, and with whom it is convenient to do busi- ness." Try treating your employees as if they were your customers, by seeking, each day, to understand their needs and motivations, so they can better buy into your company's vision. Take the time now to become a student of trust before scenarios like the ones described above present themselves and you're forced to take a crash course in its wisdom and power. Good luck! YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS TRAINER

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