Small Acts of Selflessness

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Trust is the foundation of collaboration. Trust is also what allows teams to be honest about breakdowns or dysfunction. It allows us to express concern about looming problems, give feedback to higher-ups, and to share personal stakes.

Trust is a feeling that leads us to willingly put ourselves at risk. Without trust, teammates can become suspicious, cynical, uninspired, and disengaged—all of which act as toxins to the team, slowly corroding the prospect of effective collaboration. In the absence of trust, people withhold their experience, their judgment, and their ideas. During that process, it decreases a team’s chance of break-through thinking and effective co-creation that changes the status quo.

But of course, trust must run both ways. Just as trust requires you to take a chance—sometimes even risking a loss—it also requires others to take a chance on you. For that to happen, you must first cultivate self-awareness and self-regulation. It means knowing your potential blind spots that might be the most highly visible portion of you to others. This goes back to knowing and managing yourself wisely, through emotional intelligence. In doing so, it can help you to take calculated chances, for the benefit of the team and your collective trust.

So what do these types of chances look like? Look to Prism for examples:

For someone with a strong “I’m the only one that can get this done” Power personality, taking a chance could mean inviting others to share in the workload or opportunity. For an Internal processor, taking a chance could mean speaking up at a meeting full of opinionated Externals. For someone that has an Inward—Careful decision-making approach, it could mean sharing thoughts a lot sooner than what feels comfortable.

The question is, are there aspects of who you are, how you process information, how you make decisions, or your approach to conflict that you need to rethink in the service of trusting others and helping others trust you?

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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