“Your ability to communicate with others will account for fully 85% of your success in your business and in your life.”

Brian Tracy

Imagine being paid well to travel the world and share your message with people that want to hear you speak?

If something in that question resonates, this post might be helpful.

Today, over 50% of my income comes from delivering keynote speeches and workshops to industry conferences and corporate leadership teams. It has taken over 16 years from my earliest free speeches towards a career where I can live from speaking. I have delivered over 2,500 hours of keynotes and workshops to over 50,000 participants.

In terms of quality, my recent 100 hours of speaking are astronomically better than those first 100 hours… but everyone has to begin. How do you begin?

How to get paid to speak…

Step 1:

1. Become an Expert.

Your fees depend more on you being (and perceived) as an expert than on how well you actually speak.

Maybe you can be paid well even if you don’t master anything, but if you are not on the path to mastery… I personally would rather you stayed home. If you are planning on being paid to speak, make a deep and lasting commitment towards true mastery.

There are 3 types of Expert speaker.

The 3 Paths of Expert Mastery:

  1. The Result Expert – Proven ability to get specific results for others eg Toni Nadal, Marshall Goldsmith, Tony Robbins
  2. The Research Expert – Has interviewed performers and has a deep knowledge of tools, strategies and tactics in an area eg Michael Porter, Jim Collins
  3. The Role Model – Has been successful eg Jack Welsh, Barrack Obama, Casey Neistat

A well paid speaker needs to be seen as a thought leader. The classic path is to write and publish a book, but in today’s world there are new paths: build a large youtube, instagram, or blog following. Pick one and start producing thought. I suggest that you use your blog not for sharing expert articles, but sharing your learning journey. When you write expert articles, it is much more valuable to submit them to highly credible sites (depends on your segment, but for me this would be HBR, Forbes, Inc, FT, Big Think).

3 Actions that The Best experts regularly do

  1. Interview other experts looking for patterns and best practice; building your connections and reputation in this important community.
  2. Create arguments based on 4 parts:
    1. What we should Pay attention to
    2. What things Mean
    3. How things work
    4. What might happen
  3. Simplify complex ideas with frameworks

Are you on a path towards being a true expert? Have you chosen whether you are a results expert, a research expert or a role model? Good… now we move to step 2.

Step 2.

Speak Lots and lots…

and lots…

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Albert Einstein

This blog is full of material about speaking well so I will not repeat. Some good articles on speaking well:

  1. Blog post: 12 tips for Public Speaking,
  2. Video: Improve your Speaking,
  3. YouTube playlist Develop your Speaking Skills and
  4. Free course Speaking as a Leader.

Learn directly from expert speakers. Rather than paying for a course on public speaking, pay to go and see well paid expert speakers deliver their keynotes. I learn more watching how a great speaker plans, prepares, delivers, follows up than by reading books or courses on speaking. In february I asked Luis Soares Costa to run a retreat for Vistage. I watched how he interviewed me, how he clarified what we needed and what we could do… I travelled with him the day before and watched how he prepared the room and himself for the 2 day retreat. I learnt more watching what he did and how he did it than by asking him for tips.

Here are 5 ideas for those who wish to make speaking a profession:

5 Advanced Tips for turning Pro as a Speaker

  1. Model the Greats. Bill Clinton modeled himself as a speaker on President Kennedy, even down to the gestures and word choice. YouTube and TED have great examples. Personally, I spent years modelling my approach to speaking on the style of Jim Rohn and the delivery of Alan Watts. The idea is not to copy, but to clarify what works and how to make it work for you.
  2. Practice Every Day. Make selfie videos. Every single day. (Here’s my 10 week email course Speaking As a Leader). Join Toastmasters, give speeches to the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Lions… Teaching at a university (IESE Business School) and delivering workshops at entrepreneur accelerator programs (for free) were how I got my first 500 hours of speaking experience.
  3. Practice what is hard, not what you find easy. If you are naturally charismatic and go with the flow… practice deep structure; if you are analytical and structured, practice improv. In Aikido they believe that your early strength will become a weakness if you are not disciplined. I personally still work hard on structure and ensuring a consistent delivery of my content to all audiences.
  4. Deliver Emotion. Emotions are power. Nobody will ask you back because you were the most analytical and correct speaker, they will ask you back because you made everybody feel strong emotions (and they can see it is predictable… nobody will recommend you if they don’t know 100% that you will deliver the same emotional impact every time). If you struggle to deliver emotional content and create deep connection with an audience, start to work on yourself. If you can deeply connect to emotion and to your own inner struggle, you can then begin to connect to others. It may take psychotherapy, it make take mastermind groups with personal development angles… but you must get deeply connected with your own internal emotional life.
  5. Focus your Speaking Topics. If you speak about anything to any audience, you will destroy your value. It is hard to say no, especially when you haven’t been paid for a few months – but each time you dilute, you die a little. A powerful brand is best defined what what it will not do, than what it will. Apple will never make toothbrushes… and if they do, sell the stock immediately.

Step 3.

Build your Reputation

…with the people that matter.

Be very careful who you take feedback and praise from. Only other speakers and people who pay for speakers count. Do not rely on friends, toastmaster club mates, family. They will tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.

The best speaker referrals are other great expert speakers. When a conference has success with a speaker, they will ask that speaker to come back. They will also ask that speaker for recommendations. When another speaker gives your name as a referral, this is the most powerful marketing. I get more opportunities from other professional speakers than from any other source. Build a good reputation with this group.

Testimonials and Articles on high Credibility sites

A blog is interesting, but it is not a path to expert credibility. Articles on Forbes, HBR, Inc are more valuable than articles posted on your own blog.

Testimonials from conference organisers, other professional speakers and people who have paid you are the most valuable resource for credibility.

Put some of your speaking on YouTube. It is such a powerful tool to share your message, and in a format that people can see your quality.

Long Term: Become “The” Expert

It is not enough to be an expert, you must become known as the expert. Some people become “The” expert – their name is so closely linked to a category that an event is not “The” event if they are not speaking. Jim Collins has built that level of personal brand in the business leadership category. Marshall Goldsmith in the business coaching category, Tony Robbins in the personal development category. They can multiply their fees by 100 because their name alone sells half the tickets.

My good friend Raul Aguirre’s TEDx talk (The Hidden Secret of Success) is about how to create a unique category for yourself. It is hard to be the best business school professor in the world, but I can combine 3 categories: Great business school professor (IESE) who also has a massive following on YouTube and also is the expert on the role and challenges facing CEOs (Vistage). When I put IESE + YouTube + Vistage together, nobody else can compete.

3. Become a Wealthy Expert

There are many experts sitting in bars sharing their wisdom for free with people who don’t want to hear. It is not enough to be an expert, and it is not enough to be known as an expert – you must become a professional. Professionals know the value of their time.

It took me several years to be comfortable with the following actions, but you must if you are to have the resources to be able to really make an impact with your message.

Four Actions of Wealthy Experts

There are 4 things that can differentiate the wealthy expert speaker from the non-wealthy expert speaker:

  1. Package your knowledge: Write, speak, record – put knowledge into a form that people are willing to purchase
  2. Campaign vs Promote your knowledge – each interaction leads to a further interaction. Build a community around your expertise.
  3. Charge expert fees – charge more than you are comfortable with. Run your speaking practice as a business. You have value and are the expert. You are not selling 60 minutes, you are selling your lifetime of experience. Your service improves people’s lives. Price yourself accordingly. Most expert speakers build a structure to their offering around multiple price points:
    1. free – blogging, writing, webinars
    2. €100 – public speech or open event
    3. €1000 – 1 day workshop
    4. €3000 – 3-7 day workshop
    5. €10,000 – 1-1 coaching or mastermind group
    6. €100,000 – something high end to make the rest seem more reasonable…
  4. Focus on:
    1. Distinction – Keep studying the competition and keep innovating, get real feedback from the important people (the person who pays and from other speakers… not from your friends or people who didn’t pay you)
    2. Excellence – Be better every day
    3. Service – Be helpful and responsive

These 4 actions were inspired by a video from Brandon Burchard.  Brandon advises others on how to become well-paid experts.

Are you a Speaker

Are you a paid speaker? What other tips would you give to someone thinking about this path? I plan to update this resource a few times with more materials and tips over the coming months.

This video is about paying attention in the process of learning, and trusting the process.

The Art of Learning: Attention without Judgement.

If I am judging everything, I am judging from today’s level of mastery… and blocking my progress. It is so difficult to remember that I don’t see more than what I am capable of seeing.

Shoshin is a chinese word that means “open mind” – a mind that is open to possibility rather than constantly analysing everything that is presented to me (through the prism of my current level of expertise).

Want to see a nudibranch?

Here’s a video about Nudibranches

I have a lasting interest in how people make good decisions, especially when many people are involved, and many people are affected by the decisions.

Currently reading the book “Crucial Conversations“. Towards the end of the book, there is a section on moving from a dialogue towards concrete actions. The authors say that there are 4 methods of decision making.

The 4 methods of decision making:

  1. Command – One person decides. It might be the main authority figure, or that individual might delegate the power to decide to another specific individual.
  2. Consult – A person given the power to make a decision first consults widely before making a decision. Note: you can listen to someone’s opinion without taking on an obligation to use that opinion in your decision.
  3. Vote – The group votes.
  4. Consensus – we negotiate a position that everyone can agree to. This can take a long time, and can lead to many compromises on the decision being agreed.

When choosing which way to decide there are four questions to ask:

  1. Who cares? – Don’t involve people who don’t care
  2. Who knows? – Don’t involve people who cannot add value.
  3. Who must agree? – Who could block the implementation later on if not part of the decision process today?
  4. How many people must be involved? – The fewer the better.

If everybody is responsible, nobody is responsible. Great teams assign clear individual responsibilities and hold people to their commitments.

This week’s video comes from Champery in Switzerland where I have been part of the faculty for a leadership program for the Avanade company. One of the other faculty is a Leadership Coach called Kris Girrell. He shared a simple 4 part structure for a Coaching Conversation.

The 4 Coaching Questions

  1. What’s Up?
  2. What’s So?
  3. What’s Possible?
  4. Let’s Go!
How to Have a Coaching Conversation

Learn More about Kris Girrell

In his TEDx talk, Kris shares a wonderful idea – the “Emotional Table of the Elements” – in which he created a someone tongue in cheek copy of the Periodic Table replacing atoms with emotions. I love the metaphor. Check out his TEDx talk below:

Knowing how to respond to others’ emotional states is the essence of Emotional Intelligence. But how do we actually learn it? Executive leadership coach Kris Girrell suggests that sometimes the path to becoming intimately aware of our emotions may be a little bumpier than we bargained for, but in the end, results in stronger relationships.

Kris is an executive leadership coach, co-owner of the Goddard Preschool in Reading, and author of A Married Man’s Survival Guide.

If you liked this post, you will also like The Greatest Coaching Question of All Time and 6 Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day to be a Great Leader.

Most people who get paid have a job. A job is where someone pays you to do something that they don’t want to do. A career is where someone pays you because you are awesome at something valuable.

In order to build a career you need a couple of things:

  1. Mastery – A Rare and Valuable Skill
  2. Trustworthy – Show up on time, Deliver what you promise
  3. Likeable – People enjoy working with you

I share a story from Neil Gaiman… it is worth your 19 minutes to watch his full commencement address below ;-). I also make reference to the book “So Good they Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport.

Make Good Art

Neil Gaiman’s commencement address: “Make Good Art”

Here’s a short summary from OpenCulture: 10 Essential Tips for Working in the Arts

  1. Embrace the fact that you’re young. Accept that you don’t know what you’re doing. And don’t listen to anyone who says there are rules and limits.
  2. If you know your calling, go there. Stay on track. Keep moving towards it, even if the process takes time and requires sacrifice.
  3. Learn to accept failure. Know that things will go wrong. Then, when things go right, you’ll probably feel like a fraud. It’s normal.
  4. Make mistakes, glorious and fantastic ones. It means that you’re out there doing and trying things.
  5. When life gets hard, as it inevitably will, make good art. Just make good art.
  6. Make your own art, meaning the art that reflects your individuality and personal vision.
  7. Now a practical tip. You get freelance work if your work is good, if you’re easy to get along with, and if you’re on deadline. Actually you don’t need all three. Just two.
  8. Enjoy the ride, don’t fret the whole way. Stephen King gave that piece of advice to Neil years ago.
  9. Be wise and accomplish things in your career. If you have problems getting started, pretend you’re someone who is wise, who can get things done. It will help you along.
  10. Leave the world more interesting than it was before.

And you? Career or Job? If you liked reading this, you will also like The Career Advice you probably didn’t Get and Career Advice from LinkedIn’s founder Reid Hoffman.

NPR have a wonderful speech database with over 350 great commencement speeches on their resource The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever

What are the Most Common Words?

Excluding prepositions and other super-common words, the most frequent words appearing in this database of Great Commencement Speeches were:

  1. Life
  2. Make
  3. People
  4. World
  5. Yourself
  6. Make
  7. Success
  8. Generation
  9. Define
  10. Human

Source: The Top Words of Wisdom for Graduates on NPR, (accessed 7 May 2019)

This list was put together by my father, Terry Neill, in the 1980’s as a reminder for himself and those around him about the nature of good leadership, and the easy pitfalls of Non-Leadership. He led businesses through good times and through tough times and I can see the positive impact he has had on many who worked with him.

He was recently cleaning out some papers in his office and found this and shared it with me and my siblings. I find it simple and clear. Leadership is not easy, but it is necessary in all areas of our lives.

You don’t need Power to lead

You do not need to wait for power, nor permission nor position to decide to act like a leader. You decide to take responsibility and begin. You realise that each of your actions make a difference. You are connected to many people and your actions have impact. You will affect more than 1,000 people over the course of your life. If you have a positive affect on them, they in turn are connected to more than 1,000 people and your leadership will ripple out and touch over 1,000,000 lives. These 1,000,000 lives are connected out to 1,000 in their turn… and your small daily actions of leading and taking responsibility to make things better will ripple out to a billion people. Your actions matter.

The differences between Leaders and Non-Leaders

by Terry Neill, partly based on “Search for Excellence

LEADERSNON-LEADERS
Carries water for peoplePresides over the mess
A coach appealing to the best in each person; open door; problem solver and advice giver; cheerleaderInvisible – gives orders to staff – expects them to be carried out
Thinks of ways to help people be more productive, more focused on practicval goals and how to reward themThinks of personal awards, status, and how he or she looks to outsiders
Comfortable with people in their workplacesUncomfortable with people
Wants anonymity for self, publicity for practice of othersThe reverse
Often takes the blameLooks for a scapegoat
Gives credit to othersTakes credit. Complains about lack of good people
Gives honest, frequent feedbackInfo flows one way – into his or her office
Knows when and how to deal with non performers or unfair clients’ comments or pressuresDucks unpleasant tasks
Goes where the trouble is – to helpInterrupts people in crisis and calls them to meetings at his or her desk
Has respect for all peopleThinks operators, clerical staff etc are lazy, incompetent ingrates
Knows the business, and the kind of people who make it tickThey’ve never met him or her
Honest under pressureImprovises, equivocates
Looks for controls to abolishLoves new controls
Prefers eyeball to eyeball instead of memosPrefers memos… long reports
StraightforwardTricky, manipulative
Admits own mistakes. Comforts others when they admit themNever makes mistakes. Blames others. Starts witch hunts to identify culprits
OpennessSecrecy
Little paperwork in planningVast paperwork in planning
Arrives early. Stays lateIn late. Usually leaves on time
Common touchStrained with shop or office floor
Good listener‘Good’ talker
Simplistic on organisation valuesGood at demonstrating his/her command of all the complexities
AvailableHard to reach from below
FairFair to the top. Exploits the rest
DecisiveUses committees. Makes accountabilities opaque
ModestArrogant
Tough – confronts nasty problemsElusive – “the artful dodger”
PersistantOnly when his/her goodies are at stake
Simplifies (makes it look ‘easy’)Complicates (Makes it look difficult)
Tolerant of open disagreementIntolerant of open disagreement
Knows people’s namesDoesn’t know people’s names
Has strong convictionsVacillates when a decision is needed
Trusts peopleTrusts words and numbers on paper
Delegates whole important jobsKeeps all final decisions
Keeps promisesDoesn’t – unless it ‘suits’
Thinks there are at least 2 other people who would be better at his/her jobNumber one priority is to make bloody sure no one remotely gets near to being a threat
Focused to the point of monomania on values and ethical principlesUnfocused except on self
Sees mistakes as learning opportunitiesSees mistakes as punishment opportunities
Does ‘dog work’ when necessaryAbove ‘dog work’
Consistent and credible with the troopsUnpredictable. Says what he thinks they want to hear

About Terry Neill

Terry Neill

Father of 4 wonderful children and Grandpa to 9 grandchildren.

In his 30 year career with Accenture/Andersen Consulting he was based in Dublin, Chicago and London. He was Chairperson of Andersen Worldwide and Accenture; and was worldwide managing partner of the Change Management Practice.

He returned to Ireland in 2005 and was a Director of Bank of Ireland Group, UBM (the world’s biggest events company) and CRH plc. He is chairperson of the National Council of Wexford Festival Opera.

He is a maths/physics graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He was for 13 years a Governor of London Business School, where he had also gained his MBA. He is a member of both the Board of Trinity Foundation and the Trinity Arts & Humanities Governance Board.  He was chairperson of Co-operation Ireland (GB) and Camerata Ireland, Barry Douglas’s all island chamber orchestra.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you will also like What is Leadership? and 17 daily habits for a fulfilling life.

“If you have a dream and you know all the tasks required to achieve the dream, you don’t have a dream… you have a task. A dream is something you don’t yet know how you will be able to accomplish”

Alden Mills

Alden Mills spent several years as a Navy Seal commander, before launching the fastest growth product business (#1 in INC magazine) as a entrepreneur. He has just published his second book: Unstoppable Teams.

The #1 Job of Leadership

Leadership is determined by your ability to build and lead teams. Leadership’s greatest challenge is attracting great people and placing them into teams that are equipped to solve problems, overcome hurdles, and simply do more. Alden shares the 4 pillars he uses to develop Unstoppable Teams.

7 Traits of Unstoppable Teammates

Alden has spent many years helping himself and the teams around him overcome huge obstacles. He has a wealth of experience in building great teams – military, entrepreneurial… and family. This is an infographic from Alden Mills on the 7 traits that make for unstoppable team members.

Alden Mills TEDx Talk

I had the privilege of working with Alden to prepare this TEDx talk that he shared at IESE Business School last year.

About the Book

Unstoppable Teams show managers how to inspire, motivate, and lead the people around them. Mills draws on stories from his own experiences to impart these surprising team-building lessons:

  • Too many people mistake groups of individuals for a team.
  • No two people are alike, but we all have the same genetic drivers that motivate us—our will to survive, our ego-driven desire for personal gain, and our soul-driven yearning to be a part of something greater than ourselves.
  • When we override our fears about survival, we can focus on our desire to thrive.
  • The more you care for your teammates, the more they will dare for the team.
  • Great ideas are not reserved for a select few—true teams embrace diversity of thought to find winning ideas.

What does it mean to be someone worthy of trust? What does it mean to be someone who is capable of making and keeping promises? This video shares a model from Luis Soares Costa about Trustworthiness.

4 aspects of being Trustworthy

  • Character (Being)
    • Integrity
    • Intent
  • Competence (Doing)
    • Skills
    • Results

The following post is reshared from the original post Build and Sustain Trust within your Team on Luis Soares Costa’s blog:

How to Build and Sustain Trust within your Team (by Luis Costa Soares)

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.

Frank Crane

A strong, cohesive team is high performing and will achieve anything.

The author with Tony Anagor and Luis Soares Costa

Have you ever lead people in a team who didn’t trust one another? If you have, then you’ll know how challenging and draining this can be.

A team without trust isn’t really a team! It’s just a group of individuals, working together, often making disappointing progress. They may not share information, they might battle over rights and responsibilities, and they may not cooperate with one another. It doesn’t matter how capable or talented these people are, they will never reach their full potential if trust isn’t present.

However, when trust is in place, each individual in the team becomes stronger, because he/she is part of an effective, cohesive group. When people trust one another, the group can achieve truly meaningful goals.

So how can you, as a leader, help your team build the trust that it needs to flourish? Let’s look at trust within teams, why it’s important, and what you can do to build it.

The Importance of Trust

One definition describes trust as a “reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

Think about that definition for a moment. Trust means that you rely on someone else to do the right thing. You believe in the person’s integrity and strength, to the extent that you’re able to put yourself on the line, at some risk to yourself.

Trust is essential to an effective team, because it provides a sense of safety. When your team members feel safe with each other, they feel comfortable to open up, take appropriate risks, and expose vulnerabilities.

Without trust there’s less innovation, collaboration, creative thinking, and productivity, and people spend their time protecting themselves and their interests. This is time that should be spent helping the team attain its goals.

Trust is also essential for knowledge sharing. A study published in the “Journal of Knowledge Management” found that trust was a key element in a team’s knowledge acquisition. Put simply, if your team members trust one another, they’re far more likely to share knowledge, and communicate openly.

Strategies for Building Trust

As a leader, what can you do to create a culture of trust within your team?

Lead by Example

If you want to build trust within your team, then lead by example, and show your people that you trust others. This means trusting your team, your colleagues, and your boss. Never forget that your team members are always watching and taking cues from you. Take the opportunity to show them what trust in others really looks like.

Communicate Openly

Open communication is essential for building trust. You need to get everyone on your team talking to one another in an honest, meaningful way, and you can use several strategies to accomplish this.

First, create a team DNA to define the purpose of the team, as well as each person’s role. Present this team DNA at the first team meeting, and encourage each team member to ask questions, and discuss his/her expectations. NOTE: This team DNA becomes the common language we all use within the team to communicate and understand each other. It creates a level playing field where all team members shared the same intrepretations of words and meanings.

Next, consider organising team building exercises. When chosen carefully and planned well, these exercises can help “break the ice” and encourage people to open up and start communicating. Make these exercises “real play”… in other words, use everyday real occurences as the content and basis for these team building exercises, rather than artificial simulations.

Meet regularly, so that all team members have a chance to talk about their progress, and discuss any problems that they’re experiencing. This time spent face-to-face is an important part of getting to know each other. It also creates opportunities for team members to talk, and to help one another solve problems.

Make sure that you “walk the talk”: whenever you have important or relevant information to share, do so immediately. Demonstrate that open communication is important to you by consistently sharing with the group. The more you share with your team members, and thereby prove that you have no hidden agenda, the more comfortable they’ll feel trusting you and each other. NOTE: be aware that “transparency” does not mean that you have to share absolutely everything. “Transparency” means that when there is something you cannot share, you say so: “this particular topic exists but I cannot share it with you due to this specific reason…”

Know Each Other Personally

One way to build trust is to encourage your team members to see their colleagues as people. Think about creating situations that help them share personal stories, and create bonds with each other.

Do this by asking sensitively about their family, or about their hobbies. Start by sharing some personal information about yourself, and then ask someone else to share something about themselves… a hobby, or a musical interest. Another way to get the team acquainted, and to form stronger bonds, is to find moments to socialize or at lunch.

You could also set aside time each week for informal group discussions. Consider asking team members to put forward suggestions on topics you could all cover. To start with, you could start a discussion around values. Share some of your own values, and encourage others to share theirs. Values are important to most people, and starting a conversation that allows people to share their values highlights your team’s humanity.

Don’t Place Blame

When people work together, honest mistakes and disappointments happen, and it’s easy to blame someone. However, when everyone starts pointing fingers, a difficult and awkward atmosphere quickly develops. This lowers morale, undermines trust, and is ultimately unproductive.

Instead, encourage everyone in your group to think about the mistake in a constructive way. Think about it as a learning opportunity for the team. What can you all do to fix what happened, and move forward together? And how can you work together to ensure that this mistake doesn’t happen again?

Discourage Cliques

Sometimes, cliques can form within a team, often between team members who share common interests or work tasks. However, these groups can – even inadvertently – make others feel isolated. They can also undermine trust between group members.

Start an open discussion about this with your team members, and see what they think about cliques and their effect on other group members. Only by addressing the issue openly can you discourage this damaging behavior.

Discuss Trust Issues

If you manage an established team that has trust issues, it’s essential to find out how these problems originate, so that you can come up with strategies for overcoming them.

Consider giving team members a questionnaire to fill out anonymously. Ask them about the level of trust within the team, as well as why they think there’s a lack of trust. Once you’ve read the results, get everyone together to talk about these issues NOTE: make absolutely sure that you respect the anonymity of the survey!

Building Trust Virtually

If you lead a virtual team, then you might be working with a group of people who seldom meet face to face, or who have never spoken to one another personally. So, how can you build trust between people who are hundreds – if not thousands – of kilometres apart?

You can apply some of the advice above when you’re working with a virtual team. Schedule a virtual “meet and greet” if it’s a new team, to help everyone get to know one another as individuals. Or, create a web page for your team, and ask everyone to write a paragraph or two about their personal history and interests.

team DNA is still important for defining a clear way of communicationg and intrepreting each others’ expectations. Make sure that the team DNA addresses roles, as well as processes for submitting work digitally. Make sure that the team DNA is as comprehensive as possible, so that people don’t feel uncertain or fearful about the work they’re doing.

Next, make sure that everyone on the team is aware of other team members’ expertise and skills, as well as the value that each individual contributes to the group.

Encourage your team members to treat each other just as they would if they were working face to face. This means that team members should make every effort to be on time for conference calls or web meetings, and that they should let the rest of the team know when they’ll be absent, or on vacation.

It’s particularly important to follow through on the promises you make, and to set an example for everyone else. Keeping your promises is incredibly important in a virtual team, because your word is often all you can give. Positive follow-through builds trust quickly, and can raise the entire group’s tone and expectations.

And finally…

Trust is an essential element in team productivity. Without it, you’re unlikely to get anything meaningful done. With trust, teams can accomplish everything they set out to do… and more.

As a leader, it’s important that you set an example. Show your team members how critical trust is to you by demonstrating your trust in them, as well as in your colleagues.

Make an effort to help everyone get to know each other on a personal level. Encourage conversations on values, family, or hobbies. Discourage cliques, if you feel that they’re damaging to the team’s trust and morale.

____________________________________________________

About Luis Soares Costa

Luis Soares Costa

From the very beginning, coaching has always been at the core of my passions.

For the past 38 years I have been an Executive and Team Coach working globally with CEOs and their C-Suite Executives, Business Owners and top talent in a significant number of the major global companies (including a significant number of Fortune 500), innovative companies operating in new ecosystems and dynamic family owned businesses.

During the past 28 years, I have also been an Executive and Team Coach and a “consultant to consultants” developing partners and top talent at major consultancies, Big4 Firms and Legal Firms

You can contact Luis at coach@LuisSoaresCosta.com and visit his Website at www.LuisSoaresCosta.com.

This week I have been teaching at the Mid Atlantic Business School on the island of Santa Cruz de la Palma. This video shares a lesson that many participants took from the day: “Listen with Your Eyes“.

Hearing is a sense that differs from all our other senses, because it has a buffer. I am able to re-listen to the last 8 seconds of what I have recently heard. This allows me to pay little attention to what is being said, until I hear my name or a silence that indicates that someone is waiting for me to respond. We need to practice listening to a deeper level – what I call “listening with your eyes”.

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