Showing real weaknesses as a leader…

This post from The Intelligent Leader blog’s Management Tip of the Day sounds good, but the comment by Tom Ryan rips the bark off the post.  As Tom notes (cleaned up slightly):

Every time (and I mean every time) someone (including myself) is asked to list a flaw, it’s always workaholism. No one ever says, I’m not very detail oriented, or I can’t multitask. or I’ve lost interest in my career.  It’s always I worked too hard and spend too many hours in the office.

My favorite non-flaw flaws are “I care too much” and “I’m too impatient about making change happen”.  Yeesh.

I do, however, think that Tom missed the broader point.  It is the leader who should be open and vulnerable about a real personal or business challenge.  When he/she doesn’t do so, that’s when the behavior Tom describes is most likely to happen.  I hope I’ve done that with my team (see my post here on “Improving Trust”).

Improving Trust

Extending my earlier post (here) on Charles Green’s Trust Quotient test (here), improving my strength in Credibility is related to my weakness: “Work on the “softer” sides of credibility—truthfulness, being more open, sharing more truth—about the emotional as well as the rational side of things.”

As you might guess, my primary weakness is in Intimacy, which is about is about how safe people feel sharing with me. This makes perfect sense to me — I used to try to keep a certain degree of distance (even intimidation at one time).  Apparently, if I were able to improve my intimacy score, then I would start to see that:

  • People would feel you are discreet [and] empathetic
  • You would risk sharing personal things about yourself [and] about others
  • People would take you into their confidence.

There are some specific tips listed below…I’ve bolded the areas where I think that I need to get better and italicized where I’ve made some progress.  I’m a bit chary of commenting on other’s feelings and I need to be more conscious about my non-verbal communication, no doubt.  I have stopped writing most stupid e-mails; however, my “fails” tend to be less frequent, but more profoundly stupid (see my “overthinking” mail (here). Continue reading

Results from my Trust Quotient test

Here’s my Trust Quotient Score (as promised in posts here and here).  I hope this doesn’t mean you all have to watch your back ;-)

Your TQ score is in a normal mid-range, though at the lower end…it typically means you are particularly strong or particularly weak in 1-2 Trust Equation components.  If your score for all components is in the same range, this means that most people will trust someone else somewhat more than they trust you.  If your component scores vary, this means that some people are more inclined to trust you, and other people are less inclined to trust you.

That’s quite an insight: having some variation gives at least some folks a trust component to “latch on to.”  To that end, here’s what the tool said I’m strong in…

Credibility — People tend to believe what you say. This is due to a mixture of traits, probably including:

  • People see you as logical and clear in your thinking and presentation
  • You have strong credentials which people respect
  • You communicate in a way helps people relate to your message
  • You have the ability to demonstrate your expertise, not just talk about it
  • People feel that you speak not only the truth, but the whole truth

I’ve struck-out the one bullet that I’m not so sure about.  Perhaps I’m more aware of this issue, but I’m not sure that I consistently get people to relate to what I’m saying.  My take is that my weakness in “Intimacy” hurts me here, which relates to how I can further leverage this strength…I get to that in another post.

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