I just had a phone call with a marvelous nurse, who, as with so many of my conversations, graciously took the time to answer the myriad of questions that I always seem to have on the work I do.
As part of the conversation she mentioned…”trust is built with experience”. So very true! Stephen M.R. Covey speaks powerfully to that in his book, The Speed of Trust.
This nurse’s comments came just a couple of days after I had listened to a lecture where the professor was going into depth on some word etymologies. I have always been fascinated with the history of words that we use commonly without any idea of the depth of their meaning. Her use of the word ‘experience’ made me connect some dots.
I promise you that this seeming tangent has a point that applies to you and your leadership, so stay with me…
Consider the three words – the Three Es
In the very middle of each of those words is ‘per’. And what is the meaning of those letters? This is from the Online Etymology Dictionary: Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to try, risk,” an extended sense from root *per- (1) “forward,” via the notion of “to lead across, press forward.”
See some key leadership words here? Try, risk, pressing forward, to lead across…
OK! What is my point? Go back to the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. The first time a basketball “Dream Team” was assembled. All of them were future Hall of Fame members. How did they get there?
They experimented…called ‘practice’ in the sports world
They got experience…called game time
They became expert…by deliberate, long-term practice in a myriad of experience and experiment settings
…And each of them would say that, without spectacular coaches in their background, they would not have been the players they were.
As a leader, people look to you for direction and guidance…’coaching’ if you will. Can you imagine if you led your people toward trust in themselves, toward others, and towards the vision of your unit, OR, hospital, clinic, or entire organization?…by focusing on:
Experimenting with the risks of trusting, with you supporting the efforts?
Gaining experience with what comes with a high-trust environment (again, the foundational work on this is The Speed of Trust)
Encouraging all of them to become recognized experts in this area? HBR defines expert as someone who:
1. Delivers consistent superior performance
2. Delivers concrete results
3. Provides performance that can be measured and replicated
And now, imagine, once that foundation of trust is part of the DNA of your team, how you could use that ‘3E’ approach to blow away just about any problem or challenge you are facing?
Can’t wait to hear of your successes here.