In order to build real trust, a person has to be willing to be vulnerable in front of others.
This is a tough one for an Asian male like me. My culture of “face-saving” is not conducive to exposing weaknesses. I’ve had friends tell me that I’m easy to befriend but hard to really get to know. In business, my leadership style has been more based on ability to motivate and inspire than on building trust and unbreakable team cohesion. I think that is in part my inability (or unwillingness) to expose my vulnerabilities.
In my younger days, this was a reaction to my upbringing and youthful insecurities. Now, I’ve finally started questioning my desire to appear infallible to others? If I really was confident in myself, shouldn’t I be able to overcome the limitations that my “face-saving” reactions cause in my relationship with friends and colleagues? I will never be one to discuss my personal problems (other than about my children) too openly. But I will try to be more honest about who I am and my vulnerabilities. I think it will help my relationships on all fronts.
My challenge to other leaders is to look honestly at how vulnerable you are in front of your teams. That answer probably directly reflects the type of team you are running.
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A wonderful dining experience at Cristal Room Baccarat with special friends (who joined us in Paris to celebrate my anniversary with my wife). Thought I’d share at least the different courses. No pictures of the crystal and wonderful chandeliers, which were themselves extraordinary. You’ll have to visit to experience that yourselves.
Hope your eyes enjoy the meal.
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Posted in society, travel, tagged France, tourism on October 22, 2011 |
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The French generally get a bum rap from American tourists. The thing is that the French culture has well-defined set of manners that many Americans don’t understand. Actually, Americans (especially tourists) generally are not very good at picking up subtle nuances from culture to culture in general. I guess that’s from being a large isolated country without many bordering neighbors.
The difference about the French is that they are willing to show their displeasure toward rude visitors more than most. For me, that’s one of the appeals of the French – the open honesty. I’m spending my vacation in France with my wife right now. We’ve visited many times before and this handsome country always draws us back. Of course, Paris is a spectacularly beautiful city. I, however, also believe it can be viewed as an over-rated place. What I mean is that many people around the world build such a “romantic” notion of the city that when they are hit with the full reality of a diverse, aging urban center, the reaction can be shock or disappointment.
Yet, there are still so many Francophiles around the world. I think what is most appealing is how the cafes, restaurants and bars are set up for extended time with friends. People genuinely enjoy time together. People are not rushing home to tend to their “material” goods (mowing lawns, watching a big-screen TV’s, cleaning their boats, etc.). There is a warmth among groups of people that is undeniable. That vibe is what is inevitably the French appeal – at least it is for me. Be content. Enjoy today.
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Do you know the five dysfunctions of team… at least from Patrick Lencioni’s perspective?
In a story-telling format, he’s laid out an interesting case for what are the dysfunctions keeping most teams from optimal performance — and how to get around them. Here is a sampling of each of the five dysfunctions. If these resonate with you, the book may be helpful. It is a very fast read.
- Absence of Trust: In the context of building a team, trust is the confidence among team members that their peers’ intentions are good, and that there is no reason to be protective or careful around the group. In essence, teammates must get comfortable being vulnerable with one another.
- Fear of Conflict: All great relationships, the ones that last over time, require productive conflict in order to grow. This is true in marriage, parenthood, friendship, and certainly business. Unfortunately, conflict is considered taboo in many situations, especially at work. And the higher you go up the management chain, the more you find people spending inordinate amounts of time and energy trying to avoid the kind of passionate debates that are essential to any great team.
- Lack of Commitment: In context of a team, commitment is a function of two things: clarity and buy-in. Great teams make clear and timely decisions and move forward with the complete buy-in from every member of the team, even those who voted against the decision. They leave meetings confident that no one on the team is quietly harboring doubts about whether to support the actions agreed on. The two greatest causes of the lack of commitment are the desire for consensus and the need for certainty.
- Avoidance of Accountability: In the context of teamwork, accountability refers specifically to the willingness of team members to call their peers on performance or behaviors that might hurt the team. The essence of this dysfunction is the unwillingness of team members to tolerate the interpersonal discomfort that accompanies calling a peer on his or her behavior and the more general tendency to avoid difficult conversations. Members of great teams overcome these natural inclinations, opting instead to “enter the danger” with one another.
- Inattention to Results: The ultimate dysfunction of a team is the tendency of members to care about something other than the collective goals of the group. An unrelenting focus on specific objectives and clearly defined outcomes is a requirement for any team that judges itself on performance.
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