Trust and Lebanese Bread

Lebanese bread, building trust,

I am one of those, who does not enjoy driving. When you do not enjoy what you are doing, how difficult it can get and, in this traffic, it is life threatening. I have found a way out of this situation; I drive with single-minded focus to reach home and not really get distracted (my love for music helps immensely).

One of these days, I had promised to get my daughter Lebanese bread (her newfound love) and completely forgot about it in the whirlwind of what we do and my myopic focus to reach home. I remembered as soon as I parked my car about my forgotten promise. My instinct was to turn my car; however, one glance at my PDA told me I have a call in 15 minutes. I grudgingly gave into my work discipline.

As my daughter greeted me at the door and expectantly smiled at me for the Lebanese bread, few thousand emotions were tangled inside me. I looked at her and with all my sincerity told her that I forgot about getting her bread. The smile faded for a fraction and then she looked at me, in her most uplifting voice told me it is ok, and said I know you would have got it if you remembered and then gave me a bear hug. With her simple action, my daughter taught me a huge lesson at being forgiving and trusting. These human values are at the core of every relationship we build at work.

At the core of achieving, any decision at work is your ability to influence the decision maker. While there are many ways to influence, the long-lasting method is to build trust to help influence a decision. Which brings us to question “How to build trust”?  While we can talk about some mathematical formula to explain this, I am a firm believer that in matter of people always trust your skills of “Common Sense”.

If I change the question and say “What qualities in people make me trust them”? Now that is an easy one:

  • I trust people who understand what their job entails
  • They have skills to get their job done
  • They are eager to learn
  • Not afraid to say “I need help”
  • Are fair and honest
  • Guided by moral principles in decision making
  • Walk the talk

As a leader, how do you build trust with your team? I would say all the above and a little more!!! (so much for climbing up the imaginary ladder). As a leader, it is important to have a great network (You cannot master everything) and build a reputation around your competence over a period. You will also have to make the most difficult decisions ethically and influence others to make ethical decisions. Above all people have to believe your intent and you listening to them actively is a critical mechanism to build trust.

As many individuals who I have worked with will tell you, I am a huge fan of being 100% in the present. When you give the present your 100%, it can change/impact the future positively. Imagine how delighted we are when someone listens to us with their 100% attention or does a work with 100% dedication.

To close what I started with, Next day I did remember to get my daughter the Lebanese bread she wanted and this time not one but two. I also made a simple adjustment to my personal commitments – Like the professional ones, I started setting reminders for myself.

I realized a great connect between the Lebanese bread and building trust. Lebanese bread is a very straightforward bread dough: water, flour, yeast, salt, and that is about it. Water turning to steam and the yeast becoming active when both get the heat from the oven is what makes it impressive. Similarly, building trust is simple and straightforward with your skills and values at the heart of it, however the make or break is your ability to respond the same when under pressure.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect any official policy or position.


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