Sunday, April 24, 2011
In dealing with this individual, I had tried a number of methods to establish a trusting relationship, but it just wasn't working. I knew this guy was going to be a difficult egg to crack. We didn't have much in common, but we're working together, and I wasn't giving up. I sought advice from both peers and management, which yielded the typical results.
Then, admittedly by accident, I took out a big problem for him that he would have had to spend dozens of hours unraveling. While I felt somewhat put-out at the time, the result was nothing but spectacular. This was of true value to the individual, and built rapport (and some trust). It also opened up a new avenue to communication with us. While I have much to do to continue building a working relationship with the guy, we're back on track.
I took a careful lesson from this experience (actually a couple of lessons). First, just because I've been selling and managing people for 20 years, doesn't mean I have it figured it out. I probably never will. Experiences like this continue to support this thought and bring me back to reality. Second, for some people, taking obstacles out of the way is a key factor in building trust. While there are some folks that want to share difficult experiences, others just want them to go away. When I can provide this, it makes all the difference.
There will always be more to learn.
Posted by Adam at Sunday, April 24, 2011