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Joy at Work(er) Blog

Repairing the Disconnect: Building Your Manager's Trust

Written by Roxanne Brown

For good reason, managing up gets a bad rap. When the concept was first introduced to me it was in the context of working for a difficult boss. Later it became a recommended strategy for getting promoted or keeping senior management happy. Applied in these situations it can feel like a manipulation tactic for getting something you want. Similar to the cynical reasons for developing a personal brand, it feels self-serving. The tendency is to see it as the game of workplace politics. Given the common emphasis of its use this way, I strongly believe this is at least part of why many employees crave authenticity in their leaders, the company they work for and in themselves.

But there really is a positive way to apply managing up and it’s about building trust.

Frustration grows with misunderstanding

Employees become frustrated with their boss when they’re not allowed to make decisions they feel they should have the authority to make and...

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What's a Trust Fall?

Written by Roxanne Brown

What's a Trust Fall? Or rather, what’s the point of it? The trust fall is an exercise meant to increase confidence between people: “I can rely on you for my safety and success when I’m at risk personally. And you can rely on me in the same way.” The hazards of the exercise are well documented (endlessly on YouTube) and there are lots of people who say it doesn’t work. Still, it’s useful here in the virtual world to ask how the intention can be achieved. We have some ideas.

First some basics. 

You can grow confidence in each other by…

Getting to know each other. [inside voice] “We each know something about what matters to the other person and that ‘knowing’ comes from communication beyond what’s said.”

Finding things in common. [inside voice]: “We share some things in common personally. As a result, we each assume the other person can understand how those things...

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Building Trust...Virtually

Written by Ed Cook

With the coronavirus raging across the world and organizations asking people to stay home, we will all need to learn how to work better virtually. There are certainly practical tips for conducting a meeting virtually that you can review here.  Also important in a virtual work environment is building trust.

“One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.” -- E.M. Forster

But what is trust? And, why do we want to build it? These may not have easy answers to the simplicity the questions suggest.  Let’s start with trust. We place our trust “in” things and people, as in, “I’ll put my trust in this old car,” or “I’ll put my trust in Angela,” or even “I’ll put my trust in God.”  We talk about “my trusty pen,” or “umbrella,” or “screwdriver.” But how do we know we have trust?  The one key...

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Change and the Elusive "B"

Written by Roxanne Brown

Early in my change career, my boss, my colleagues, and I were learning the art and science of change work by absorbing everything we could get our hands on. We poured over books together to see what we could glean that was relevant to our current business problems and applied the concepts right away. We were learning like crazy. It was energizing because we knew we had to get it right. Our reputations depended on it. A lot of people were depending on us.
At the time, most of the counsel we were taking in was about getting from current state to future state, point A to point B. The goal was to have a clear articulation of both, examine the difference, then dive in to close the gap. All great concepts, but we quickly ran into a brick wall. 
My boss was spending a huge amount of energy and time to get our senior leaders to articulate "B". It was exasperating for her. Over and over again, she'd come back to the team feeling like...

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