The Great Organisational Reset - Part One

Posted on 11-Feb-2021 by Administrator

It’s difficult to find a new way to describe the reset that organisations are experiencing today due to the global pandemic. So much has already been written and said. But what is abundantly clear is that ways of working have fundamentally changed for all time to come. The fundamental construct of engagement has changed and making human connections is even more difficult than ever before. While organisations have innovated in keeping motivation up, there is a clear sense of fatigue that employees are facing - how many virtual coffees and lunches can you enjoy without it feeling tiresome on the eyes while staring at a webcam. I myself have been working from home for over a year, working with teams in the US, UK and Singapore and it's clear teams need continual support to make work in this new environment meaningful and purposeful.  All the more for new employees who are joining a company virtually without entering the physical premises and meeting their manager in person.  How do you build trust and influence virtually in this new normal?

There's a lot of research in the area of trust and many definitions. One that is quite popular expresses trust like an equation:

Trust = Credibility + Reliability + Care
                  Self orientation

What this implies is that the  lower the self orientation in the relationship, that is keeping your self interest aside or lower in priority and focusing on the interests of the person or persons you are working with and taking tangible steps focusing on building credibility and reliability and expressing care or intimacy or empathy, the higher the trust.

The challenge in today’s world is taking those tangible actions that are recognised and experienced in the virtual world that foster trust and make influence possible.

I would like to suggest an approach I call the iTouch approach to build connections virtually and building a solid foundation for trust. I would argue that the principles that help build influence are equally applicable to building trust ….. they just need to be tweaked for the virtual world. Let's start by understanding the principles of influence before looking at the iTouch approach to tweak this for the virtual world.

Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of influencing are illustrated in this graphic below:

To strengthen influencing virtually consider the iTOUCH approach built on 6 key elements:

• inclusion
• Trust building
• Over communicate
• Use Technology
• Cultural sensitivity
• Hold people accountable

Inclusion - Invite all who need to be part of the conversation, nurture an environment of respect & fairness
Trust building and accountability - We cannot hope to influence others without a climate of trust. Being isolated physically can create a sense of loss of accountability around process, therefore it is even more important to deliver on promises and ensure that performance matches expectations.
Overcommunicate -- physical distancing is not work distancing
Use Technology: to address lack of visual information
Cultural sensitivity - Some cultures have a general tendency to focus on the nature of TASKS to be done, whilst others place an emphasis on the nature of the RELATIONSHIP in accomplishing objectives.   How people speak, act and behave are clues and help you recognize cultural orientation.
Hold people accountable – important for line managers to note
Documenting shared expectations to reduce ambiguity
Agreeing in accountability processes – give your employees a say on how the process should be
Giving regular feedback that is evidence-based and forward-looking
Explicit improvement plan when required
Compensate for lack of cues by:
• Being alert for anomalies – Follow Up
• Checking in – Text & IM
• One on one meetings

So what do you think? Do share your comments.


Post a Comment

You must be a Registered Member to post a comment, if you are an existing member, please login from above.

New User? Register Here.