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Trust & Teams: 2019 Chicago CTO Summit

Trust & Teams: 2019 Chicago CTO Summit

Trust is at the core of successful, functional, effective software teams. It defines whether our teams are happy at work and is the basis of retention.

Trust is at the center of whether people perceive us to be good at our jobs and how your team sees you as a leader.

But what is trust? How do you know when it's missing? And how do you fix it when it's gone?

Let's discuss the elements of trust, the patterns of behavior the make or break trust, and what you can do to refactor trust on your team.

Rebecca Miller-Webster

May 01, 2019
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  1. Refactoring Trust
    on your Team
    Rebecca Miller-Webster
    @rmillwebster
    Mastery Logistics Systems
    mastery.net
    Write/Speak/Code
    @writespeakcode

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  2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/z_b_p/2854947005
    CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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  3. View Slide

  4. Lack of Trust
    Stay silent in meetings or after a
    disagreement
    Passive aggressive behavior Micromanaging
    Seek individual recognition
    “Meeting after the meeting”
    Interpersonal conflict
    Revisit the same issues over and over
    “Dirty Yes”: Say yes to your face and no
    behind your back Cynicism
    Withholding information and ideas
    Invisible Army: Using ‘we” to express
    your own point of view Frustration
    Avoid tough conversations and giving
    feedback
    Defensiveness Resentment

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  5. Trust Matters
    A Lot

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  6. –Stephen M.R. Covey & Doug R. Conant, Harvard Business Review
    “Trust is … not a nice-to-have; it’s a must have. Without it,
    every part of your organization can fall, literally, into disrepair.
    With trust, all things are possible — most importantly:
    continuous improvement and sustainable, measurable,
    tangible results in the marketplace.”

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  7. Five
    Dysfunctions of
    Teams
    Inattention
    to Results
    Avoidance of
    Accountability
    Lack of
    Commitment
    Fear of
    Conflict
    Absence of
    Trust

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  8. Trust matters
    • Fundamental to our sense of safety, autonomy, and dignity as a
    human being
    • Part of every relationship
    • Allows us to disagree, debate & test each other’s thinking
    • Trust on teams is correlated with business profitability

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  9. Do your people think your
    trustworthy?
    • Hotels where employees strongly believed their managers
    followed through on promises and demonstrated the values they
    preached were substantially more profitable.
    • Very small improvement in rating significantly increased profit
    • Trust in managers have more impact on profits than more
    employee ‘satisfaction’ or ‘commitment.’
    Tony Simons, Associate Professor of Management at Cornell University Hotel School

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  10. Neuroscience of Trust
    • Trust in social interactions increases oxytocin
    • Oxytocin increases
    • risk tolerance
    • ability to make decisions and take actions
    • critical analysis, logic, and creativity
    • verbal communication skills
    • well-being and safety

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  11. Neuroscience of Distrust
    • Fight / Flight / Freeze response
    • Limited use of “thinking brain”
    • Respond with unconscious, innate defensive behaviors
    • Anxiety, fear, anger, aggression, withdrawal
    • Threat alert

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  12. Self-Protection
    • most successful people learn to be competitive with their peers,
    and protective of their reputations
    • takes away focus from current work
    • fear of others using “it” for their gain

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  13. – Brené Brown
    “Leaders must either invest a
    reasonable amount of time attending
    to fears and feelings, or squander an
    unreasonable amount of time trying
    to manage ineffective and
    unproductive behavior.”

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  14. What is trust?

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  15. Trust
    • assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or
    something
    • to place confidence in; rely on
    • reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing;
    confidence.
    • confident expectation of something; hope.
    • confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received;
    credit.

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  16. Trust
    • reliance
    • confidence

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  17. Trust is choosing
    to risk making
    something you value
    vulnerable to another
    person’s actions.
    The Thin Book of Trust by Charles Feltman:

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  18. Choosing to risk

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  19. Risk Assessment

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  20. Something we value

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  21. What do we value?
    Money Beliefs Your or team’s work or effort
    Career / Job
    Way of doing things
    Deadlines
    Promotion “Good name,” Reputation, or Status
    Thoughts and Ideas
    Goal Happiness and wellbeing
    Hopes, Fears, or Concerns

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  22. By making it
    vulnerable
    to another’s actions

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  23. Five
    Dysfunctions of
    Teams
    Need for
    Invulnerability
    Inattention
    to Results
    Avoidance of
    Accountability
    Lack of
    Commitment
    Fear of
    Conflict
    Absence of
    Trust

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  24. By Leena Snidate / Codenomicon (http://heartbleed.com/heartbleed.svg)
    [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

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  25. Relational Vulnerability
    • “Emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk, and
    emotional exposure”
    • “Showing up when you can’t control the outcome”
    • Cannot “engineer” vulnerability out of relationships
    • Innovation requires us to accept inevitable failure and keep
    going.
    Quotes from Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

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  26. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/
    drsnitch/19325871168/

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  27. Trust is built in
    small moments

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  28. How do you (re)build
    trust?

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  29. View Slide

  30. B Boundaries
    R Reliability
    A Accountability
    V Vault
    I Integrity
    N Non-Judgement
    G Generosity
    Elements of Trust from Rising Strong, Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

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  31. Boundaries
    • You respect my boundaries.
    • When you’re not clear about what’s ok and not ok, you ask.
    • You are willing to say no.

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  32. Boundary Examples
    • Starting and ending meetings on time
    • Not looking at phones or computers during meetings
    • Not checking email after a certain time
    • Not taking work home on the weekends
    BRAVING: Boundaries

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  33. BRAVING: Boundaries

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  34. Lack of Boundaries
    • Resentment
    • Anger
    • Frustration
    • Talking behind people’s backs
    • Blame
    BRAVING: Boundaries

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  35. CC BY 3.0
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
    Bamboo_Fence_with_Gate_-_Agri-Horticultural_Society_of_India_-
    _Alipore_-_Kolkata_2013-01-05_2369.JPG
    Boundaries aren’t walls
    BRAVING: Boundaries

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  36. Boundaries are healthy
    • Don’t need to apologize
    • Not team’s job to make you feel better about it
    • Explain the reasoning
    • Be open to questions
    • Team often thankful for the clarity and context
    BRAVING: Boundaries

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  37. What can you do?
    • Clear expectations, including …
    • Success Criteria
    • Timeframe
    • Resources
    • Explain your reasoning and be open to questions
    • Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.
    BRAVING: Boundaries

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  38. Reliability
    • You do what you say you’ll do
    • At work this means staying aware of your competencies and
    limitations so you don’t over promise and are able to deliver on
    commitments and balance competing priorities

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  39. Cycle of Commitment
    Request /
    Offer
    Respond
    Commit
    Act
    Report
    BRAVING: Reliability

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  40. What can you do?
    • Agile: Stand up, Planning Poker
    • Respond positively when someone asks for help
    • Clarify requests & offers: who, what, when
    • Be committed to what you ask for
    • Report on commitments
    BRAVING: Reliability

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  41. Accountability
    • You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends

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  42. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/
    [email protected]/14565696612
    BRAVING: Accountability

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  43. Take responsibility
    • Acknowledge: recognize what you did wrong or the damage in the other
    person’s eyes.
    • Even if that wasn’t your intention
    • Apologize: take responsibility for what you’ve done, ask forgiveness, and
    declare your intention to redeem yourself.
    • Don’t repeat the behavior that led to the betrayal
    • Help fix problems your actions created
    BRAVING: Accountability

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  44. What can you do?
    • Take the time to listen to why people are doing what they are doing
    • Avoid hero-ing
    • Take responsibility for your behavior and the impact it had on
    others
    • Apologize: commit to behaving differently in the future and
    describe those specific behaviors
    BRAVING: Accountability

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  45. Vault
    • You don’t share information or experiences that aren’t yours to
    share
    • I need to know my confidences are kept and you are not sharing
    with me information about other people that should be kept
    confidential

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  46. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkuram/3610488258/in/photostream/
    BRAVING: Vault

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  47. Back-Channel Communication
    • not being direct or upfront with people.
    • “Meeting after the meeting” — sharing reactions, emotions, or
    opinions with people before or after a meeting, rather than
    sharing them in the meeting.
    • Gossip
    • “Dirty yes” — say “yes” to your face and then “no” behind your back
    BRAVING: Vault

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  48. BRAVING: Vault

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  49. What can you do?
    • Model public conversations when appropriate
    • Ask if subject knows its being shared
    • Don’t give or receive gossip
    • Difficult circumstances
    • Be vague if saying nothing is creating gossip
    • Ask a person what you can share
    BRAVING: Vault

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  50. Integrity
    • You choose courage over comfort
    • You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy
    • You choose to practice your values rather than just professing
    them

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  51. https://medium.com/@bentlegen/the-best-tool-for-the-job-isnt-always-6ed364f3f775
    BRAVING: Integrity

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  52. What are your values?
    • Same values for work and home.
    • What behaviors support?
    • What behaviors take away?
    • When were you fully living into your values?
    BRAVING: Integrity

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  53. What can you do?
    • Be explicit about the things that matter - Examples of good and bad
    • Check yourself when someone does something differently - Is this a thing
    that matters?
    • Create new expectations when things happen - take responsibility for not
    being explicit
    • Be thoughtful and intentional about handling disagreements
    • Find a person to role play, run ideas by, and review
    BRAVING: Integrity

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  54. Non-judgement
    • I can ask you for what I need and you can ask for what you need
    • We can talk about how we feel without judgement
    • We can ask each other for help without judgement

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  55. BRAVING: Non-judgement

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  56. What do team members do that
    earn trust?
    • Ask for Help
    • Confidence you’ll know if they are struggling or in over their head
    • Not asking for help leads to not receiving challenging work
    • Leads to delegation
    BRAVING: Non-judgement

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  57. Are you technically irrelevant?
    • Afraid of being judged for lack of knowledge or understanding
    • We judge
    • person doing worse than us
    • area where we are insecure
    • Feels good to feel superior … for a little while
    BRAVING: Non-judgement

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  58. What can you do?
    • Ask for help
    • Help others when they ask
    • Stay curious about why you are judging
    • Be aware of your own insecurities
    BRAVING: Non-judgement

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  59. Generosity
    • You extend the most generous interpretation possible to
    intentions, words, and actions of others

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  60. BRAVING: Generosity

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  61. What can you do?
    • What boundaries need to be in place for you to be generous with your
    assumptions about other’s behavior?
    • Provide clear expectations and set boundaries
    • We are each responsible for our own behavior and the things we can
    control
    • Don’t hold grudges
    • Get to personally know people - listen, ask questions
    BRAVING: Generosity

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  62. Refactoring Trust

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  63. Start where people are
    • Develop observable behaviors for elements of trust and
    organizational values
    • Behaviors in the context of current reality of culture and
    organization
    • Create a North Star

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  64. Trusting Teams
    During meetings, most important and
    difficult issues are put on the table to be
    resolved
    Acknowledge and apologize for mistakes
    - openly admit weakness and mistakes.
    Willingly makes sacrifices for the good of
    the team
    Productive debate and discussions -
    ends with clear and specific resolutions
    and call to action
    Do what you say you’ll do
    Passionate & unguarded in their
    discussion of issues
    Concerned about letting down peers
    Willing to say no Call out each other’s unproductive
    behaviors
    Ask for help
    Concerned about letting down peers Don’t over promise
    Retain employees
    Leave meetings confident that peers are
    committed to the decisions made
    Meetings are engaging and productive

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  65. 0. Self-reflect

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  66. Self-trust
    • Foundations of trusting others is trusting ourselves
    • Often out of our element — innovation, changing market
    conditions etc

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  67. Leading is Lonely
    • Employees complaining of exhaustion were actually lonely.
    (Harvard Business Review)
    • Emotions of leading — loneliness, isolation, carrying weight of
    people/company’s future

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  68. Self-compassion
    • Three elements of self-compassion:
    • Self-Kindness: speaking to ourselves as we would speak to our
    loved ones, even in face of failure; meet mistakes with kindness
    • Common Humanity: we are not alone and humans shares these
    feelings of shame and inadequacy
    • Mindfulness: appropriate responsibility and rumination on
    feelings and emotions; be present
    Research from Dr. Kristin Neff

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  69. 1. Show
    Vulnerability

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  70. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0218121/
    Model Behavior

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  71. Be vulnerable
    • Most important thing you can do is be vulnerable first
    • Must risk losing face to show the team it’s ok for them to risk
    • Must be genuine
    • “Fake vulnerability” or “cordial hypocrisy” does more harm
    • E.g. ask questions but don’t pause for others to talk
    • E.g. shirk responsibility by asking them to feel sorry for you

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  72. Team: Personal Histories
    • Provide low-risk way to show vulnerability
    • Ask team to share answers to a few personal questions with each other
    • Innocuous attributes or experiences; Not too revealing
    • number of siblings, hometown, unique challenges of childhood, favorite
    hobbies, first job, and worst job
    • Creates Empathy
    • Discourages inaccurate behavior attribution
    Five Dysfunctions of Teams

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  73. 2. Talk about Trust

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  74. Identify the
    breach.

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  75. Psychological Safety
    • Google’s #1 element of successful teams
    • Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure
    or embarrassed?
    • Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson coined
    • Taken-for-granted belief about how others will respond when you ask a
    question, seek feedback, admit a mistake, or propose a possibly wacky idea
    • Most people feel a need to “manage” interpersonal risk to retain a good
    image, especially with their boss

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  76. Build a container
    • Establishing ground rules of a group
    • Rules should make people feel safe — ask what others need.
    • Create a shared language. Introduce your team to BRAVING or
    other concepts.

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  77. Prepare for discomfort
    • Practice
    • Discuss with friend
    • Accept it: “I’m going to feel uncomfortable. I’m going to do it
    anyway.”
    • Thin Book of Trust has preparation steps and scripts

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  78. Talk about trust
    • Schedule a time
    • Start with context: I’d like to talk about trust
    • Specific behaviors
    • Clear Examples
    • Describe the impact of the behavior on team or business
    • Follow up with consistent actions

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  79. 3. Keep going

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  80. http://olayar.deviantart.com/art/Birth-plan-icon-monitoring-518120665
    Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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  81. Trust is a practice
    • “Repair trust when it is broken, by being intentional and
    consistent in your language and actions.” - Charles Feltman, Thin Book
    of Trust
    • Walk the Walk

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  82. Team: Share assessments
    • Strengths & Weakness:
    • Share 1 of each that contribute most to team effectiveness
    • Do personality and behavioral assessments
    • Share results and discuss
    • Cannot be a tool of judgement

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  83. What does support look like?
    • Open-ended question.
    • Not “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.”
    • Clarifies roles and expectations
    • Holds them accountable for asking for what they need

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  84. Define roles in a decision
    • Who is accountable? Do they have the authority to do the work?
    • Who will carry out decision?
    • Who needs to provide input?
    • Who is effected and needs to be notified?
    • What does success look like?
    • Create a checklist of what needs to be done

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  85. – Brené Brown
    “Leaders must either invest a
    reasonable amount of time attending
    to fears and feelings, or squander an
    unreasonable amount of time trying
    to manage ineffective and
    unproductive behavior.”

    View Slide

  86. Refactoring Trust
    on your Team
    Rebecca Miller-Webster
    @rmillwebster
    Mastery Logistics Systems
    mastery.net
    Write/Speak/Code
    @writespeakcode
    Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
    Thin Book of Trust by Charles Felman
    Five Dysfunctions of Teams by Patrick Lencioni
    Understanding Computers and Cognition by Terry Winograd

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