Tools for Tech Leaders – Part 1: Trust and Relationships

7 December

Photo by suntorn somtong from Pexels

Technical leaders often experience the same issues. I’ve coached hundreds of them all over the globe. And, again and again, I found myself sharing the same similar tools, exercises, and models with them.

In this series of blogs, I’ll be sharing the resources that are most helpful to my coaching clients. This list can be useful for coaches who want to expand their toolbox or for leaders who’d like to self-coach themselves.

I’ll start with the tools and models related to building trust and relationships.

1. Julie Starr’s Scale of rapport.

It’s not uncommon for tech people to be oblivious to interpersonal undercurrents.

That’s why it’s useful to rate relationships with all of the stakeholders using the Scale of Rapport.

You basically go through relationships with relevant stakeholders and rate relationships with them on a scale from -5 (stong hostile feelings) to 5 (sense of being positively connected). Doing this exercise often leads to a better understanding of what actions can be taken to improve the relationships.

2. Charles Green’s The Trust Equation.

It describes trust as a function of four elements: credibility, reliability, intimacy, and self-orientation.

By assessing each of them one can better understand how to affect a particular part of this equation.

It works equally well when the trust was already breached or when one prepares to meet someone new with who they would like to establish trustful relationships right away.

You can read more in this article or even more in The Trusted Advisor book.

3. PMBOK’s Stakeholder Register.

Very few people deliberately take stock of the most important stakeholders they have.

Thus, deliberately doing such analysis is often eye-opening, especially for new leaders

Here are some of the templates:

4. David Rock’s SCARF Model.

It offers a nomenclature of needs that affect our behavior.

These are: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, Fairness. When some of them are missing, people can become triggered and behave ‘irrationally.’

Analyzing interactions from the standpoint of this model can help make sense of other people’s emotional behavior or resistance to fairly logical and rational arguments.

You can read more in this article.

In the next part, I’ll share the tools and models to improve communication.


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