The Chemistry of Trust: 8 Ways to Build More of It

What if you could be the kind of leader whose team had increased energy, was more productive, collaborated better with their colleagues, and stayed with your organization longer? What if your people suffered less chronic stress and were happier with their lives?

In the Neuroscience of Trust, published in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review, Paul Zak suggests that you can be that kind of leader by increasing trust on your team. He proposes eight management behaviors to help you do so. In considering his ideas, I matched his suggestions up against the Business Chemistry types, knowing that different things make the various types tick. Here are the eight proposed behaviors and the types with which they’re most likely to be effective…

Induce “challenge” stress. Zak suggests that challenge stress, brought on by assigning teams difficult but achievable tasks, releases chemicals in our brains that increase social connections. This technique may be particularly effective for Drivers, who are more likely than the other types to report that they thrive in the face of challenging tasks. 1

Give people discretion in how they do their work. In other words, enable autonomy by allowing people to complete projects in their own way—if you trust your people, they’re more likely to trust you. When asked about autonomy, Pioneers and Drivers (particularly D-Scientists) say it’s more important to them than Integrators and Guardians do.

Enable job crafting. Job crafting means, in part, empowering people to choose which projects they work on. This technique may be particularly successful with Pioneers, who are the most likely type to say they thrive when they have opportunities to learn and try new things. Who knows better which work has the right level of “new” than your people themselves?

Share information widely. Zak suggests that lack of information about an organization’s direction can cause chronic stress among employees. Cultivating trust by sharing such information may be most essential with Guardians, who our research suggests experience the highest levels of stress, and are also the type most likely to say clear expectations are important to them.

Recognize excellence. A little recognition is likely to go long a long way for all types of people, but our research shows that Guardians and Integrators are more likely than Pioneers and Drivers to say that recognition is a key ingredient for them to thrive at work. Given that the work of these types can sometimes go unseen, acknowledging their contributions could be a particularly effective trust-builder with them.

Intentionally build relationships. Zak cites his own research suggesting that creating social ties at work improves performance. This may be particularly valuable with Integrators, who are the most relationship-focused type and also the most likely to say that working with people they enjoy is a priority for them. A little bit of focused attention to relationship-building can help in creating mutual trust.

Facilitate whole person growth. By whole-person growth Zak means helping people grow both professionally and personally, and that can mean different things for different people. While all the types put a high priority on a feeling of accomplishment, Drivers, particularly D-Commanders, are more likely than the other types to say advancement is important to them, while Guardians and Integrators prioritize work-life balance more than others, and Pioneers are the most likely type to say it’s important to know they’re making a difference in the world. When your people know you understand them and see them as people, not just employees, they’re more likely to put their trust in you.

Show vulnerability: As a leader, being vulnerable enough to ask for help when you need it is perhaps one of the scariest but most effective means of role-modeling trust. Doing so demonstrates to all types of people that asking for help is okay, that they can trust you enough to ask when they need it. By asking your people to have your back, you’ll show them that you’re going to have theirs. And isn’t that really what trust is all about?

Dr. Suz

Suzanne Vickberg, PhD (aka Dr. Suz)

Dr. Suz is the Greenhouse Team’s very own social-personality psychologist, which means she studies how people’s thoughts, behaviors and preferences are influenced by both who they are and the situations they’re in. She uses Business Chemistry to help teams explore how the mix of perspectives brought by their individual members influences their work together. Follow her on Twitter @DrSuzBizChem

1Research findings in this post are based on a study with 13,885 professionals of varying levels working outside Deloitte, in the US and elsewhere. Participants represent more than 1,200 organizations across various industries, and 115 countries overall. During the period of February, 2016 to November, 2016 participants completed the Business Chemistry assessment online and also answered questions about their career aspirations, career priorities, and the working conditions under which they thrive. For each question, respondents were asked to select their top three options out of a list of 10. The margin error for this sample is less than two percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level, for all Business Chemistry types.

Business, Life, and Coffee podcast, “The Four Personality Types That Dominate The C-Suite”

56a8aa9eca44b8450c5cb5bd_loThe Business, Life, and Coffee Podcast hosted by Joey Price, CEO of Jumpstart HR, speaks with Kim Christfort, National Managing Director of The Deloitte Greenhouse Experience team.  Kim shares her insights on Deloitte’s newly published research,  Business Chemistry in the C-suite.  They also discuss how Business Chemistry can help forge stronger working relationships and how leaders can accomplish more with diverse teams.  Listen and share your thoughts!

Good Morning America hosts hunch their Business Chemistry types

GMAAre you a Pioneer, Guardian, Driver, or an Integrator? The hosts of ABC’s Good Morning America talk about Business Chemistry’s four different personality types and the research published in Harvard Business Review.  Don’t miss Lara Spencer’s response as they determine which Business Chemistry type best describes their leadership style.

Harvard Business Review Podcast: How Personalities Affect Team Chemistry

rec_glb_ho_1850_loHarvard Business Review has released a new podcast with Deloitte Greenhouse Experience National Managing Director Kim Christfort, who talks about the different personality styles in an organization and the challenges of bringing them together. Deloitte’s Business Chemistry system helps companies better understand personality styles and capitalize on their cognitive diversity. She and Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg coauthored the article, “Pioneers, Drivers, Integrators, and Guardians” in the March-April 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.

Chemistry in the C-suite webcast now available on demand

2017-03-24_14-49-37

More than 1,000 people joined our live webcast about the findings from the Deloitte Greenhouse Experience’s new study, Business Chemistry in the C-suite. A replay of the webcast is now available on demand.

Kim Christfort, the Deloitte Greenhouse Experience National Managing Director and one of the original architects of Business Chemistry, and Suzanne Vickberg, social-personality psychologist and Business Chemistry’s lead researcher, provided insights for current and aspiring leaders, as well as those who work with them.  Topics included the following:

  • Results of our study and findings related to function, organization size, industry, and gender
  • Insights about the traits that uniquely characterize C-suite executives
  • Tips that aspiring executives can consider in their own career paths
  • Strategies for leaders and those who work with them to use their understanding of various working styles to manage and benefit from diversity

 

Take a Lunch Break with Wall Street Journal Live, “Can a successful executive not be disciplined?”

WSJLiveDeloitte’s new study, Business Chemistry in the C-suite. was featured on Wall Street Journal Live’s Lunch Break.

“What drives the success of C-suite executives? National Managing Director for the Deloitte Greenhouse Experience Kim Christfort reveals the results of a survey of nearly 700 executives that shows while they are similar to many professionals, they are unique in their approach to problems in creative thinking.”

Business Chemistry in the C-suite

New survey finds C-suite has key differences from general business population

The latest Business Chemistry® research CxO_Image_350X350surveyed 661 C-suite executives to learn more about their working styles, the impact of organizational and demographic factors on common characteristics, and the unique traits that set CxOs apart from the typical professional. These findings can help inform current executives on team building, inspire aspirational professionals in shaping their career priorities, and build a better understanding of CxO preferences for anyone who works with them. Read the full report and watch the video to learn more about the findings.

Listen to a replay of our webcast to learn more about the insights from this new research. In this webcast, we:

  • Explore the results of our study and highlight findings related to function, organization size, industry, and gender
  • Share insights about the traits that uniquely characterize C-suite executives
  • Provide tips that aspiring next-generation executives can consider in their own career paths
  • Suggest strategies for leaders (and those who work with them) to use their understanding of various working styles to manage and benefit from diversity

Business Chemistry Featured in Harvard Business Review Spotlight on the New Science of Teamwork

1417 MarApr17 Cover_CMYK.inddPioneers, Drivers, Integrators, and Guardians

Every team is a mix of these personality types. Here’s how to get the best out of any combination.

by Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg and Kim Christfort

Published in Harvard Business Review, March/April, 2017

Organizations aren’t getting the performance they need from their teams. That’s the message we hear from many of our clients, who wrestle with complex challenges ranging from strategic planning to change management. But often, the fault doesn’t lie with the team members, our research suggests. Rather, it’s often leaders who fail to effectively tap diverse work styles and perspectives—even at the senior-most levels. Business Chemistry can help.

A first step is to identify the work styles of your team members and begin to consider how similarities and differences are beneficial or problematic. How many detail-oriented Guardians do you have versus big picture Pioneers? What’s the balance of competitive Drivers with consensus-oriented Integrators? How are these diverse styles complementing or conflicting with one another?

Next, it’s time to actively manage those similarities and differences. Read our full article in Harvard Business Review for more detail on these strategies for doing so.

  • Pull your opposites closer. Often, the biggest pain points are in one-on-one relationships, when opposite styles collide. By pulling your opposites closer—having them work together on small projects, and then bigger ones if it’s working out—you can begin to create complementary partnerships on your teams. It’s also important to pull your own opposites closer to you, to balance your tendencies as a leader.
  • Elevate the “tokens” on your team. When a team’s makeup is lopsided, cognitive bias can creep in, often leading to “cascades” or momentum that carries the team in the direction of the most common viewpoint. Your goal here should be to elevate minority perspectives on the team without turning others off. This way you can benefit from all the perspectives represented, not just those in the majority.
  • Pay close attention to your sensitive introverts. While a cascading team may lose out on contributions from any style that’s in the minority, members who are most introverted or sensitive can be at greatest risk of being drowned out. So that you don’t lose out on the unique strengths brought by these types, make an effort to understand how the team’s ways of working are supporting them to make their best contribution, or not.

Dr. Suz

Suzanne Vickberg, PhD (aka Dr. Suz)

Dr. Suz is the Greenhouse Team’s very own social-personality psychologist, which means she studies how people’s thoughts, behaviors and preferences are influenced by both who they are and the situations they’re in. She uses Business Chemistry to help teams explore how the mix of perspectives brought by their individual members influences their work together. Follow her on Twitter @DrSuzBizChem


This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

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Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of DTTL and its member firms. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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Six Workplace Trends to Watch in 2017

With the arrival of 2017, we’ve been spending time sizing up some of the many important developments, issues and trends in the workplace. And let us tell you: from tools, to employee experience, to team dynamics, workplace habits are a-changing. Teams are on the rise, the next generation of leaders are reshaping their work environments as I write, and the employer-employee contract continues to actively evolve.

Our analysis included published research findings, our own experience consulting to client companies, and ongoing monitoring of corporate commitments and published policies….With a bit of clairvoyance mixed in!

Color us *unsurprised* that Business Chemistry’s value had rarely been clearer. Continue reading “Six Workplace Trends to Watch in 2017”