Same Kind of Different

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some years ago, I was attending a forum on Neuroscience at the St.Lukes’ Hospital in Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines. After a few lectures, the conversations progressed to how the brain shapes and molds itself. Called neuroplasticity, as many of us have now become familiar with, is the fact that how we willfully think and how our capacities and resources respond and grow, in tandem.

The conversation then moved, in some weird way, onto fatalism and fate. The energy in the room began to wane, until an elderly person stood up and said, “Then what the Indians, they have no faith?”

The people on panel, on stage, had no idea how to come up with an answer to that one keeping in mind that the forum was on science. There were some two hundred odd people in the room and some of them knew me, as a speaker and a coach, and they began to look my way. The elderly person asking the question, of course, unaware of the Indian in the room. My jaw had dropped and the neural synapses in my brain had begun to run amuck. I had no idea what to say or do. Millions of deities and the millions of rituals I knew of began to spin and dance around my head urging me to say something. I was dumbstruck.

Thankfully, a young neuro-smart savior from the stage asked the elderly person, “What makes you say that?”

“Well,” replied the man, “when one of our travel companion had a heart attack in India, the Indian doctor declared that his chances were extremely slim. He will not last the night, he added.”

“What if we pray?” asked the Filipinos of the doctor. “Yes, you may” said the doctor, “but trust me the chances are zero to none.”

This incident had led the elderly person to conclude that all, billions of Indians have no faith. It was simplistic thinking and no offense was intended. The whole room smiled and heaved a sigh of relief. I was thankful and relieved from defending the faith of a whole nation. Whew!

Today the memory of that awkward moment and the realization of how people jump to conclusions and acquire biases brings a smile to my face. I do wonder what causes people jump to such conclusions so easily. What is the genesis? What can be done about it?

I do not have any answers yet but, over the years, I watched Filipino friends try their utmost to save and care for the sick and the dying. They go on an all-out battle against the forces of nature, against the imminent. They sell their homes, sell the shirts off their back and bruise their knees from kneeling and praying to prevent the unpreventable. They get together in groups; invite friends and neighbors to plead unto the skies on their behalf. After all their efforts, if their prayers are not answered, they humbly accept their fate. They mourn rightly and bounce back very, very quickly. It is an amazing trait and I have watched it in awe and appreciation many times in my life. In the India of my childhood, my memories are of our families being a little more pragmatic about death but continuing to mourn and taking a wee bit longer to bounce back into life.

The bigger realization and take-away I have from this insight is that I, religiously, refrain from making sweeping and generalizing statements about any community or culture. The way I go about it is something you might want to consider in looking at our diverse world:

One, when I come across a behavior or a practice that is new to me, I step back and try to explore it a bit more and try to understand why people say and do, what they say and do. I give it time.

Two, when I begin to see a picture that is a lot clearer and precise as to what people of a different culture are saying and doing then I make an effort to understand what is about myself that finds things different.

Three, I move forward with caution, care and courtesy towards the novel belief or practice until I find a connection and a commonality from which point synergies can be developed.

This practice over the years has built my persona. The influences towards this practice have been the sense and the sensibilities of the two beautiful cultures I have been part of for decades. I truly believe that ‘We are all the same kind of different.’ What remains important is kindness and courtesy towards all others. Treat others as if they were a reflection of your own selves. ‘Pakikipagkapwa-tao,’ we call that belief and behavior in the Philippines.

Gumption, Resilience and Innovation for Tough Times

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Back in April 2020, at one of my open to public webinars on Emotional Intelligence, I had more than 2000 attendees and a large number of them were public school teachers. I was happily surprised. You see we had not positioned the webinar towards the teaching community. We had wanted to fill our Zoom room with business executives and business owners. We wanted them to weather the crisis and the oncoming challenges with calm and equanimity. My assumption is that the teaching community turned up in numbers because they wanted to learn the subject since changing times would demand a lot more from them than they had been used to giving in the past.

My suspicions about that are further validated because for the last several months, from across my home, I hear a female teacher conduct online classes. I hear her speak, explain, cajole, and applaud children. She goes on full throttle for hours and hours for several days in a week talking about math, the sciences, and values. It is just amazing and mind-blowing to see her expel so much passion and energy. Hats off to her and hats off to the nobility of her passion and profession.

In Delhi, a former diplomat and his singer wife, Virendra and Veen Gupta, took to the streets and beg

an to conduct free classes for underprivileged children who have little access to electronic devices and the internet. Paper and pencils in hands scores of children walk miles to come sit and learn under a tree in India.

The COVD-19 growth curve has not flattened across the world but it has flattened. Humanity has gathered gumption, garnered the ability to be resilient, and innovate thousands of products and practices in the last six months. Online learning platforms, organic classroom and office-dividers, re-usable and biodegradable masks, and partitions have come up from across the world.  Retailers and malls have turned their stores inside out. A huge amount of business and work gets conducted in open spaces, on streets, under tents and trees.

Our spirits are indomitable. We will go on to, of course, win this war with gumption, resilience, and abilities to come up with new ideas to surge ahead. On November 21, I will be running another free webinar on how to act courageously, with tenacity, and with a focus on innovation and growth in these changing times. Hoping that though they are not business-focused, the teachers who inspire the world will join us for GRI.T². That is gumption, resilience, and innovation for tough times. In the webinar, we will skim over the philosophies but dive deep into the possibilities and practices of changing the world one innovative action at a time.

Facilitation and Midwifery

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Ever since I took a deeper dive into the art and science of process facilitation, I have not been able to shake off the apparent similarity between a facilitator and a mid-wife. Yes, that is correct; it is a hard image to erase once it gets etched onto your mind.

A year or two ago, the image increased resolution and clarity when Certified Professional Facilitator Theresa Ratnam Thong of Malaysia said; “Sometimes my clients just call me and ask me to just be present during their proceedings. They just like for me to be around.” “Like a holy ghost,” she added laughingly.

A mid-wife does not carry any intention of becoming a parent to a child that she helps bring forth into the world. She was not there when the desire to conceive came about. She will not be there once the child develops into an adult and into a productive citizen of the world. She begins to turn up, support, counsel, observe, listen, guide, energize, nudge, advice after conception, and all the way until the newborn catches a glimpse of a new sunrise. She walks away from this creation with a little token of gratitude from the parents and a lot of satisfaction from having helped bring forth a new life. The intention, the outcome, the short and long-term benefits of this new creation belong to the family.

The knowledge, skills, and behaviors required of a proficient and professional midwife are not far apart from that of a process facilitator. They need to acquire and maintain updated knowledge in the field. They need to own and operate many soft techniques and tools that contain and care for the process and the outcome. They need to plan, prepare, and collaborate deeply and trustingly with the parents.

The three essential things that both these angels of change and co-creation need to consistently do are:

One, become really and truly good at what they do. Day in, day out all the immersion into acquiring new knowledge, building skills and minding behavior needs to have one singular focus and that is to serve the needs of the client, the customer, the need for creative construction.

Two, stay flexible and fluid to the dynamics of change. Keeping the client-desired outcomes in mind the facilitator must live and thrive in the moment of what constantly emerges. Fuel the emergence gently when it is virtuous and empower the client to stretch and own the change when it is not.

Three, strive to stay invisible in the present and become redundant in the long-term. No better glory in driving change when the change recipients come and claim that they did it on their own and they can continue to evolve and grow on their own.

The service quality and mindset of this mid-wife in rural Pakistan are worthy of applaud and emulation. The way to let others shape their own tomorrow is to be there when they need you and become invisible way before, much before they begin to lean upon you.

Essentially, between facilitation and midwifery, go be holy and be a ghost too until a new vision and a new life takes form.

 

Raju Mandhyan

 

Forgiveness and Leadership

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I hear it is a good thing. I understand the world expects it of me. I also trust it heals and sets me free. Yet, I have been holding off talking about this for a decade now. I was under the impression that forgiveness was the stuff that preachers and pastors talk of. Yet, every time I helped nudge a leader back into form, back into productivity, the work that, mostly, needed to be done was for them to let go of something that was weighing them down so that they could go on to something that would heave them up. They needed to let go. They needed to forgive.

Then I must also confess that every time I, personally, wanted to reach upwards I had to let go of something that was holding me down and grounding me downwards. That something was usually a disappointment, a trauma, a grudge, a failure or even just an unqualified, irrational, hallucinated fear. And, all of these causes and ‘uncauses’ had to be managed and let go of before any and every leader could climb upwards. And, by the way, everyone has leadership potential in them and thus everyone is a leader or a leader in the making. Yes, you too.

I bear grudge to a former boss who thought that I was way too green behind my ears and treated me likewise. I bear a grudge against a business partner who sabotaged contracts because of our differences in ethnicity and backgrounds. I resent customers who take their business to others because they are blood-related and not because they serve and deliver better.

From an authentic leadership perspective, all these reasons are shallow. They are ‘uncauses’ to be holding grudges, resentment and even anger towards others. An executive within an organization and a leader in social and business circles grows, blooms and inspires others when she can overcome malice, move on to a better place and better productivity for all.

How?

Not just conceptually but in practice, in reality. Literally.

How?

First, on a piece of paper briefly describe a grudge you hold against another. Practice precision and brevity in the description. Yes, okay to be emphatically expressive but be succinct about it. Let the written paper rest. Walk away from it for a while, maybe for days. There is a good chance that when you get back to it, you will have or will begin to separate fact from mental fiction. You will become objective about the incident, the behavior and the people involved.

You see there is a fine line that divides the objective truth and the conjured up, victim perspective, truth in our minds. It is similar to the fact that rational thinking nodes and the romanticizing nodes in our brains are not very far apart. Giving our thoughts and emotions a little space and time allows them to segregate.

Second, when you recognize the difference between self-generated illusions of hurt and deliberate damage done by another then make a cognitive effort to place yourself into the shoes of that another. Think of answers to questions like:

Forgiveness and Leadership

Forgiveness and Leadership

  • What background do they hail from?
  • What kind of experiences and exposures have they lived through?
  • What are they trying to shield, protect or prevent from happening?
  • What might be their real agenda behind their behaviors and their machinations?
  • What might they be afraid of?
  • From their point of view, what might you represent for them?
  • What might you, consciously or unconsciously, have done to annoy, hurt or scare them?

Third, visualize what your issue might look, sound and feel like to an absolutely open-minded and neutral witness to your relationship. The way to go about it is to think of critical incident or an issue occurring between two of your friends and what might the opinion of a teacher, a coach or an elder be about that incident.

  • What would a teacher, coach or an elder have to say about the grudge you hold against another.
  • What would she say or do?
  • How can you emulate the words and actions of a person you consider kind, compassionate, and a clear thinker?

 

As you will yourself and as you stretch your mental and emotional muscles to go through these three steps the person and his actions that caused you ire become less and less important to you.  The clarity and heightened resolution of that anger begin to fade away. Eventually, the target of your ire begins to fade and begins to reform, rebirth in your mind as another individual, another ordinary, simple human being just like you.  You might also want to share your thoughts with a friend. You might try rehearse a conversation and a dialogue with the one you want to forgive. You need not take this up in reality. You are only taking this up to cleanse your neurological system of toxicity. Just the process lived out vicariously helps a lot.

It is a slow, steady process. It requires persistence, faith in your abilities to succeed, and a certain mental discipline. It cannot be achieved in a day. It can be achieved the same way you acquire and build a new habit, or a new muscle.  The more such forgiveness muscles you build the stronger a human being and a leader you become. Just like a good fitness regime that needs to be supported by a good diet the ability to forgive requires that you choose your thoughts, words and actions again and again. When you find yourself sinking into anger, resentful and depressive thoughts about a person or incident go for a walk, a run or a trek. Mind the choice of your words and conversations with others. The more recklessly you talk ill of others or of negative incidents the more they flourish and solidify in your own mind. We are all auto-telic. We have malleable brains and we shape them by will, thought and behavior. We become what we constantly think about. Think about being angry and upset over a past grudge and you become a depressed and angry person all across.

  • Leadership is about being aware, being agile, and grasping moments that will innovate, change things.
  • Leadership is about journeying over a distance, over to a better place-a vision of a brighter future.
  • Leadership is about including others, millions of others, and enrolling them to move forward by moving yourself.

All this can be achieved with grace and with gumption. Grace to accept and gumption to let go. A leader, all leaders need to stay light and unburdened and they need to move on ahead with deliberation and purpose.

At the end of it all. At the end of all your striving and struggling if you are unable to let go of nasty, toxic memories; if you are unable to forgive others then forgive yourself for not being able to forgive others.

Alternatively, better still, start the whole forgiving process by forgiving yourself first. Yes!

What to believe in times like these

It is true that our beliefs drive our behaviors and our behaviors drive our growth and progress in life and in our businesses.

It is hitting month EIGHT since COVID-19 turned the earth inside out. There is very little to tell you about why and how it happened or, even, what the consequences of this massive, tsunami of a disruption are because are experiencing them.

The question is what should we do get ahead of this. What should we do to progress? How do we behave and what should we believe in?

At Inner Sun, we have a belief about beliefs. We believe that beliefs are put together by three dynamisms.

The first is the dynamism that is innate, congenital, and embedded. In an individual, it is sometimes referred to as nature or personality; in a business organization, it may be referred to as “work culture”.

The second dynamism is the one that exists outside of this system and is of many forms; the way that it is often referred as the environment, the economy, or the ecology.

The third, the most vibrant, with a high potential to influence the inner and the outer dynamisms, is the dynamics of the process between the internal and external systems.  It is the process of combustion between what is and what is possible. This is where innovation and change is carved out. This is where a new life and a new world is born. The drivers of this intermediate dynamism are the first is the dynamism that is innate, congenital, and embedded. In an individual, it is sometimes referred to as nature or personality; in a business organization, it may be referred to as “work culture”.

In these blazingly vibrant and challenging times, individual and organizations need to huddle up and closely watch what is happening with our own awareness, intelligences, emotions, memories that we are accumulating, and the actions we are taking.

Organizations and individuals, in recent times, that have trusted these two beliefs have a robust potential not just to survive but also to thrive in the coming days:

Believe that there are better days ahead. Yes, those that recognize that this is one of the seasons of change in a larger sense and that spring is just ahead staying optimistic and enthused about what they do. “The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy,’ said Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Believe that we are all in this together. However, in a commercial sense, competition is good but in these challenging times, it is collaboration and compassion that are key to progress. “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful,” claimed Mother Teresa.

The higher the intensity and the quality control of these elements the better the results and the outcomes for tomorrow.

Think about this deep and hard. These things will boost your beliefs onto a better place and thus influence your behaviors towards progress and growth in these challenging times.

Dumb to Dumbstruck to Dumber

My apologies if highlighting this thing annoys you. It might if you are the perpetrator these things. By these things, I mean the excessive use of plastic products.

Way before COVID 19 had hit us, our forests and oceans had already been hurt by the plastic waste that abused their beauty and their purity. That was dumb.

For a few crazy weeks during the global lockdown, nature had begun to bloom again. The air had cleaned up, the oceans had become pristine and the flora and fauna had begun to bloom. That was because we were dumbstruck by this change.

Then as our fears reduced and the desires to become productive again, rose we made some moves that surely were dumber. Our consumption of plastic and synthetic products just shot through the roof: masks, shields, curtains, acrylic dividers, and on the streets of Metro Manila motorcycle riders’ doinked up a large sheet of acrylic between the driver and passenger. That was actually the dumbest thing to do.

Check what UNCTAD has to say about this:

It is a societal flaw that when faced with a crisis we respond with short-term solutions than long-term. If we just pause to reflect twice rather than just once, we can and will come up with better solutions to all kinds of problems. No point in, habitually, going from dumb to dumbstruck to dumber.

How to Receive Love Letters from Customers

 

No matter how much digging and deep diving we do, we end up recognizing that leaders excel when they align thought, words and action. Across the world and overtime, wars have been waged because leaders and nation said one thing and then did another. Organizations stumble and collapse because those in power think of one thing, say another and, eventually, end up doing something that was miles apart from the original thought.

When you, your organization think, say and do things in alignment with each other then people, your customers and the world begins to appreciate you and follow you. Being authentic automatically influences you world.

Recently Wegmans Food Markets, a New York based supermarket chain was chosen as one of the top 10 companies to work for by HRD, USA because for nearly 100 years now the company has been living up to its word. The word being Every Day You Get Our Best. They have a 94% approval rating and dedicated followers who promote the organic-style approach to healthier living. – so much so that they beg to Wegmans to open a franchise in their neighborhood.

The core reason for this love from their customers is that Wegmans Food Markets think of providing quality products and services to their customers. They publish and promote their desires and their plans plainly and then they follow through with the right execution over time. No punches pulled and no hidden agendas. It is a tough and noble thing to do. Yet, when as a leader, you commit and strive to think, say and do things in alignment with each other then the world around takes notice, pays you the respect you deserve, and follows you to the end of the world and to the end of time.

So every single day show up like the sun, roll up your sleeves and cultivate your world such that you leave it shining and green.

 

 

Other Side of the Mountain 

It has been the biggest crisis of our lives. It is visible out on the streets whenever I dare to venture out.

People are walking around as if they were in frenzy. In shops, groceries etc., we look at each other suspiciously. Making as if each one of us was out to harm another.  Even though the traffic congestion is half as bad as before, cars whizz past you discourteously and even aggressively. And, mind you, we are all still nice people, essentially kind human beings.

We have been traumatized by the fear, the facts, and the fierceness of this virus. Consultant friends of mine, over an online meeting, claimed that those in power and the world at large is ignoring the trauma. My response was that the average Joe and Juanita are unaware of how that trauma manifests and how it plays out in the end.

It manifests in the form of excessive boredom, doubt, depression, forgetfulness, and even uncalled for anger over petty things. What constructive things can we do to lessen the impact of this mishap?

Acknowledge the fear and accept the facts: Over an online meeting with fellow coaches and consultants it came up that we as a people are ignoring the trauma caused by the current circumstances. My offer was that way before ignore we need to learn to become aware of it and acknowledge its existence. That, by itself, is half the cure already. Take time out to sit down, mediate reflect or have a gentle, non-melodramatic, chat with family and friends. Discuss your feelings, the facts and the existence of fear. Leave out the news and the toxic gossip that is flooding your phones.

Work your body more than your mind: I do not have to have to tell you how intricately mind and body; body and mind are connected. You know it. Working your body will stretch you healthily. A well-stretched body rests better and sleeps better. It takes you away from dark, fearful and pointless imaginings. It snatches you away from gadgets and indulging in trashy news and information. In the last seven months done I have done more walking, biking, gardening, cooking, meditating, yoga and carpentry than I have done in any other seven months of my life. This does not I read, write, study, facilitate, train, speak or coach less for my profession. Surely, business has dropped but I have kept my shop and services open and sensibly active.

Perk up your faith: Yes, the religious kind and, even the faith in self and the universe. Make a deliberate mental effort to keep your self-talk positive, affirmative and optimistic. Focus on the possibilities rationally and hard just as you would use your neo-cortex, analytical brain to solve a math problem, focus upon thinking positively and affirmatively repeatedly.

There are a hundred other things we can do to traverse through these times but I assure you that these three practices will be at the core of all other suggestions. Take them to your heart and work at them using your head and your hands. We will soon be seeing other at the other side of this mountain.

R E S P E C T, Earn it by Giving it!

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Respect is an essential currency of exchange with family, at work and with society.

The ABC’s of earning and accumulating respect are quite similar to earning and accumulating financial wealth. You can be born, or get married, or sneak into a position of power and demand respect.

On the other hand, you can honestly work your way up and become a self-made man of respect.

You can also go flat broke at it.

Several years ago, a c-level department head came to me claiming he had lost a lot of respect among his workers. He was the head of logistics, had seven managers and another 200 people working under him.

My people do not like me, engagement has dropped and work is suffering, he said.

He was new to the company, to the culture and the country. After an hour or so of probing, we uncovered the root cause. One time, he confessed, he had spoken harshly to an elderly colleague in the presence of all others. She was hurt and insulted; he had robbed her of respect. Her teammates and eventually the whole department empathized with her. In return, they too turned cold and indifferent towards him.

It has been six months, Coach Raju, what do I do? He cried in pain.

R E S P E C T

Can I go and apologize to the person? Nope, it will not help. It is a shy, relationship-oriented culture.

Can I call them all over for dinner and do some bonding? Nope, it will seem like a bribe and cause more harm.

Go the front end of your logistics department. Work with the drivers, the maintenance and the messenger boys. Treat them with courtesy, care and respect first. Be humble, remember their names and get to know them better, I offered.

He agreed and worked at it diligently. Six months later things began to look up. Slowly, he began to get into the good books of everyone. His respect balance sheet began to glow in his favor. He was getting it back because he was giving it away authentically, truly and humbly. His changed behavior began to influence the company culture. He was a happy man.

With tiny errors such as his our respect, our reputation can come crashing down like a sheet of glass. When it has to be put together, it has to be put together piece by piece, shard by shard. Sometimes, it can never be put back together.

So I use what I call the ABC’s of Respect.

What are the ABC’s of earning respect?

The A is Awareness. Become highly aware of the ambiance, the atmosphere and the accoutrements of respect around you. Watch people, appreciate diversity and understand rituals. Find your place and niche in the world. Your heightened awareness will improve your appearance in the eyes of others. And, they will return that favor to you.

The B is for your Beliefs. Do you believe the world is a lousy, unhappy and a sad place? If yes, then your behavior will follow your belief. Do you believe that it is a dog eat dog world then your behavior will bark at others. Generate an abundant mentality and your behavior will become affirmative.

The C is for Conscientious Communications. Select each letter and word as if you were picking flowers. Morph them positively. Bead them like a garland towards energizing others. My father, a tailor in India, used to say “Son, measure twice and cut once.” The same applies to communicating, think twice and speak once.

Do all this consistently, compassionately and with authenticity. Overtime you will notice that respecting others is a fruitful investment that brings you exponential returns.

Sometimes, money is called the root of all evils. Respect surely is the fruit of all that is good. Yes!

That is true and authentic power. That is how to grow and thrive

Trust by Raju Mandhyan

How to Trust and Acquire Trust

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Tony Meloto is to the Philippines what Mohammed Yunus is to Bangladesh and what Jimmy Carter is to the United States of America. They are all founders of these NGOs that support the underprivileged. Tony Meloto gave up a lucrative career to build and grow Gawad Kalinga, which means to bestow care and support. In the last 25-30 years

Trust by Raju Mandhyan

Trust and Acquire Trust

they have built millions of humble homes across the Philippines, Asia, and the world. The initiative is creative, colorful and has succeeded with flying colors. Money, support, and volunteers flood in from all walks and all parts of the world.

One day at a conference that I was hosting, I cornered Tony Meloto and asked him how he manages this incoming wealth and support. How does he screen, filter, sort, and keep the whole thing transparent and running ethically? Are you not worried about corruption, politics, or fraud?

He paused, looked at me gently, and said, “We begin with trust.” We begin by first giving it abundantly at the get-go level, at the face value of the donor and the volunteer. In return, he said, we get it back trust back in spades and shiploads. That is how the system is structured, and that is how it works and it has not failed us so far. When we grant trust to people, they rise up to our positive expectations and often surpass them.

Such is the essential nature of trust and humankind. We wish to be trusted, we wish to trust others and the exchange occurs when we lead by offering it first. The offering of trust journeys through three phases. Call them the ABCs of trust. That is it needs to journey through appearances, behaviors, and communications with others.

When we regard another human being our deepest brain, the Amygdala, and the Hippocampus sections, within seconds makes an assessment of whether we like them or not; whether we should fear them or not; whether we should trust them or not. Thus, at this appearance level take in this assessment as data to be used for an integrated analysis of whether they can be trusted or not. Refrain from passing judgment just yet. Refrain from taking any action just yet. This information is only a third of the information needed to come to a conclusion.

The second phase is that of us watching and sensing their behavior. From years of watching and dealing with people each, one of us has a storehouse of behavior matching cards and metrics by which we assess likable or dislikeable behavior. Take note of these feelings, nudges of thoughts triggered by past memories. This is valuable data. Perhaps enough to come to a conclusion and then act but exercise pragmatism and hold back from judging the book by its cover.

The third phase is that of us listening to their words, their thoughts, their ideas about work and life. Hear them out totally. Maybe their appearance and behavior might be the total opposite of what they say, claim and commit.

Now you have data gathered from three different sources, three different modalities of communications. You have data gathered from sight, sense, and sound. Each of these sources has provided fodder that is data to crunched by our three brains; the deepest brain known as the Reactive brain which processes in the most primal way. We have behavioral data to be processed by our mid, limbic brain known as the Romantic brain and then we have data, cognitive-spoken kind, to be processed by our neo-cortex known as the Reasoning brain.

When all this data is done processing by these three brains and the final analysis compliments each other then you have found congruence. Then you have found trustworthiness. Now you can move ahead, take action.

That is the neural pathway, the journey of the thing called trust. That is how we trust and that is how we begin the process of trusting. Tony Meloto and Kalinga warriors, of course, do this in an accelerated way. They do it in a way that works for them fine and fruitfully.

What does it take from us, from leaders to trust others, and let our minds journey through these three neural phases?

It takes observing people through lenses that have the least possible bias. I am not saying without any bias, I am saying with the least possible and by staying conscious of our biases. If we observed people without any bias then we would have no opinions whatsoever. Thus, watch people closely, wholly, and gently.

It takes becoming sensitive to people’s behavior. It takes noticing and understanding of why people do what they do. It takes recognizing what kind of emotions are triggered with us when we watch and sense other people and their actions. It is about awareness, sensitivity, and being intelligent about emotions.

Finally, it takes active and acute listening to take in all that is being said and also exploring and understanding parts that are, sometimes, left unsaid.

These three phases of trusting others are tied in to three things we need to do, and all of them are in alignment with the structure and processing system of our triune brains. When we gather optimum data gently and process it quietly and thoroughly our abilities to assess and trust others improve.

 

Acquiring trust, on the other hand, is the reversal of this three-phase journey. When we want others to trust us then we must offer them the correct and honest appearances and presentations of ourselves. We need to let them see us plainly and openly. Masking our appearances is going to give others the heebie-jeebies over us. We need to become conscious of our behaviors and actions in the presence of others. Raising your voice, moving frantically or even positioning yourself where there is a lack of light will make others wonder about us. Lastly, thinking well before speaking gently and succinctly about things helps others get a clearer picture of us. It helps them go through the process of integrating the data and the analysis through the three phases and with the triune brain efficiently. This when practiced with consistency builds relationship trust. We can do the same with acquiring trust in our competencies; be good at something consistently.

Building a culture of trust in other organizations is an enhanced and a multi-layered approach of this interpersonal process of giving and acquiring trust. When the process becomes clear to the leaders of any organization, they begin to live out the process. Living out the process makes it habitual and, eventually, becomes second nature to leaders. When leaders are good at giving and getting trust then the philosophy and the practice cascade across to become the culture of that organization. Trust me.