Establishing and building Trust in Enablement

Dave Nel, Petek Hawkins, and John Moore (The Collaborator) explore the Trust Equation and how it impacts the approaches Enablement teams take in establishing trust internally with their stakeholders.

Audio Transcript

The Collaborator
Hey everybody, john Moore, the collaborator here today with one of my favorite people, and one of my other favorite people. Hi, you guys thought I was gonna throw you off there. Okay, David well, and P tech, you know, I butcher your name tech. So I’m just going to call you tech tech Hawkins both brand enablement practitioners and leaders who Dave works in South Africa, tech works in the US with me. Now, we’ve been talking about the trust equation, there’s this equation out here that basically claims that trust is made up of your credibility, plus the respect that you’ve earned, as do as part of doing your job well, plus the intimacy you built between yourself and other people. And really, that you take degraded and take away from it, based upon the level of self focus you bring to the conversations you’re having. And we’ve been talking about this and started talking about this in terms of how it impacts how you build trust within your organization. And I want to throw that out to maybe you, Dave, where you can just start with your thoughts on it.

Dave Nel
But Kathy, I think for me, the The first thing is, as a sales enablement practitioner, without trust from your, your, your partners, you’re going nowhere. And so it seems like such a poignant topic. And and I Lincoln was back also, you know, we was we spoken john about sales velocity equation, it’s the same kind of thing. But the idea is not with a mathematical lesson here. But all you have to do is make the numerator bigger, and the denominator smaller, and you get a multiplier effect, like trust will just grow even faster and faster and faster. So it’s small tweaks and changes can have a massive effect on on the left hand side of the of the equation. Just

The Collaborator
just translate that day, I think what I’m hearing you say is, if we can help sellers drive up their credibility, if we can get them in a position where they’re better respected, where they’re able to have more thoughtful and, you know, personal conversations with people and eliminate or reduce their level of focus on closing the deal and really focus on helping that we as enablers be really helped build that trust and help the organization be more successful as partly cut you off. But I did such a poor job of describing that formula in the first place. I just wanted to translate. Do you

Dave Nel
want to add one small thing that I want to add one more thing, I think also, not just about our sales people with their clients, but actually us as enablers and our sales enablement teams, with the leaders in the business with the salespeople, increasing credibility, increasing that reliability, increasing that intimacy, and decreasing my self interest will drive trust up for you with with your partners attack. I don’t know what you think.

Petek Hawkins
Um, I mean, I couldn’t say better myself, I really love that they’ve Um, so here’s what I think I think, you know, currently, there are two really viral discussions happening in the community in LinkedIn, if you go look at everywhere, and how do we create high performing teams, and then the other one is the great resignation. So this really, in eBay puts the Enable amongst role at a very high stakes for any organization. Because if we do our job, which is you know, creating that trust, trust becomes the multiplier effect, and how do we get in front of this great recognition? And then also, how do we create those high performing teams, that multiplier of trust is the most important thing right now. And a lot of it is something that we can lead with by leading by example. So I think at any given time, in, you know, in life, just like in life in business, some of these three, three components are going to be more relevant or more important than the others. So, credibility, reliability and intimacy. I personally have the vision right now that intimacy is one of those like more high stakes part of the equation of the nominator right now. And the reason is, because a lot of people are after going through COVID realize that there’s more to work than just come in here and just like, get in getting things done, and then just like not being happy or just being bogged down with a lot of stuff. So that intimacy of peace, in my opinion, as a society here in the US and across the world is becoming more and more important part of the equation at this time and age. And then the others are really important to supplement that, right? Like, you also have to be reliable, you have to show people that you are there to support them to be successful, especially in our role. And we just got to say what we’re going to do and do what we said that we’re going to do. And then credibility part is just going to come in time. So for our folks who are just new to enablement, let’s just make sure that they get it like we didn’t get credibility overnight in our organizations or in general, that if you don’t have it, right now, it’s not the it’s not the end of the world. But leverage one of those things that you have reliability and intimacy, to build that credibility over time. And then I think self orientation comes from, not like, I think that’s also important, it’s also important to point that you are not stretching yourself thin, so you cannot be reliable anymore. You’re also creating the right boundaries. So it’s, it’s a respectful way of handling, how you’re going to be serving the business. So it is just as important. But again, all of these that the things that I just mentioned, is actually to make you better for the business business by taking care of ourselves. So I don’t know, that’s just kind of what I thought about this.

Dave Nel
And I want to I want to add something just quickly that you’re saying there is. In coaching, there’s a there’s a concept called splitting, right? Which says, I’m either happy or I’m sad. I’m either good or I’m bad. I’m either first or I’m lost. And and you know what, you got to be careful it was this kind of an equation is I’m either trustworthy or not? Well, actually, no, it’s about increasing trustworthiness, because it’s not you’re not credible, it’s Could you do more credible? Could you be more credible? Could you get more intimate? Could you decrease that self orientation? It’s, I don’t think it’s an absolute. You know, it’s like this continuum. So I love your thing of different things matter. In the ecosystem that you’re in, in the world, that you find yourself in that one on one relationship that you with john, I interrupted you, you’re going to cut me off, you got to hang up on me,

The Collaborator
I hang up on you all, I’m done. I have no self. No, I’m self oriented. And I’m done with you all. know, I, I loved everything that you guys have said so far, when I think about a new enabler, walking into an organization, say less experienced one, you know, I think a lot about the, the the teams of one, the fairly new people, I tend to think about this equation and how you go about building trust, by starting from a place of, of the opposite of self orientation of service, starting from a place of service and saying, Look, I don’t know everything. I’m here to learn. But I’m also here to help you be extremely successful. I think if you walk into an organization from that point of, Look, I know what I know, but I don’t know at all, I’m here to help you and have conversations that are about how can I serve you, you instantly start to build that trust. And as a result of that, I think you also start to impact the intimacy that you build with your teammates. I’m not talking about, you know, fine wine and dinners I’m talking about, you start to build that understanding of, hey, we’re both in this together. And by having those conversations initially, you also start to build up your credibility, because they understand you’re here for them. And as long as you then focus on delivering what you what you promise to deliver, trust is a natural outcome. So for me, when I think about the equation, I think about it from the perspective of the new enable or the first time enabler focus on building that that intimacy through a lens of service and not about how do I get my next promotion, but it’s about how I help you make those sales and hit your numbers. Look, I’m

Dave Nel
all up for a, a fine wine and dining dinner anytime you’re offering it on the train, man, I’ll

The Collaborator
take you at any time that goes for all of you.

Petek Hawkins
I know, right? Let’s make it happen. Actually, one of the things that you said and we had this conversation like I think we’ve all been in sales here at one time or another. And there’s some parallel there like the more experienced the seller, usually they kind of get into a space and assume things and they think they’re just really credible and then they forget to serve they forget to earn the right to be able to sell and what you just said john is kind of reminding me of that like even even if you are a tenured enablement professional, and you have the experience, it’s still really important for you to have that like I am going to learn new things hat on before you go there. And Start assuming things because we can make the same mistake by just thinking we have the credibility because we’ve been doing this for a while, but not really sitting down at the table. So just I can sail sometimes the newbies are so much more successful than the more tenured bonds because they take the time to learn. I think this kinda applies to us too. Like, we have to be that new be regardless, at any point every day. Because we cannot just say that we know it all and forget to learn and discover and serve.

Dave Nel
We had a team that I was in once had a saying that we are relentlessly curious. And it but they use the word relentless like we are, and it doesn’t matter who you are, or how long you’ve been in the space is is relentlessly curious. I love that. Although I do want to point out one thing, I can’t not say it, I don’t know. It, you know, a equation with a with a denominator in the numerator, if the denominator is zero. And the equation actually doesn’t work as you can’t divide by zero. So I also I also think it’s fair to own the fact that we are human, and you are there to gain something for yourself. And it’s not possible to be 100% selfless, absolutely nothing in it for me. And I think it’s okay to own that. It’s where it becomes a detractor from the other things that it’s a problem. But I don’t know if I’ve really ever met someone who is 100% zero selfless at everything that I don’t know if it exists. I don’t know. It’s okay. To do want to be successful to want to achieve, but not at the detriment of of building trust, I guess.

The Collaborator
Yeah. And reinforced what, what I heard you say tech about, you also need to be comfortable setting those boundaries, you know, in your time and all of that as well. And I think I think you’re both right, we shouldn’t try to be, we shouldn’t try to drive that self focus to zero, because I think that can be detrimental as well. But I do think we need to always lead from the perspective of service, while also having those well defined boundaries and expectations for both sides. In terms of here’s what I’m trying to get out of it as well. I think that’s really smart.

Petek Hawkins
Yeah. So in yoga, we have this saying, and I’m just going to bring it up because Yoga is my like other life, other than sales enablement, or enablement. But we have that concept of filling your cup, because if your cup is empty, then you cannot really drive others to be happy, successful, and all that stuff. And I feel like, you know, that’s kind of the same thing, you got to fill your cup to point, your cup cannot be empty, so that you can pour the others cup too and, you know, just share, share that. And yeah, and if you’re zero, guess what, you’re not going to be able to do that not gonna happen,

Dave Nel
you’re not you’re not going to have the motivation. You know, I think I’ve heard it. I’ve also heard that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Right? And so, you know, own it. You are a human, you’re a person, you’ve got to stay motivated. And certainly you’re looking for what’s in it for me sometimes, as well, no question is, the other thing that I’m striking here is, you know, as things in myself, sometimes you got to look in the mirror a little bit to know where in the trust equation things need to shift. But also, I think my experience has been that it’s sometimes it’s hard to do that. And that’s where, you know, finding your, your honest partners in the business, who will actually give you feedback and say, you know, I’m not so sure that, you know, the credibility is quite where it needs to be. So I guess, you know, you don’t have to do it all alone. But you got to find people that you trust, who will give you the feedback. Again,

Petek Hawkins
a great example of that, actually. So I’m just building those relationships, because I have a new role. And I actually had our HR VP, who’s also just started with me. And you know, I talked to him, I’m like, Look, I haven’t built those relationships yet. And I am new. So how would you do me like to do me a favor and do some sort of a roadshow and get some feedback for me? And like, he was really happy to do that. And like, we kind of bonded over that. And it was really nice for me to hear what’s working, and then what do I need to tweak without wasting too much time? Like, even if you haven’t built those relationships, you can still find someone who can help you out, like regardless. So, I love that you brought that up, because I think it’s so important.

Dave Nel
Yeah. And you know, people people are also I mean, we were lucky and one of the reasons I love working in sales enablement is there’s just so many wonderful people who work in this in the space. But if you say to someone like how are you experiencing me, most people will say I love it. It’s great. But what this what this equation does is it helps you get proper feedback. When you think about credibility, How are things at the moment, right? So you know, if you specific with what feedback you want, and I think also after you get more rich information, as opposed to just give me a general, you know, thumbs up thumbs down kind of thing.

Petek Hawkins
What are what are some other ways john and Dave, that we can ask about that? Like, instead of using the word credibility, what are some of the ways that we can ask it so our users listening to this, that they can kind of jot these down and sprinkle them around their conversations without like, making it more like an interrogation to maybe a more like general flow of the conversation?

The Collaborator
Why look at it this way, I think you can gather hard data, as well as feedback. For me credibility, if I’m creating content, or training, or asking the team to do something for some reason, there’s an adoption level, how many people actually using what I’m sharing? If they’re not, it could be and probably is related to my credibility. I’m trying to get them to change behavior, and they simply don’t buy what I’m selling, it’s probably credibility. Reliability, from a data perspective is very much the same way. If I tell you that I’m going to do something by Tuesday, and Tuesday comes and goes, it’s easy to tell I’m chipping into that reliability. I also think I think, you know, from the same perspective, you have to ask your I agree with what Dave said so much about finding those trusted peers in the organization. I think if you can build a strong relationship with at least one sales leader, you know, when you’re serving their team, I think you can be pretty upfront with them and say, Look, I feel like the team’s not using any of this, whatever this is that I’m using. Why is that? And and I found over my, I found over my long number of years long number of years, that if I am open to hearing it, they’re going to tell me why they’re going to tell me because that sucked john, and nobody wanted to take it. Or they might say, or they might hedge their bets and try to be politically sensitive. And say, well, john, I don’t know. Look at it. And that to me is just a sham way of saying I haven’t built the intimacy yet with you. For you to feel comfortable telling me that what I just did was terrible. Yeah. What do you think, Dave?

Dave Nel
I think that that conversation I had yesterday, you and me We spoke to Sapna and and we were talking about when you ask questions, often salespeople ask questions to understand, but they’re really just wanting to understand certain facts for themselves. And and she said, You’ve got to shift your perspective, to asking questions to really understand the other person’s world and perspective. And I think if you if you really are relentlessly curious about the other person, you’ll quickly figure out whether that credibility reliability or intimacy is there, and john, you just did it now? I love a good feeling. Question. Hey, you know, when you look at this, how do you feel? And how do you feel about the training that happened? How do you feel about the engagement, feel questions just give you so much information of where their person is at you just got to be brave enough to ask them?

The Collaborator
We do. And I don’t care what personality type you are. at all, we all make decisions emotionally. And the problem is our language center and our brain is in a different area than where our emotional center is. So we often can’t articulate why we made that decision. But it’s almost always an emotional reason that’s behind it. So really, really important point, you know, tech. Yeah. Let me ask you this. We’ve had a great conversation here. What do you if somebody is listening to this? What would you like? What would you suggest they think about? Or what would you love them to ask you, Dave of me or of themselves as they think about how to better leverage trust in their role as an enablement professional, and the same questions do come coming your way, Dave.

Petek Hawkins
I’m like, thanks for putting me on the spot for

The Collaborator
our attack. I said Dave. Um,

Petek Hawkins
so I think this is a great time or a great space for someone to reflect back again to these in Dave’s words, look in the mirror and ask themselves the question, do I currently invest my time to build trust? And do I put enough emphasis on this and if not, what actions do I need to take next The next question that they can ask themselves is, in this time and space, which one of these is a higher leverage or more important aspect of trust that I need to be focusing on? Is it credibility, reliability, or intimacy? Because I’m just kind of like, in my opinion, multitasking is a myth. I think being able to do all of it all at once is also a myth. Because things take focus things take practice and experience. And then and then the last question would be, what do I need to do to Fill my cup, so I can’t focus on that other part of the equation to deliver more for the other person for the business? So I would say if they can kind of walk away with this fee, and just, you know, get an old school pen and paper and write it down? That could be a really good start.

The Collaborator
You know, what, for on the spot answers, that was amazing. I’m suddenly feeling very inferior about myself. But I’m going to talk about why

Dave Nel
Yes, you’re right. The only thing that I would add to that, because I think that’s absolutely spot on, is to do. First of all, just take a little bit of a step back and take that pen and piece of paper that we’ve got there and just draw a picture of your world, and your stakeholders, put yourself in the middle, draw a line to all of them. And step one, ask yourself the question, which ones are close? In? Which ones are far? And where do I need to? You know, maybe Sure, where do I feel the trust not might not be right, and then do exactly what our protected? said? Definitely go? Think about? I can’t do it all? What thing is kind of missing at the moment? And then of course, I have to do it. So is my cup full? I love that. overflowing even better. Hey,

The Collaborator
no, I really I love both of those pieces. And I think this isn’t anything new. It’s really building off of what you both said. But for me, you can focus and you really need to focus. I agree with what tech said about multa. trying to do too many things at once you’re simply going to fail multitasking is proven scientifically, over and over again, to make you less impactful. So think hard about where do I need to focus in this individual relationship? Is it on the reliability, the credibility or the intimacy, and try to focus and be honest with yourself about how you can impact any of those levers? While always in my opinion? And there’s no i’ll i’ll disagree with the overflowing cup. But I know you were making a joke that while always leading from a place of empathy and service, I think that’s so critical, but never, ever give up on your own needs. And that was a great reminder from both of you, because we’re real people. And we have real needs. And we need to be honest about those. And that’s a key part of trust and relationships as well, when I say that john,

Dave Nel
authenticity is a non negotiable with this equation, and being true to yourself. Because if you think you can go and build trust, integrity, intimacy and credibility with someone, if it doesn’t really mean you’re just doing it as a tick box exercise, this thing is going to fail miserably. So you’ve kind of really got to ask yourself that that question of do I really care? Is this really what I want to do? But I’m assuming that if you’re in sales enablement, and playing in the space, it’s what you live. There, we made a big assumption.

The Collaborator
Well said, Well, this was a brain conversation, both of you and I appreciate it so much. I’m going to share this, and I think our asked on the community is is to really take the advice that both tech and Dave put out there and really be honest and thoughtful about what your levers are and how you’re doing in each of those. And And certainly, if you have questions, come back to any of us and we look forward to talking to you. All right. Bye Bye, y’all. Have a great day.