Contextualizing the 8 Pillars

Those of you that seek to transform an audience, or an individual, or even a country with some truth know the importance of contextualization. So these eight pillars, how do we contextualize them? Well a few things to keep in mind. Even the eight pillars work around the world.

Clarity, it turns out, people around the world that are more clear are more trusted.

Consistency, for good or bad, those that are more consistent are more trusted.

As an example, the compassion pillar, it turns out around the world where people feel like you care about them, where you have intent for them, they tend to trust you more. So how do we show that compassion? Listening, so one level down, listening, turns out around the world, people that feel listened to, they tend to feel more cared about, compassion, which leads to more trust.

But two levels down we need to think about contextualization. As an example, in America the most trusted way to listen, most of the time, is by looking someone in the eye. In some parts of the world the most trusted way to listen might be not looking someone in the eye. So while listening builds compassion, which builds trust, how we listen might be different in that context.

Another part of contextualization is what we might focus on. So a leader, under the clarity pillar, we might focus on the vision, being clear about the vision, or clear about the purpose, or clear about the why. That’s critical for leaders, and it’s critical for others, but it’s especially critical for leaders.

For a salesperson, we might especially focus on being clear about the benefits, not clear how cool they are, not clear about the history of the company, but clear about the benefits of that product or service because that kind of clarity would serve them best.

As far as some other contextualization globally, we need to think about what’s most important in that part of the world. As an example, where we do a lot of work in Kenya, or in Latin America, they might have a bias for more focus on the connection pillar.

In America, we might have more of a bias toward the contribution, or results pillar, getting results. Now those in Kenya, they want to get results. Those in America, they do actually want more connection and collaboration, which leads to trust. But we might weight the pillars more or less based on our context. It’s also interesting and very important to understand the context of what’s happening.

In America we can think of police issues a certain way. When you go to Kenya, it’s different. There’s totally different issues that they’re dealing with as far as bribery, as far as why the staff and the police force are so underpaid, and where they live is totally different. And so all those things play into how we contextualize this work so that it’s applied in a way that actually benefits them and builds the most trust.

So take your time and think about contextualizing these eight pillars of trust for your situation, for your context, for your part of the world, for your audience, ’cause only then people might see how they can use it individually and in their organization.


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Can I Trust You?

Fundamentally, a lack of trust is the biggest expense we have. In fact, the number one question that every employee you have is asking, that every customer that comes in the store is asking, that every community you serve is asking, that your kids are asking. The number one question they’re all asking is: Can I trust you? And that question has to be answered before anything great happens.


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4 Simple Tips for High Trust Conversation

Trust is always increasing or decreasing even in the midst of just a casual conversation. You know when you go to a group gathering and conversations are uninteresting or almost even non-existent, it’s uncomfortable and even boring. Talking about the weather or what you had to for dinner last night only goes so far in building connection.

4 Tips to Build Trust in Conversation

Number one, be aware of who you’re talking to. In a group setting, be inclusive. If someone has not had the opportunity to share in a group, invite them in but also be aware that not everyone wants to share in a group. Whether in a group or one on one, watch for signs of discomfort. If someone does not want to engage in conversation, be courteous to who they are.

Number two, ask questions. Not how are you today or what are you doing this weekend. Instead try asking what’s something that you’re looking forward to or what have you been thinking about lately. Open-ended questions give the space for authentic responses that help connection grow.

Number three, listen to the answers. You can be awesome at asking really great questions but if you don’t listen to the answers, connection will fail and trust will decrease. Seems simple I know, but listening takes intention. Focus on the person in front of you, put the phone aside and authentically engage. Ask questions that draw out even more authentic responses.

Number four, contribute. The age old phrase be quick to listen and slow to speak still holds true and yet we should be equipped to contribute to conversation. Adding value or interesting conversation builds connection. Contributing to conversation mostly comes down to input. If you don’t have good input, you won’t have much to contribute to a conversation. Listening to podcasts, reading books, watching documentaries, mentoring others or being mentored, whatever it is, if we prioritize quality input then we can help create real connection and build trust in conversation.


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4 Ways to Tell a Story

4 Ways to Tell a Story

Number one, be there. People often ask me, how do I tell a story with freshness, especially this closing story I often tell with daughter riding a sheep, and it commonly gets a standing ovation, but I just tell them, I just go there.

I go to what it was like in that arena in that rodeo, when my daughter was riding this sheep around the rodeo, and Grandpa and Grandma were watching and the audience stood, giving an ovation, and how she had to trust herself to hold on, and I just go back to that spot.

Don’t do a whole lot of blocking, or some of these specific speaking skills. I just try to go back to the situation, put myself there, and people feel it.

Number two, be yourself. Sometimes, we worry about doing things that people teach in storytelling, and for me, certainly, it is totally authentic to use my hands and to move around, and to raise and lower my voice, and for others, it’s different, but more than anything else, other, throw the skills out, and be yourself. Be authentic. People can tell when you’re telling the story and it’s really you.

Number three, get your story transcribed by a speaking service, and then, go cut out half the words. If you had to tell the story with half the words, how would you do it? Cut out the words that aren’t really valuable to making the point. One other idea under this point is just start the story.

So many people spend so much time setting up and people get it, just get into the story. Don’t say thank you for being here, don’t say all these, just, in 1949, when the planes were flying in, just start the story.

Finally, number four don’t be the hero of your own story. In fact, it’s best to share your own mistakes, and share others’ successes.


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Howe Three Brothers You’ve Never Heard Of Helped Create America

Written By Brian Lord, President of Premiere Speakers Bureau

What three questions helped America become an independent country? How, how, and how.  Or better yet, Howe, Howe, and Howe.  Let me explain.

David Horsager, the author of The Trust Edge, is well known for showing how trust is absolutely needed to lead through difficult times.  He’s also well-known for telling companies they need to ask three questions to make things happen- how, how, and how.   But did you know, in a way, that’s ‘how’ America became a country?

Two decades before the American colonies were fighting for their independence against the British, they were fighting for their lives against the French in the Seven Years War, known in the US as the French and Indian War.

To help defend their American colonies, the British sent an especially energetic and adaptable officer in the form of Brigadier General George Howe (Howe #1), who commanded the Royal American Regiment.  Unlike many British officers, Howe moved away from the customary pomp and flash of the European elites and embraced the American people and landscape.  He had both their uniforms and hair cut short, got rid of the lace on waistcoats, and changed out the linen and hemp gaiters for more practical leggings made of wool.  He led in his example for his own officers, cutting his hair short, washing his own clothes, and taking very little baggage into the field.  He befriended the famous ranger Major Robert Rodgers and trained his soldiers and the American militiamen in his charge on marching and fighting in the woods.  (This training was put to good use by the Americans against the British 20 years later.)

In what would become the ill-fated attack on Fort Ticonderoga, England’s Prime Minister William Pitt had wanted Howe in command, but General James Abercrombie had more political connections, so Howe was made #2 in command.

In the battle against the French and their allies, General George Howe’s regiment was accompanied by a unit of American colonists from Connecticut led by Major Israel Putnam (who later became a famous American general “Old Put”.  If you live in or near a Putnam County, you have him to thank).  The troops under Howe’s command performed well, but the British and their allies were ultimately defeated.  The greatest loss was that of General George Howe, who died from battle wounds in IsraelPutnam’s arms.

This loss was taken very hard by many, as he was well loved in the American colonies.  The Massachusetts Assembly voted to raise £250 (a large sum at the time) to place a monument in Westminster Abbey.  General George Howe’s family was very grateful for this kind gesture.

In fact, Howe’s burial marking in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Albany, New York, is the only burial marker for a British peer in the US.

Wars are expensive, and the British needed to pay their debts after seven years of fighting.  The British reasoned that since large amounts of money had been spent protecting the colonies, the money should be paid by the colonies, and began to raise taxes.  The first how- ‘how are we going to pay for this?’ made sense.  The “hows” number two and three- ‘How are we going to do this?’ and ‘How are we going to enforce it?’ are where they lost their way and ended up changing the world.

The colonists understood the need for taxation, but the issue was with the ‘how’.   King George took a heavy hand, raised taxes too high and too quickly, with no input from those being taxed. Taxes were done to them, not with them, so to speak. They had no say or control over it, and as a result, the American colonists made the ‘no taxation without representation’ demand.   

To that point in history, the American colonists had been incredibly loyal and primarily thought of themselves proudly as British.  Remember, the Pilgrims were in 1620, so you’ve got 150+ years of loyalty to the crown.  A century and a half of trust were lost in one fell swoop once the people believed that their leader, King George, no longer had their best interests in mind.

Rather than talk things out, the British doubled-down on their demands and the British crown found itself needing to put down an uprising in that same Massachusetts colony that had been so loyal.  At the time, the mighty British Navy was not only the envy of every other Navy in the world, but it was also the envy of the British Army.  Jealous of the attention and funding it received from the British crown, as a rule, British Army generals and British Navy admirals rarely, if ever, got along or would cooperate in battle.  Given that nearly the entire population of the US was within a few miles of the Atlantic, the British government desperately needed to find an exception to this rule and have a well-coordinated land and sea operation.  The solution came from a family with a familiar name.

General George Howe had two younger brothers- Admiral Richard Howe (Howe #2), who had won the decisive naval battle in the Seven Years War in France, and Sir Willam Howe (Howe #3), who fought in the French and Indian War in the colonies.   The British decided to make William Howe Commander-in-Chief of British forces, as he would work well with his brother Richard in coordinated attacks against the colonial militias.  The British Crown also hoped their experience in America would make the American’s more likely to negotiate and come to peace.

However, some historians believe that this closeness to the American colonies and their older brother’s connection to them caused the Howe brothers to take it easy on the Americans.   Had the British chosen a general and admiral who had no love for the colonies, they might have pushed for a more total victory, rather than smaller strategic wins.  Instead of shock-and-awe and scorched earth, the younger Howe brothers were accused of pulling their punches.

The Americans for their part primarily focused their hate toward King George, rather than the Howe family. In fact, during the American Revolution, the people of Boston were not only raising funds to fight England, but they were still in the act of raising money to fund George Howe’s monument in Westminster Abbey. (The monument became so popular with American tourists that Westminster Abbey eventually gave it a prime location.)

The rest is history.  The Americans won their independence, became a superpower, and changed the world.

The difference in trust between the two leaders- General George Howe and King George- is striking.

George Howe consistently made efforts to improve the lives of his men.  He showed compassion, taking on their burdens despite his high station.  His commitment to the colonists was known by all and he became well-loved by the people he protected.

On the other hand, King George did not lead with trust.  He was inconsistent with how he treated his people- on one side of the Atlantic, he allowed a voice for his people through representation, on the other, he didn’t. He stayed within his royal inner circle and never attempted to connect with his colonies.  Worst of all, his character showed that he viewed the American colonists as objects to do his bidding and not his own people.

Trust, or lack thereof, is the most important aspect of leadership whether it’s a business, a regiment, or a country.   It all depends on how you want to do lead.

Author of this article, Brian Lord is the President of Premiere Speakers Bureau and host of the Beyond Speaking Podcast (Listen to his interview with David Horsager HERE).  He’s been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, BBC Radio, the Huffington Post (UK), and was chosen as one of Nashville’s 40 Under 40.

Click Here to read the original article and read more from Premiere Speakers Bureau.

For those who like to read more:
The French and American War: Deciding The Fate of North America”, Walter R. Borneman

“Through A Howling Wilderness”, Thomas A. Desjardin

9 Ways to Scare the Socks Off Your Millennial’s This Halloween | Trust in Business

“This Halloween, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Gen U (un-retired) are excited to scare the living daylights out of their office newbies. In addition to spiders in cups, popping out of break-room cupboards, and dressing like federal auditors, our team has compiled a list of the nine top ways to make millennials scream and shake in terror.

By 2025, approximately 75 percent of the world’s workforce will consist of millennials (Gen Y), according to a study from the BPW Foundation. Companies that survive past 2025 will be those that develop the trust of the millennial workforce, while maintaining the trust of previous generations. Companies that disregard the mind-frame and work-style of Gen Y will scare away top talent and consumer dollars. Here are the nine sneakiest, creepiest and freakiest ways to scare millennials.”

Read the rest of our recent article by clicking the link below:


Huffington Post, The Trust Edge, Trust in Generations, Building Trust across generations

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Want to build connection? Be grateful. Gratefulness goes a long way in shaping who we are. Gratefulness is the foundation for being a magnetic person. Being magnetic doesn’t mean you have to be outgoing or charismatic. Being magnetic begins at selflessness, compassion and gratefulness.


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