A common statement that (older) leaders assert is that trust must be earned. Many a time I've had to listen politely while a CEO or senior executive tells me...
Back in the early 2000's, Dr Paul Zak, a neuroscientist, ran a multitude of studies on trust. What he found was that when someone tangibly trusts a stranger the brain produces more oxytocin.
Oxytocin is the happy feeling we get when we are around good friends. It’s that feeling that makes us perform acts of generosity and it is produced through positive social interactions.
When we co-operate and look out for others or when people trust us, oxytocin rewards us with feelings of security, trust, belonging and camaraderie. It creates a virtuous cycle where the more everyone trusts each other, the more they feel better about themselves and each other.
Of course, it's not just with trust that we do this, but a multiple of things. Common workplace ambiguities exist between "People versus Results," "Individual results versus Group results," and "Gut-feeling versus Data analysis."
Rather than look at two opposing extremes, we need to either consider the middle ground or some other positive that arises when you balance out both perspectives. For example, take the negative behaviour of Perfectionist (A) and it's polar opposite Acceptance (B). For many perfectionists, being able to accept work without typos and grammar mistakes is a pretty tall ask. Another option would be to aim for Allowance (both to themselves and others).
The good news is that there are no rules here. You can create the C option in a way that suits your style and abilities.
My challenge for you is that if you want to transform your leadership, then it's time to start considering how you can break open the A/B paradigm that limits your thinking and behaviours. It's time to explore how to unlock your results through combining both A+B or deliberately creating a C option. This even means self-examining your behaviours and reflecting on how you can react in a different way that integrates polarised options.
It's not easy, but it can be done with the right discipline and awareness.