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Chronicles of a Relationally Intelligent Leader: Building Trust

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Adam Vassar's personal journey to become a relationally intelligent leader using the Core Strengths Zoom integration

Hi, I’m Adam Vassar, VP of Product at Core Strengths. I’ve been working on two leadership goals over the past few months:

1. Become a more relationally intelligent leader

I’m a product leader, but also a people leader. I want to improve my Relationship Intelligence (RQ) skills so I can better collaborate with the team I lead. Staying connected and collaborating productively with the team has never been easy for any leader, but in our new world of digital hyper-connectivity, we’re actually more disconnected than ever in terms of authentic human connection. 

If you don’t already know what RQ is, pause now and read our blog, What is Relationship Intelligence? It will give you important context for the concepts discussed here.

2. Drink my own product champagne

It’s all too common for the professionals responsible for developing products to be the last ones to actually use them in our own work lives. Admit it! It’s like the old saying of the cobbler’s children having no shoes, or the carpenter whose own house is never finished. I don’t want to be that person. I want to lead, learn, and improve our products by being a customer myself. 

The following four sections are reflections on my leadership journey and my focus on building trust, generating commitment, driving results, and managing conflict so I can meet my goals. I hope that in sharing this journey, I can both hold myself accountable, and inspire some other leaders out there to set and chase their own goals.  

Here we go!

Building Trust

My first focus for building the skills of a relationally intelligent leader is building trust. Trust begins with openness. If I expect my direct reports to be open with me, I first need to be open with them about where I’m coming from, what matters to me, and how I like to work. 

I’m using our Core Strengths RQ Zoom App that integrates directly into my Zoom meetings.

Adam Vassar Core Strengths Zoom App Name Tag

My Zoom Name Tag helps my teammates understand my preferred ways of working, including my motives and my top strengths. 

Motives: HUB, which means I am motivated by collaborating with others, and I remain open to different options and viewpoints.

Top strengths: Methodical, Persevering, Self-Confident 

This Name Tag shows people why I’m doing what I’m doing in Zoom meetings.  This can be difficult for others to understand when we rarely meet in-person. For example, Methodical is my top strength. Teammates often observe that one of my superpowers is to predictably maintain order and process. They’ll also know that Methodical can be an overdone strength for me and will recognize this when I become too rigid and appear unwilling to deviate from plans. My intention is not to be rigid, but rather to consider all perspectives, make sure everyone has a stake, and keep everyone informed about how we’re moving forward (these all come from my HUB motives). My Name Tag keeps my motives and my strengths top of mind for teammates and provides a shared language for open dialogue to improve working relationships and build trust.

Also, just using my name tag sets an example for others to follow. I hope that when I’m meeting with employees, they’ll follow my example of openness and use their Zoom Name Tag as their background as well. When I see other people’s Name Tags, I can see where they’re coming from and how they prefer to collaborate, too. 

If you found my reflections on building team trust helpful, keep an eye out for part 2 of my relationally intelligent leader series where I share my experiences with generating team commitment and driving results.

Core Strengths integrations can be your digital relationship coach

Through daily leadership practices and the help of powerful digital tools, I’m simultaneously meeting my goals of becoming a more relationally intelligent leader and drinking my own product champagne. Hopefully my team thinks so, too!  

Learn about our integrations for Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Outlook.

When relationships work, there isn’t a problem that can’t be solved.

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