Relationships at Work - Your Honest Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blind Spots.

Why the Power of Language Is Essential for Trusted Work Relationships with Ingrid Christensen

June 27, 2023 Russel Lolacher Episode 75
Why the Power of Language Is Essential for Trusted Work Relationships with Ingrid Christensen
Relationships at Work - Your Honest Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blind Spots.
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Relationships at Work - Your Honest Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blind Spots.
Why the Power of Language Is Essential for Trusted Work Relationships with Ingrid Christensen
Jun 27, 2023 Episode 75
Russel Lolacher

In this episode of Relationships at Work, Russel chats with author, speaker and entrepreneur Ingrid Christensen on the role language and communication have in building trust in the workplace.

Ingrid shares her thoughts, stories and experience with...

  • How trust is defined so personally for each of us.
  • What does trust-based communication look like.
  • How do you know if trust is established.
  • Why trust starts with ourselves.
  • The importance of communication to build trust in an emergency.
  • What the language of distrust feels like.
  • Remote work offers new challenges to build trust.

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and share with others.
For more, go to relationshipsatwork.ca 

And connect with me for more great content!

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Relationships at Work, Russel chats with author, speaker and entrepreneur Ingrid Christensen on the role language and communication have in building trust in the workplace.

Ingrid shares her thoughts, stories and experience with...

  • How trust is defined so personally for each of us.
  • What does trust-based communication look like.
  • How do you know if trust is established.
  • Why trust starts with ourselves.
  • The importance of communication to build trust in an emergency.
  • What the language of distrust feels like.
  • Remote work offers new challenges to build trust.

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and share with others.
For more, go to relationshipsatwork.ca 

And connect with me for more great content!

Russel Lolacher
And on the show today, we have Ingrid Christensen and here's why she is awesome. She is the president founder of inco international providing translation. And I was knew I was going to juggle this word because I never have to say it normally interpretating services in more than 200 languages to companies across the world. She's also the author of the recently released book, the Language of Trust: Communicate to Build Meaningful Relationships in Business and Life. Sounds right up the alley of this show, which was secret, what actually not so secretly, recently, one of the top spots for best selling new releases in communication and management and business management. Congrats on that, by the way. Hello, Ingrid.

Ingrid Christensen
Thank you so much, Russel. I am so excited to be here. Thank you for that very enthusiastic welcome. It has been a journey. And I cannot wait to dive into talking about all things communication and trust.

Russel Lolacher
And two of my favorite topics ever in the world. So super excited to get into the every little bit of that. But first, of course, Ingrid, I got to ask you the question that I have all of my guests, which is what's your best or worst employee experience?

Ingrid Christensen
So I'm not going to give you a very straightforward answer. Because upon reflecting on my professional journey, a couple of years ago, it became clear to me that I have never really had a boss, I started this organization right out of college, of course, I had the babysitting jobs, and the less than exciting job schlepping beer through the sports bar, moved away from that as quickly as possible. So my experience with bosses is very limited, which I think has either made me a better or a worse boss, right? I guess it depends who you ask. But my philosophy in working with my employees, now I have a team of about 20 employees and six different countries, is to treat people the way I want to be treated. And do I have a lot of crappy stories about people being people? Yeah, because I think at the end of the day, people are people, and they're gonna do people things. And people things can sometimes be really messy, and sometimes can come off as mean, and hurtful and full of distrust, and all the other nasty things that that we don't want. But my philosophy, again, has just been, let's just treat people the way I want to be treated. And I think that they want to be treated. So that's a real roundabout answer to your question. And I think you were looking for something a little bit more funny, but...

Russel Lolacher
But ya know, and I understand that most, it's a funny journey I've had with that question, because usually, I'll get either one or two responses. It'll either be that traumatic experience they had in their teens that they've been holding on to for the last two decades, that has just molded them or they're an entrepreneur, and it was that one bad experience that made them an entrepreneur, there's like, I'm never doing this again. So those tend to be the most frequent ones. Good stories are not always as top of mind. That happens, but just not as often. Yeah, there. Yeah. So let's get into it trust communication my two loves, because you can't have a good relationship at work without either one of them. So no, why is trust so important in the workplace, Ingrid?

Ingrid Christensen
Well, here, here's the brutal fact is that we are in the middle of a trust crisis, right? I think nobody in with their eyes open paying half attention to the world would say otherwise. We're faced with crisis. These left and right, we're faced with all sorts of information, most of which we don't know if it's true or not. If we can trust it, we don't know where to go to find information that we trust. You know, people are seemingly out to get one another and it's just kind of a hell in a handbasket. Basket situation. So first and foremost, I think it's important to recognize that we're all feeling this real state of anxiety around all things Trust, which is why it's even more important to recognize the importance of trust and not only recognize it, but build into your daily practice activities to nourish and cultivate trust amongst the people that you spend your life with. Right, the people you live with your friends, your family, and the people that we work with because we have to be able to trust one another. Otherwise organizations fail. We know that employees leave. productivity is low. Oh, nothing gets done. So I believe that more important now than ever, because we're in the midst of this crazy trust crisis, we have to really carve out time because it matters, because it really matters. Because at the end of the day, you need to trust the person that you're sitting across from the screen from or the table from, and you need to know that they have your back.

Russel Lolacher
So title of the book is Language of Trust, what is your definition of the language of trust?

Ingrid Christensen
So, thank you, again, not a straightforward answer. I'm gonna give you all the long answers here.

Russel Lolacher
It's going to be a good conversation. We get into it. I love that.

Ingrid Christensen
So I sat down January of 2022, to write this book, kind of with an idea of what it was going to be. And a lot of authors say that the book kind of took a direction of its own when, you know, when they sat down to write and I thought, well, that's kind of a bunch of BS, like, you're the author, like, you should know the direction of the book. I don't really know how a book can take its own direction. And then it happened. Yeah, I was in the middle of writing a chapter and it just took its own direction. I'm like, Well, what the heck, this is not at all where I thought it was gonna go. And here's why is because I had this amazing opportunity to speak to about 100 Different people just in casual conversation. And my first question to them was, what is your definition of trust? And every single person took a heartbeat, kind of hemmed and hawed for a second, and gave me a long story. That to them was their definition of trust. And it always came back to something personal. It wasn't, you know, trust is an emotion trust is a, you know, a thing trust is this trust is, is Surety trust is confidence, trust is whatever was never a short answer. It was always this long, kind of convoluted description of what what trust is to that individual person. So I recognize that trust is probably one of the most complex emotions, nouns, verbs, that we rely on so much every single day. But it's something that we can't really put a pin in it and know exactly what it is. So what is the language of trust? For me the language of trust is the evolution of trust based communication, to improve relationships with people that matter in your life.

Russel Lolacher
That leads me to the to the question is what's trust based communication? That just a little bit, having that language of communication, where the intent is it the about the intent of building trust in your words and your actions?

Ingrid Christensen
I think it starts with the intent. But I think before the intent, it starts with listening, I think trust based communication, you have to listen first, to be really able to communicate with what the other person is saying. And we're all super busy. And we're pulled in a million different directions every minute of every day. But trust, just like everything else that matters takes time. So you got to listen, first to communicate, you have to communicate openly, early, and honestly. And you have to make sure that you're you're carving out that time for those quality conversations, right? You've got to really show somebody when you're talking to them, that you care what they're saying, and that you're listening, that you're absorbing what they're saying. So I think that it's it's not just one thing, it's a little bit of a formula, it's a little bit of a little bit every single day to get to the point where you're able to have that trusting relationship. And I think that any of us, I'm sure you have stories, any of us can tell the story of how it took a long time for trust to build and a millisecond for trust to be destroyed. It is so firm and hard to get and so fragile and easy to break.

Russel Lolacher
How do you know you have it? And how do you know you don't? Because if you're communicating and you can see it on somebody's face, or you can see it in? What did they do after we finished talking? Like it was just sort of thing after the fact. So to do this to communicate, we have to know if our results are successful or not. How can you help them?

Ingrid Christensen
Yeah, we do. I think that you know really depending on on the type of relationship with the person that you're working to build trust with. You'll see the metrics right you can measure your success in different ways. And I don't know a lot of people that, you know, keep a scorecard or measure KPIs and their personal relationships, I'm sure that there are people. I'm not one of them. But I think it's much more, much more common in the workplace, right in the workplace, we can measure KPIs, and we can measure things like, like different success metrics that are showing that the company is healthy. So I think that there are lots of different teamhealth and interest based questions and surveys that you can ask of your team to really establish the trust the trust factor there. One thing that I will note is that there is research showing that the leadership level, when they engage their level of trust, versus what the employees gauge their level of trust, there's a gap of about 60%. Right? So there's a 60% gap. The leaders are thinking, everybody trusts me up here. And employees are like, well, this place sucks. Nobody trusts me. So that 60% gap is really what we need to focus on. How can we focus? How can we minimize that gap? How can we bring a little bit closer. So it's not something that happens overnight, but I do think that you can start to see when you can start to measure in your metrics and your KPIs and your scorecard whatever tool you're using, to gauge success for your organization, whether or not you're closing that gap, right things like employee turnover, employee productivity, employee happiness, employee satisfaction, job satisfaction, you know, all sorts of these, you know, these big KPIs that all organizations need to focus on, right, because we know how expensive it is for to be in that employee turnover base, right. And I think the other thing that's interesting, Russell's like, there's a lot of, I think there's a lot to be considered when you enter an organization. And then when you start to move up, when you start to move up into different different levels, different positions, maybe start moving into management, or leadership, and how important it is for those individuals to really, really pay attention to their cross trust, cultivation and nourishment activities.

Russel Lolacher
I hope you can help them with this because I've often had conversations with people that seem to immediately think trust is different in the workplace, than it is at home. Like the things they do to build friendships, the things they do to build relationships with friends and family. And then the minute they walk in that door, or they turn on that Zoom call, suddenly, it's like, how do I build trust with people? I don't understand. It's what's it's like this new mythical different environment when we're still dealing with people. Am I wrong to think that because it's so weird that there's that light switch? That seems to change?

Ingrid Christensen
Yeah, there's not a disconnect between your personal life and your business life, like you are one person, I don't know, somebody that is, to me, probably are people that are two different people. But that's a totally different subject. Not gonna go there. But you know, we wake up in the presumably in the same body that we go to work with, and we come home in the same body, we have one soul, one heart, you know, when whatever, you know, we're one. So to think that you are a split personality between your home life and your work life, I think is is a false assumption. Right? So I am on your side, I don't think that trust building on the personal level with our interpersonal relationships is any different from trust building in the workplace? I think what happens is that we get to work and some other part of our psyche fires up, right, then we get competitive, then we think, you know, Sally over here is looking over my shoulder wondering what I'm doing. Maybe she thinks I'm not doing a good job. So I don't know if I can trust Sally, I really gotta just focus. And then there's Bobby over here that's trying to steal my work and trying to steal my ideas. I'm not going to talk to Bobby anymore. Right? i It's something we start to build up these walls and walls are perhaps the worst thing that goes against trust creation. It's our natural response. Right? And that goes back to human evolution. Back when we were living in the cave days. And we can only trust what we could see, right? I could trust who lived in my cave. But eventually, we had to leave the cave because we had to trade you know, our bison bone for your dinosaur twos. People fell in love. And that's where communication started right when we had to start interacting and life happened and all sorts of other stuff happened. So but in that early in those early kind of formation that's still embedded in our DNA I believe. You know, we were we built up this ability right or wrong to to protect ourselves in situations where we didn't feel trust or where we couldn't trust, right, you know, when there's a bear coming at you, you know, you're not going to trust that the bear is going to stop and you know, sit down and have dinner with you, you have to protect yourself and your family and you know, your, your surroundings. So that's where this I believe it's, I believe it's, it's kind of built into the human human nature to build up these walls. But what I think we're really, we've taught ourselves more than anything, human beings are so freakin smart. Like, we can figure out anything, right, we can pretty much solve any problem, we are smart, we have resources, we can do it, and we are adaptable. And we can learn to adjust. So if we can learn to adjust and adapt to almost anything in life, we can learn and adapt. And we can recognize those walls that were putting up and recognize how damaging they are to those workplace relationships. And that overall formation of trust, I went off on a tangent there.

Russel Lolacher
No, I love that you basically said communication relationship building is integral to the survival of the species. I love that you went back, we went back to the Stone Age in that one, so I can't disagree with that. It is relationships are formed through communication. And it's how we surround our community. It's how we build community. It's how we build everything around us with that intention, less bones, less caveman talk, but so you're an emerging leader in an organization that is trying to build authentic, trusted relationships. Where do we start in our communication practice?

Ingrid Christensen
We start with ourselves. My research pointed 1000 million percent. I don't know if that's a real number, but I'm gonna call it 1000 million percent.

Russel Lolacher
So that's a stat. That's fine. Yeah. Okay, so that's a million.

Ingrid Christensen
I like to say, I'm a linguist, I'm not a mathematician. So I get to make up things like that. So 1000 million percent. If we don't trust ourselves, we will never ever be able to trust anyone else. And I'm gonna go on the record and state that the majority of us do not trust ourselves 1000 million percent. We may trust ourselves. Sometimes, we may have a level of trust, depending on the situation, but we don't trust ourselves all of the time. And when you don't trust yourself, it's really, really, really obvious. It's like you're shooting off flares that everybody can see, you think that you're protecting yourself? You think we think that we're doing ourselves a service, but we're not, we're only damaging the relationships that we have with the people around us. So I think it and isn't that how most things are in life. Unfortunately, it always comes back to us like we're the ones that have to do the hard work are the ones that have to lean them are the ones that have to learn and become vulnerable and do all the things that we don't want to do. But we have to turn it inside and learn how to trust ourselves in order to trust other people. Now, I know that that sounds a little fluffy and a little, you know, highfalutin and it's like I'm, you know, I got this promotion, I'm doing this job. Now you want me to focus on myself. And I do, I do want people to focus on the sales because when they trust themselves, they trust the ideas that they come up with. They trust that they can be open and honest and vulnerable. Because as you move up in a leadership level, in any organization, you're going to have to take those walls down. And people are going to have to trust you in the good times and the bad times. And the only way that you're going to be able to prove that you're a trustworthy person, is by proving that you trust yourself.

Russel Lolacher
So that brings me to a point where the pandemic recently, if there's anything that showed how leadership is either going to step up or not step up. It is in a moment of crisis. How did you see that go when it came to communication?

Ingrid Christensen
Well, the pandemic has nothing that anyone of us this pandemic has nothing that anyone alive has ever seen. Right? I know that there's been other crises in the world, but with the information and technology that we have a global pandemic, on that level is something that you know, we've never lived through and I knock on wood. I pray that we never lived through that again. So I don't think that people knew what to do. And they certainly, either either they, they they sat down and they thought through it and figured out a way how they were going To lead through it, or they just froze up, right? So it's a little bit of that flight, freeze situation, am I going to freeze up? Am I going to just guard everything I have this resource guarding? And and act like a non Democratic leader in an organization? Am I just going to be a top down? Like, I'm just going to tell you what it is? Or am I going to sit back and make it a listen? Am I going to take in the information? Am I going to trust myself to be a little bit vulnerable? And a little bit uncomfortable to say to my team? Listen, I don't know how we're gonna get through this either. But we're gonna get through it together. I think people want leaders that are vulnerable people, that leaders that that show their personality leaders that that aren't afraid to show a little bit of emotion. Do we want a strong leader that's going to say, I've got a plan? I'm going to get us there? Yes, of course, of course we do. That's the role of the leader, the role of the leader is to show up when nobody else wants to show up. You know, it's a privilege to be a leader. But we chose to be leaders, Nobody said you have to be the president of this organization, or you have to be the manager of this department. We accepted that role. And with that role comes great responsibility, right. And part of that is really leaning into that deep internal work that we need to do to become better versions of ourselves every single day so that we can become better versions of leaders every single day.

Russel Lolacher
Speaking of versions, I want to get into a bit of a comparison game a bit here. Language of trust, versus a language of distrust, I always find it's easier to understand something if I understand what it is knowing, or it is the separation of so can you sort of walk me that path of what what it can look like? So people either know how to show up, or they know what it looks like versus what it doesn't.

Ingrid Christensen
Language of distrust is I don't have time to talk to you right now. Language of trust is yes, I want to welcome a conversation right now. Or I can't do it right this minute. But I'm going to put it on my schedule. And we're going to sit down and talk about this language of distrust is I've never seen it done that way. That's not going to happen. Language of trust is that's an interesting perspective. Let's talk about it. Language of distrust is that person looks different. They talk different, they sound different, their act different. I don't trust them. Language of trust is I recognize that that individual has some unique traits that I've never seen before. I want to learn about it. I want to I want to talk to that person, I want to listen, I want to lean in I want to learn.

Russel Lolacher
It sounds so... so the difference I am hearing is inclusivity versus narcissism is sort of what I'm hearing.

Ingrid Christensen
Yeah!

Russel Lolacher
It's, let's have a conversation versus AI versus now the thing with and I love that you brought up as well as the diversity of it as well, especially being someone who works in translation and language experts. People bring different cultures to the table, different language, different body language, yes. How does that integrate into the language of trust?

Ingrid Christensen
Yeah, so my industry, my profession, my the last 25 years of my life has been dedicated to the art and science of language services, right, we bring a voice to the voiceless, we are a bridge of communication, when there otherwise would be no communication. And oftentimes we are as a part of our job as a part of our profession, and a part of, of our art and our craft. We are building bridges of trust, when that trust would never be able to be built between other people. Right? So I'm facilitating the communication for Johnnie and Frankie to have a trust based relationship, even though they can't communicate directly, I'm in the middle, because I'm the interpreter, or I'm the translator, right. And so the role of that interpreter in that setting is crucial to understanding that it's not really it has nothing to do with with the interpreter, like their position and their relationship in the mix. Doesn't even matter is to facilitate the communication between these two individuals so that they they can communicate and they can have a trusting relationship. Now, Translation and Interpreting is tricky. But what what I'll give you is that it's really no different than any other kind of communication. Our job as can communicators is to communicate to people in a way that they want to be communicated to. Right when when I'm talking to my teenager, I'm talking to him to a very different way than when I'm talking to my, my employees, or my mom or my neighbor, I gauge my register, my tone, the content of what I'm speaking about, the way I'm speaking to those people is different, because I can tune in to how that person wants to be spoken to. And it's very much the same in translation and interpretation. It's the respect to honor the language of the person that you are communicating with, to talk to them in a way that they can understand. And that's where this beautiful bridge of trust, is formed, made, formatted, and creates this trusting relationship between people that would never be able to have a trusting relationship otherwise.

Russel Lolacher
It's funny how it comes back to communication 101, which is the it's not just what said, it's how it's received. It is every communication involves two different people, not just one talking, that's broadcasting, that's radio. Communication is an understanding of meaning. And when you put a different culture in there, without compassion, empathy, respect, you're never going to give the space for that other person to take the time to understand and interpret what you're trying to say. What is the biggest challenge to building that language of trust? Because I'm, you talk about a bridge, but sometimes it's a bridge too far, for a lot of people it is sometimes it's a trust, I want to build trust, but you know, it's just, it's too much effort, or I'm just not able to understand, is there some situations where it is just a bridge too far?

Ingrid Christensen
I don't think that there are situations where it's a bridge too far. I think that it's a situation based in fear. I think oftentimes, not oftentimes, I think as humans, we fear that which we don't know, we fear that which is different, looks different. sounds different, feels different. It's it's a normal reaction, again, back to the caveman days, to fear that which is unknown, right? That That much we know. But again, we also know that we have this incredible innate ability to, to adapt and to lean in and to learn and to listen. So we know those two things. And if we can bring those two facts to front and center, and release and relinquish the fear that we feel around people that look different, sound different, act different, and find a level playing ground. So yeah, I think sometimes the bridge is massive, may be a really big bridge, and the bridge may have gaps in it. But I don't think that it's impossible. I do think, and I'm, you know, I'm an optimist. I believe that humans are by nature. Good, right, I believe that, that we do good things more often than not, and when we don't, there's something else going on. But I do believe that that big massive bridge can be really scary and can be difficult to cross because we're because our feelings are based in fear. And if we're able to flip the feeling from fear, to love, getting a little, you know, juicy here, but if we can flip it from from fear to love and recognize that the person that is standing across from us maybe way on the other side of that bridge is a human being with the same emotions and same heart and same, you know, feelings that we have, I think the bridge becomes a little bit shorter. Now, I also know that it takes time. Nobody has time. Trust based relationships take time, building a relationship with somebody on a bridge, that's so freakin long, takes a lot of time. And oftentimes people will be like that bridge is just too long. I don't have the time to figure it out. So I think that there's there's youI can recognize that the bridge may be really long, and we can recognize that to narrow the bridge is going to take a really long time. And I think at the same time, we can say but I honor that individual enough to respect them to care about the relationship enough to try to shorten the bridge. Yeah, I have a lot of feelings about that one, though. I think that the divisiveness between different Looking sounding acting people is dangerous and gets dangerously, the bridge is getting dangerously further and further apart.

Russel Lolacher
So how do we set ourselves up for success? You would mentioned earlier about talking about that assessment about getting to know yourself. I've said on this podcast before, and I'll say it again, self awareness is one of the biggest superpowers you can have in the world. But there's there, there has to be practices or things we can do as individuals to set ourself up for the intentional success of how we're going to communicate how we're going to show up at work, what do you recommend?

Ingrid Christensen
I recommend starting by saying hello to people, you know, when you walk into the office, say hello to everybody from, you know, the, the cleaning staff to the CEO, just say hello, a smile, and hello goes a long way. Beyond that, I think looking for opportunities to build meaningful, meaningful relationships and opportunities to have quality conversations, right, it doesn't take too much to you know, maybe there's a cleaning staff individual to say, you know, how was your weekend, you don't have to sit there and, you know, chat with them for five hours. But building short moments of, of connection of human connection and communication into the workplace, I think is really important. I think when I've witnessed really great leaders in their workplace, it's like, they tend to know every single person's name, know everything about their life, know about their kids know about what's going on, right. And I think that that's a sign of a good of a good leader, it's, it's a person that is not afraid to dig in and to have those, those meaningful conversations and take the time to build those relationships. Now, I understand that it's, it's increasingly more difficult in this remote world, because most of us, not most of us, a lot of us are still working remotely. And I do feel like the trust crisis we're in is going to take a lot longer to pull back from when we're stuck behind screens, right, because we don't have the opportunities to have those, those casual conversations. But that That aside, I do think that taking the time to communicate early and often, taking the time to be a little bit vulnerable, be a little bit open and honest with your feelings and your emotions, and show up for people when when they need you. I think as are three really powerful steps to establishing some of those initial bridges of trust.

Russel Lolacher
Let's talk about remote work, because that is a reality that we are not going to stop talking about anytime soon, as much as some organizations really would like us to what do we do if it's not meetings? How do we get that organic, spontaneous connection, that communication? If it seems like we're just waiting for the next zoom call in our Outlook calendar?

Ingrid Christensen
I know, I know, how is that? And you know, as a leader, I'm faced with this all the time, like how do I keep my organization in six different countries and multiple different time zones? Connected? What can we build into our into our day to make sure that people know who they're working with, and they establish relationships. So that's something that we work really, we work really hard on, and we're purposeful, in setting, cross department opportunities, you know, collaboration between different teams that otherwise would never work together. We are intentional about establishing, you know, frequent team health All team meetings. But that kind of thing can only go so far because it pulls people away from their day to day. So I'm always looking at what can I do to try to facilitate communication, when I'm not around or when it's not forced? Right? Because if I'm telling them they have to do it, they're likely going to do it. So what you know, what are the things that I can put into place to try to facilitate those relationships? And sometimes it's as simple as me sending an article to two different people on two different departments and saying, you know, I thought this article would be interesting to both of you maybe want to read it and chat about it. But it can't always come from me, right? Because if I tell them to do something, purportedly hopefully they do it, but I, you know, I'm trying to cross manage the department leads to be able to do the same thing to really try to establish those relationships and, and try to bring in the personal as much as possible. We'd like to share we'd like to start every meeting with a personal business best. So we your business best, as you know, whatever your highlight is from, from the your work, but a personal best two which which really highlights individual's personal life which which they want to bring. People want to bring their work their personal life into work. So I think it's an interesting question. I don't I don't have the I don't have the magic solution right now. But what I can tell you is that I'm deeply concerned and passionate about trying to find ways to make sure that the company culture is strong and thriving, and that we have opportunities for every single person to feel connected at work.

Russel Lolacher
There is one thing that I do see as a big issue, and it is communication, and it's the nonverbal communication. And that, I think, is one of the biggest casualties of remote work that people are not talking enough about. It's that smirk, it's that just knowing look from a friend at a meeting that you can't do on a group call. What are your feelings on the loss of nonverbal? Especially in building trust?

Ingrid Christensen
Yeah. That's something else that I've really been trying to grapple with. I think that I agree, I don't think remote work is going away. It's not going away from my organization, it works really well. It's not going to go away. So we know that, so what tools do we have at our disposal? To help facilitate? You know, we've got the this is it. You're looking at it, you know, we have cameras? We have zoom? We have Microsoft TEAMS? That's it. But we're missing out on those casual conversations on the nonverbal communication. And I do agree with you, I think it's I think it's a tragedy. I think it's a tragedy and a travesty. I don't know, what new technology might be able to bring to the table. You know, I don't I'm not really a fan of working in a, you know, VR world with with a headset on and but maybe something like that in the future. You know, we've tested out a couple different technologies. Nothing's really there yet. So I think it's I don't know, my answer to your question is I don't know. But I agree with you. I think it's a I think it's something that we need to figure out soon. And I trust that there's really smart people, they're gonna figure it out. Maybe somebody's listening as some genius idea that they can bring to the table.

Russel Lolacher
I agree with you like, I don't have an answer, either. I just it's, it's something we're all really trying to figure out right now. But I think and I think you nailed it in the sense that leaders just have to keep the conversation open, they have to be curious about things that they don't know, immediately. Maybe there is a technology solution. Maybe it's a human solution, but don't assume you know, and I think that's leadership is the curiosity side.

Ingrid Christensen
Yeah. I mean, I think it's, you know, it's our job to use the techniques and the tools that we have. And, you know, I do talk about that in the book that trust is, is a very full body experience, right? It's what we can hear what we can see what we can touch, what we can feel what we can smell. And now if what we have is a screen and some, you know, earbuds, we're reducing our overall sense reaction to two things, right, our sight and our hearing. So we're taking away all those really other important senses that have evolved through time that are that our physical body relies on to enter into a state of trust. And, and I don't know how quickly humans can evolve to adapt to that. I don't that's above and beyond my knowledge level, but it'll be interesting to see what happens.

Russel Lolacher
Before I get into the last question, I do want to ask you, what do you believe organizations are getting wrong? When it comes to building that language of trust? What is that? What is that thing that just keeps being a stumbling block for them to have that aha moment?

Ingrid Christensen
I think people are afraid of talking about the importance of trust, because they feel like it's going to open up up Pandora's box of emotions and feelings and vulnerability, messy human emotions that people tend to shy away from, especially in the workplace. And, you know, you mentioned before, there's we're one person, we're not two different people, we're not our home person and our work person, you know, we are one, one person. And I think that we can all serve each other better. If we remember that. And we recognize that we're all one person. And life is messy. People are messy, emotions are messy. And we can get through it. We have all the tools that we need to get through it. And so I would say don't be afraid to lean into those to those messy unsure moments.

Russel Lolacher
Because the last thing we want to do is make it messier.

Ingrid Christensen
Oh I know right? God forbid.

Russel Lolacher
So Ingrid, what is one simple action people can do right now that you believe to improve their relationships at work?

Ingrid Christensen
Shut up and listen.

Russel Lolacher
Sweet and straight to the point. Yeah, that is Ingrid Christensen. She is the president and founder of INCO International, and she's got a book you can buy right now called the Language of Trust: Communicate to Build Meaningful Relationships to be in Business and in Life. Thanks so much for being here. Ingrid.

Ingrid Christensen
Thank you so much. It was a pleasure.