This morning I sit in the Pearl which if you do not know it is nestled in the coolest part of San Antonio, Texas. (in my humble opinion)
You can see a bit about it here if you are interested
As I sit here, I am thinking about trust and leadership. I am learning that everyone defines trust differently but I am not confident that I understand why.
Let's say I open a business today. I am meeting with my first potential hire in a few moments. What are the things I am interested in knowing about him/her?
Here are some things I am going to look for in general:
Competency, Character, Confidence, Commitment, Class, Creativity, Charisma, Credibility, Coachability and Compassion (I did the C thing on purpose)
The most important thing I am looking for in this person is if I will be able to TRUST them.
Now the question is, how can you tell if you can trust someone in an interview?
Easy, you ask them lots of great questions. Try to find one that they do not know the answer to and see how they respond.
A question like this.
How many stars are in the universe?
Or, what was on the cover of Wired Magazines September 2000 release?
Better yet give them an ethical dilemma question and see how they respond?
Like this, "A man has robbed a bank, but instead of keeping the money for himself, he donates it to a poor orphanage that can now afford to feed, clothe, and care for its children. You know who committed the crime. If you go to the authorities with the information, there’s a good chance the money will be returned to the bank, leaving a lot of kids in need. What do you do?"
Or this, "You have a job as network administrator for a company that also employs your best friend’s husband. One day, your best friend’s husband sends you a message asking you to release an email from quarantine. This requires you to open the email, at which point you discover that it’s correspondence between this guy and his secret lover. After releasing the email, you find yourself in a pickle. Your instinct is to tell your best friend about his husband’s infidelities, but divulging the contents of company emails is against company policy and you could lose your job. Once it becomes plain that your best friend found out about his cheating husband through a company email, all trails will inevitably lead to you as the leak. Do you tell him about the indiscretion?"
You listen to the response and you watch facial and body cues.
What am I looking for in these types of questions?
Honesty, Vulnerability, and Consistency in response.
Measure these answers against the responses to the generic interview questions. Ask yourself, Do the answers match the person?
Then throw the person off. Give them a live scenario that they have to work through in the moment.
Guy with a hazmat suit walks in with a gun.
Just kidding, you don't need to take it that far. You can if you want. Make sure the gun isn't real. It may get weird.
You gauge a lot about a person in how they respond to questions that are outside the scope of what they are prepared for.
This is not fool proof but, it will help in the overall understanding of an individual.
Now let's say you know the person. You have worked with the person in the past. You look at this persons credibility, competency, character, etc. You have 4 years of evidence as to why this person has outperformed all counterparts and his/her output is always at the top of the mark.
What stops you from trusting this individual with the next endeavor?
I'm just going to tell you, it's you.
As a leader you gauge the true trustworthiness of an employee, volunteer or any leader you put in charge on how they respond to scenarios you give them. As you give them more responsibility and you see that how they answered you in the interview is how they are going to show up, you give them more rope.
It's like flying a kite. As the wind takes to the kite, let the string out.
Otherwise the kite will not rise to his/her potential.
You gripping the string with all of your might speaks more about you than it does them.
Trust the people you put in leadership and get out of the way.
Or don't put them in leadership.