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Building Trust


Employees who trust their employer engage more strongly in the following behaviors: Advocacy, Loyalty, Engagement and Commitment, according to Paul Zak of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University and author of Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies(2017).  Zak says that employees at “high-trust” companies, compared with those at “low-trust” companies, experience less stress, more energy at work, higher productivity, fewer sick days, more satisfaction with their lives and less burnout.

Length: 90mins (in person), 75min (virtual)

Cost:  TBD (depending on specifics of engagement)

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Zak's eight management behaviors that foster trust in the workplace, which can be measured and managed to improve performance, apply equally to building trust in a champion ballroom partnership. Fundamental to building trust with these eight management behaviors on- or off the dance floor is “respectful partnering.” These behaviors include:

  • Recognize excellence. Rather than focusing on what’s not working in an effort to improve performance. Dancers will demonstrate this idea.

  • Induce “challenge stress”. There is a difference between “negative stress” and “positive stress” – one helps you to grow and get stronger, the other employs force to maintain control and takes more energy and is debilitating for employees/teams. Dancers will demonstrate the difference between the two.

  • Give people discretion in how they do their work. In a dance partnership, the leader sets the direction and timing, allowing the follower to express and finish the movement and line. Both have contributed, invested and have ownership in the creative execution; the same is true in the business world. Dancers will demonstrate this idea.

  • Enable job crafting. As in winning ballroom partnerships, Zak’s research reveals that members of successful teams are encouraged to contribute their talents, expertise and passion to help achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. Dancers will provide a visual demonstration of how “job crafting” creates greater engagement and investment in a partnership or team.

  • Share information broadly. Not doing so often results in inefficiency and chaos within a ballroom partnership or team/organization. Conversely, sharing information so all parties are operating from the same understanding, using ballroom’s “Magic Partnership Board” and the formula of Create Vertical + Create Space + Create Shape, will result in beautiful, championship-level partnering on and off the dance floor.

  • "Intentionally" build relationships. Ballroom champions are the result of many carefully built, respectful relationships over time, beginning with the dancers and their partnership, and the relationships they build with coaches, judges, competition organizers, sponsors, students, among others. No ballroom partnership on or off the dance floor becomes successful without years of intentional, productive relationship building. The same is true in the corporate world.

  • Facilitate whole person growth. The most productive, high-performing teams and organizations focus on both personal and professional growth. Moreover, by helping individuals become more of who they are will be able to nurture distinctive thinkers and innovators. A popular saying in the ballroom world is that “no one becomes a champion by dancing the way everyone else dances.”

  • Show vulnerability. This is often perceived as a negative in both the corporate and the ballroom world.  However, actively listening, being open, receptive, and admitting when you don’t know something is refreshing in both worlds and can lead to greater/faster learning, trust, ability to build stronger partnerships and success.

What Participants Will Learn:

  • The equal importance of both leadership and followership

  • The clearer the shared vision and strategy the more each individual can deliver a winning performance and help the partnership/team succeed

  • How leaders and followers can empower and elevate one another to build trust and respect How critical it is to maintain laser-like focus on each step, which produces the next successful step to build towards achieving the end goal

  • The importance of sharing your passion to energize yourself and those involved in the shared endeavor

  • How putting the needs of others ahead of yourself can create a winning team performance

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