Ep 165: Trust, Vulnerability, and Connection with Charles Green

In this episode of Bridging the Gap, Matt Reiner and Charles Green dive into the balance between human connection and metric-based management in professional service industries. Charles Green emphasizes the need for intimate, personal connections when building trust with clients, critiquing modern business practices that overly rely on quantitative metrics. Throughout their conversation, they explore how trustworthiness can be learned, the importance of taking risks in trust development, and how different temperaments affect organizational dynamics.

Charles recounts his journey from aspiring baseball player to trust expert, offering insights from his diverse career experiences in consulting and his background in philosophy. They also touch on the need for younger professionals to develop soft skills like vulnerability and curiosity to enhance their trust quotient over time. This conversation opens up to helping us understand active listening, vulnerability and risk taking, and personal connections over metrics. Active listening ensures that clients and colleagues feel heard by asking meaningful questions about their personal and professional goals. Questions like ‘What does money mean to you?’ can help in forming deeper, trust-based connections. Vulnerability and risk-taking is explained by fostering an environment of trust by leading with vulnerability. Share your own experiences and feelings openly to make others feel safe to do the same, thus encouraging open and honest conversations. Personal connections over metrics is understanding that while quantitative metrics are important, they should not overshadow the need for emotional connection and trust in business relationships. Authentic, human interactions are crucial for building and maintaining trust over time.

They wrap up by discussing practical measures to rebuild trust within organizations, particularly emphasizing the need for genuine actions and emotional safety over mere procedural compliance or metrics. Charles helps to understand that listening to our clients comes first and this conversation helps us to understand the ‘why’ behind that.

Timestamps From This Episode
[11:37] Industry moat is ourselves, trust equals vulnerability, and the gift of going second emphasizes creating an environment of safety for deep, open conversations.
[14:30] The significance of feeling safe and open in conversations, as well as being aware of one’s self-orientation. We highlight the importance of intimate conversations and the impact of self-orientation on communication, emphasizing the need to focus on the other person rather than getting wrapped up in one’s own thoughts.
[21:10] Young professionals seek early competence but face challenges as they try to prove their abilities. Their efforts to appear trustworthy may lead to a pattern of fabrications, making it hard to maintain. This can ultimately lead to ineffectiveness in their profession.
[35:41] Rebuilding trust cannot be achieved solely through apologies; it requires concrete action and a well-defined plan. Companies may need to engage in PR and crisis management to address trust issues both internally and externally. It’s essential to provide teams and leadership with the support and resources necessary to rebuild trust, as the process may take time and cannot be rushed in our instant gratification world.
[41:33] Embrace curiosity, vulnerability, and collaboration in work for successful relationships and outcomes. Acknowledge expertise in oneself and others to create valuable partnerships.

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Bridging the Gap is a financial podcast hosted by CEO Matt Reiner focused on bringing together leaders from the finance and the technology industries to focus on innovating the financial services industry.