Paddy Moran

Harnessing The Power Of Trust In Building Productive Teams With Paddy Moran

PSF 70 | Power Of Trust


Productive teams are nothing without the power of trust. It binds people together and creates harmony at all levels, which leads to incredible results. Joining the People Strategy Forum is Paddy Moran, Founder of Neuro Coach. He discusses how to measure trust in an organization and how its power can mend a fragmented leadership. Paddy presents the four keys to trust, its numerous facets, and the right way to cultivate a trust-centered culture. He also talks about the role of trust in bringing people together in a hybrid setup and how the neuro mindset paves the way toward a more diverse workplace.

Harnessing The Power Of Trust In Building Productive Teams With Paddy Moran

Thank you so much for joining us. My name is Jules. The power of trust is our topic. We’re diving in to talk about how leaders can build more productive teams with our guest speaker, Paddy Moran. We’re excited about it. I’m personally excited about this. I’ll introduce him in a minute and you will see why I’m excited. I want to give you the lowdown on what happens here. We get together every week. We have in our panel the expert hosts. They have backgrounds in everything from talent management to human resources and much more.

Our goal is to engage, energize, and elevate your employees and company. If you want to learn something every week, come on over. It’s completely free. We try to give as much value as we can. To help elevate the show, we always bring a different guest speaker. There’s a lot of variety in this. It’s available live and also as a podcast. If you miss something, you can always listen to the podcast later. We have an expert panel of hosts. I’m going to introduce you to a few of our hosts on the panel.

We have Char coming into us. We’re tuning in from all over. We’re on a global spectrum here, which is so great. That’s the great thing about technology. Char has a lot of experience and a huge background in human resources and working in corporate. Eventually, she did leave the corporate world and switched to being an entrepreneur. She has run so many businesses and continues to run businesses from different parts of the world. She’s in Mexico. She has also been a career coach. She has a lot of experience with talent management.

We also have Sam who is the Founder and CEO of CompTeam. He is a compensation and talent management expert. He is the person who brings this forum all together. We also generally have a few other people. Some people are out but generally, we have a pretty full house. It’s never the same. There’s always a lot of variety here. I did mention we have a guest speaker.

We’re excited to have Paddy Moran here with us. He is the Founder of Neuro Coach. He specializes in team development and company culture development. He has a very unique approach because he is so experienced in neuroscience. He brings brain science to the workplace. He helps companies learn how to use their brains more efficiently so that they can be more productive and more profitable, and have better team engagement. It is unique.

I love all things neuroscience. I’m still learning a lot about that. There’s so much about the brain. It’s so fascinating. We’re very excited to have Paddy with us. We’re on a global spectrum here. Sam is in Hawaii, and Paddy is in Ireland. It doesn’t get any more international than that. Paddy, thank you again for being with us. We’re excited to dive into all things neuroscience with you.

Thanks for the lovely introduction. I was sitting here and going, “Is that me she’s talking about?” Thank you very much. I’m excited to be here.

Paddy, it’s a pleasure to have you. I would love to learn a little bit more about your background. Can you tell us about how you got into neuroscience and how you help the people that you work with?

I’ve worked in management roles for over twenty years. I was that terrible leader. I was that egotistical and cocky sales guy who got promoted to sales manager. I didn’t have a clue how to manage people. There’s a very short story. I’ll give you the short version. My team wasn’t performing. I could not understand why my team wouldn’t do what I was telling them to do. I brought them all together into a meeting room and told them to either pull up their socks or they can go. At that moment, I lost my team.

I was in Dublin City Centre one day. I was walking up by Eason Bookstore. I went there thinking, “There has to be a book in here to tell me what I’m doing wrong.” I went there and picked up my first book on leadership. I was flicking through and going, “Oh no. I was doing everything wrong.” That got me into the leadership space. I worked with multiple teams.

I was always fascinated by why some teams work and some teams don’t. That got me into the psychology side of things. I got more interested in neuroscience. What’s happening in our brains? Everything is starting up here. That’s a space I’ve been in for the last 5 or 6 years. It’s fascinating when we understand the brain a little bit more because every conversation that we have is a conversation between two or more brains. I can be impacting your brain right now.

You are for sure. That’s the thing about the brain and neuroscience. There’s so much to be learned there. We’re experiencing and learning new things on a daily basis about the brain. One thing that I know is important and is part of our topic today is the concept of trust, and how leaders can develop trust using these neuroscience techniques. Why is trust important?

Trust is everything on the team. It’s everything in every single relationship. If we don’t have trust, things fall apart. In a lot of organizations from my experience working with leaders, some people are saying trust is this fluffy word. It’s something that you do with your partner. What about in work? Trust is vital for a team. When we look at it, we look through the lens of the brain and the heart because we all bring our brains and our hearts to work every day.

For me, trust is about seeing the whole human being coming to work, not just these pieces of human capital. Let’s bring our whole selves to work. Let Paddy be Paddy. You be you. How do we work together even with our differences? For me, trust in a team is like a glue. If we apply heat to glue, it will expand. Good teams will do that. We will stretch but then we come back together. That’s the way we need teams. We need this challenge on teams. People talk about stress. Challenged stress is good for a brand. Without trust, your team is not performing at the best level. It’s that simple.

You were telling us your story about when you were in your management experience. You lost your people in their engagement in your organization. You went out to search for a book and some guidance. I’m sure you found a whole bunch of them, but one book that you mentioned to me at the beginning of the session here was Trust Factor by Paul Zak. Was that one of those books you sought guidance in?

PSF 70 | Power Of Trust

Trust Factor

Paul is such a great guy. He is a neuroscientist. He has done so much work around the trust area. He developed tools that I now use in the workplace. There are instruments that he comes up with and surveys that are backed by science. We can go in and measure trust in a team. I’m very biased here but I use so much of his work with teams. It works because it’s so practical.

That’s interesting that you can measure trust. How does that happen? How can you measure trust in an organization or a team?

When we’ve got high trust in the team, we release oxytocin or the feel-good chemical. There’s a sense of “We’re in this together.” Paul has done a huge amount of work with teams. He went in from a neuroscience point of view. People have taken oxytocin nasally. He has seen that when our oxytocin levels go up, we perform better. We become more engaged and empathetic. He can’t go into organizations and ask people, “Can we put oxytocin up their noses?”

What Paul did was he went in and measured this. There are eight areas that he looked at. What are these areas that help us release more oxytocin? One of the areas would be recognition. Giving recognition to people in public has a high release of oxytocin. Give recognition as close to the event as possible. If it goes over a week, our brain tends to forget, “This is not as important.”

If you’ve done something good, I need to tell you, “Here’s some feedback. That was good. Tell me about how you got those results.” We’re then engaging more. Recognition is one way, and expectation is another. If we’re working on a team, there are expectations. What is expected of me in this project? If there are high levels of stress, our body is releasing cortisol. A high level of stress has the opposite effect.

From a productivity point of view on a team, what we need is what we call challenged stress. Challenged stress is you and I have got this project. We’ve got a deadline of two weeks. Here’s what you’re going to do. Here’s what I’m going to do. I feel the pressure and stress. The adrenaline starts to run through me. We’re working on this together. We’re more likely to collaborate because we’re very clear on what the end result needs to be in your role and my role.

If we don’t have that clarity, our brain doesn’t know what’s going to happen. It starts to make up stories. All of a sudden, work is not getting done. There are conversations at the water cooler. Deadlines are being missed. Expectations are another huge part of it. Our brain loves purpose. It loves to have individually a sense of purpose. What am I doing today? What difference am I making in the world? It’s so important on the team. Why are we here? What are we doing together?

The brain loves to have an individual sense of purpose. It wants to know the difference it can make to the world. Click To Tweet

There’s transparency around that. If I don’t have transparency around our purpose, it’s just a job. I’m just turning up for a paycheck. I’m not doing my absolute best work. There’s so much there, even stuff that can go wrong. On the flip side, where can we break losses and micromanage? It’s like, “It’s so bad.” If I’m being micromanaged, I need to use the part of my brain behind my eyes or the prefrontal cortex. This is where I’m going to do my best work, planning, organizing, and all the good thinking.

If I’m being micromanaged, the stress part of my brain or the amygdala is going off. The emotional part of my brain is firing off. I’m not doing my best work. I can’t do my best work because my brain is in a threat state. I’m thinking about what’s coming next. When I’m in this state if I’m on a team and I feel threatened, the only person I’m focused on is me because it’s about my survival. It’s about me surviving the next ten minutes. I can’t collaborate. There’s quite a bit that’s happening in a team through interactions.

I’ve already downloaded it on my Audible. Thank you very much. I’ll listen to that before I go to sleep so that my brain can work on that. I do have a question. I have worked in very large organizations with nearly 160,000 employees and also all the way down to 2 people and everything in between. When we’re talking about building that trust and knowing what’s expected of me at work, I have found that the larger the organization is, the bond is even more fragmented.

The stretching and coming back together as a team is fabulous. What I’ve also seen is that when the dynamics of the senior executive team have their personality matters back and forth neurologically in building trust and all that, it makes it even worse because it’s trickling to the VP level, the director level, the manager level, and the frontline employee level. All these different teams have to work together. Your frontline employees have fragmented leadership at the top and have challenges cascading that trust, knowing what’s expected of me at work. It can be problematic between teams. What’s your thought about that?

I would see this quite a bit as well. There’s a nice bit of research here. As we go up the ladder, we’re dealing with less and less people. When we’re up at that high level, there’s lovely research here showing us that we’re less likely to be kind, empathetic, and compassionate. There are different networks in our brains. There are two that I want to talk about here. I want to mention this because this is what I talk to these senior leaders about. It’s the senior leaders that need to understand. When I do this, what’s the impact on the team? What’s happening down here? What impacts the team also impacts our customers.

There are two networks that I could talk about. There’s a goal-focused network and a people-focused network in our brains. My people-focused network will be stronger than my goal-focused network. That’s the way I’ve trained my brain. The thing is these networks can’t be on at the same time. If we’re at a very high level, and we’re completely and utterly goal-focused, this people-focused network is not coming on. All I’m thinking about is the next thing, “Why aren’t we here?” That trickles down to the team. Now the team is going, “All you see is numbers. You don’t see me.”

To drive some clarity, when you’re talking about networks, you’re talking about the brain and how it’s thinking, whether it’s people-focused or goal-focused and so forth. Is that correct?

Yeah. This is a lot of the work I do with the senior managers for them to understand how their brain works. When they understand that, the impact that they can have on the next person that they talk to trickles down even from a trust point of view because you’re going to go into organizations. You see the core values on the wall. When I walk into an organization I haven’t been in before, I feel it. I go, “The culture is alive and well here. It’s good.” I can walk in. I see this lovely cultural statement on the wall. I don’t feel it. I would say to people, “What’s the culture like?” “That’s nonsense.”

I have the blessing of working in healthcare. Hospital systems and hospital networks are like many cities. Since we’re all working in healthcare, it’s kind of an organism. The beauty of working in human resources as an HR business partner or whatever title I had at the time is that I had one-on-ones with all my meeting leaders, VPs, managers, and directors. It was fascinating to me.

I have a minor in Psychology. It’s no big deal but I also have a communications background. I would watch the cultures. I can sit in a conference room or walk through a department like the ER during the night. I would come in at night and visit departments at night. I even rode on a truck at 3:00 AM and learned how delivery happens at a 7-Eleven in downtown Denver. I knew that as a good executive HR leader, I need to understand the mentality and the culture of all those subgroups.

What was difficult for me is that I could see at least in my brain where they weren’t melding well. The psychology of each of those subgroups was struggling. You could see where the hiccups were. You could see where they’re talking about other departments or gossiping about so-and-so or the leaders and not understanding why things were happening.

That’s why I love HR because we are that. I always called the dots person. I was always running around, trying to understand the psychology of all those teams, and then trying to make those talent management recommendations. Why do you think that many organizations struggle with this mindset? Do you think this neuro mindset of building trust is now finally awakening as far as understanding that diversity is not just the color of our skin or other diversities but we also have neurodiversity? Do you think that we’re now starting to be more aware of that and how it impacts an entire organization?

It’s wakening up at the moment. A lot of leaders will have read psychology. There’s so much from a psychology point of view that we can learn but they don’t get it. Some leaders don’t get practicalities. This is where neuroscience is interesting because we’re able to talk about practical results and go, “These two team members are not getting on. Here’s what’s probably happening in their brains. These networks are turned on. Emotional brains are turned off. There’s a lack of trust. Here are the three things we can do to work with this person and the practical things.”

They start to see changes fairly quickly. The lovely thing about neuroscience is that it’s practical for people who are very mechanically minded with the engineering mind. It’s not the pink and fluffy stuff. It’s got, “You turn on this and turn off this.” There’s an awakening there. People are going, “Tell me more about this because I can use this knowledge to create a better culture and increase productivity.”

A lot of people will say, “A happy team is a productive team.” I say the opposite, “A productive team is a happy team.” If we’re working together, we’re focused, we’ve got a common goal, we share a sense of purpose, we bond well together, and we care for each other, now I’m going to be more productive. I’m going to be happier. There’s a lot happening here in this space at the moment, which is exciting.

A productive team is a happy team. If everyone works together towards a common goal while caring for each other, every person is sure to do their best. Click To Tweet

Let’s break down trust itself. What Char mentioned was good. If you go to your doctor, for instance, it’s like, “I trust you with my life but I don’t trust you to do my taxes.” Tell us about the different facets of trust. It’s not just one thing.

We look at trust through the lens of the brain. I’ll break this down into four categories. We’ve got cognitive trust, which is happening in our brains. There are two sections here under cognitive trust. The first one is consistent. I believe that you will act in a dependable manner. There are no surprises. If you’re surprising me every day with a new goal like, “This has changed,” you’re not consistent. My brain is going, “There’s something wrong.”

The first one is being consistent and acting in a dependable manner. The second one is capable. Do I have the skills, the knowledge, and the ability to do what I say I can do? We have probably all experienced the hire that we have met that told us they could do everything in the interview. They start, and they don’t have the skillset. That trust is the road straight away. There’s no coming back from this. That’s the two of them, consistent, and capable from a cognitive point of view.

Here’s what we call effective trust. This is the heart. I do a lot of talking about bringing our hearts to work as well because we do. It’s not the 1980s anymore. You hear people years ago, “Leave your emotions and problems at the door.” If only you could turn off your emotions, take out your heart, and go, “I’ll be a robot for today.” We look at trust from the heart. The first part of effective trust is being candid. Act with honesty and integrity, “I will follow through on my promises to you.” We have all experienced that. Someone has promised us stuff and then doesn’t follow through.

The last piece then is caring. I believe that you are on my side. You display warmth and empathy toward me. We’re picking up on these four. We’re all doing this now. Our brains are all doing this, “Am I acting in a dependable manner? Do I have the skillset and knowledge? Do I act with honesty and integrity? Do I follow through on my promises? Do I genuinely care?”

That can usually be a big one because if we’re in a leadership position, and we’re using this goal-focused network more than the people-focused network, caring is not happening. We might be saying, “I care for you. Our company culture says we care for all of our employees,” but the actions are not lining up with the words. It’s a nice way to look at trust in four areas.

When I think about it, some of them seem to be more important than others at certain times. It’s talking about starting a relationship. Mostly, if the stakes are high, such as our life in a doctor situation, we may trust them to have the knowledge but whether or not we want to listen to what they’re saying depends on our relationship. They have the knowledge but do they care about me? Do they have my best interests in mind? It seems like there are some elements of trust that are more important in some situations than others. Would you agree with that?

I would. All four areas would come into play but in different situations. I suppose the flip side is from a doctor’s point of view, a doctor has to deliver X amount of bad news per day. If he leans too much on this caring side, that’s probably going to impact his or her well-being or resilience. It does depend on the situation but there are four that we always need to keep in mind.

When we think about trust, how does trust impact team productivity? What are some effective strategies for building trust among team members?

I’ll give you an example of one of my first jobs before I got into sales when I was young. I was working in a call center. This manager used to come out. He would stand on our desks and shout at us, “What’s going on?” He thought this was motivating. What do you think was going on in all our brains? We were sitting there terrified. Most parts of our brains are on. We’re on high alert. We can’t think clearly and do our jobs.

Another example is a different call center that I was in. I was up a flight of stairs. We always knew if the manager was in good form or bad form by her footsteps. If the footsteps were quick, she was in good form. If they were heavy, she was in bad form. If she was in bad form, the threat sensor was going on in my brain. I’m not thinking clearly. What do we need to do so our teams can be more productive?

Recognition is important. It’s openness, transparency, and having that sense of purpose to know where we’re going, “This is the journey that we’re on. You are part of this journey.” It’s caring and demonstrating that we genuinely care. We need a challenge. This is always the interesting piece with leaders, “This tough stuff can be fluffy.” I’m going, “We need to challenge our teams because we have to get stuff done.” We need to challenge stress because that’s good.

Our brain will release oxytocin when we go through these challenges and these deadlines. It’s something that I see happening in companies. We finish a project, and we’re straight into the next one. It’s not a brain-friendly thing to do. What we need to do is finish a project, celebrate, give recognition, give our brains time to relax, and then move into the next project.

PSF 70 | Power Of Trust

Power Of Trust: When companies finish a project, they go straight to the next one. This is not a brain-friendly thing to do. Be sure to take some time to celebrate, give recognition, and allow your mind to relax.


There’s growth and learning. It’s giving our team the opportunity to grow and learn. I’m working with a great company for the last two years. This lady is amazing. I was sitting with her and the small team. There are only eight people. Her question to her team was, “How do I help you get your next job?” It’s so powerful because she genuinely wants to help her team to grow and develop.

When we’re learning and growing and if an employer is investing in our growth, we’re going to give more back. We’re intrinsically motivated. A key part as well is for us to tap into this intrinsic motivation because we all get paid for going to work but it’s tapping into someone’s intrinsic motivation, “What is it Paddy wants to do? How can I help Paddy get there? How can I support Paddy?” The four areas of trust demonstrate these. What’s Paddy going to do? Paddy is going to give everything.

I have a personality type that people would trust to tell me things. I often worked with employees as well as the leaders. I knew the employee was not happy in that department. It was the marketing department. This employee had worked there for six years in marketing. She wanted to get into learning and development. She wanted to get into talent strategy.

She was interviewing me because she wanted to know what my job is all about. I also looked at her boss. I’m thinking he doesn’t know that this is her ambition. She’s fearful to tell him but at the same time, she has already been working in that department for six years. Nowadays, generations don’t typically even stay in their jobs for two years. That’s changing.

That’s a very good point you made from a TMA’s perspective. We like to talk about at CompTeam career mobility and identifying what is truly your ambition. You’re a fantastic marketing representative here but where do you want to be someday? I’ll make up a name because I don’t want to give away her name. I’ll call her Barb. She ended up going out and getting a PhD. She ended up opening her company. She runs her multimillion-dollar learning and development company.

That’s also why I got a little bit interested in career coaching. I call it HR from the inside out. I feel that many leaders want to keep that employee forever and never open up their minds. It’s a sense of fear, “If this person leaves, I have to replace them. They’re my superstar,” but this person had the capacity and the ability to go out, get a PhD, and run a million-dollar business.

About fifteen years later, I hired her company for one of the healthcare systems I work for. I ended up hiring five of her employees on a contract. I look back. We are friends. We talk about the fact that her leader never was open to her idea of moving up, getting a PhD, and moving on. That’s fascinating. It ultimately could have helped his department. I could tell you many stories but that triggered one for me.

It’s such an interesting story because it’s keeping people small, “Don’t educate them.” I do say this to leaders, “Have you got a fear that this person might know more than you?” That’s what you want. You want them to know more than you but what if they leave, get a lot of knowledge, and come back to you with even more knowledge like the boomerang effect?

Leaders must help their teams know more than them and come back with even more knowledge. Click To Tweet

This particular person could have been a great advocate for that company from a marketing perspective. From getting that PhD and opening her company, she ended up working with many other companies. Because her company was so successful, she then had a huge network that would have helped the marketing department of this healthcare system. A decade from now, that would have made a major difference. I find that quite fascinating that there was a lack of awareness of the power of helping people learn, grow, promote, and follow their dreams. That’s very important.

That’s the leader’s job. As a leader, my first job is to help my team grow and develop. Doing that servant leadership style has such a positive impact on people. It’s such a brain-friendly thing to do. We need more of that. Let’s not keep our people small. Let’s help our people to flourish. We’re dealing with someone’s life here. Let’s help them to have the best life ever and come back to us.

As leaders, there are a lot of situations where we have a very trusting team but then something happens in somebody’s life. They drop the ball or fail on a project or something like this. What can that person do to earn that trust back in a situation where trust has been lost?

In working with people on a project, we shouldn’t find out that the person fails at the end if we’re doing it in a brain-friendly way. If we give a team a project to do, autonomy is hugely important. If I give a team a project to do, I’ll go, “Here’s the end result. Here’s how I would do it but if you can find a different way, go and do it.” Let them do it. It’s having the milestones and checking in. When we have trust, I can check in and go, “Sam, where are we in relation to this project?” “Paddy, I’m falling behind.”

“Let’s talk about it, Sam. What’s happening?” If I’ve got good trust with you and a good relationship, I’m going, “Maybe you’re not the right leader for this project. Do we get a new set of eyes and ears in to look at this project? What’s going on for you?” There could be stuff going on for that person at home as well. If there’s stuff going on for me at home, and I don’t trust my leader, I’m not going to tell them.

This is so good because being a victim of this and being piled on with so many different projects, my span control was twelve system projects that I was accountable for, plus my work. I never wanted to tell my VP that we together organizationally have put me in a situation where I am going to fail. I have way too much on my plate. In many of those projects, I did very well. In a few, I didn’t do so well. I remember those conversations with my VP, “Why didn’t you accomplish this?” I was like, “Did you forget that I did this?” The book I mentioned is called Leading Without Fear. I will have to ask this person if she would like to be on as a guest someday.

PSF 70 | Power Of Trust

Leading without Fear

I do believe it’s about trust and not being fearful of explaining to your boss, “I’m not good at making PowerPoints all day. Why is it that I don’t have a technical specialist or whatever the title is of PowerPoint creators? I’m a strategic person. I’m not the PowerPoint creator. Why am I up until 3:00 in the morning creating PowerPoints, and losing sleep from creating PowerPoints?” It also led to my brain’s capacity to take on a zillion projects. Why is it that we’re afraid to let our employees be upfront and honest? Why do we wait until the end of the year until we finally find out?


I said ten million sentences, and then you had one answer, “Ego.” Please, tell me what that means to you.

We’re brought in to work on trust. What comes before trust is psychological safety. Psychological safety, as you probably know, is that I can speak up without the fear of being humiliated, knocked down, and shouted at. If we don’t have psychological safety, trust is never going to happen. That’s always my starting point, “Let’s check psychological safety on this team.”

It’s tough for leaders to hear because some leaders are in business for a long time. “We have always done it this way. I’m in business for twenty years. I know better than you. You’re just a graduate. Who are you to come to me?” There’s a lot of ego at play here. I’ll always say to leaders, “Let’s part the ego and get curious. Why is Paddy saying that this project might fail? Tell me more about that, Paddy.” It doesn’t mean you have to agree with me.

That’s where we need to be from a leadership point of view. We need to get curious, “What might this person be seeing that I’m not saying?” I don’t think anybody turns up for work with the intention of dealing with bad days of work or the intention of making a project fail. If I’m afraid to speak up, what happens is the vulnerability piece. If I’m not allowed to be vulnerable, now my brain is in this fear state.

I can’t do my creative thinking. Worse, if I do raise a problem, I go, “I don’t think this is going to work. I’ve made a mistake.” We need to embrace mistakes and go, “What was the learning here?” If I make a mistake and if you yell and shout at me, especially in public among a team, here’s what’s happening in my brain. I’ve been socially shamed. There’s a pain network in our brains. That’s the same pathway when we feel physical pain.

If I burn my hand off a fire, this part of my brain lights up. If I’m socially rejected or humiliated, the same part of my brain lights up. What happens when you do something wrong? What happens when you burn your hand? You don’t do it again. If you make a mistake and if you get shut down for making a mistake, you’re now going to stop innovating, learning, and growing. You’re going to say, “Why?”

Do not shut down after making a mistake. Continue innovating, learning, and growing. Click To Tweet

That’s an interesting point because I often saw challenges with a new graduate or a new employee right out of college. That new employee out of college has more technical experience. No offense to all of us older twenty-plus-year people but we used to go to the library and have to read a book to find information. The new grads now can just click on a finger, and not only that. They know how to use their computers a little bit better than some of us. I also think on the flip side, let’s say the more mature or experienced also feels threatened because perhaps they have not kept up with technology, everything coming out of the schools, and everything that the colleges are teaching.

What I’ve seen psychologically is that’s where there’s an age issue or whatever word you want to use. What would you do in that dynamic where there’s so much fear between the different generations? I’m getting into generations now. What would you do to blend those generations to get to the egos? Even the new grads have an ego. They’re like, “You’ve been doing this for 30 years but I know way more than you.” How would you deal with that dynamic in a team?

It’s for the leader to have a conversation, “Here are my strengths. Here’s the value that I can bring to you within your role. Here’s what I know. Lean on this for me.” Embrace his or her vulnerability and go, “Here’s the stuff I don’t know. I’m not IT savvy. Can I lean on you for that?” and for the graduate to go, “I’m IT savvy. I’ve finished uni but you’ve got loads of experience and knowledge. Can I learn that from you?”

Where can we meet in the middle? When can we tell each other when we’re getting on each other’s nerves? Here’s your psychological safety going, “You’re coming with a set of strengths. I’ve got a set of strengths so both our egos are satisfied. How do we work together? How do we find the common ground where we got trust? If we disagree, let’s have a disagreement but let’s have a discussion, not a shouting match.”

Those are good points there. One last question I would love to hear your perspective on is this. Now, we have a bunch of different types of work environments. We have people that are in the office. We have hybrid situations where they’re in and outside the office and people that are fully remote. How do we develop trust across these different environments? Is there a different approach or is it all the same?

Between hybrid or completely remote?

Do we need to have face-to-face contact to be able to establish a strong trust or can it be done in a remote environment?

It could be done in a remote environment. There’s research here from the last couple of years after the pandemic to show this. We have to make more time when we’re on Zoom with a team. We have to check in because what Zoom or Microsoft Teams did is a lot of people come along like, “Here are the five things we’re going to talk about. Let’s get in.” We have to make that extra effort to check in on people, “How are things? How are you?” We can build trust but it takes more effort.

When we’re in the workplace, we got those water cooler conversations, “How are you? How was your weekend? Did you have a beer?” We need to do the same over Zoom. Trust 100% can be built through connections but we do need to see people. People had asked me this common question. Here’s my view on fully remote versus hybrid versus full-time in the office. I’m a fan of hybrid because we’re social beings. It’s always good to connect and shake a colleague’s hand.

PSF 70 | Power Of Trust

Power Of Trust: Humans are social beings. They will always find a way to connect with others and shake a colleague’s hands.


To answer your question, Sam, we can build trust but we need to make the time. How do I demonstrate this consistency of being capable, candid, and caring when I’m having a conversation with a colleague over Zoom? I keep the connection going. I’ve seen it again during the pandemic. There are a lot of email warriors hiding behind emails. Let’s have a conversation and pick up the phone.

It’s even coming on to Zoom and saying to someone, “You look happy today. How are you?” Instead of going, “How are things?” We usually go, “How are you?” We then move on to, “You look happy today.” If you’ve got a member of your team who’s looking a little bit stressed, “You look a little bit stressed today. Is everything okay?” It shows you’re caring. You’re giving me an opportunity to talk. It’s not an excuse for not building trust.

One more time, what were those four keys to trust?

From the cognitive level, the first one is being consistent, being dependable, and acting in a dependable manner with no surprises. The second one is being capable. I have the skills, the knowledge, and the ability to do my job. From an effective point of view, it’s being candid. I’ll act with honesty and integrity. I’ll follow through on what I say I’m going to do. The last one is my favorite. You’re on my side. Display warmth and empathy toward me. If we do all these things, we get them back.

Thank you so much, Paddy, for being with us and taking us through this journey of what trust is and how to establish it among our teams. How can our audiences learn more or reach out to you for more information?

They can follow me on LinkedIn. That’s probably where I put most of my time. It’s Paddy Moran. My website is

It has been a pleasure. Thank you so much.

I enjoyed it. Thank you so much.

Thanks for your energy too. It’s such a joyful energy. It’s so pleasant to listen to you. You have some fun stories. It flew because of you. Thank you so much for being with us.

Thank you.

I also have a water cooler over here. I had many meetings right next to that water cooler. I was laughing about that because it’s so true. Thank you so much, Paddy. You’re awesome. Thank you for your time.

Thank you, everyone, for joining us. We will see you in the next episode. Take care.


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About Paddy Moran

PSF 70 | Power Of TrustHello I’m Paddy,
My passion is people & company culture development.

  • Are you a business owner who has no time because you feel like you’re always stuck in the day to day of running your business?
  • Through my neuroscience based assessments, I can help your team to be more accountable, engaged and responsible resulting in you having more time to focus on your main tasks.
  • Are you trying to get your team on the same page, but everyone seems to be pulling in different directions?
  • Through team profiling, I can help you to understand each team member’s behavioural style, and also their individual motivations.
  • Are you struggling to attract and retain top talent?
  • I help you to define & create your unique company culture, meaning you have an organisation where people want to work and enjoy working.
  • Is your team running every decision by you, which leaves you feeling swamped and overwhelmed?
  • I’ll help to create a company culture where your team feels more confident to take ownership of daily decisions.
  • Is the current state of your business causing you unnecessary stress and worry?
  • We’ll sit down together and talk about where you are on a business and personal level, and from there we will work on actionable steps that you can use to get back to enjoying your business and doing what you do best.
  • Have you already tried to fix this problem in the past by introducing processes, sending team members for training, or even just having tough conversations?
  • Most businesses have tried these techniques when it comes to getting more out of their team but 9 times out of 10, things quickly revert back to the way they were. I’ll help you get to the root cause through science & evidence based interventions that work.

For the past 20 years, I have worked in various management roles, and in my time I’ve come to really understand what separates the best organisations from the mediocre. Which is why I now dedicate my time to helping business owners grow and evolve through building robust teams and organisations. Working with me will mean:

  • Increased profitability
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased team engagement
  • Increased team retention
  • Your unique company culture defined and brought to life

If you want a trusted advisor to work with you and help you create the vision you have for your business, please send me a message and let’s connect.

I look forward to talking with you soon,

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