person wears multicolored blazer

I once 😴 through a final exam. Let me explain…

I had been sick, stressed and woke up late the morning of the test. I barely got myself together, 🏃‍♂️ across campus (lots of stairs, BTW) and into the room only to find that everyone was gone, including the professor. To this day, I still have nightmares about that scenario.

Anytime there is an expectation that is not met, a Trust Gap forms.

Let me tell you about a Trust Gap that formed for me this morning.

A prospective client booked a call with me via my Calendly link to talk about how we could help them with their administrative needs. I had several errands to run before the call, but was ready with 15 minutes to spare.

I opened up Zoom, started the meeting and waited… 

Five minutes passed in our 15 minute meeting window and I realized this person was not going to show up.

What would you do? 🤔

Would you fill the Trust Gap with Trust 🤝 or Suspicion 🧐?

Is this missed Zoom a Fluke or is this person a Flake?

As busy leaders, I know it would be easy to assume they’re flakes. And yet some of you also try to fill that gap with trust and assume it’s a fluke.

I don’t assume either one. I investigate 🕵️ two things, in real time, while I’m waiting.

1.  I investigate to see if I’m the problem.

-Was the calendar invite confirmed, clear and correct?

-Was it clear this was a Zoom meeting and not a phone call?

-Am I in the right Zoom meeting? 

 2. I investigate to see if they’re having an issue.

During our scheduled time, I sent an email letting them know that I was on and ready and I hope they’re doing ok since they missed our time. I also offered them a way to rebook. If I had their number, I would’ve 📱 and/or texted a little reminder after 2 minutes.

Without an immediate response, I’m left without a conclusion.

I know, and respect, someone else who has no time for no-show-nonsense. When you book a call with him, he has a policy and makes it very clear that if you no-show, you go on his 📝 of people he will work with.

Here’s my dilemma…

We serve busy leaders and sometimes, before they enlist the help of one of our remote Executive Assistants, their calendars are a mess and therefore they double-book themselves. So when they no-show, they might actually be a good candidate for what we do or they could just be a flake. That’s why I need to 🕵️.

Here’s my other dilemma…

When it comes to hiring our assistants, if they miss a Zoom interview I have a different issue. The question I’m trying to answer here is not whether or not they need our service, but whether or not they can fulfill it well.

Trust me, I get it.

Zoom unexpectedly needs an update, batteries die, time zones confuse people… but I need to make sure this person owns their creation of the Trust Gap and moves forward with great execution on any and all expectations.

It’s an applicant’s job to fill the Trust Gap with an apology, explanation and an offer to make it right.

One miss could be a fluke, but two, that’s a flake.

If you are the one who missed the call…

Here are three commitments I learned from a talk called Trust Over Suspicion by Andy Stanely:

1. I commit to do what I say I will do and when I don’t, I’ll tell you.
2. I commit to not over promise and under deliver. But, if it looks like that’s where things are headed, I’ll tell you.
3. If you confront me about the gaps I’ve created, I’ll tell you the truth.

Now about that missed final exam

I emailed the professor right away, and a couple more times over the Winter Break with no reply. I had already registered for her next level class, so when the time came, I just showed up, half expecting her to kick me out.

When I walked in the room, she looked at me and investigated, “What happened to you?!

I explained my shortcoming and she explained that she doesn’t use her university email, and then she let me take the previously missed final that Friday.

I’ve always appreciated that bit of grace. 🙏

-Micah Foster, Co-Owner