How to Create a Relationship with Employees that is High Trust with Carolin Soldo

Trust at work is not a given. Many organizations get results despite the lack of trust. But when you learn how to create a relationship with employees that is high in trust so you can overcome challenges and drive growth. Carolin Soldo is the founder of her company and has taken it to #107 on the 2019 Inc 5000 list. We look at the keys to creating a relationship with employees that establishes trust at the deepest levels. Leaders often focus too much on the results of work and devote little time to the relationship with their people.

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Carolin Soldo: The Transcript

Target Audience:Carolin Soldo is the Founder and Owner at At Carolin Soldo Coaching & Events. Carolin Soldo is one of the most recognized coaches for entrepreneurial women. She has been named “Female Entrepreneur of the year” by the Stevie Awards and has created an Inc. 5000-ranked, global enterprise devoted to empowering women entrepreneurs.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Carolin Soldo
Nowadays people are very mission oriented. And people want to do work that matters to them beyond just a paycheck, right? So money is important, but we want to do work that really makes a difference that we believe in. And you know, as leaders, if you want our people to really go above and beyond and do great work for the right reasons, we need to make sure that they trust us, and they understand you know, why the work they do is so important.

Intro [0:28]
Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs the fastest growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett, I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow?

Gene Hammett [0:45]
Trust, trust is a necessary element inside of all of our businesses, if we want them to grow, if we want our teams to work too well together, we want them to collaborate if we want them to take direction and we want them to truly add value. To the organization, trust your employees. Trust with employees is not something to take lightly. You have to be very intentional about it. Today we’re going to look at that from different angles. We’re going to look at where trust comes from, and what you can do about it as a leader.

Gene Hammett [1:15]
My guest today is Carolin Soldo. She is with Carolin Soldo coaching and events. They’re one of the fastest growing companies in the Inc 5000. Really excited to have her on the show, because we’re gonna talk about interesting employees. What does it take as a leader to truly trust employees? And why is that important as you grow? Now, you probably already know but one of the things I like about this is we look at some of the different aspects of how you really get to trust what really makes that happen inside your own leadership. So stay tuned for this interview with Carolin.

Commercial [1:46]
Before we dive into the interview, I wanted to remind you that you can actually get a tool that I’ve been working with clients with for the last couple of years, I’ve refined this tool has gone through several iterations. Now we have it completely automated If you can actually go online and fill out the leadership quiz to get the leadership quiz, just go to That’s pretty easy right? What you will get when you do that is you will answer a few questions, you will see where you rate based on the core principles of fast growth companies. If you’re ready to grow your company or you want to see where you are, then make sure you go to inside it, you will get insight to where you are, understand where you want to improve. And you will get them mapped into the 10 areas that are most specific to fast growth companies. Again, go to and you can get that right now.

Gene Hammett [2:39]
Hi, Carolin, how are you?

Carolin Soldo [2:41]
Good. How are you doing?

Gene Hammett [2:42]
Fantastic. Well, I’m excited to talk to you about your business and about leadership. So let’s kick this off with tell us about Carolin Soldo coaching and events.

Carolin Soldo [2:54]
Yes, so I have been in the coaching slash consulting field for like 10 years now. All from health coaching in the beginning and now when we work with advanced experts, so that could be a coaches or consultants or event planners, realtors people and finance creatives, and we help them grow and scale their business in the simplest, easiest way possible. So it’s all about growing without necessarily working more.

Gene Hammett [3:22]
Well, we’re going to dive into a topic that I think is very necessary and it’s it really is about trust. Give us your your kind of point of view on why trust is necessary inside this this leader and employee relationship.

Carolin Soldo [3:38]
Yeah, I think nowadays people are very mission oriented. And people want to do work that matters to them beyond just a paycheck, right? So money is important, but we want to do work that really makes a difference that we believe in. And you know, as leaders if you want our people to really go above and beyond and do a great or for the right time. Reasons We need to make sure that they trust us. And they understand, you know, why the work they do is so important. And so, you know, I’ve gone from really not knowing a whole lot about leadership at all, and sort of micromanaging my people and, you know, not getting the good results, I wanted to now really building amazing relationships with my team, where they fully trust me. It’s a it’s an A team, and they really love the work they do. And it’s more of a mission than a job for them. And it really shows them, you know, the quality of work they do, the service they give to our clients and the whole experience. So it’s been a big change.

Gene Hammett [4:39]
I heard an influencer the other day talk about this, this concept of a team and I wasn’t sure where I thought about it, but I want to get your perspective and maybe just talk about it for a second. His his approach was, there is no difference between an A player to B player it really is about how you lead them, the opportunities you give them. I could see both sides of this. Where do you come to On that as far as a players in this inside the company?

Carolin Soldo [5:04]
So I believe that there definitely is a difference in people’s personalities and their level of drive their level of motivation. And and so there are a players and B players for sure. So I think both both pieces are important that you select a players and you know how to identify them and hire them. But also, of course, need them the right way. So you know, bring out the best in them so that a player can become an A plus player. With that, yeah, both.

Gene Hammett [5:33]
I tend to lean toward your side too, because there are people that do just want to get paid for their work and shut off and be done. And there are people like when I was in corporate America, I would I kind of had this like rhythm. I would take one project home at night and I would try to finish it. Whatever it was, and it was like extra time I wasn’t getting paid for but I would like I knew it would would set me up for success it would set me And I would learn more by getting these smaller projects done. And I was one of those a players. I mean, if I can boldly say this, but you talked about hiring a players, is there one, you know, tactic or strategy inside your selection of the people to invite on the mission with you that you could share with us.

Carolin Soldo [6:20]
Mm hmm. So, there are a couple things I do may know, and they’re different from the actual hiring process, but then also when they’re on the team, so I can talk about both if you’d like. Yep. One thing. One thing I really believe in when it comes to hiring people is personality testing. Because right, we look at a resume we call references. We talked to them once, twice, maybe three times, you know, on an interview, but really, until you work with someone you don’t know what their natural style is right and who they really are. So a personality test can give you insights. into, you know, who’s really sitting in front of you. And, you know, assess whether that person is the right fit for the job they’re doing, because there’s different types of jobs in your business.

Carolin Soldo [7:11]
So the disc assessment is what we use. And it has been such a big help in, you know, selecting the right people from the start. Because tonight like everybody, you know, if you’re sitting in front of me, and I talk to him, like, Oh, this is a great guy, or this is a great woman, and I see the best in everybody, which kind of lines me a little bit sometimes because I just like everyone and then I want to hire them. So I’ve made a lot of hiring mistakes in the past where I put the wrong people in the wrong spots, and it just didn’t work out. So the disc assessment is a beautiful thing. And it allows you to, you know, figure out people who are good for sales or you know, back office operations or customer service or coaching, and it just really improves your chances for success and giving that person Job people really enjoy doing too.

Gene Hammett [8:03]
So I want to test you on this and I agree that we having an outside perspective on this, you know, any of the personality tests I think have their their merits, we use Colby test. And I have some other clients that use predictive index as a different way to look at things. When you talk about sales, what are you looking for, out of this disc profile to be a high performance sales?

Carolin Soldo [8:28]
An ID or DI?

Gene Hammett [8:30]

Carolin Soldo [8:31]
Someone who is very outgoing, someone who loves people, takes initiative, you know, highly self motivated, extroverted but also very confident. And, and, and, you know, so the D is your dominance level. And that’s important because they’re facing rejection by they a lot potentially. And, you know, on a sales call, you want someone who can take control of the conversation in a nice way, of course, fine. And then the last But just really being outgoing and loving people and you know, communicating well and really getting, you know, being a people person. So those are our best performers generally.

Commercial [9:09]
Hold on for a second. Carolin just talked about the need for personality tests in interviewing your potential employees? Well, I really believe that you want to understand the skills that are necessary for the job. But what’s more important is that culture fit is that personality that this person has going to fit within the culture of the company. And for that role, are they going to be able to play at their highest level, you want to make sure that you’re only making offers to people that you believe can play at the highest level? I know, it’s a tight job market. But I still believe that the standards that you have as a leader are very important overall for the organization. And a very important thing to remember is a bad hire is extremely expensive, you know that, but I’m just reminding you, so make sure that you have that culture fit with any employee that you make that offered to the back to the interview.

Gene Hammett [10:03]
I know from back when I was in sales, I had the disc performance. I was a Hi, Heidi.

Carolin Soldo [10:10]
Yeah, see, and you were good, right?

Gene Hammett [10:12]
I was pretty good. And there was a lot of rejection along that journey. But I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the challenge. I want to switch gears on this, like really getting trust inside of employees. hiring the right people we know is important, but but really developing them and leading them. So what are your core principles around building that trust?

Carolin Soldo [10:33]
Mm hmm. So a couple things just you know, randomly that come to mind here are first of all, communicating, knowing how everybody on your team likes to communicate, right what their love languages and whether they over communicate or they’re required, how they want to be communicated with how much you know, rewarding they need to really understanding people at that level and then over communicating What’s happening in the business? So to give you an example, when I went from, like keeping people in their silos, to changing all of that, and having, you know, overall company meetings where the copywriter meets a sales rep and a sales rep talks to the Facebook app person, but before they’ve never seen each other before, now they’re on a meeting, and they actually get to learn what’s happening in different areas of the business.

Carolin Soldo [11:24]
So, you know, have giving people optics as to what everybody is doing. He projects, initiatives, the challenges, you know, opportunities we have, just making them feel like they are in the know and they know what’s happening. And they know where the business is going to as to where my mindset you know, what my mission is, and vision and where I want to go. It just makes them feel bought into everything. It makes them feel important. And then also asked me for that input. What do you think about this? Right? What do you think we should do? Give them a voice.

Gene Hammett [11:59]
I haven’t shared with you The specifics of my research and I want to just highlight a couple of things because it really is saying the same things with different words. What I found is fast growth companies really do value transparency, is that openness and sharing of data, breaking down those silos, but also inclusiveness, like being able to include people in ideas. You can’t have trust in an organization if you don’t trust them with the data to make decisions. So what have you learned along your journey about trusting employees and the courage it takes to do that as a leader?

Carolin Soldo [12:38]
Well, that goes to its thanks to vulnerability, which, which means a couple of things. It means sharing your profit and loss. It means, you know, sharing the numbers, and setting goals together. And and that’s, that’s hard because that’s it’s private. You know, it’s it’s not always easy, but again, it gives people The tools they need to actually make a difference and come up with ideas they would never come up with otherwise, but also being vulnerable in terms of your feelings. And and I know you didn’t really ask me that question, but, you know, especially as a woman, so you know, we I know we have men and women listening in here, but both genders need to be vulnerable and sharing how they’re feeling about the business because we’re not always strong. We’re not you know, Superman and Superwoman, flying around, we have fears we have concerns. And, and showing that in the right moments to our teams, again, builds that trust and on a personal level, might not just you know, boss and an employee or manager but you know, on a personal level, it shows people that you are who you really are inside. And that will kick out the trust level. You know, I’m not sure to even more so.

Commercial [13:59]
Hold on. Carolyn just talked about vulnerability. When you think about vulnerability, do you think weakness? Do you think? No, how dare you show a crack in the armor? Well, really, if you take a look at vulnerability, it is more about strength than anything else. It’s about the courage to really show yourself be authentic. A lot of leaders aren’t able to do that, because they haven’t seen vulnerability as a strength. Now you can look at it any way you want to, but I can tell you to be the great leader that you desire to be and the one that your team deserves. You want to make sure you’re vulnerable, because they see that is a sign of courage. Back to the interview.

Gene Hammett [14:42]
I absolutely have seen that a lot of leaders don’t trust themselves enough to trust their employees. And that self trust is something that, you know, I think people I don’t think people are talking about it enough. You know, I know you’ve been through a lot with your You’ve been a coach for 10 years you’ve been working with different leaders and helping them do their business. But what do you do to make sure that you truly continue to say trusting yourself?

Carolin Soldo [15:14]
So, trusting myself, I’ve had a lot of mentors running and learning, really sharpening my skills I feel makes me feel like I I can trust myself but you know, it’s daily mindset work really it’s daily focus on you know, where do I want to go keeping my thoughts in the right place, looking at the positives feeling good. So it’s my job to get myself to where I feel great every day first before I show up for my team or for my clients or for really anybody you know, so I love self care. I work out and meditate. I listen to a lot of you know, people online motivational things, I read books, and so I’ve over the years been able to, you know, get really good at emotional mastery, where even if I dip a little bit, I can beat her back and catch myself and, you know, spiral back up to where I feel really, really good about my business and calm. And I’ve gotten to this point where I feel like I deserve to feel good every single day. Right?

Gene Hammett [16:22]
I love that because it’s very similar to what I’m doing every single day to be able to tune in to it. It’s not if I if I miss a day actually feel it. Yeah, right that the working out the eating, right, the meditations, the visualizations I use, I don’t do everything. But I have to have certain things inside of that. When you are trusting and employees. It’s a two way street. Right? So we’re talking about how do we increase this level of trust? What are your techniques or tactics to get them to raise their Look trust in themselves and you as a leader.

Carolin Soldo [17:03]
So I give my employees permission to try new things to make mistakes. And, and I think that’s, that’s really where it’s at. When, in very early on in my career, I did a lot of micromanaging. And I think that’s where many people struggle because they feel they need to be in control, right? You need to check everything you need to know everything you need to nothing can leave the door without you having your eyes on it. Right. So I think as, as an entrepreneur, business owner, the control piece is sometimes our biggest struggle. So how do we, but if we always control it, that really means that we don’t trust our employees and they feel it. They our team can feel it and that that’s hard because then if we don’t trust them, they can’t trust themselves because clearly they are not trustworthy. So how can they trust themselves, and it’s going to make them skittish and afraid to try new things and And that, you know, prevents them from growing. So a lot of times I will give people in my company things to do that they’ve never done before. And I said, I give you permission to just run with it and try your best. And I might even say, if you make a mistake, and if it fails, it’s okay because there’s always a next step and we’ll fix it, we’ll make it better. And they might still be afraid, but they know I’ve got the bad guy, they know they can run with it. And I’ve got that back. And I feel like that makes them grow and have fun and want to work more and be here for the long term to

Gene Hammett [18:39]
AI. That’s another factor in my research around this is that relationship to failure. And, and it really does start at the top right not being afraid to fail making decisions. without all the information. This is a this is a necessary part of leadership and entrepreneurship, and you giving your employees that same level of freedom and psychological safety. It is an important piece to that leadership. And, you know, is there any rituals that you have within your team that you can share with us that have just like really worked it kind of bind people together and create that level of trust?

Carolin Soldo [19:14]
Well, my team is sort of unique because it’s an international team, right? So we are all all all on the world. And so we do a lot of video conferencing. And what has kicked it up a notch for me is bringing people on retreats with me so I we decline between a couple times a year, we have events around the country really internationally. So I like to bring them out so they can meet each other and be with me in person as much as possible. You know, it’s just these these touch points. We have monthly meetings. So we look at the whole team sort of comes together and we look at our our plans that we have our waterfall plans what happened last month, where do we want to go next? Next month, are we hitting our goals? So I think it comes down to being playful with them and just being around people and having fun. You know, we have a great atmosphere we joke around you do you know, a secret santa on Christmas, we celebrate birthdays. So just having fun with people too, I think is important than just being with them as much as possible.

Gene Hammett [20:25]
I want to give you one last question here. And I don’t get a chance to ask this to everyone. But if you look back in your own leadership, can you think of a defining moment where you had to take a different perspective than one that you were operating from, to to be able to rise to that next level of leadership?

Carolin Soldo [20:43]
Well, there’s there are several moments one that that really helped me question my own leadership abilities was when I had an not an employee, but I don’t really have employees by team members steel For my company, and that person was in sales, and we discovered that she had been over reporting her sales for months, more than six months. And we didn’t even really uncover it until much later. And even to this to this day, she covered it up so well, not even my accountant could really find out the extent but it was it was over $100,000 and she was also a friend. I taken her on vacations, my kids played with her kids. And so not only was this you know, me thinking, am I miss managing my people, my admin my systems, not tight enough, but also how could I not see it as a person? Because she was a friend. So I felt, I think that was probably my lowest point in my business where I really questioned whether I can actually lead a team that How could this happened to be no and so by recovering from that I just learned a whole lot. I learned a whole lot in how you know how my sales team had to be organized.

Carolin Soldo [22:06]
We put systems in place, we put, you know, my bookkeeper, right in the middle of reconciling everything you know, so now there’s there’s, there’s no way this could ever happen again. And and so that that was good because you put the procedures in place and now we’re safe. But it really helped me look at you know, how, how I’m managing people and maybe one thing I took away from that too, is that that idea of becoming friends with your team. That’s one thing I don’t do as much anymore. We’re friendly, but becoming too close to employees to where they feel maybe a bit too safe. That I think is is dangerous and where I’ve I’ve made I’ve made a mistake. So yeah, but yeah, we learn from from our downs right?

Gene Hammett [22:59]
Absolutely. And you don’t want to let one bad apple affect the relationship with everyone else. Because I could see how that damaged his trust.

Carolin Soldo [23:08]

Gene Hammett [23:09]
Right, because that was, you know, lying, stealing all of it wrapped up into it. And we could add, keep adding on things. But, you know, that’s part of learning to trust yourself to and being able to not let it damage the relationship you have with others. So Carol, I really appreciate you being here, sharing your journey of fast growth. You know, building a team around trust is necessary as leaders, it’s also not easy, because there’s a lot of factors that go into it. I really appreciate you sharing that journey.

Carolin Soldo [23:40]
Of course, thanks so much for having me.

Gene Hammett [23:42]
I love these interviews, going deep into an element like trust is so exciting for me because I get to see how other leaders are thinking. Carolyn’s a fellow coach, she mostly coaches women, which is fantastic. She helps them really understand how to grow their business and it takes a team to do this. love the fact that they’re breaking down silos, that they’re really including people inside decisions, and they’re making them feel empowered, no micromanagement here. All of those things lead to employees that trust you.

Gene Hammett [24:13]
Now, when you as a leader want to increase the level of trust, you have to look at yourself first. It’s not the employees and that’s the hard part. It’s not about them finally getting it it’s about you releasing the amount of trust that you can give them and letting them accept it and asking them to accept it. So make sure you continue your journey of growth as a leader if you have any questions along that make sure you reach out to me [email protected]. We help fast growth leaders really navigate the defining moments of their own leadership so they can level up and so their team’s level up and they can continue to grow the business that you make sure you reach out to me, as always lead with courage. We’ll see you next time.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.


GTT Featuring Carolin Soldo



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