How can I make that statement with so much certainty?
Well, imagine if we got everyone in your organisation together and asked them to anonymously respond to the question, “Do you think trust is very high throughout this organisation?” how many people would say “yes”?
Don’t be too hard on yourself: In an international survey on trust, 96% of respondents thought trust at work is either important or essential—but only 10% of people trusted their colleagues. (Bibb & Kourdi)
And to be fair, it’s hard to have 100% trust, with 100% of the people, 100% of the time. Miscommunications and misinterpretations occur, for starters.
But the problem is, it will be costing you plenty to have anything less than high trust levels.
There’s A Good Reason I’m Excited About This Trust Thing
Without trust at its finest you’re somewhat screwed as a leader…
If you don’t trust them and/or they don’t trust you, elevating productivity and discretionery effort is unachievable!
Not only is the lack of trust inhibiting productivity, it’s seriously getting in the way of people enjoying being at work.
And here’s what I’m excited about…
Imagine that trust was remarkably high, both in you as a leader and throughout your organisation—imagine what would be possible:
- Things would feel easy, light and relaxed—particularly because communications would be sincere and transparent. Murkiness conceals—candour reveals!What a time saver that would be.
- There wouldn’t be a need to check that a deliverable will be on time. With high trust, the targeted date would have been talked about and reset if it being met was at risk.That’ll also be a time saver.
- Stress levels would be low and motivation would be high. People flourish in happy cultures in which cynicism and twitchiness are absent, and the need to look over your shoulder.How about the positive impact of that on time, productivity, discretionery effort and staff turnover?Isn’t this sounding good! I reckon it’s something to go for.
But What Exactly Do We Mean By Trust? Trust To Do What?
For the purpose of this discussion, can we define trust as “you looking after my interests, along with your own”?
That’ll work won’t it?
- If you’re my peer, I’ll be able to trust you to do the right thing by me.
—For example, I know that, rather than being firmly planted in your own silo, you’ll seriously consider my interests and the greater good.
- If you’re my leader I’ll be able to trust you to do the right thing by me.
—For example, I know that you’ll consider my needs with regards to my targetted projects and the rewards I receive.
- If you’re my team member, I’ll be able to trust you to look after my interests.
—For example, I know that you’ll do what you’ll say you’ll do, including being on time for meetings and with assignments. (I can hear some of you saying, “On time for meetings, now that’s a novel concept”).
- Of course, tit-for-tat will apply. You’ll be able to fully trust me too.
You can trust me to do the right thing by you—and I can trust you to do the right thing by me. Nice.
Your Leadership Call To Action
Trust and be trusted! Actions are going to speak louder than words…
How will you demonstrate behaviourally that you’re fully trustworthy? And what could you do to encourage the reciprocation of being trustable?..
- Modelling the behaviours you want, 100% of the time, will get you off to an extremely good start!
- Stop doing the “self-interest versus trust” thing—completely! Be explicit about how you’ll take care of the other person’s needs (whilst you look after your own). That’ll get you to second base.
- When you perceive that someone doesn’t do the right thing by you, have a gentle rapport-filled chat with them about how you’d like things to be. Reach an agreement about how you’ll work together and build trust. You’re now on third base.
- Whenever you notice you’ve slipped up, a personal apology to the people who’re impacted will definitely give you the home run.
Give me a yell if you’d like support with any of this. I currently have a couple of openings in my Executive Coaching and Leader Coaching timeline.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.