Doing Life Together

board-2433982_1920Trust is foundational to any relationship. This is true whether we are talking about an intimate other or your boss at work. Working in an organization in which trust is absent affects productivity, creativity, your work and autonomy. Something just doesn’t feel right. Feelings of safety, satisfaction and confidence take a hit when trust is low.

Leaders should focus on building trust in order have greater productivity and organizational collaboration. There is research to support that in high trust organizations profits are higher, employees stay and feel satisfied, and the company gains a good reputation.

Organizational trust is built on three things:

  1. Past behavior. Does a leader behavior in a consistent manner? If not, it is difficult to trust the present. People who are unpredictable in any relationship are difficult to trust.
  2. Capability: Is the leader perceived as competent? Noticed I said, “perceived” because it is difficult to trust someone you feel doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Trust is based on your perception. And that perception is usually based on the way the leader behaves.
  3. Alignment: Do you align with the goals and direction of the leader? Working towards a common goal is part of trust. If you can’t buy in the vision or direction of a leader, trust is usually at the root.

Leaders can build trust in a few important ways: 

  1. Involve people in decisions. This helps people know how the leader thinks and how decisions are made. It also helps with buy-in. In any relationship, when decisions are discussed and you are included, you tend to trust more.
  2. Just like parenting, leaders who are consistent with their decisions build trust. And it helps to add transparency along the way.  Listen first to what people have to say, but be consistent in your responses and actions.
  3. Attend to relationships. The more leaders can help people get along, work together and co-exist, the better the atmosphere of a company. Right wrongs when they occur. Don’t allow tension to build without addressing it. Nothing breaks trust more than being treated in negative ways.

Since trust includes your integrity, motive and intent with people, it is foundational to the way people are inspired and work together. When trust is missing, people lose their loyalty and motivation to work for a company. Trust me!


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