Updated: Dec 31, 2021
Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships. - Stephen Covey
What is trust?
Trust is a belief that someone is knowledgeable, reliable, good, honest and effective. In a short interview with Simon Sinek on building trust, he said that trust is a feeling. It is essential for us to have trust as it arises from our interdependence with others. Trust has been identified as a key element of a successful organization especially around enhanced cooperation, information sharing, problem solving and conflict resolution.
Why is trust Important?
Leaders in all contexts must build trust in order to achieve goals and vision. The difference between organizations and change initiatives that succeed and those that fail depends on whether there is trust within the teams.
People in high-trust relationships communicate well, understand why they are doing things and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that goals are met. An organization with high trust has strong ownership, teamwork and a better company culture.
Employee engagement is high in organizations that have high trust amongst their teams. The members are able to do their task and demonstrate a growth mindset to learn things that they presently don't know so well. Similar environment encourages confidence, sincerity and integrity. Leaders who are trusted by employees are usually transparent and vulnerable, which leads them to be more connected with people. This reflects dependability as they are able to keep promises and commitments.
How to build trust and increase employee engagement?
If your company is not where you want it to be or is still concerned with attracting the right talents, attrition or retaining talents, increasing productivity and employee engagement. Then, how are you attempting to grow and achieve your goals? If you have trust issues within the organization, no matter what your goals or plans are, unless you fix the trust issue, you are just wasting your time and achieving nothing.
Remote working during the pandemic has increased trust issues in fact. From some conversations with leaders, they ask me how can we ensure performance without sounding that we don't trust our team members that they are doing what they are supposed to do? While team members would ask the question, how can we balance between doing our work and at which point we ask guidance from our superior when needed?
In the video below from our summit, we shared the importance of psychological safety to build from safe spaces to brave spaces through communications.
Here are some approaches to build T.R.U.S.T. from the video I watched by Betsy Allen-Manning and other research I chance upon on this topic:
Transparent - a leader must be able to provide constructive criticism, positive feedback and communicate effectively with your team to ensure they understand where you are coming from and what is expected of them. Be able to walk the talk and be open to learn from everyone.
Respect everyone - be respectful of others' time, opinion and ideas even if you do not agree with them. Part of being a great leader is being able to listen, being able to demonstrate interest or attention to someone you speak with. In our previous article this is part of being self-aware
Unite your team - by having zero tolerance for gossip, encourage positive communication/feedback, maintain self-control and be professional, diplomatic and courteous always. Encourage team projects to break silos and for employees to have the chance to take accountability when they fail and celebrate their success together.
Show you care - valuing your team as a person by knowing them personally, listening to their input, praising them regularly. This may also include coaching and/or mentoring your team.
Trust building activities - this may include activities that encourage everyone to say positive things about others. Possibly a regular team building activity within your organization.
Trust is built with consistency. -Lincoln Chafee
Now that most people are busy with planning and their New Year's resolutions, maybe it's about time to also include building trust in yourself and others.
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