Building Trust

Blog 2023-08-15 photo

It’s true that trust is often an individual decision. Can I trust this person? Can people trust me? Can I trust myself in this situation? We explored this type of trust in Who Do You Trust?  

Last week, we shared that trust comes in many forms in Return to (Trust at) Work. In the fourth type – Structure – we posed this question: “Do I have confidence in the leadership system of my organization – including our culture, values, operating standards, etc…?” 

Culture, values, and operating standards are three avenues for organizations to demonstrate how they are “walking their talk”. When an organization “walks its talk” it builds credibility, and credibility builds trust.  

Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, literally illustrates trust as the foundation of a pyramid with trust at the base, the widest part of that pyramid: Without trust, people can fear conflict; without conflict (or healthy debate), people don’t commit as strongly; without full commitment, people can avoid accountability; and with little accountability, organizations don’t get the results they want. The ripple impact of trust – or not having trust – can make the difference between a successful company and a struggling one.  

For any community that relies on individuals to contribute to the vision and mission of that community, it behooves the leaders of that system to lay a groundwork of trust. The good news is that when companies are intentional about the trust they build with their people, some of the benefits include faster decision-making; higher levels of innovation; greater employee retention; and cost savings from improved operational efficiencies.  

Leaders own the culture. Leaders own the organizational values. Leaders own the operating standards. Leaders “at the top” own matching their words to their actions (and vice versa) for all employees to experience. Leaders – no matter what the level – own supporting and demonstrating the behaviors that drive these three organizational avenues to credibility and trust.  

This Week: As a leader – in your organization and in life – what behaviors are you routinely exhibiting that strengthens trust with others? What behaviors can you focus on in order not to weaken that trust?  

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  1. Doug Brady on August 15, 2023 at 10:26 am

    To lead, is to own.
    Well done!

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