Trust is a Critical Commodity

trust photo

As if the pandemic isn’t enough to handle, we also appear to be going through a trust crisis. Regardless of which side of the political divide you are on, the issue of trust regarding our leaders has been at the forefront of many conversations. And it bleeds into our lives.

My “go to” when I seek to understand something is to read of variety of thoughts to gain more perspective. In doing so, I came across “4 Leadership Trust Tests” in Leader As Coach, by David B. Peterson and Mary Dee Hicks. In it, they ask the reader to do a trust audit on themselves by asking:

  • Do people know what to expect from you?
  • Do people believe you do what you say?
  • Do people believe you pay attention to their interests?
  • Do people believe you are competent to carry out what you say?

When I reflected on my expectations of trusted relationships at work, I found that everything I came up with was a variation of the above – integrity of word and deed, genuine connection, growth mindset, follow through, and so on.  The question then became, did I emulate the same? I would like to think so…however, rather than trust my own feedback in the matter, I have fielded the questions out to folks who have worked with me. Time will tell what adjustments I need to make.

The point is that we have to make a concerted effort to build trust and, more importantly, keep trust. Simon Sinek pointed out that “a team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.” Each member of the team has a role to play when it comes to trust. And when a team has trust, studies have shown that productivity and innovation improve.

This Week: Do the self-audit above. Then, ask people you trust to tell you the truth for their answers to the above about you. Are there discrepancies? If there are, think about how you want to address them.

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