Trust – a simple yet powerful word. Without trust absolutely nothing on earth gets done. Some will argue that there are degrees of trust. I think the jury is out on that, just as it is on whether there are degrees of truth, which is by way of saying it’s okay to tell certain lies, right?
There are many self-evident reasons that trust is needed – employee morale, employee productivity, etc. All the main stream ideas. All valid.
Did you think of this one? A great reason you need trust is because bad things are going to happen.
I did not say bad things might happen without trust. I said bad things are going to happen. Period. That’s just life. Hopefully these things don’t occur often, hopefully they occur rarely, but they will occur. And with trust you are more likely to be the first to find out about it and should be in a position to deal with the situation more readily.
With trust you can be proactive. Not reactive.
The one thing I strove for when raising my son was his trust. I know that in life crap happens. What I also want to know is that when it happens I will be the one he comes to first. I want to know about it before the rest of the world knows about it.
Why would you want to know about the bad stuff as early as possible? Make your own list, but I will these should be on it:
- Helping them to learn through the episode.
- Helping them to correct the issue (if possible) and then move on.
- In the case of severe incidents, you know, the one that ends up on the cable news network? Believe me you want to know first.
Here’s a huge reason – if you don’t have your employees trust then they cannot learn. Your fault. Yours. Why? “If you don’t let a teacher know what level you are – by asking a question, or revealing your ignorance – you will not learn or grow.. You cannot pretend for long, for you will eventually be found out. Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education…” from Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.
More plainly said? They don’t want to make the walk of shame.
Building trust – well, let’s just say that author Sally Hogshead in her book “Fascinate – Your Seven Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation” says this about trust – “[Trust] … it’s more fragile, harder to earn, and much easier to lose. You can dabble in prestige, experiment with power, but you can’t dip in and out of trust. It must be established consistently.”
- Put their interests first.
- Put things in context before giving the details – it’s a lot like setting the stage for a story before starting the picture.
- They want a friend – depends on how you define friend, but at the least – make sure they know you aren’t the enemy.
- Say it in their terms – usually this means lay terms. NO corporate lingo – that’s a trust buster!
- Don’t ‘spin’ the news. Yes, positive is good, but acknowledge the reality first, then move forward.
- Be credible. If you didn’t come up through the ranks, do not try and say otherwise.
- There are circumstances that you can all relate to. Use them.
- Be consistent. Even tempered is the best example of consistent I can think of. Fair is another word. Set expectations and live up to them. If you say “I am” or “I will” and don’t deliver…
If you think you or a manager of yours needs help in creating or being more consistent in the area of trust, trust me, we should talk.