Trust is the foundation and driving force that supports people, communities, and organizations to flourish. Now more than ever before, trust is essential to foster collaboration, strengthen teamwork, drive engagement, and assist individuals as well as organizations in managing the never-ending cycle of change. Almost everything in life is built on trust. In an environment of trust, people step forward to work together.
When we trust someone, it means that we confidently believe in that person’s integrity, reliability, honesty, competence, and strength. As a manager, trust is an asset you will need in order to build relationships with team members. Trust in a team greatly enhances morale, productivity, and success. The great news is that contrary to popular belief, trust can be built quickly.
Before we discuss the benefits of how important it is to cultivate trust, let’s look at the root cause of why there could potentially be a lack of it. Trust has three core drivers (also known as The Trust Triangle - see the diagram below): Authenticity, Logic, and Empathy. When trust is lost, it can almost always be traced back to a breakdown in one of them. To build trust as a leader, you first need to figure out which driver you “wobble” on. To be a truly empowering leader, you need to take stock of where you wobble not only in your relationships with others but also in your relationship with yourself. Calling yourself into account is a vital component of building trust.
Explore these following questions to learn more about yourself and your relationship with trust:
1. Who do I trust? Is it a friend, work associate, boss, spouse, parent, or child?
2. Who trusts me?
If there is a high level of trust in your team, get them together for an informal session. As a group, ask them to speak about the commitments they have kept, and those they have not kept (even the smallest ones). In both cases, ask them to reflect on and discuss the potential impact that this has had on others.
Trust is one of the most essential forms of capital a leader has. Trust is the currency of great relationships, teams, and results. Trust has two outcomes: speed and cost; more trust results in greater speed and lower costs; and fewer trust results in lower speed and higher costs. Trust allows for risk-taking and creativity. And team members who trust their managers are more likely to go to them for guidance and support, especially during difficult times or after making a mistake.
The two primary traits of trust are character and competence. Character includes your integrity, your motive, and your intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, your skills, your results, and your track record. Both character and competence are vital.
Practice empathy and show your team that you care. As leadership expert John C. Maxwell said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Trust is built when someone sees that you truly value them as a person and not just as an employee. Communicate openly and frequently, and model transparency.
If you see there are areas that need to be improved, try employing the suggested steps to strengthen them. Find methods that work for you to increase trust among your team and create an atmosphere in which it can flourish. Keep going back to the questions we provided you earlier. With time and perseverance, you will most likely find you are becoming more adept at identifying trouble points which you can resolve. Giving your trust means not only that you are empowering others, but that you are also developing stronger contributors among your team, and becoming an empowered leader.
The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, by Stephen M.R. Covey
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Mariam is a freelance writer offering support for businesses & entrepreneurs locally and globally. She brings a significant amount of experience in the corporate marketing industry and as a freelancer in content management, internet research, blogging, article writing, copy editing, and proofreading.
Her mission is to empower business owners to produce content that clearly and authentically communicates with their target audiences, ultimately making lives less stressful as well as allowing for more free time to live more well-balanced and healthier lives.