The Top 5 Tips for Building Trust and Multiplying Impact
The most trusted person:
- Earns the promotion.
- Gets the sale.
- Retains team members.
- Has the most engaged workforce.
- Delivers the best results.
The team that trusts each other works faster and enjoys work more.
“On average, and over the long-term, the “Top 10”most trustworthy public companies have outperformed the S&P 500 by over 25%…” (Trust Across America.)
The top 5 tips for building trust:
- Consistency. You know how trustworthy people will act, before they act. Trustworthy people consistently practice their values, regardless of situations.
- Competence. Past performance predicts future performance.
- Clarity. People know what you expect from yourself and others.
- Commitment-keeping. Never make hope-so commitments. Always do what you say.
- Connection*. Trust is a relational animal. Disconnection breeds distrust.
A trustworthy leader doesn’t need title or authority to influence others.
Who goes further? A talented person who connects or a talented person who stands aloof?
Relationship building isn’t convenient to leadership, it’s necessary and essential.
Connection is a multiplier.
Show up to connect.
- Bring up tough issues. Relationships are strengthened when you work through tough issues with kind candor, courageous transparency, and forward-facing curiosity.
- Communicate frequently.
- Schedule one-on-ones.
- Ask questions.
- Explain goals and aspirations.
- Give feedback.
- Seek feedback.
- Know names. Know the names of employees. Know their spouse’s name. Know the names of their kids.
- Support aspirations. Help people get where they want to go, even if it means they leave your organization.
“Trust impacts … the quality of every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every effort in which we are engaged.” (Stephen M. R. Covey in The Speed of Trust.)
What creates distrust?
How might leaders show up to build trust?
Price: Trust is more important than price.
We’re having work done on our house. Once you find someone you trust, you hire them over and over. I just offered our house keys to the contractor.
What creates distrust? Deception by hiding the failed performance instead of facing the truth that one made a mistake. Own your mistakes,apologize that you will do better the next time.
How might leaders show up to build trust? Work beside them, jump in the ditch and shovel, lead by example. Show up on weekends when others are working, bring some refreshments and take a break with the workers. Thank them for coming in and getting things done for the client.
Offer your assistance if your short staffed, at the same point ask if they need your help?
Sometimes you can offend workers if your doing their work!
Thanks Tim. So much or your comment re: building trust seems to fit in the bucket of connecting. Ask if people need help is great advice. Sometimes we jump in and it’s taken wrong.
Love the seagull picture. They definitely show up!
Thanks Lynn. It seemed funny to me.
“Always do what you say.”
Few short sentences could convey as apt a summary of this essential ingredient in creating and maintaining a high-trust culture. News of unfulfilled commitments -even “little” ones- will spread like a virus in an organization. These conversations often lead to speculation about other commitments and pending organizational challenges. Trust can be and often is shattered.
All the tips are spot-on, but I have witnessed so much damage wrought by unfulfilled commitments that this one really jumped out at me.
Thanks Jim. In many ways, trust-building isn’t difficult or complicated. It seems that trust is easier to lose than it is to earn, even if it is simple.
Highly hierarchical systems with high levels of regulation are innately “anti-trust”. In situations where every action is double- and triple-checked then subject to further audit and oversight, “trusting people” is a contradiction in terms. The systems are put in place to deal with a fundamental belief that people cannot be trusted and must be watched to ensure compliance…
Thanks Mitch. Trust but verify can be a form of responsibility when security, healthy, or safety are involved. I can see where it feels like distrust.
I really enjoyed this blog about leadership! Trust is one of the most if not the most important factors in leadership! I completely agree that the most trusted person earns the promotion, gets the sale, retain team members, has the most engaged workforce, and delivers the best result! What creates distrust? Some of the characteristics that create distrust are lack of honesty, immaturity, selfish and self-centered, carelessness, and not a team player mentality. Leaders can build trust by being approachable, honest, transparent when needed, and caring about their work environment and co-worker’s progression and helping them get to the next level. Thanks for the post!
Thanks Sterling. I hope your studies are going well. When I read “carelessness” is a way to lose trust, I found it challenging. It’s true. Trustworthiness requires constant vigilance.
Don’t be a know-it-all! When this happens, it sends a message that your ideas don’t matter – that i don’t trust your thought process or experiences. It sows seeds of distrust. When the know-it-all superior talks expecting conformance to their ideas, it undermines building open and trusting relationships. Sure the staff member might need some coaching, guidance, or learning along the way, but the act of doing that, sows the seeds of trust. You trust me to learn and grow, and I trust you to guide me. Trust comes with being trustworthy,
Thanks Janet. What a useful addition to the conversation. I hadn’t thought about the know-it-all problem, but you’re right. If we want to earn trust, stay open, acknowledge reality, listen, and learn. Very helpful
What creates distrust? Just to name a few things, a two tier system for rules and regulations / how things are done in the office (one for the regular employees and one for the leaders/managers with status), having favourites on your team and not even hiding the fact, sacrificing good employees for ‘the good of the company’ when bad employees remain (favourtism ties into this one), ignoring/condoning/justifying bad behaviour/ethics, using fear as a leadership style … just to name a few …
Thanks Michael. I bet we’ve all experienced the double standards that you refer to. We all know that you can trust leadership to serve itself where double standards are prevalent.
An interesting, thought-provoking post!
A trustworthy leader creates and drives the team of trusted and committed people by leading from the front. He sets his own example and prepares a work environment of healthy competition.
Distrust comes only with mistreatment and the habitual wrong behavior while dealing with own team members.
Thanks Dr. Asher. For some reason, the idea of bringing up tough issues and addressing wrong behaviors came to mind. If you want to earn trust, don’t bury your head in the sand.
What creates distrust? When the leader says one thing and does another.
Thanks Gerry. Better not to say anything than to say it and not do it.
Trust makes business move smoothly
Thanks Dan! I really enjoyed this one. Organizations have to reflect and understand the health of it which includes trust and building from it. Employees wonder why they are passed up for promotions but some don’t even have those interactions that build trust or in essence have a connection. Leaders will wonder how the collective feelings are from a team and if they don’t have brown-bag lunch meetings to know who they are, they won’t figure out why their may be dissatisfaction or the reason turnovers. I believe the missing link are the connections which are foundational to organizational cultures.