Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Trust Factor

Listening to the radio today, I heard an interesting segment on building trust. The DJ and caller were discussing the topic in relation to husbands building trust with their partners.

After a few moments of bantering, the caller asked, Is there an easy way to build trust? This was an interesting question -- what if leaders asked this question and really sought out the answers? Would this change the outlook in your organization? Or motivate you to go the extra mile?

Because leaders have positions of authority, some don't worry about the trust factor. They know their team will follow them because it's part of their job. This is a big mistake; trust is a key building block in developing an effective, high performing and productive organization.

Google's business model is built on trust. If users' perception of the company changes, it's business perspectives and profits will come under threat (Forbes).

I read this great article on how to build trust. The Learning Center's website offers 10 Actions Leaders Can Take to Build Trust:

1. To build mistrust: Talk with others about problems you are having with a peer without doing everything reasonably possible to solve the problem through direct communication with that peer.

To build trust: Solve problems through direct communication at the lowest equivalent level: yourself and peers; yourself and your direct manager; yourself, your manager and her manager.

2. To build mistrust: Take credit for yourself, or allow others to give you credit for an accomplishment that was not all yours.

To build trust: Share credit generously. When in doubt, share.

3. To build mistrust:Make a pretended or "soft" commitment, e.g., "I'll respond later."

To build trust: When in doubt about taking on a commitment, air your concerns with the relevant parties. When engaged on an ongoing commitment, communicate anticipated slippage as soon as you suspect it.

4. To build mistrust:Manage/supervise from behind your desk only.

To build trust: Spend "informed" time mingling, asking non-assumptive questions, making only promises you can keep , working back through existing lines of authority

Read the remaining article called 10 Actions Leaders Can Take to Build Trust at

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