Organisations powered by trust.
We know that trust is fundamental in any relationship. Without a foundation of trust, we are never going to be comfortable to fully commit. We will remain defensive, we’ll hold back for fear of being let down.
So how do we go about building trust in organisations?
Everyone has a role to play, people can build trust, or they can erode trust. Trust is a dynamic phenomenon, it fluctuates, often in the dynamics of one conversation.
The classic trust building activities are being honest, open, and having integrity. It helps people centre themselves on certain principles, which promotes consistency in the way we show up.
So far so good, but what does integrity really mean? For me, integrity is firstly keeping the promises you make to yourself, and then to others. It’s the foundation for trust to take hold.
When we act with integrity, we become reliable, dependable. People can count on us.
Leaders have a crucial role in extending trust. Too many organisations demand that their employees trust the leaders without the leaders first extending the trust. Leaders can extend trust by acting with compassion and with empathy. By being prepared to share their own vulnerabilities they create a climate of trust for other people to do so.
If Leaders can set the tone and create the environment for this to happen, high levels of trust become the norm. The great thing is that the trust building actions can all be applied immediately, even in the next conversation. Organisations powered by trust are safer, and more effective.
To build an organisation powered by trust, leaders must first extend trust.