Trust Is A Two Way Street

Trust is a two way street. You are trustworthy; your people trust you. Your people are trustworthy; you trust your people. The relationship is symbiotic. Both take positive leadership.

In this article let us focus on how we develop trust in our people?

There are two foundations. First hire outstanding people; people that fit your culture and exhibit your values.

Second help employees reach their potential with a strong development program. People are the change agents in your organization. To change results you must help your people develop the expertise to carry them out.

Once you have the foundations your leadership is key to trusting your people. Good is the enemy of great. When we aspire to meet industry average we accept mediocre performance. Strong people expect to be highly successful. Mediocre is not in their DNA.

Build a culture where excellence is expected. One way to do this is to develop best thinking in your team.

Best thinking is not an event but a continuous thought process. When you share and build from a combined base, you end with knowledge greater than the sum of the parts. Communication is open and honest, positive and constructive, leading to a trust relationship.

We build trust by giving people responsibility and authority to succeed. Employees want to participate in setting direction and to know their work is valued. An effective leader understands sharing power is the most effective way to get their intellectual and emotional commitment.

Lastly develop your trust by building a culture where accountability is expected. Trust the team to do the work and hold themselves accountable. Avoid becoming the accountability taskmaster. In this environment people don’t fear personal attack and retribution.

Strong development programs are foundational. Build an “I’m always learning” culture. Make a personal commitment to improve 1% per month. Through compounding we double our effectiveness in about five years. Trust grows exponentially as you watch others continually grow and improve.

Mutual trust is a necessary component in building a high performance organization. You become an organization managed by an enthusiastic, motivated, confident team working together to reach the vision of the organization. The increased value you and your team build personally and organizationally is impressive and long lasting. Over time you develop strong “unfair” competitive advantage.