There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, family, organization, and nation. One thing which, if removed, will destroy the most successful business, the greatest friendship, the strongest reputation. On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create incredible success and prosperity in every dimension of life. That one thing is trust. A simple yet very complex thing.
Do you believe people can learn to be more trustworthy? Many people think you can’t teach trust, either you have it or you don’t. Stephen Covey, Author of “The Speed of Trust” believes trust can be both taught and learned. I agree. Rather than building trust one person or client at a time, the trust you build with one person actually builds it with many.
Trust comes from credibility which has two main components; competence and character. Competence includes your capabilities and results. Character includes integrity and intent. These traits need to be in balance to produce high levels of trust. Trust effects EVERY aspect of business – documentation, contracts, client satisfaction, how long it takes to get something done, job satisfaction, employee retention….
Covey points out that high trust organizations outperform low trust organizations by three times. That provides a strong motivation to make the effort. I am sure you can look to your own team and assess the current level of trust. It is always easier to look to where others are not acting in a trustworthy manner, but I challenge you to look at yourself first. How can you contribute to increased trust on your team and/or with a client?
If you think of little things that bother people, I bet it won’t take long to discover where you could increase the trust others have in you. Grammatical errors in something sent to a client, being late for meetings, meeting after a meeting to discuss something you did not have the courage to bring up in the larger group, repeatedly recommitting or delegating, whining, and not listening. These are just a few things at the top of my mind. Some things are easy to change, others take practice and intention.
If this subject interests you, and you are in northern Colorado, please join my upcoming leadership series offered October 14-28 via the Larimer County Workforce Center.