The Trust Factor
When was the last time you heard the shattering of glass and the scraping of metal? I’m not talking about an auto accident, I’m talking about shards of glass on the inside when a collision occurs between selfishness and doing the right thing, resulting in a damaged relationship. Breach of trust is not covered by insurance and it’s extremely costly.
Mutual trust is the key to every healthy relationship and contributes in a major way to significant progress. It’s clear that trust in the workplace has eroded right along with the economy. According to Deloitte’s fourth annual Ethics & Workplace Survey, one-third of employed Americans plan to look for a new job when the economy gets better. 48 percent cite a loss of trust in their employer and 46 percent say that a lack of transparent communication from their company’s leadership are their reasons for wanting to leave their current job. Additionally, 65 percent of Fortune 1000 executives are concerned that valuable employees will be bailing as soon as the job market improves and recognize that trust is a major reason for the anticipated exodus.
Self-trust is the first step in creating an environment that enables mutual trust. You can only give away that which you have. Self-trust is born of faith and vision and strength of character. Self-trust manifests in attitude and integrity of action and is contagious (just as mistrust is.) Self-trust unfolds when you get clarity on your passion, direction and course of action. So get clear – really clear. Hire a coach, join a master-mind team, implement some new strategies. Don’t just sit there – make a plan and get moving!
Can you recall a teacher who couldn’t teach? An hour in their classroom left your brain muddled and your self-confidence battered. How about that professor who was absolutely brilliant in their subject but failed most of their students and was proud of it? It’s likely that communication skills (or lack thereof) played a role in the disconnect but it’s likely they were deficient in self-trust. Being comfortable in your own skin removes the need to make yourself look better by putting others down.
It’s also clear that a standard education doesn’t ensure you’ll have the skills to work with others – last time I checked, there weren’t many highly paid hermits. The marketplace is poised to reward those who’ve mastered relationship building – not just those who’ve accumulated more information with multiple college degrees. Be self-educated.
Some leaders become jaded by having their trust abused. Been there, done that and have the t-shirt – who doesn’t? There’s risk involved with working with people, just as there’s risk involved everytime you get in your car to go somewhere. The possibility of an accident doesn’t prevent you from riding in a car. Without risk, there is no reward.
Be a leader who calls on the best in others by trusting them to do more than they thought was possible. It’s common knowledge that people rise to what is expected of them – the result of trusting someone is that is frees them. It frees them to test their own capabilities and it frees them to fail. Yes, that’s right – fail. After all, failure is just feedback when you’re in a safe environment of trust. See the best in others – even when they can’t see it themselves.
As we make our way out of the ditch of a bad economy and get safely back on the road to building wealth, keep in mind that an atmosphere of trust is as critical to your success as your bank balance or number of new clients. In fact, trust is the culture in which these measuring sticks will grow. We’ve all seen enough wreckage. Be the change you want to see by becoming the leader you’re created to be.
“You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.” Anton Chekov