“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships” S Covey
Yet, it seems we live in a time where people are trusting less and less. We view our politicians, health service, institutions and companies with doubt and skepticism, with all their failings clearly documented and embraced for all to believe. Circles of friends and families are being pitted against each other competitively under the unceasing scrutiny and all-seeing eye of social media. Framed by the fact that we ask Google to sum up whatever information we need instantly allowing us to become experts in any known field, blissful ignorance, simple living and blind leaps of faith seem to be a thing of the past. I truly wonder where this all is headed.
Therefore, forming real relationships at home and in the work place has become more challenging and yet more important than ever. Real human interaction and connection is not something that can be simulated, it is something that is earned, felt, worth cherishing and worth holding onto.
I have been in relationships in my life where trust was there and some, where trust was not.
So, what is the definition of “Trust” what is it….
“Firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something”
“Trust comes from a set of common values and beliefs”
“Trust is a positive feeling”
“Trust needs to be earned, it evolves over time”
Where trust was there……. I
Showed my real face
Felt comfortable to be me
Felt safe and accepted
Felt confident to take risks and experiment
Can speak my mind
Naturally worked through conflict
Felt valued and recognised
Felt listened to
Fully committed to the role and relationship
Held myself and others accountable
Shared a vision
Was happy and content
Felt like I belonged
Where trust was NOT there……. I
Felt suspicious and often paranoid
Felt judged and not up to scratch
Focused on my own survival
Became cynical, selfish and self-interested
Second guessed myself and others
Became an expert in what to say and what not to do, to survive
Focused on protecting myself
Lost focus and productivity
Felt not good enough
Was angry and disappointed
Was unhappy and discontent
Was always looking for a way out
I often think that the biggest casualty of staying in or working in a relationship with low levels of trust is how much of our own positive personality we actually lose. Stay here too long you won’t recognise yourself after a while.
Transfer this over to entire organisations where trust levels are low, the impact and drain is extensive and staggering. When we do not feel trust and as a result feel safe we will ultimately do things to damage and hurt the culture, the company and ourselves.
Research shows that only 49% of employees trust senior management, and only 28% believe CEOs are a credible source of information.
When trust is low, in a company or in a relationship, it places a hidden “tax” on every transaction: every communication, every interaction, every strategy, every decision is taxed, bringing speed down and sending costs up. S Covey
In my experience not addressing a lack of trust, leaks time and money out of every area and action of the business. Compensating for poor behaviours, hidden agendas, siloed working and poor results, taking triple the amount of time to get things done.
In contrast, where high trust levels are in place something very different comes to light. The very language used changes from “me” to “us”. Communication, relationships and productivity soar allowing decisions to be made with increasing conviction and speed. People feel valued, recognised and part of something.
Achieving a real culture of trust is one of the biggest leadership challenges you will ever face and yet one of the smartest and most strategic ways to improve bottom line results.
I have been told numerous times from CEO’s across diverse industries that “Culture” “Trust” “Engagement of your People” “Feelings” is all a bit “WOOLY”
How Wooly does this look – A recent study showed that high trust companies outperform low trust companies by nearly 300%.
Speak with LALLO about our “Building a Culture of Trust” workshop, a great first step. Contact Paula on firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope you enjoyed my second blog post. Speak soon.