Tag Archives: Trust

Trust: If You Build It, They Will Come…and Stay

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Trust. It’s a small word and yet, it holds the key to success in just about every walk of life. And, it’s one of those things that is often hard earned yet easily destroyed. That makes it precious.

From a corporate perspective, we all pretty much know that building trust in organizations is key. But what does it look like when it’s in action? Well,

here are some ideas around what we might see in an organization that has successfully built high levels of trust.

As a Boss, people are open and candid with me. They trust that I’m not in the business of shooting messengers or punishing anyone for giving me straight and honest information about myself or anything else for that matter. People working with me, are not afraid to be creative or try new things. And, when they make mistakes, they own up to them and are willing to share their lessons with others. As a boss too, I strive for transparency in my dealings with others and that means I talk to them, ask for their opinions and listen to their advice. I feel well rewarded and highly regarded.

As part of a team, I don’t waste time engaging in gratuitous political maneuverings. I focus instead on building solid and positive relationships with my colleagues for my benefit, and for the team. I trust them to do the same. I make sure I fulfill my responsibilities to the team and the organization and take pride in both what I produce and what the team produces. My team and I enjoy working together and pitch in to do whatever work needs doing, even if it is technically “not my job”. I always get the credit I deserve for the contributions I make. I feel that I belong.

As an individual contributor, I make sure that I understand my role in the organization and if I am unsure, I ask someone who can teach me. Similarly, if I have knowledge that someone else does not have, but needs, I am not hesitant about sharing what I know. I trust that sharing will give us all the power we need to do our jobs well and succeed. I feel competent and important.

As a sales person, I believe in my product. My clients’ needs come before my own. Many of my clients have been with me for a long time. I continue to work to earn their ongoing loyalty. I am not afraid to approach my boss if I think my client has needs that could be met differently. I offer my ideas freely. I have earned my clients’ respect. I do not feel the need to compete with my colleagues except in a way that challenges us all to do better. I feel productive and successful.

As an organization, we continue to experience growth in our business. Our client base is strong and increasing. Our employees are actively engaged in building and supporting our business. We value their contribution and make every effort to acknowledge their accomplishments in a variety of ways that have meaning for them. We feel confident about the future.

Okay, so some of this might sound a bit utopian. I mean, I used to have a boss that hid around corners at lunch hour trying to catch people taking more than their allotted time for lunch. While hopefully, bosses who behave like that are going the way of the dinosaur, I suspect a lot of work has yet to be done to build the kind of trust it takes to bring all of the scenarios I describe to life.

Nonetheless it is perhaps something to strive for because the price of under-valuing, (or worse, not doing), the work of building trust in organizations is very high indeed.

I am reminded, strangely, of a little clip from the movie City Slickers where Jack Palance’s character, Curly, talks about the “one thing” that holds the secret of life. Here it is:

When it comes to the secret of successful organizations, I tend to think that the “one thing” is trust.

What do you think?

*Note: originally posted in February 2010

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Filed under Building Relationships, Employee engagement, Leadership, Leadership Development, Organizational Effectiveness

Leadership and the Credibility Factor

What does credibility mean to you?  Here’s my take on it and why I think it’s an important quality for leaders to develop, not just in effecting change initiatives but in everything else they do.

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I’ve been thinking about change lately, mostly about what it is that separates a person who seems to be able to influence change in a positive direction, from a person who might have the authority and the technical skill to do the work, but seems unable to pull it off.

The word credibility comes to mind.  The Thesaurus suggests that credibility is synonymous with trustworthiness, integrity and sincerity. I think that if these basic values are present, the chances of arousing the interest and respect of other people are pretty good. And, I believe too, that change agents come in many forms, manifest themselves in a variety of ways and at a variety of levels.

Thinking about that reinforces for me, the notion that it is credibility not title, position, role or authority that makes the difference between an effective change agent and an ineffective one.

So, if you are with me so far, the big question seems to be ” How do I prove my credibility to others?”

Here’s what I think it takes to earn credibility:

I do what I say I’m going to do… and I do it, when I say I’m going to do it.

Reliability is an important ingredient in establishing credibility.

There’s nothing more infuriating or counter-productive, than when someone makes a commitment to do something and then fails to follow through.

I represent myself honestly and do my best to be candid and open with my colleagues and bosses.

I think that to gain credibility with others we must simply find the courage and confidence to be ourselves and make our contributions without pretense or bravado.

I show that I’m open to learning and trying new things

Nothing puts holes in our credibility more than conveying the impression that we have all the answers. And, it is arrogant to think that we can influence change in others without feeling the need to change something in ourselves as well.

After all, change is a learning experience in itself. If we believe that it is for everyone but us, we are likely not asking the right questions, enough questions, or paying attention to what is going on around us.

I demonstrate respect for the experiences and knowledge of others.

One of the best ways to build credibility is to observe those who have gone before us and learn from their experiences.  If we want to be heard we must first listen.

When I challenge the status quo, I offer feasible and thoughtful alternatives.

To me, presenting a problem without considering a solution is not supporting change.  It is simply complaining.  This doesn’t mean that we have to have a solution for every problem.  But if we want to earn credibility, we have to consider not only the problem, but also the possibilities and questions that will stimulate further exploration.

I own up to being human and making mistakes. And, when I make mistakes, I apologize and then do my best to make amends.

Making excuses for the mistakes we make is simply unproductive and, well, not very attractive either. In general, we do not adversely affect our credibility when we make mistakes. We adversely affect our credibility when we try to cover them up, rationalize them away, blame them on someone else or otherwise pretend  they didn’t happen.

That’s what I think anyway.  What do you think?

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Filed under Building Relationships, Change Management, Leadership, Leadership Development, Leadership Values, Leading Change

Change and the Credibility Factor

This is a refreshed version of a post I wrote just over three years ago.  I’m giving it another airing because, at its core, leadership is about change and exploring new territory.  No leader can do that successfully without having earned the confidence of those s/he leads.  It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

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I’ve been thinking about what it is that separates a person who seems to be able to influence change in a positive direction, from a person who might have the authority and the technical skill to do the work, but seems unable to pull it off.

The word credibility comes to mind.  The Thesaurus suggests that credibility is synonymous with trustworthiness, integrity and sincerity. I think that if these basic values are present, the chances of arousing the interest and respect of other people are pretty good. And, I believe too, that change agents come in many forms, manifest themselves in a variety of ways and at a variety of levels.

Thinking about that reinforces for me, the notion that it is credibility not title, position, role or authority that makes the difference between an effective leader and an ineffective one.

So, if you are with me so far, the big question seems to be ” How do I prove my credibility to others?”

Here’s what I think it takes to earn credibility:

I do what I say I’m going to do… and I do it, when I say I’m going to do it.

Reliability is an important ingredient in establishing credibility.

There’s nothing more infuriating or counter-productive, than when someone makes a commitment to do something and then fails to follow through.

I represent myself honestly and do my best to be candid and open with my colleagues and bosses.

I think that to gain credibility with others we must simply find the courage and confidence to be ourselves and make our contributions without pretense or bravado.

I show that I’m open to learning and trying new things

Nothing puts holes in our credibility as a leader more than conveying the impression that we have all the answers. And, it is arrogant to think that we can influence change in others without feeling the need to change something ourselves.

Change is a learning experience in itself. If we believe that it is for everyone but us, we are likely not asking the right questions, enough questions, or paying attention to what is going on around us.

I demonstrate respect for the experiences and knowledge of others.

One of the best ways to build credibility is to observe those who have gone before us and learn from their experiences.  If we want to be heard we must first listen.

When I challenge the status quo, I offer feasible and thoughtful alternatives.

To me, presenting a problem without considering a solution is not supporting change.  It is simply complaining.  This doesn’t mean that we have to have a solution for every problem.  But if we want to earn credibility, we have to consider not only the problem, but also the possibilities and questions that will stimulate further exploration.

I own up to being human and making mistakes. And, when I make mistakes, I apologize and then do my best to make amends.

Making excuses for the mistakes we make is simply unproductive and, well, not very attractive either. In general, we do not adversely affect our credibility when we make mistakes. We adversely affect our credibility when we try to cover them up, rationalize them away, or otherwise pretend they didn’t happen.

That’s what I think anyway. What do you think?

17 Comments

Filed under communication, Leadership, Leading Change, Organizational Effectiveness

Trust: If You Build It, They Will Come…and Stay

I wrote this post originally in February 2010 and am recycling it, with some minor modifications, because to me, trust continues to be of paramount importance in building and maintaining strong relationships and strong organizations.   I like to remind myself of that from time to time.

Trust. It’s a small word and yet, it holds the key to success in just about every walk of life.   And, it’s one of those things that is often hard earned yet easily destroyed.  That makes it precious.

From a corporate perspective, we all pretty much know that building trust in organizations is key.  But what does it look like when it’s in action?  Well, here are some ideas around what we might see in an organization that has successfully built high levels of trust.

As a Boss, people are open and candid with me.  They trust that I’m not in the business of shooting messengers or punishing anyone for giving me straight and honest information about myself or anything else for that matter.  People working with me, are not afraid to be creative or try new things.  And, when they make mistakes, they own up to them and are willing to share their lessons with others.  As a boss too, I strive for transparency in my dealings with others and that means I talk to them, ask for their opinions and listen to their advice.  I feel well rewarded and highly regarded.

As part of a team, I don’t waste time engaging in gratuitous political maneuverings.  I focus instead on building solid and positive relationships with my colleagues for my benefit, and for the team.  I trust them to do the same.  I make sure I fulfill my responsibilities to the team and the organization and take pride in both what I produce and what the team produces.  My team and I enjoy working together and pitch in to do whatever work needs doing, even if it is technically “not my job”.  I always get the credit I deserve for the contributions I make.  I feel that I belong.

As an individual contributor, I make sure that I understand my role in the organization and if I am unsure, I ask someone who can teach me.  Similarly, if I have knowledge that someone else does not have, but needs, I am not hesitant about sharing what I know.  I trust that sharing will give us all the power we need to do our jobs well and succeed. I feel competent and important.

As a sales person, I believe in my product.  My clients’ needs come before my own.  Many of my clients have been with me for a long time.  I continue to work to earn their ongoing loyalty.    I am not afraid to approach my boss if I think my client has needs that could be met differently.  I offer my ideas freely.  I have earned my clients’ respect.  I do not feel the need to compete with my colleagues except in a way that challenges us all to do better. I feel productive and successful.

As an organization, we continue to experience growth in our business.  Our client base is strong and increasing.   Our employees are actively engaged in building and supporting our business.  We value their contribution and make every effort to acknowledge their accomplishments in a variety of ways that have meaning for them.  We feel confident about the future.

Okay, so some of this might sound a bit utopian.  I mean, what the heck, I used to have a boss that hid around corners at lunch hour trying to catch people taking more than their allotted time for lunch.   While hopefully, bosses who behave like that are going the way of the dinosaur, I suspect a lot of work has yet to be done to build the kind of trust it takes to bring all of the scenarios I describe to life.

Nonetheless it is perhaps something to strive for because the price of under-valuing the work of building trust in organizations is very high indeed.

I am reminded, strangely, of a little clip from the movie City Slickers where Jack Palance’s character, Curly, talks about the “one thing” that holds the secret of life. Here it is:

When it comes to the secret of successful organizations, I tend to think that the “one thing” is trust.

What do you think?

2 Comments

Filed under Building Relationships, Employee engagement, Leadership, Organizational Effectiveness

Trust: If You Build It, They Will Come…and Stay

Trust. It’s a small word and yet, it holds the key to success in just about every walk of life.   And, it’s one of those things that is often hard earned yet easily destroyed.  That makes it precious.

From a corporate perspective, we all pretty much know that building trust in organizations is key.  But what does it look like when it’s in action?

Well, I think that people who work in places where trust is highly valued, exhibit certain behaviours that are less likely to be found elsewhere.  For instance, looking through the lens of a variety of roles, here are some ideas around what we might see in an organization that has successfully built high levels of trust.

As a Boss, people are open and candid with me.  They trust that I’m not in the business of shooting messengers or punishing anyone for giving me straight and honest information about myself or anything else for that matter.  People working with me, are not afraid to be creative or try new things.  And, when they make mistakes, they own up to them and are willing to share their lessons with others.  As a boss too, I strive for transparency in my dealings with others and that means I talk to them, ask for their opinions and listen to their advice.  I feel well rewarded and highly regarded.

As part of a team, I don’t waste time engaging in gratuitous political maneuverings.  I focus instead on building solid and positive relationships with my colleagues for my benefit, and for the team.  I trust them to do the same.  I make sure I fulfill my responsibilities to the team and the organization and take pride in both what I produce and what the team produces.  My team and I enjoy working together and pitch in to do whatever work needs doing, even if it is technically “not my job”.  I always get the credit I deserve for the contributions I make.  I feel that I belong.

As an individual contributor, I make sure that I understand my role in the organization and if I am unsure, I ask someone who can teach me.  Similarly, if I have knowledge that someone else does not have, but needs, I am not hesitant about sharing what I know.  I trust that sharing will give us all the power we need to do our jobs well and succeed. I feel competent and important.

As a sales person, I believe in my product.  My clients’ needs come before my own.  Many of my clients have been with me for a long time.  I continue to work to earn their ongoing loyalty.    I am not afraid to approach my boss if I think my client has needs that could be met differently.  I offer my ideas freely.  I have earned my clients’ respect.  I do not feel the need to compete with my colleagues except in a way that challenges us all to do better. I feel productive and successful.

As an organization, we continue to experience growth in our business.  Our client base is strong and increasing.   Our employees are actively engaged in building and supporting our business.  We value their contribution and make every effort to acknowledge their accomplishments in a variety of ways that have meaning for them.  We feel confident about the future.

Okay, so some of this might sound a bit utopian.  I mean, what the heck, I used to have a boss that hid around corners at lunch hour trying to catch people taking more than their allotted time for lunch.   While hopefully, bosses who behave like that are going the way of the dinosaur, I suspect a lot of work has yet to be done to build the kind of trust it takes to bring all of the scenarios I describe to life.

Nonetheless it is perhaps something to strive for because the price of under-valuing the work of building trust in organizations is very high indeed.   And if you doubt it, ask Toyota about the impact their latest crisis has had on their market share.

I am reminded, strangely, of a little clip from the movie City Slickers where Jack Palance’s character, Curly, talks about the “one thing” that holds the secret of life. When it comes to the secret of successful organizations, I tend to think that the “one thing” is trust.

What do you think?

4 Comments

Filed under Building Relationships, communication, Leadership Values, Uncategorized