The Power of Trust

Trust is a powerful accelerator to performance and engagement. How do you know if Do you have a high trust culture? By observing the behavior of your people. In high trust companies, you would observe the following behaviors:

• Information is shared openly • Mistakes are tolerated and encouraged as a way of learning • The culture is innovative and creative • People are loyal to those who are absent • People talk straight and confront real issues • There is real communication and real collaboration • People share credit abundantly and openly celebrate others’ success • There are few “meetings after the meetings” • Transparency is a practiced value • People are candid and authentic • There is a high degree of accountability • There is palpable vitality and energy–people can feel the positive momentum

Conversely, when the trust is low, there’s a “trust tax” which changes your trajectory downwards. Low-trust organizations typically exhibit behaviors like:

• Facts are manipulated or distorted • Information and knowledge are withheld and hoarded • People spin the truth to their advantage • Getting the credit is very important • New ideas are openly resisted and stifled • Mistakes are covered up or covered over • Most people are involved in a blame game, badmouthing others • There is an abundance of “water cooler” talk • There are numerous “meetings after the meetings” • There are many “undiscussable” • People tend to over-promise and under-deliver • There are a lot of violated expectations for which people make many excuses • People pretend bad things aren’t happening or are in denial • The energy level is low • People often feel “unproductive tension”–sometimes even fear

Leaders don’t often think about developing trust: they mistakenly assume it is either “present” or “not present”. But creating a culture of trust is well within the domain of leaders. Here are some myths and realities around trust which justify why leaders should make it a priority:

Leaders can develop

and should exhibit, strong trust-building behaviors. Covey has identified 13 TRUST behaviors. They are:

1. Talk Straight 2. Demonstrate Respect 3. Create Transparency 4. Right Wrongs 5. Show Loyalty 6. Deliver Results 7. Continuously Develop Yourself 8. Confront Reality 9. Clarify Expectations 10.Practice Accountability 11.Listen First 12.Keep Commitments 13.Extend Trust to Others

Consciously working towards creating a high culture of trust benefits everyone. It results in better ideas, faster execution, growth, and, a greater sense of personal and relational satisfaction and belonging, and overall health and well-being.

Joy Van Patten

Destiny Arising Vice President

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