Trust Truisms

Are you intentional about building trust?  Do you know what breaks trust? How do you repair broken trust? We are going to explore these questions over the next few tips.  These topics come from our research and preparation for an upcoming presentation on “Building a Culture of Trust.”
When there is a culture of trust, leaders are more effective in achieving their strategic goals. Leaders can create change faster and get better results. Organizations have greater profitability and higher productivity.
Amy Lyman’s work on the 100 Best Companies to work for concludes, “Companies whose employees praise the high levels of trust in their workplace are, in fact, among the highest performers, beating the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three.”
A culture of trust is extremely beneficial to leaders, employees and overall organizational performance.
Here are three unique qualities about trust; it’s a process, a choice and something that is uniquely human.
1. Process – trust is a learned skill. It involves an ongoing process of relationship building, communication and action. Doing what you say you will do builds trust. Building trust is a process that layers on level after level of deeper trust. When actions do not match words and trust is breeched, this is also a process that works in the reverse.
2. Choice – people decide whether or not to extend trust. Trust evolves incrementally over time, is based on sound judgment, and is not without limits and conditions. Those who choose to trust understand that there is the possibility of a breach of trust, and weigh risks and benefits before proceeding.
3. Uniquely Human – while you may consider your car to be reliable transportation, you don’t “trust your car.” Trust is about keeping your word, honoring your commitments and involves a decision, action, and a response. Trust is something that is unique to human beings.
Next week we’ll explore the process of building trust, the choice you must make and human responses to trust.

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