People and Organizations that cultivate trust are more successful by almost every measure.
Research on relationships indicates that trust is the #1 characteristic people want in a partner. In companies where trust is high, employees report 106% greater energy in the office, 74% lower stress levels, 76% greater engagement, and 50% more productivity than their peers in low-trust environments.
We have all experienced a low-trust relationship or a business with questionable practices. Currently, public trust in the U.S. government is at one of the lowest levels in nearly seven decades of polling.
It has been said that progress (personal and professional) moves as the speed of trust. It’s not hard to see why.
With trust, opportunities and ideas move faster and are less expensive to implement. You can play “Who is closest to the ball?” which eliminates redundancy, double and triple checking everyone’s work over, or having to get every step approved and reviewed. Trust in the workplace is critical to effective communication and sustainable success in a rapidly changing world. Cultures that cultivate it have a huge competitive advantage. Typically, trust is something that must be developed and nurtured over a long period of time. However, this process can be accelerated with a few simple and intentional practices:
1. Consistent Check-ins.
Consistently have check-ins before jumping into business issues in team meetings. For decades we have started team meetings with each member taking a few minutes to share a personal and professional rose (something that has gone well) and thorn (a current challenge) before we jump into business issues. It is hard to discount people when you know their story. Investing time in a short check-in pays for itself in making people feel safe, connected, and aware of what team members are dealing with. When you feel connected to another, and you effectively communicate your story, trust is created. This practice also reveals different talents people have that can benefit the team.
Getting results builds trust fast. Be a person who delivers real results or asks for help if it is needed to get those results. Do what you say and model the requests you make of others. We often see many directives developed by leaders they themselves do not follow. Follow the advice, principles, and behaviors you want others to live by and this will accelerate trust.
3. Stay Competent.
Staying fresh, informed, and relevant builds trust. The humble, teachable person keeps learning new and better ways of doing things and shares those learnings with the team. As a leader let your team see you learning and encourage them to share what they have learned. Stay current on ideas and trends and share what you are learning with others on your team. There is always more to learn, so make a habit of reading, learning, and listening to fresh information and sharing your new insights with your team.
We have applied these practices within groups we lead for decades, and they always cultivate and accelerate trust. Since trust is a foundational value driver of almost everything personally and professionally why not give these practices a try?