“Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean.”
— Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
With 40% of employees stating that they are open to leaving their current positions in 2022, they’ve expressed a perceived lack of inclusion and care from their managers. As organizations scramble to overcome talent resignations and drops in engagement, leaders are advised to build trust within their teams. And if trust is the prevailing remedy, it will not happen overnight. Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, reminds us that “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” When trust has been broken, leaders struggle with how to regain momentum and/or re-build cultures of trust.
According to Ben Bryant, Director of the IMD CEO Learning Center, who work with senior leaders to build a climate of trust, openness, challenge and commitment, leaders need to learn how to demonstrate trust themselves. In a recent article, he describes how many “polite cultures” often lack authenticity, transparency and trust. They create the illusion of respect and avoid “real” conversations, conflict and tension. Have you noticed any of the following behaviors that destroy trust?
- Having after meeting side-bar conversations
- Avoiding direct feedback
- Taking credit for others’ contributions
- Pretending to listen and/or failing to follow through
- Staying silent when controversial topics emerge
- Talking about others behind their backs
- Minimizing others’ feelings or points of view
- Scheduling multiple meetings about the same topic
While some information requires confidentiality, frequently information is held too closely out of fear or as a form of control. Leaders who both disclose and allow others to share information build greater trust and encourage greater openness on their teams. There is reciprocity as employees gain confidence. In fact, leaders described as most trustworthy actively share and reveal their thoughts, emotions and beliefs with others.
Keep in mind, building trust is a gradual and reciprocal process. Sharing too much as well as too little can breed mistrust. Leaders who make themselves more vulnerable and who share their own thoughts and feelings usually build greater trust and respect.
Consider how you will show greater authenticity in your own communication. View Innolect’s Trust Deposit Checklist and choose behaviors that will Build Your Trust Deposits — Actions that Show You Care.