You Are Destroying Trust (and What You Can Do About It)

“Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is how you are ruining trust in your (business) relationships:

  • You lie.
  • You hide information.
  • You stop producing for the team.
  • You think you know more than everyone else.

Don’t do these things. No one is perfect, but we sure can try. Instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on what you do well, what others do well, and magnify those talents. Every interaction we have with others either builds or destroys trust. Focus on building!

5 Effective Ways to Build Trust in the Workplace:

DO WHAT IS RIGHT – Easy. Just don’t be a jerk. Don’t hurt other people. Don’t lie. Don’t play politics. Help others. Be nice. Work hard. Think positive. In every situation just make sure you do what is honorable and helpful.

ACT WITH INTEGRITY – You show integrity through honest actions and words. Honesty is the root of trust in all relationships. Integrity must start from the top and then move down. Being honest means telling the truth, keeping promises no matter the consequences. If its people have integrity, the relationship is healthy. If relationships are healthy, then business is healthy.

HAVE SHARED GOALS – Teamwork only happens when the goals are shared. To create trust, employees/colleagues must feel like everyone is working together to carry out a shared dream, a shared vision, instead of a series of personal agendas. The best teams know the goal, believe the goal, and work toward it together.

ALWAYS COMMUNICATE – Communication is the vehicle for information and truth. We must communicate our values and vision first, and then we can communicate our organization’s vision next. By opening channels of communication, we can all stop trying to do the impossible task of reading minds.

CREATE PARTNERSHIPS – You build trust when people work together. We need to value each person. Trusted partners know that the work they do is important and that the work their partner will do is quality. AS partner has the same goals and dreams. A partner wants you to succeed.  This means the leaders need to spend more time with the team. Then leaders need to give and receive feedback.

If you are a leader you need to build trust.

Stephen M.R. Covey, Author of The Speed of Trust teaches that these are the 13 behaviors of high trust leaders across the globe, they:

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

Mr. Covey says: “Remember that the 13 Behaviors always need to be balanced by each other (e.g., Talk Straight needs to be balanced by Demonstrate Respect) and that any behavior pushed to the extreme can become a weakness.” 

The foundation of all worthwhile relationships is trust. Trust is about risk. It is about emotional intelligence and it means giving control to others. The more trust we develop trust, the more success that we will find. Joel Peterson (JetBlue / Standford / Investor) wrote a new book (just finished it!) that outlines what trust is, how to develop it, and how to repair it. His book teaches these 10 Laws of Trust:

  1. Start With Personal Integrity
  2. Invest in Respect
  3. Empower Others
  4. Measure What You Want to Achieve
  5. Create a Common Dream
  6. Keep Everyone Informed
  7. Embrace Respectful Conflict
  8. Show Humility
  9. Strive for Win-Win Negotiations
  10. Proceed with Care

“…the absence of trust is betrayal…” – Joel Peterson

As we show our integrity and performance, we will build trust. Building trust is about people, competence, honor, and performance. Work hard to make sure the people you work with can rely on you. Once they know that you care and are trustworthy, everything else becomes easier.

7 Ways to Upgrade Your Life

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  1. Follow a ROUTINE.  Do the things that make you better, consistently. Develop a morning routine. Develop an evening routine. Routines allow you to focus on your thoughts and helping others because you can run those portions of your life on autopilot. These routines create stability and help you prepare mentally for the day.
  2. Focus on the GOOD. We choose our thoughts. Our thoughts create our reality. Since we can choose our thoughts life’s better when we focus on the positive. Focus on the good and that is what you will find. The more good you look for, the more your will find it. Show gratitude. Grateful people are happier…fact. It is fun to be around grateful people…fact. Focus on what you have and the good you can do.
  3. Spend time ALONE. Noise and commotion can create energy, they also prevent us from thinking clearly. It is important to spend time alone each day to prioritize your thoughts and ideas.
  4. Develop your VISION. Find your “why”. Once you know why you exist, then do whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality. Your vision is your purpose combined with the actions you are willing to take. Take massive action toward your dreams, let your vision guide you. Define what you want. Decide to act. Then ACT.
  5. Surround yourself with BUILDERS. Negative thinking hurts performance. Find people who will build you up and hang around them. You will become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose wisely.
  6. Eat HEALTHYEat less sugar than you want. Eat more protein, vegetables, and fruits than you want. If you do that, you can live better, with more energy and focus. 
  7. Be ACTIVE. Move. Exercise. Do stuff. Increase your heart rate, make it intense. Make it a daily habit. Inertia is powerful. If we stay at rest, we will continue to stay at rest. Don’t stay at rest. We are people, not rocks…or potatoes. 

3 Ways to “ALWAYS” Build Trust

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Relationship quality is measured by the level trust attained. One determinant of success is the quality of our relationships, or the ability to build trust.

“Again and again, we see both individuals and organizations perform only to a small degree of their potential success, or fail entirely, simply because of their neglect of the human element in business and life.” – John C. Maxwell

The main focus of any leader is to build trust. Relationships built on trust are the foundation of success. No one has succeeded on an island. Stephen M.R. Coveyteaches that there are two types of trust:

  1. Character (your integrity)
  2. Competence (the ability and willingness to produce).

”Trust in others comes not only from being truthful but also from the extent you reliably you do what you say you will do.” Stephen M.R. Covey

Leaders who inspire, build, motivate, and ultimately succeed are leaders who are able to develop and maintain both types of trust in their professional and personal relationships. Some trust is instantaneous, while other trust must be earned over time. Recently I took a helicopter ride while working on a project in Brazil. As soon as we arrived at the helipad I saw the pilot with his uniform, stripes, and various symbols that signified his competence. Instantly I believed that he had the ability and qualifications to fly the machine safely. The same is usually true when we visit a doctor or attend a university lecture. Credentials can build trust. Especially trust in competence.

In business though, credentials often mean very little. Building trust with individuals and teams comes down to our ability to navigate complex social situations. While the circumstances may vary, the process of building lasting trust is very simple to learn and apply.

The process for building trust is:

  1. Always Listen First (Curiosity, Concern & Care)
  2. Always Speak About People as If They Can Hear You
  3. Always Do Exactly What You Promised, then Do More

The first two steps in the process build your “character trust” and the final step builds your “competence trust”.

Jeff Haden produced a short analysis on the Science of Building Trust that examined the book The Decision to Trust: How Leaders Create High-Trust Organizations.

Jeff counsels leaders on how to build trust and make effective decisions:

“When you put yourself in your employees’ place and consider their perspectives and their needs, you can easily determine the best ways to act and communicate so you can create an environment of empowerment and trust… and in the process build a high-performing organization.” – Jeff Haden

Leaders who build trust are leaders who succeed.

Always Listening First allows us to learn and understand. And more important, those people we are building relationships will feel our genuine care. Emotions control relationships. Listening gives other people the chance to express themselves; this opens the door to connection and long-term positive associations. By listening you show concern while learning what types of actions and behaviors will best allow this relationship to succeed.

Always Speaking About People as If They Were Present does not necessarily build trust, but doing the opposite is the fastest destroyer of trust. Lying and cheating is wrong – you might or might not get caught. But, whomever you talk to will know how you talk about others. They will not want to be talked about when they are gone and therefore will not trust you. Be the type of person you want to be friends with.

Always Doing Exactly What We Promised, and Then Doing More shows we have integrity, we are honest, and just as important – that we are competent. Getting the job done is what makes the world go round. If you promise a phone call, make the call. If you promise an email, send the email. If you promise a trip to the swimming pool, go to the pool! (Practice with your family – the ones closest to you are often the hardest ones to keep promises to.) No matter how honest we are, if we do not produce something, we do not add value. There are many things we can produce – if our role is a high school teacher our product then is how well we teach, educate, and inspire the youth. If our role is as an accountant, our accuracy and insights we produce become our product. Everyone in some form or another has value to contribute. Everyone can create and produce. Competence comes from the skill, ability, and willingness to produce the best possible product. We trust people who constantly perform. First do what you say you will, then wow them and do more.

Following the simplified three things we must “ALWAYS” do will put us in situations to constantly be building trust. Building trust in relationships takes time, is easy is to loose and nearly impossible to regain. Earning trust once is hard, earning it twice next to impossible. Work hard at building trust; treat trust building like a profession. Always listen, Always Speak Kindly and Open About Others, and Always Deliver.

Now Its Your Turn: What are some ways you have found that help build trust? What advice do you have for others on their journey? (please share your experience and knowledge)

* For further study I recommend these 3 books:

  1. The Decision to Trust: How Leaders Create High-Trust Organizations – Robert F. Hurley 
  2. The Speed of Trust – Stephen M.R. Covey
  3. Winning With People – John C. Maxwell

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