Did you know? Successful leaders can mobilize people towards a common vision, even in the absence of direct authority? They seem to have a real knack for building successful relationships, simultaneously meeting or exceeding expectations.
What is the key to striking this critical balance?
It’s a five-letter word that begins and ends with T. The word is Trust.
It seems to roll off the tongue effortlessly, but building trust is anything but easy.
Have you ever stopped to consider the impact that trust has on your behaviors, decisions and relationships?
Trust, or the lack thereof, is behind the scenes motivating every movement.
So what exactly is Trust?
Trust is reliance or confident expectation in the integrity, reliability and goodness of someone. Trust is far more than an emotion or feeling. It is usually qualified or validated over time. While cultivating trust takes time, it can be lost in an instant.
The greatest barriers to trust are “Inconsistencies.”
These inconsistencies can be emotional, behavioral or informational. Being easily agitated or irritable with erratic mood swings can undermine a relationship’s success, even for the most trusting individual. This emotional contradiction produces fear and anxiety, rather than trust and transparency. Behavioral inconsistencies, like sporadic actions and impulsive decisions, are also a recipe for relational disaster. Trust must not only be expected, but it must be experienced. Knowledge and informational inconsistencies can also be seen as errors or mistakes. Being given inaccurate information one time can easily be overlooked, but a repeat incident will dismantle trust and perceived competence, which adversely impacts work and customer relations.
Effective Leaders are Master Builders.
They establish, manage and sustain successful relationships through trust-building strategies. These strategies center around care, communication and competence. Effective leaders value people. It is an obvious fact that is clearly demonstrated in their behavior and communication. Let’s face it, people know when you are genuine. It is tangible. For instance, you cannot pretend to care; either you do or you do not.
3 Trust Building Strategies
1. Care and Compassion are incredible keys to cultivating and building trust. People want to know they are important, relevant and valuable.
2. Communication is about far more than sending and receiving messages. Clear and open communication results in mutual respect and understanding. Effective communication provides the context needed to cultivate trust. Communication is a means through which thoughts, attitudes, feelings, beliefs and behaviors are expressed. Caring communication can result in deep and meaningful relationships.
3. Competency is critical to both building and sustaining trust. Competence involves consistently performing at the level required to meet or exceed an expected outcome. Competence provides the proof or rationale for one’s trust in an individual. Competence requires a certain level of performance quality or performance excellence. An increase in the perception of one’s competence results in an increase in trust, while a lower perception of competence results in a decrease.
In Summary, a trust deficit will inevitably result when there is an absence of care, compassion,
effective communication and competence. Once trust has been depleted, you do not simply start over; you start under! Trust is precious and priceless. Trust should be earned, never expected, and cultivated, never manipulated. Remember, it takes far more time to rebuild trust, once it has been broken!