Trust the values-based currency

25 February 2019

Trust is the currency of strong values, successful service delivery and great relationships and organisations are twisting themselves into knots to find out how to empower their employees. Put simply, we at Change2020 work hard to build trust and break down barriers in order to help transform organisations, teams and individuals. However, when the level of expectation between two parties differs it can lead to an inherent conflict of trust that is difficult to overcome. While this may seem straightforward, the question for leaders’ is: do we really demonstrate trust in our people, despite what we say?

In delivering change we believe trust is paramount whatever your leadership role and micromanagement is counter-productive. It is also often at odds with what has been said as part of the cultural language of a business and individual perceptions of how they view others in building productive working relationships. The issue is not uncommon and there is a volume of research into the impact of micromanaging behaviour on trust and the issues that this creates. In a recent Harvard Business Review article it was found that building a culture of trust is what makes a meaningful difference. Employees of high-trust leaders are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance.

Our tips for leaders to create trust are:

• Quite simply, build a culture of trust, do what you say you will do, demonstrate you are trustworthy;
• Recognise that some people trust immediately, others take a little while – both are fine, just recognise the pace differences;
• Establish agreed expectations with employees and collaborators from the outset – and stick to them;
• Prioritise what you are comfortable to delegate and what you need to take ownership for;
• Listen to your team and step back from the process in order to really hear what they have to say.

To build better organisations and improve performance, trust is essential. This involves a degree of vulnerability and having faith in other people to contribute to the solutions. Trust is an easy word to say and a requirement for any relationship. As leaders’ it is vital that we ask ourselves how we demonstrate trust in others, as the ability to grow and develop rests on the individual capacity to give voice to their own values, thoughts and emotions. Trust is at the heart of delivering real change and one of our core values at Change2020. Trust us to help you today.

Kerryn Fewster

Kerryn is the Founder and Director of Change 2020. She has consulted extensively in the area of Transition and Transformation. She places emphasis on strategy development and solution implementation to minimise people and operational impacts associated with major change.

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