Do You Trust Me?

It seems that in a political year like 2012, the word “trust” comes up more than any other time. Trust is such an intangible item, yet so critical in any setting–particularly in the workplace.

What is trust?

Trust is defined as a felt sense of safety. Trust arises as one develops an assurance that another person intends her/him no harm. Hence, the key to successful team performance or collaboration is to create an increasing sense of safety for everyone. The lack of trust is a major opportunity for many organizations. It requires considering the following ideas/concepts:

  • The opposite of trust is control.
  • We pay a high cost for low trust.
  • Like a bank account, trust fluctuates depending on the deposits and withdrawals we put into the relationships we have with others.
  • Trust is eroded through broken promises. It’s better to not make a promise at all than to make one and break it.
Trust is enhanced through the following behaviors:
  1. Sharing relevant information.
  2. Reducing control.
  3. Allowing for mutual influence.
  4. Clarifying mutual expectations.
  5. Meeting or exceeding expectations.
Next time you get with your team, ask the following:
  • What are the critical messages for our area in terms of trust?
  • In what ways do we find trust manifested in our organization?
  • Where could we improve trust in our area?
  • What are the barriers to creating greater trust?
  • How could we better build relationships of trust with others?
  • How could we help positively influence others in acting consistent with this standard?
Want a great book that really digs deeply at the concept of trust? We highly recommend Vitality: Igniting Your Organization’s Spirit, by Dr. Chuck and Mary Lofy. You can obtain a copy at Amazon.