Is it just me, or is trust “taking a hit” lately? How about politics? Do you feel totally confident about the accuracy of information circulated by political candidates? What about consumer products? Do you ever question the safety or effectiveness of a product, even if backed by a big name brand? How about your healthcare provider? Ever question a diagnosis or treatment plan?
No matter which way you answer the questions above, the element of trust– specifically your determination of trustworthiness– factored into your answer. I view trust as the glue that holds relationships together and serves as the basis for growth—personal or business—as long as trust is present, the relationship is positioned for growth. Once trust is injured or destroyed, restoration of trust can be an uphill climb.
Since it is much easier to maintain trust that to restore it:
• If you are in a position of leadership—keep this simple phrase in mind—“morale filters down, not up.” Generally, those in leadership positions set the tone. While your position gives you authority over others, your behavior will be pivotal in gaining and keeping their respect. A disconnect between what you profess and how you behave will cost you credibility and weaken trust.
In the corporate environment, an example of this disconnect might be when “belt tightening” is being required of the rank and file, while at the same time executive bonuses are being reported in the media as the highest in the industry.
• Pay attention to your Moral Compass! Just like the benefit of paying attention to your physical health, maintaining an awareness of what is going on around you as relates to your own sense of right and wrong, can be a wise idea. Practicing awareness with regard to moral obligations at home and in the workplace will help if red flags start to make an appearance.
• Recognize that trust requires a commitment to “High Road” behavior, and high road behavior includes not only the letter of the law but also the commitment to “doing what is right.”
• Reputation counts ….You are going to have some kind of a reputation; Why not work at making it a
Talk about trust today is not in short supply, but when it comes to being someone people trust, or being a trustworthy organization, the field narrows as actions become the real test. I think this might be what Alfred Adler had in mind when he offered…
“Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not words. Trust movement.”