Every single thing we do each and every day is an opportunity to build trust with another person. It could be a co-worker, your spouse, a friend, a parent, or a child. This occurs because with every single interaction we have all day long, we either increase trust or we decrease trust. And with every new person we meet, they size us up in seconds and subconsciously ask themselves, “do I respect them and can I trust them?”
We often say “trust is earned”, but in reality trust is not earned, trust is given. We can't demand trust, we can’t ask for it, and we can’t expect, but rather we must create a deep, personal, even emotional connection in any relationship before it is given.
There have been many instances in all of our lives in which trust was “chipped away” at or even ruined, to the point of us saying or thinking, “I’ll never trust them ever again.” The most common and earliest form of earning trust is often in a friendship, but for many of us, those first glimpses or experiences of trust building and trust destruction often occur in our first or second boyfriend of girlfriend relationships, and someone often leaves the relationship after having been cheated on or betrayed in some form or another. And for many, those experiences leave many people in a distrusting spirit for much of their life, or at least until they experience an extreme level of true, vulnerable, transparent trust in another relationship. Sometimes, those experiences even create a person in which they become distrusting themselves given their actions, decisions, and emotional connections.
In the business world, the leadership world, but also on personal levels, there are many ways to build trust, but to first began to build trust we have to create a closer connection to that person or persons. We must create a high level of very vulnerable trust by sacrificing our ego, and tell your people your biggest mistakes, your screw-ups, your deepest secrets, and your skeletons. We have to make ourselves human and be vulnerable. This creates a safe environment for them to do the same. In my consulting roles, I talk about this with other leaders, and often get the “That’s none of their business.”, And I understand that, but id all depends on what level of trust you want to build and how “real” you want to be to your people and what level of fake and shallowness you want to dissolve. If you want your people to walk through fire for you or with you, you have to tell them EVERYTHING, every single deep dark secret you have ever committed.
Also in the business world and leadership world, we must trust those that are on our team from day 1. Remember, trust is given not earned, and you hired them, so if you don’t trust them from day 1, why did you hire them? We must trust them to the point in which we “have their back” because to have your people performing at peak performance, we must trust that they will execute. They also want to know that even if they make a mistake, that we will have their back, and support them through the learning process of a mistake. This is crucial in a leader earning your team member’s trust, and is a common mistake a leader routinely makes, because of our ego’s we think, “they should trust me given what I do.”, but remember, you hired them, so you should trust them, but just because you hired them, doesn’t mean they trust you!
For everything I am involved in, I work and push people very hard to root out all manipulators and liars, because a distrusting environment in any business, any relationship whatsoever, creates a cancer. And I have learned that often times a manipulator or liar, may also have a direct leader that is a manipulator or a liar. We can often work to rid an organization of the manipulators and liars, but we must first look inward at ourselves and other leaders in the organization, as we or they may be creating more manipulators and liars. It’s a vicious circle of lies, or it can be an awesomely, humbly vulnerable circle of trust. It’s up to us, each of us, to build that ever so powerful circle of intentional and impactful trust. We must be very sincere, we must be warm, we must be compassionate, show good will, all being high levels of benevolence, and be a person of integrity, fairness, impact, and have the ability to trust those we bring into our fold in order for them to give us their difficult to get trust. Happy Leadership Thursday!