Is trust given or earned?

When ever I ask that question, the most common answer I hear is, “it is earned.”  But when I ask that leader, when you first held your new born baby did you think, “earn my trust” or did you just “give the trust” and hold yourself accountable to teach trust.

Every time the answer is, “I gave my trust.”  By nature we give trust easier to kids and babies then we do to adults.  My position is give trust but validate.

So as a leader it is your responsibility to build and uphold a trustworthy team. If you don’t have a trustworthy team, you need to look at what you are doing that is allowing the team to operate on a lower standard.

Here are some things you can do to help your team be high in the trust and accountability department:

  1. What you tell one is what you tell all.  If the team hears mixed messages they begin to doubt both the message and the messenger.  This starts to create a divide in your team as to how they view each person on the team AND that person’s position with you.
  2. Help people let go of the past.  If you have negative emotions or situations in the group you need to address them immediately and help others to overcome those.  Andy Andrews says, “Forgiveness is a decision not an emotion. One you decide to forge, your emotions will follow your decisions.”
  3. Once emotions/situations have been cleansed as a team, do not let ONE incident or comment about them pass.  If you do you have just allowed all the good work to go down the drain and the wound is now reopened.
  4. Find out from the team if there are other things you are doing that erodes trust.  Many of these I find are happening for logical reasons with no malicious intent.  For example, one executive we worked with constantly went to Paul in his company whenever a new project came up.  Well, resentment built that Paul always got to work on the plum projects.  What the leader failed to tell the group was the Paul’s forte was in seeing and creating a clear flow of project alignment so that more could get done by the team with less time being taken by everyone.  He had actually increased the productivity of the team by over 20% with his methods but that never got shared with the team.

So as a leader, I encourage you to give trust and then help people live up to that trust by executing at a high level.

Learn more about the Outcome Focus® Leadership Development Training by calling 952-921-9421.