Trust in a relationship is not something that just automatically exists. You may have a sense that an individual is potentially worthy of being trusted but like respect it is earned through demonstrated behaviors. Trust is something that can take hours, days, weeks or even years to build but can be lost in an instant if just the right behavior is done or not done. Trust is as fragile as a piece of thin glass bowing and flexing as you carry it across a rocky terrain. It can also be as strong as a steel bridge connecting two individuals or organizations to one another.
As business leaders, each day your actions either back up your trust or place it at risk. I don’t suspect that you wake up in the morning and while drinking your morning beverage you even contemplate where your trust levels are with your team. If you do, congratulations, your time is well invested in your future success. If no then consider doing a quick evaluation of what has or is taking place in your relationships and see if you can determine the level of trust each one has and contributes to the future.
The first step in creating trust in a relationship is to identify what the parties to the relationship expect. It is going to be different for each relationship and what is the basis of the relationship. For example, when you hire an employee a certain level of trust exists that they will honor and show up for work on time and do their daily work duties. You trust they will do these. In turn they trust your part of the engagement and they will be compensated fairly for the work they contribute. This trust demonstrates one level between employee and leader. If that same person is managing the financials of your business, the trust that they will not steal or hide money from the business is a greater level of trust. You don’t expect either person to take from the business, but one has a higher element of trust do to the aspects of their role.
As mentioned, trust is earned based on behaviors and delivered actions. Taking our finance person, you may originally trust them with certain aspects of handling specific financial transactions. Over time as they demonstrate their trustworthiness, you expand their role duties, and the trust relationship expands. As you expand their duties and the level of trust on their actions, they in turn expand trust back to you and the business by not just doing their role but making sure everything is in its best order. Trust is not only created it expands which both parties in the relationship benefit from together.
This week take some time to look at the various relationships you have in life and business. What level of trust exists? What level should exist? Is the trust level growing or shrinking? What actions on each party’s part are contributing to the growth or decline? You cannot take trust for granted. It is a critical part of what each human being needs to feel complete and whole. Do your part to contribute to each trust relationship.
At JKL Associates not only do we believe that trust is key for all of our relationships, but each day we make a conscious effort to contribute to each relationship to expand the trust level. Desire a culture where trust is a live and actively present? Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.