Trust is not easy. It’s also not permanent. You can build trust, you can break trust, you can grow trust, you can hurt trust, you can foster trust, and you can squash trust. Trust, when built, is a result.
At Intrigue Media, we believe that we are not in control of results, only our behaviours. When it comes to trust, we must focus on our behaviours. This begs the question:
If I am trying to build an organization that is full of trust, what type of behaviours need to be happening every day?
Simon Sinek wrote, ‘Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t’. In this book, he talks about Selfish Chemicals (endorphins and dopamine) and Selfless Chemicals (serotonin and oxytocin). Simon also writes about The BIG SELFISH Chemical (cortisol). Cortisol is a chemical that is activated by stress and is meant to keep us alive when we’re in danger. It keeps us on high alert. Here is a great video on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReRcHdeUG9Y
In business environments, situations that can induce cortisol can be found when people are bcc-ing co-workers and supervisors in an attempt to cover their butts and expose others in the organization. You might also see interdepartmental communication using words like “them”, to imply that they are not on the same team.
Organizations that place emphasis on individual sales performance might also see people holding prospects, leads, and clients close to their chest in order to protect their relationship and status in the company.
These situations are fear-based and induce cortisol.
Our job as leaders in an organization is to make people feel safe, drive goals around organizational success, and explain how each individual impacts the whole company.
If you want to build trust in your organization, here are a few things you can start doing today:
- Trust everyone around you. If you can’t trust them, let them go.
- Define organizational success and communicate and illustrate how each individual is connected to the goal.
- Praise teamwork.
- Develop a system to have the team praise each other. At Intrigue, we use Gary, the purple cow, and Awesome Citations. Want to learn more about it? Connect and ask me on Linkedin.
- Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.
- Admit when you’re wrong or when you make a mistake.
- Let people fail and give them credit for trying.
These types of behaviours need to be happening every day.
Building trust is harder than breaking it.
As leaders, we’re on stage every day — and the critics are watching. People are examining the cues, vocabulary, and actions that we are demonstrating.
Leadership is a privilege, not a right. We must take this role responsibly and do our best to create environments that allow people to grow, and lead to happier and healthier families.
The beauty of all this is that we can set the tone. If we want to be trusted, we must trust. We must live the values and actions that we want to see in our people.
Do this every day and you will build trust all around you.