Why Trust Matters – Trust, Truth and Your Team

At The Trusted Executive, our mission is to create a new standard of leadership that is defined by trustworthiness. We feel that we are currently going through a pivotal shift in the way teams are led. The shift we see is from leaders who are trusted in power to leaders who rely on the power of trust. This means that today’s workforce is expecting different behaviours from their leaders that were prevalent ten years ago. Leaders are now, more than ever, needed to be trusted by their colleagues to be the most successful.

Definition & Context

Trustworthiness is defined as the ability to be relied on as honest and truthful. How this translates to a work environment differs from business to business and individual to individual but always has strong correlations to positivity, high morale and performance. We’ve broken trust down into manageable chunks to make it easier to identify and respond to. You can find out more about our ‘Three Pillars of Trust’ and ‘Nine Habits of Trust’ in our book, The Trusted Executive.

How It Works

Research has shown that the most important factor in building trust in an organisation is the behaviour of the CEO and the senior leadership team. That’s why our work focuses on those board level leaders, no matter the sector. If we can help them develop and grow, it will influence the culture of the rest of the team. The tone is set at the top. Our Nine Habits of Trust make it easier for leaders to identify the areas in which they are performing well, and which areas need more attention to help build the relationship with their colleagues. If trust is instilled at every level of a business, staff feel safe and appreciated, meaning they are more likely to produce better results for a longer period of time.

What You Can Do

We know that trust can enhance productivity, staff retention and teamwork and you can affect the level of trust by making some small behavioural changes. Whether you’re a leader or employee, these tips can go a long way to improve trust.

Tell the truth – This may seem obvious but being found out for lying, even if it’s small like saying the email didn’t send when you just forgot to send it, can shatter your credibility and brand you as untrustworthy.

Admit it – You may feel embarrassed to admit when you don’t know something or when you’re wrong, but this can go a long way in helping each other learn and grow. Being wrong or not knowing something provides the perfect opportunity for a team to learn together by helping one another. Remember, you may not be the only person in the room who doesn’t know or is wrong about something! If this is being hidden, is raises the question, what else is being hidden?

Be vulnerable – Being able to share your true feelings and emotions with colleagues shows you have nothing to hide. It can be difficult to do but you may find this encourages others to be more open and help discover mutual feelings and similar experiences which builds relationships.