Why Do Companies Struggle When Trust Breaks Down?
Faith becomes blind – When leaders begin to lead in ways that are incongruent with the company’s public core values, the associates in the company can clearly see the gap between what is said and what is done. At that moment, trust and confidence in the legitimacy of the leaders begins to erode quickly. Anyone who has ever seen the cartoon “Dilbert” can see that while such behavior makes for a great comic book, it is no laughing matter for companies. Your people are not stupid, if you say one thing and then do another, your team will understand that you are a coward and a charlatan. Don’t let it happen, stick to your values, ALWAYS!
Time IS on my side – If you’re going to do it right, building trust is going to take some time. Don’t expect that a few days of leading in congruence with your values is going to turn the ship around. Building trust is a bit like turning around an aircraft carrier, it doesn’t happen in an instant. The good news is that you CAN turn around the aircraft carrier, and there is no better time to begin than RIGHT NOW! Don’t wait for permission, don’t wait for someone else to go first, just go ahead and step out there and show people you have the courage to lead. Go first! While building trust will take time, within days you’ll feel better, and your team will begin to notice the change. Before you know it you will have built a nice balance in your trust bank account!
Teams building the dream – Are your people a team? Are they building toward a dream? You’ll know if you are a team if the team members trust one another and are able to let their guard down around one another. The best teams are characterized by openness, humility, and a willingness to brainstorm with one another to amplify the power of the team. All members of the team feel SAFE psychologically, and they trust that their fellow team members believe the best in them, and they, in turn, believe the best in all of their teammates. When teams trust in one another, they are comfortable admitting mistakes and being vulnerable with one another. Laughter and joy are present in abundance when teams trust in each other, and the work of the team is often 5X or 10X the work of other teams, or of the individuals on the team working alone. That’s called multiplication, baby!
If your 1st quarter of 2016 hasn’t been going the way you’d expected it to, perhaps it’s time you checked the mirror and asked yourself if your team really trusts in you? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you’ve done what you can to aid your teams in building trust with one another? Don’t wait, take the first positive step forward today.
Michael Beach is an award winning executive development and business coach who works with medium-sized companies to help their leadership teams to create a great culture and to execute flawlessly by building great teams.