Utilize established techniques to build trust among your workforce

Utilize established techniques to build trust among your workforce

1. Practice on Will Schutz's Human Element

1.1 Self-assess each of the levers scales of 1 to 4 (1: poor command, 4: excellent command)

a. "leader's levers of action":

▪ What am I already doing that goes toward this lever?

▪ What could I do to develop this lever?

b. "Individual levers":

▪ What do I perceive from my employees that goes toward this lever? What am I doing that enables this?

▪ What do I perceive from my collaborators that do not go in the direction of this lever? What can I do to invite them to develop these attitudes and behaviours more

c. "relational levers”

▪ What do I perceive about the relationship that goes in the direction of this lever? What am I doing that enables this?

▪ What do I perceive about the relationship that is not moving in the direction of this lever? What can I do for a relationship that goes more in that direction?

1.2 During a meeting with your team or in an individual interview, make these self-diagnoses with your employees and take the opportunity to share your perceptions and co-construct an action plan

1.3 Action Plan

a) As a leader, how can you implement a climate that builds trust Complete the following sentences with 2,3 or 4 concrete actions:

  • I promote participation whenever...
  • I develop empowerment whenever...
  • I encourage transparency, and openness whenever...
  • I promote recognition whenever...
  • I reward individuals whenever...
  • I encourage humanism whenever...

b) As a leader, how can you act on the individual levers of trust / to build the trust of your people? Complete the following sentences with 2,3 or 4 concrete actions:

  • People in my team feel involved every time...
  • People in my team feel responsible every time...
  • People in my team feel self-aware every time
  • People on my team feel important every time...
  • People on my team feel competent every time...
  • People on my team feel sympathetic every time...

c) As a leader, how can you act on the relational levers of trust / to improve relationships within the organisation?

Complete the following sentences with 2,3 or 4 concrete actions:

  • As a leader, I create dynamic relationships with others every time I...
  • As a leader, I create mature relationships with others every time I...
  • As a leader, I create honest relationships with others every time I...
  • As a leader, I create rewarding relationships with others every time I...
  • As a leader, I create cooperative relationships with others every time I...
  • As a leader, I create friendly relationships with others every time I...

2. Practice Stephen Covey's 13 behaviours

Instruction:

Take the 13 trust behaviours above and rank them on a scale from 1 (least mastered behaviour) to 13 (best-mastered behaviour).

Then spend 1 week improving each behaviour starting with the behaviour rated 1 and ending with the one rated 13. You can share the exercise with one or more people around you for accelerated results, by "watching" each other!

Below is a more in-depth look at each of the 13 behaviours, with the identification of their 2 extremes (called "opposite/contrary" and "counterfeit"), extremes that do not contribute to building trust either.

Character-based behaviours :

1- Speak frankly: Communicate clearly so that you are not misunderstood. Preface your discussions by stating your intent, so there is no doubt about what you mean. Counterfeit behaviours include withholding information, flattery and spin. Be honest and call things as they are. Don't manipulate people to distort facts or leave false impressions.

2- Show respect: based on the principles of respect, fairness, kindness, love and civility. The opposite is usually experienced as disrespect, which is a huge problem, both at work and at home. The counterfeit is to feign respect or concern, or, most insidious of all, to show respect and concern only for those who can do something for you.

3- Create transparency: Be real and authentic and tell the truth in a way that people can verify. The opposite is obfuscation, and fakery is the illusion of pretending things are different from what they are. You can build trust quickly by being open and authentic, prioritising disclosure and having no hidden agenda.

4- Make amends: Make amends instead of excuses. The opposite is to deny or justify wrongs because of ego and pride, and counterfeiting is to cover up mistakes. Apologise promptly, take steps to make amends when possible, and show personal humility in doing so.

5- Be loyal: Give credit to others and speak of people as if they were present. The opposite is taking credit or not representing people fairly. The counterfeit is to appear to share credit, but then minimise the contribution of others when they are not present. To show trustworthy character, give credit freely, do not disparage people behind their backs, and do not divulge others' private information

Competency-based behaviours:

6- Providing results: a way to convert cynics and build trust in a new relationship. Because it is often difficult to measure results, take the time to define results from the start. By taking stock, making the right things happen, staying on time and budget, and not making excuses for not delivering, you quickly restore lost trust on the skills side.

7- Improve: continually improve by learning, growing and renewing yourself. Others will develop confidence in your ability to succeed in a rapidly changing environment. The opposite is entropy and deterioration, while the counterfeit is the eternal student - always learning, but never producing. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, but learn from them. Develop formal and informal feedback systems and respond.

8- Face reality: Take difficult problems to head-on. This affects speed and cost by facilitating open interaction and rapid completion and also allowing you to engage the creativity, capabilities and synergy of others to solve problems. When leaders engage in the opposite behaviour by ignoring problems, they pay a huge tax when people feel they are being dishonest. It is far better to address real issues and courageously lead discussions on uncomfortable topics.

9- Clarify expectations: Create a shared vision and agreement from the start. The opposite is to leave expectations undefined and the counterfeit is to be vague about the details. Consider that most circumstances encompass three variables - quality, speed and cost - but you can only have two. Always discuss and disclose expectations, and never assume they are clear or shared. Renegotiate if necessary, but don't violate expectations once they have been validated.

10- Exercise Accountability: Hold yourself and others accountable. Leaders who generate trust do both. The opposite is not taking responsibility, and the counterfeit is pointing fingers. Other people respond to accountability - especially performers. They want to be held accountable. Don't avoid or dodge responsibility, and be clear about how you will communicate progress.

Character AND skill-based behaviours:

11- Listen First: Genuinely understand another person's thoughts and feelings before trying to diagnose or advise. The opposite and counterfeit are to speak first and listen last, or not at all, and to pretend to listen while waiting for your own chance to speak. Use your eyes and instincts to listen as well as your ears, and don't assume you know what matters to others.

12- Keep your commitments: This is the fastest way to build trust in any relationship. The opposite is breaking commitments and the counterfeit is making vague and unreliable commitments, or never making them in the first place. Some cultures view commitments differently, and understanding the difference is essential. People tend to view family commitments as more flexible than work commitments, but they are just as important. Make keeping all your commitments a symbol of your honour.

13- Extend Trust: Move trust from a noun to a verb. While the other behaviours help you become a more trustworthy person or manager, this 13th behaviour helps you become a more confident leader. Extending trust creates reciprocity. The opposite is withholding trust. Counterfeiting extends false trust by giving people responsibility but no authority or resources to accomplish a task. There is also a false trust that looks like trust until you follow people and micro-manage. Depending on the situation, extend it conditionally to those who earn your trust, but extend it abundantly to those who have earned it.