In the work I do with entrepreneurial leaders and teams, the lack of trust often surfaces as a challenge. Founders often struggle with how to trust as their organizations grow and take on new hires.
The culture shifts; decisions can no longer be made by one or two people.
Companies in rapid-fire growth do not usually have a leaders’ focus on behaviors that promote and develop trust.
Marla Tabaka wrote in Inc. Magazine, citing author Nan S. Russell: “People don’t give their ideas, discretionary efforts, enthusiasm, or best work to people they don’t trust,” she says.
“Russell maintains that you can pay for someone to come to work and do what they need to do, but you cannot suction ideas, discretionary efforts, and innovative solutions from their minds. In her book, “Trust, Inc.: How to Create a Business Culture That Will Ignite Passion, Engagement, and Innovation,” Russell teaches the value of what she calls “trust currency.” Basically this means creating a culture of reciprocity and mutual support fueled by the exchange of trust. The values-based leadership style modeled by powerful influencers around the world begins with a strong foundation of trust.”
Here is a quiz borrowed from her book that will help you assess if you are demonstrating the behaviors to create a culture of trust.
Answer true or false:
- I influence more by my actions than my words.
- I am self-aware and recognize the impact of my beliefs and actions on others. I am tuned in to their needs, strengths and perspectives.
- I give trust before I expect trust because I realize that trust evolves incrementally over time.
- I use trust-elevating communication techniques. I own my message, actions, and mistakes and authentically show up in the process.
- I operate from a “best of self” core with characteristics like kindness, compassion, love, tolerance, and integrity.
- I genuinely want the best for others.
- I help others to relate by telling stories at work that are impactful and that positively influence the culture and those in it.
- I get things done the right way with ethics, integrity, and positive intention that builds relationships.
- I collaborate, cooperate, consider, and contribute. I value relationships and build lasting ones not only by what I do, but also by how I do it.
- I demonstrate competence. I do what I promise to do and do it well. I always assist others along the way.
If you checked eight or more on the list you are using behaviors that will help you with the creation of trust currency. Seven or less? I suggest you check out relevant resources, including Russell’s book.
I specialize in helping leaders develop the capacities and competencies that create cultures of trust and effective communication. Curious? Contact me.
Make 2016 a year in which trust forms your company’s cultural foundation.