Do Your Employees Trust You?
They might like you, they may even love you, but can they be sure that you’ll get the job done when the chips are down?
Why are some companies successful in implementing change while others struggle? Why can some leaders inspire people to work together effectively, while others cannot?
These questions puzzled a friend of ours, Cynthia Olmstead, who worked for many years as a business consultant. Even though her methodology and practices didn’t change, outcomes from one organization to another varied widely. What was the key factor that allowed one leader to succeed where others failed?
One day on one of her many flights from the West Coast to the East Coast, our friend had a revelation: This key factor was trust. When initiatives failed and relationships were strained, it was usually because people weren’t confident in the leader’s ability or intentions. If an initiative was taking place in a high-trust environment, it had a good chance of success. If an initiative was being implemented in a low-trust culture, its chances of success were remote.
Four aspects of trust
Satisfied that trust was the key to effective leadership, Cynthia soon found that the concept was hard to define. What was trust? How could she describe it? Did trust mean the same thing to her as it did to others? And if people didn’t have a common definition of trust, how could they ever talk about it—let alone create trust where it didn’t exist?
After countless discussions with clients, colleagues, and friends—and the creation of endless flip charts—Cynthia identified four key attributes of trust and wrote about them in a new book, Trust Works! Four Keys to Building Lasting Relationships, co-authored by Ken Blanchard and Martha Lawrence. The four attributes are:
Believable—Act with Integrity
Connected—Care about Others