What Happens When There’s a Lack of Trust?

by Oct 7, 2021Communication, Earning Trust & Respect, Leadership Training0 comments

Think about it: would you want to walk into a meeting blindfolded? Probably not. Yet working in a culture where there’s little or no trust can be like walking into a meeting with a blindfold on- every time. If you’ve ever been in that situation, you know what it’s like.

Here’s a startling statistic: Edelman’s Trust Barometer tells us that 63% of employees don’t trust their leader. So what happens when there’s a lack of trust- when it’s been missing, broken or a relationship hasn’t been formed, and how can we regain it?

Check the foundation first:

Early on, one of my favorite bosses gave me a critical piece of advice: this is a handshake kind of business.

It’s true, isn’t it? No matter what business we’re in-or where in the world- we want to shake someone’s hand and look them in the eye. That’s how we begin to build and earn trust. You could say that creating trust is like developing a building- without a secure foundation firmly in place, the rest won’t matter much.  Even though actual handshakes may be sidelined in today’s world, we all want that same feeling as we work to build relationships with others.

If trust is #1, what gets in our way? 

In his book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, leadership guru Patrick Lencioni reminds us that “No quality or characteristic is more important than trust.” What gets in our way? In conversations with clients and employees, I often see 3 common stumbling blocks:

    • Fear of change (any changes, or many): Even in the best of times, many of us are afraid of or hesitant to accept change and sometimes, we just don’t like it.

    • Low confidence, high worry: More than ever before, people are worried and reassurance counts. Your reassurance. Our teams and clients want to know that you are leading the charge.

    • Low authenticity & transparency: Have you ever been in an environment where you felt you were tip-toeing and couldn’t relay your honest opinions? Lencioni says that the biggest issues come when teams aren’t open and vulnerable with each other. The result? It’s difficult to build that foundation of trust if you can’t be honest with your team.

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