You can’t move forward without establishing trust.
Organizational speed is paramount for leaders, and trust can either speed you up or get in your way of leading at your best and moving forward. To fully understand the importance of trust, let’s first define it.
Trusting is believing that a person will do their best and show up in a way that has the organization and team’s best interest at heart.
When someone has the team’s best interest or the business’s best interest at heart, it will drive the way they work, show up, and engage. Which is what we all want to cultivate as a leader.
Let’s face it. You treat people differently when you trust them, versus if you don’t trust them. Start believing that you hired people to do things well instead of believing they must earn your trust first. Say you trust them and behave in a way that says you trust them. When you trust and believe in someone, you’re better at coaching and developing them. Employees that know they are trusted and have been coached and invested in by their leaders are most engaged, productive, and connected to the future of the organization.
Trust changes two things. It changes your assumptions and the quality of your conversations. You can’t coach and develop a team of people that you don’t trust. When you trust in someone, you invest in them differently. You spend more time communicating with them and supporting them as they learn and grow, instead of assuming you’ll need to follow-up and fix their work later.
Learn to trust.
- Practice assuming positive intent. Prepare yourself for trusting them before your conversation with them.
- Coach early and build relationships. It’s hard to distrust someone you’ve gotten to know effectively. When you fully understand someone, you stop making negative assumptions about them.
Our job as leaders is to trust until it’s evident that someone does not have the team’s best interest at heart. Instead of thinking people must earn your trust, think that they can earn your distrust (if they choose to do so). Assume that they are trustworthy, and then adapt if they are not. People don’t have to earn our trust; we have to learn to trust.