team trust in an organization matters

Is your organization suffering from truth decay? Honesty, integrity, and trust are critical in chaotic times. We need everyone actively engaged in looking for innovative new ways to deal with unprecedented disruptions.

In their study, Innovation by All, Great Place to Work concluded organizations with high-trust cultures involve and engage many more employees than most organizations in the innovation process. These companies are much more agile and become masters rather than victims of change.

“Innovation by All (IA) maximizes a company’s human potential by tapping into the intelligence, skills, and passion of everyone in the organization.” IA cultures, “generate more high-quality ideas, realize greater speed in implementation, and achieve greater agility — resulting in 5.5 times the revenue growth of peers with a less inclusive approach to innovation.”

In their Harvard Business Review article, “Begin with Trust,” Harvard Business School professor, Frances Frei, and The Leadership Consortium founder, Anne Morriss outline The Trust Triangle emerging from their research:

“trust has three drivers: authenticity, logic, and empathy. When trust is lost, it can almost always be traced back to a breakdown in one of them. To build trust as a leader, you first need to figure out which driver you ‘wobble’ on:

AuthenticityI experience the real you

LogicI know you can do it; your reasoning and judgement are sound

EmpathyI believe you care about me and my success”

Many managers have a big credibility gap. Credibility is based on perceptions of trust, reliability, and integrity. The low employee engagement levels found in so many organizations are often because many people just don’t believe or trust their leaders.

In one of my Globe & Mail columns, Bridging the Credibility Gap, I outlined how managers widen that gap and how to bridge it:

How Managers Widen the Credibility Gap

  • Looking outside, instead of within — for ideas, expertise, and advice
  • Not serving the servers
  • “Blame storming”
  • Confusing information and communication
  • Open doors and closed minds
  • Avoiding feedback about themselves

How to Bridge the Credibility Gap

  • Listen up
  • Reach across the great divide
  • Get their input
  • Run two-way meetings
  • Stop trying to “motivate”
  • Be approachable
  • Be radical

Are you widening or bridging your creditability gap? How do you know? Click here to read the column and description of each point. Assess yourself — better yet get unfiltered feedback to see how you’re doing. Then take steps to close your gap.

In “Begin with Trust,” Frei and Morriss write, “Trust is also one of the most essential forms of capital a leader has…. Your job as a leader is to help your people fully realize their own capacity and power. The more trust you build, the more possible it is to practice this kind of leadership.”

Further Resources