Friday, March 4, 2016

Three Perspectives to Bridge the “Trust Gaps”

The true trust is multidimensional. It encompasses trusting self, trusting others, and earning the trust of others.

Digital workforce in organizations today are multigenerational, multicultural, multidevicing; on one hand, the business becomes hyperconnected and always on; on the other hand, every person is different, every generation is different, and every region in the multinational company is also different, from talent management perspective, besides “skills gap” the organization need to close; minding the trust gap is perhaps another challenging facing in businesses and our society.

Respect: Trust starts with respecting. Mutual trust is that linchpin without which leadership is hollow and ineffective. The more we understand its vitality and the anatomy, the better will be our ability to lead in different situations. There are so many things employees will not tell their managers what's in their mind, and unfortunately, there are not so many things that are positives. It is an indication of a lack of trust. People may have different value systems for trust, leading in such an environment requires acting in ways that follow the golden rule to treat others as you want to be treated, provide clear reasons to respect different PoVs and decide to trust. No blind trust or trust too little. Leader need show staff that you respect them, first, understand what they care, trust them in a safe environment. Help them not to fail, and if they do, show yourself to be trustworthy by supporting them. That will motivate them more than just throwing out some platitudes about trust as the opposite of micro-managing. Why does building trust matter? Because otherwise you will not have an engaged or productive staff.

Empathy: Trust is not straightforward, but multifaceted. The more deeply the leaders/managers understand their employees, what're their value, priority, the way to think and do things, the lens to see the world & work and what they see; the more effective leadership would be. Empathy is about thinking as if you were in the other party's position. Empathy is a great leadership quality that's often overlooked. Showing empathy helps a great leader infuse their employees with the company's mission and even better, their own life purpose or career goals. Trust via empathy also means to embrace divergent thought, respect the difference, and then converge them into fresh ideas to harness innovation. The great leadership is not based on fear or command control, but through empathy and inspiration. One thing that is true, fear and anger operate on the lowest level and can do little more than create order in the short term. When leaders realize that if you want to achieve greatness in your realm, you will have to touch the upper levels, thus eliminating fear and anger as options. Once you realize that you have to find other options, you begin to investigate the real motivators like empathy and trust.

Authentic communication: Communication is the very way to build trust, and lack of trust is an often overlooked barrier to communication as well. Hence, communication effectiveness is often dependent on “how much trust” between different parties. The reality of messages is that they have to be "real." Most of the organizations today are process and control driven. Emphasis is on compliance with the result people forget to think freely. Words and techniques won't matter if the relationship between the giver and sender has been damaged. Leaders, or those who are sending the message, must have integrity, openness, and insight. And authentic communication is a two-way street. Transparency is a fundamental attribute that a leader should have. Telling your team exactly what you think of them, will not only garner the trust but also strengthen your leadership as people begin to trust you as a person and thus will respect you more as a leader.

The key to trust is to establish trustworthiness as a character trait. Trust is vital for the betterment of the human existence and providing a competitive advantage for businesses. The true trust is multidimensional. It encompasses trusting self, trusting others, and earning the trust of others. All of these three dimensions are vital to building/nurture/repair mutual trust. Building trust is ongoing and never ending endeavor. Building/nurturing mutual trust is not an overnight phenomenon, but starting with a trustful mind with a constant commitment to consistent actions.


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