Friday, April 1, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s Trustworthiness

Trust is the only way to deal with uncertain situations; trust can be cultivated by giving the right advice, the right guidance, and the right direction.

The business world and our society have become over-complex due to the abundance of information, hyperconnectivity, fierce competition, urbanization, and globalization. Hence, trust is one of the key ingredients of future corporate leadership and overall business relationship building. It takes breadth and depth of collective cognizance & effort to build up a working environment with the culture of trust. So how to assess a leader or a digital professional’s trustworthiness?

Can you always do your best to keep your word, transparent, and candid, exploring and decisive? People become inspired when they have someone in authority in whom they have absolute trust, or they are surrounded with people they can trust. That means an individual who has a strong moral compass, exhibiting integrity, empathy, thoughtfulness, respect, tolerance, determination, enthusiasm, confidence, understanding, optimism, patience, and a sense of humor is a bonus. Those traits are found in the person in whom the workforce can have the culture of trust and collaboration. Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship/team. Without trust, you will never create a positive workplace environment. With trust, leaders must then have integrity that is consistency in what you think, what you say and what you act. – Walking the Talk.

Do you respect others, also being respected by others? Slow to speak and quick to listen, integrity, credibility and remembering you don't have to know everything! Be authentic and consistent so you don't need to remember what you have said. And treat others like you want to be treated. The key is respect. If you respect others and inspire their respect in you - good communication, appreciation trust, etc., comes easier. People may have different value systems for trust, leading or working in such a  multigenerational, multicultural business environment requires embracing inclusiveness, acting in ways that provide clear reasons to decide to trust.  

How to build the optimal level of trust? No blind trust or trust too little. Trust, but verify. There is no returning to the days when organizations expected and received—unconditional loyalty. Communicate, delegate, trust and hold accountable. TRUST is bi-directional. Trust isn't one way. 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. The employee needs to trust management too. How much will you tolerate mistakes as part of learning? Does your staff feel safe to try something innovative? When employees are allowed to develop and do the job for which they were hired, without micromanagement, they become more self-motivated and rely less on external motivational factors, they also grow into more trustful human beings.

To cope with an uncertain future, leaders need to enable trust. Trust is the only way to deal with uncertain situations; trust can be cultivated by giving the right advice, the right guidance, and the right direction.  “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.George MacDonald


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