What the trust?


Trust is often a misunderstood tool in our relationship kit. Is it a feeling? Is it a thought? Is it earned? Is it a gift?

The more someone says ‘trust me’ the more our senses get alerted. The fact they ‘state it’ and not ask for it is what alerts me something isn’t right. This is because ‘trust’ is defined by the giver - not the receiver, and we if don’t understand what we are giving - agreeing to - we become wary. We decelerate our momentum. With trust teams accelerate, without trust we slowly rust.

Three questions to start clarifying your definition of trust are;

  1. What’s my (our) shared definition of trust?

  2. Does the experience show you are worthy of my trust?

  3. How am I showing you I am worthy of your trust?

Trust is beneficial for leaders because it eliminates the need to perform ‘control’ tasks, to ‘actively over-validate’, to constantly clarify unspoken expectations. “If I could trust the team to get the job done according to the agreed expectations I wouldn’t have to spend time detailing out the plane”.

Trust is a time trade-off. The more trust you have with the team, the more time you have to lead strategically; invest, connect and act. The less trust you have with the team, the less time you have to lead because you are detailing, managing and quality controlling.

Trust is also beneficial within teams because it eliminates similar overheads between each other and because it becomes an energising platform. “i could focus on excelling on my part because I knew my team would do what they said they would”.

Trust is a boundary of safety. The more trust you have within the team, the more you are able to accelerate because that ‘boundary of safety’ enables you to minimise consequences.

Trust is beneficial for the audience of our efforts. Whether that’s your fans, another team or the customer of product. “I totally trust that giving this provider my money will result in an awesome experience (said no NBN customer).”

Trust is a symbol of competence. The more competency you show in your engagement, your product and your craft the more ‘value’ you are able to trade. The less competency you show the less reward - regardless of whether that currency is money, status, referral or satisfaction - you will receive in return.

So how do we build trust to build acceleration?

First, clarify your definition of trust;  - what’s your boundaries of safety? - what’s important to you about timeliness? - what’s the standard of competence you’d like? - what values are being crossed causing me stress?

Secondly, learn to understand if others are worthy of trust through their behaviour; - are they capable? - are they reliable? - are they timely?

Thirdly, put the time in to grow trust; - it’s an experience based feeling - communication is an experience more than it is spoken - others are also reviewing your trust worthiness!

Have a watch of the lovely Baroness Onora O’Neill sharing her insights on trust worthiness; https://www.ted.com/talks/onora_o_neill_what_we_don_t_understand_about_trust#t-637456 (just under 10minutes) "Groups build their own sense of safety through building trust in play"

Stuart Brown