Within an organization, trust is usually built by leaders who create an environment that encourages people to act with integrity, ability, and compassion.
It’s not just a matter of personality, it’s a matter of having the right practical skills — knowing what to do in complex situations to make people feel respected and safe.
Here are some practices that leaders have used in companies and organizations to build trust:
Assume excellence: The more you monitor employee behavior, the more distrustful and distrustful they become. Leaders who trust their employees may tell them what to do, but they let them manage their own schedules and fulfill their responsibilities in their own way. In the 1980s, Hewlett-Packard was so confident that engineers would take things home, allowing them to take their equipment home without much formal paperwork.
Become more human: Many of us over the age of 45 were raised to separate our personal and professional lives. This distinction is less recognized by the younger generation who want to work and be open about emotions, mental health issues, and other personal issues. A few years ago, an intern on the team I led said they didn’t feel I really knew them, so they wanted to spend the afternoon sharing their childhood photos. I thought it was ridiculous at first, but I did it, so it was the correct answer. We have established a new level of vulnerability and emotional relationships. Janice Nadler of Northwestern finds that negotiators who chat about non-work for only five minutes before negotiations are more collaborative, share more information, and build more trust in each other in subsequent communications. Did.
No backchannel blame: Many schools, businesses, and organizations are in the snake hole of distrust as part of the community allows them to blame others online without having to sit in a room with the accused and talk to them. It has become. When this behavior becomes acceptable, the toughest people in the organization will take over and everyone else will succumb.
Discourage factions: Teams split into different subcultures should be distrustful teams. Mix people so they don’t split into factions.
Don’t overestimate transparency: There is widespread recognition that people will trust you if you make your organization more visible to outsiders. This is almost wrong. When the federal government passed the Sunshine Act in 1976 to increase transparency, confidence in the government plummeted. After that, it continued to decline. According to a 2011 study, when the general public was given more information about how the public health system allocates its resources, compared to those who were not given any information about the decision-making process. , Their general confidence in the health care system weakens.
Largest viable vulnerability: Paradoxically, failure is an opportunity to build trust, as long as you admit it and it is clear what you have learned and what you are trying to change. When leaders pretend to be self-proclaimed, they can undermine credibility in a prosperous era. This kind of behavior seems to be selfish — thus destroying trust.
In his book, The Power of Giving Away Power, Matthew Barzun contrasts the hierarchical structure of the pyramids with the constellation structure in which the forces are dispersed.
Acknowledge social ignorance: Approximately 95% of MBA students in Roderick Kramer’s bargaining class say their ability to increase the honesty, credibility, and credibility of others is above average. In fact, as a study by William Ickes at the University of Texas at Arlington shows, we are not always good at understanding what is happening in the minds of others. People who feel they have made a mistake or heard will not trust you. The only solution is to always ask people what they are thinking and what dilemmas they are facing. Often we send social signals that are too subtle to receive. Please be explicit.
Give power: In times of high distrust, the hierarchy of power is usually suspected. Leaders gain credibility by spreading authority across ranks. In his book, The Power of Giving Away Power, Matthew Barzun contrasts the hierarchical structure of the pyramids with the constellation structure in which the forces are dispersed. He writes that the pyramid structure promotes a competitive win-loss mindset, and the constellation structure promotes cooperation.
Answer distrust with trust: Distrustful people will resist your friendship because they think you will eventually betray them. If you continue to appear for them after they reject you, it will eventually change their lives.
It is difficult to build trust in diverse societies. Over the last decade, we have found that our social skills are inadequate for the complex societies in which we live. Therefore, declining interpersonal confidence has emerged as one of the greatest threats to America’s future. Rebuilding trust is not in good faith. It’s about concrete actions.
A hands-on guide to building trust: become more human and empowered
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