Business during the holidays froze for a month, while outside it was a mid-summer heatwave.  I took the time to read Stephen MR Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust.  It inspired me to share. A summary of what he says is this…

Credibility build trust in 4 areas – integrity and intent (character), capability and results (competence).   All are needed to establish trust on a working level. For example, you can trust your friend but wouldn’t to go to them to get your teeth fixed unless they were a qualified dentist. 

Building trust starts with yourself – being trustworthy through behaviours: talk straight, demonstrate respect, clarify expectations, show loyalty, and confront reality. 

Through reciprocation of these behaviours, trust can be created between people. 

At a third level, we have organizational trust, which centres around the ‘principle of alignment’.  The organization needs to show that its systems and processes are congruent with is trustworthy behaviours. For example, the way new employees are onboarded, rewarded, promoted, how customers are dealt with, how communications are handled.  These need to congruent with behaviours in the organization – as led by its leaders – to earn the reciprocation that creates trust as an outcome.

Covey is clear about the impact of trust:

“Just as the tax created by low trust is real, measurable, and extremely high, so the dividends of high trust are also real, quantifiable, and incredibly high.”

These tables say it all…

What does it look like in an organization when there is no trust?
Organization level
Micromanagement
Sabotage, grievances, lawsuits
Punishing systems and hierarchy
Unhappy employees and stakeholders
Time wasted defending positions and decisions
Bureaucracy, redundancy and misalignment in systems and structures
Hidden agendas
Slow approvals / lack of overall agility

 

Interpersonal level
Hostile behaviours and confrontations
Labelling of others as enemies or allies
Communications coloured by fear, uncertainty, doubt and worry
Real issues not surfaced or dealt with effectively
Energy draining, joyless interactions
Evidence-gathering of other party’s weaknesses and mistakes
Guarded / grudging dispensing of information
Regular misunderstandings
 
What does it look like in an organization when there is trust?
Organization level
Aligned systems and structures
Good communication
A focus on work and results
Positive partnership relationships
Helpful systems and structures
Strong creativity and innovation
Engagement, confidence, loyalty
Healthy workplace

 

Interpersonal level
Positive energy
Inspiring work characterised by purpose, creativity and excitement
Open, transparent relationships
Cooperative, close, vibrant relationships
Cordial, healthy communications
Focus on smooth and efficient collaboration
Mutual tolerance and acceptance
Mistakes seen as learning opportunities

 

Here at Mirror Mirror, we see that cognitive and behavioural alignment – which requires openness, respect and inclusivity – is the foundation of trust.