Will it inspire trust?

Written by

Bianca Quarrell
Bianca’s passion is using the power of words to inspire action, change behaviour and unite tribes. That, along with empowering others to increase their own business writing skills so they can have more influence, is what gets her out of bed every day.
As human beings, we’re born with the inclination to trust. A baby will squeal with delight every time she gets thrown, untethered, high in the air. Why? Because she has no reason to doubt that she will be caught by sure and reliable hands. By hands she trusts.

As she grows, this baby will learn that, unfortunately, people will let her down. They will break their promises. They will hurt her; either deliberately or by mistake. These heartaches and disappointments will teach her that not everybody deserves her blind trust. That she needs to be selective. That her trust needs to be earned. 

This same woman enters the workplace. How do you as an employer gain her trust? 

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report tells us that trust cements the employer/employee partnership by inspiring behaviours such as advocacy, loyalty, engagement and commitment; all things any employer wants from its employees.  

But what actually inspires trust in the workplace? The same report shows us that the top five topics most effective in increasing employee trust are: societal impact; values; the future (vision for the future); purpose, and operations (decisions including those that might impact jobs). 

So, having a strong purpose and values that are truly lived and breathed throughout your organisation, sharing your vision for the future and being a good corporate citizen is an excellent start. Add to that being as open as it is possible for you to be about operational decisions (and why they were taken), and you’re definitely on the right path to inspiring trust.

But, what about the day-to-day interactions, communications and decisions? What about each of us as individuals trying to inspire trust in our team members and colleagues? At One Tribe, we have one question that works for us as we consider any communication approach or decision: “Will it inspire trust?”. If the answer is “no”, then we don’t do it. We try to find a way that will. 

The reality of life in business is that sometimes we’re left in the unenviable position of having to make an announcement, or have a conversation, that is hard for people to hear. The good news is, that if trust is there from the outset, the reaction is likely to be less negative, especially if it’s delivered in a way that inspires trust, or at the very least does not erode it. 

To quote Seth Godin:

“We trust people because they showed up when it wasn’t convenient, because they told the truth when it was easier to lie and because they kept a promise when they could have gotten away with breaking it. Every tough time and every pressured project is another opportunity to earn the trust of someone you care about.” 

The next decision you have to make, ask yourself the question: “Will it inspire trust?”. We encourage you to give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everyone’s trust to gain.

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