Last week, we spoke about trustworthiness as the glue that holds relationships and teams together.
This week, let’s dispel some common myths about trust:
I. Trustworthiness is a soft skill only. Wrong. Trust is a combination of soft and hard skills.
II. Trustworthiness is developed slowly, over time. Wrong. It can be created and destroyed quickly. The key is to develop the habit of maintaining trustworthiness at all times, which takes discipline.
III. Trustworthiness is just about integrity. Wrong. Though integrity is critical for trust to develop between parties, it goes beyond integrity and speaks to one’s whole character.
IV. Once lost, trustworthiness is gone forever. Wrong. You can make amends, say you are sorry, and then rebuild trust.
V. In business, it is simply too risky to trust. Wrong. Trust and trustworthiness are two sides of the same coin. If you are trustworthy and must deal with a party you know to be untrustworthy, then trust will not exist, period. Simply transact business and verify results. Real progress, however, is made when both parties have a high level of trustworthiness.
VI. Trustworthiness is only relevant to individuals and teams. Wrong. Organizations have a reputation based upon the collective trustworthiness of each person in it. Their trustworthiness is displayed in how their customers, peers, and society treat them.
When it comes to developing trustworthiness, what behaviors can you work on to turn trustworthiness into a virtue? Here are some ideas:
I. Talk straight—avoid spins, lies, double talk, and flattery.
II. Demonstrate respect—take your eyes off yourself, and put them on your teammates. Show that you care.
III. Create transparency—avoid withholding information and keeping secrets unless absolutely necessary to protect intellectual property or to prevent someone getting hurt.
IV. Right wrongs quickly—we all screw up, so admit it, and repair things as fast as possible.
V. Show loyalty—don’t take all the credit or sell others out. Don’t gossip!
VI. Deliver results!
VII. Get better every day!
VIII. Clarify expectations—ensure that the explicit and implicit tasks of your mission and those that you delegate are crystal clear.
IX. Practice accountability—start with yourself, and then demand it of your team and organization. But the buck always stops with you.
X. Listen first—practice authentic listening.
XI. Keep communicating with brutal honesty—use the brief and debrief process to keep communicating at all levels so you can always be learning and helping others learn.
XII. Learn to trust others by delegating and giving more responsibility and then providing support when the inevitable failures occur.
Open up the dialogue about trustworthiness with your team, and be willing to expose yourself to vulnerability and direct, honest feedback. You may be surprised at what you learn, and the discussion alone will increase trust. Let’s commit to building trust by forging our own trustworthiness and leading by example. In doing so, your quality of loyalty will also rise with the tide.
Loyalty is built upon trust and helps to glue families, teams, and tribes together, sometimes to a fault. Loyalty requires respect, accountability, and love. Loyalty can be displayed by supporting a teammate who messes up or by placing your team’s well-being before your own, like Lieutenant Murphy did in Operation Redwing. Loyalty transforms relationships by forging a bond of brotherhood or sisterhood, even when there is no familial bond.
The relationship of those in a loyal bond is transformational versus transactional. Like trust, it is a two-way street, in that loyalty is earned through mutual action. Loyal teammates don’t tolerate negativity, backstabbing, or activities that harm the team. Loyalty requires that you examine and shore up your weaknesses so that you can carry your own load to support the team. Trust and loyalty, when accompanied by honor and integrity, lead to high-performing individuals and teams.
Train hard, stay trustworthy and earn your trident every day!
Hooyah! Coach Divine
P.S. Click here to join me for a live author’s chat to talk about my recent book, The Way of the SEAL, Wednesday, 3/12 at 4pm PST/7 pm EST. Get tips on how to lead and succeed in business and in life!