What breaks trust?

What breaks trust?
March 4, 2020 Linda Murray

Last week we talked about Brené Brown’s seven elements of trust and her B.R.A.V.I.N.G. model. Today we are going to unpack the areas that most impact trust and how you can prevent these from happening in your workplace.

Given the seven elements we explored last week, it’s a good assumption that breaking any one of those elements must have an impact on the level of trust between people.

Today there are two key points I want to explore.

The 7 elements of trust are also 7 qualities of true leadership

In all the reading and research which I’ve done, and in all my experience, every inspiring and respected leader demonstrates those seven elements daily. Building trust is the first task for anyone taking up a leadership role.

As Seth Godin said, “Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.”

Here’s the second key point.

It’s all about the relationship.

When we talk about trust, we’re talking about making ourselves vulnerable, revealing things we may never reveal to anyone else, and sharing emotional energy with another person. We’re talking about sharing a unique relationship with someone. We’re making a commitment to each other. Whether it’s a life partner or a workmate, we’re taking a relationship further than the superficial.

As a leader, the trust your people offer you is the ultimate gift.

In my opinion, there are three main factors which break your people’s trust in you.

  1. Disinterest. No matter what’s on your mind, if you show your distraction or appear to be disinterested in what your team is telling you, it’s a conversation killer. You can imagine what it’s like to talk to someone who doesn’t care. You’ll end up feeling alone, frustrated and angry.
  2. Disrespect. Breaching a boundary, belittling a person’s worries or dismissing their dreams is easily done without realising it. Too often we make assumptions about situations or motivations without checking. Disrespect doesn’t always mean outright rudeness: it shows in the quality of the attention and thought we offer.
  3. Dishonesty. Leaders must be honest in their communications. Being dishonest isn’t just about lying to your team, although that’s a part of it. Dishonesty means omitting details, not doing what you promised to do, saying one thing and doing another…Dishonesty means justifying your actions to yourself, so you feel like a great person, even when you’re not.

Leadership is about trust and relationships. Shatter the trust, shatter the relationship.

It’s trust that takes your team from static to accelerated – trust in you and your judgement. Once you’ve lost trust, there’s no simple way to get it back.

Are you struggling to win the trust of your team? You can contact me here (contact page link) and together we can work out the best way to move forward.

Have you ever had your trust in someone shattered? What happened?

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